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Odd German personal weapons

Discussion in 'Weapons & Technology in WWII' started by wilconqr, Apr 17, 2003.

  1. wilconqr

    wilconqr Dishonorably Discharged

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    Anyone tell me about the machine gun/pistol used by the Germans that had a 90 degree barrel for firing around corners during urban warfare? Was it a modified StG 44, MP 38, 40, 28??? What units recieved them??? Were they effective to any extent???
     
  2. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    This was the almost-legendary MP44 'Krummerlauf'.

    Two models were produced, the 'Vorsatz-J' with a 30-degree barrel for infantry use, and the 'Vorsatz-P' with a 90-degree barrel for ball-mounted use in AFVs.

    Senich's book 'The German Assault Rifle 1933- 1945' devotes an entire chapter to the work carried out on this weapon but cannot find any evidence of actual issue to units.

    Rheinmetall is reported to have been given a contract to produce 20,00 units per month in the fall of 1944 and 500 are rumoured to have been delivered by the wars' end.

    ( I said 'almost legendary' as numbers of these weapons were captured at the end of the war and subjected to intense scrutiny by US and British weapons experts. This has led to near-mythical status as 'the gun that fires around corners' ).

    [ 18. April 2003, 02:01 AM: Message edited by: Martin Bull ]
     
  3. wilconqr

    wilconqr Dishonorably Discharged

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    Thanx for the reply! I saw a picture of it in action when I was a kid though I don't know whether or not it was a staged shot. Interesting weapon although I wouldn't think it to have warranted any more credence in combat as Soviet dog mines.
     
  4. Stefan

    Stefan Cavalry Rupert

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    The dog mines were used and they did actually work, just not very well by all accounts as the dogs were not very good at vehicle recognition.
     
  5. wilconqr

    wilconqr Dishonorably Discharged

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    What about their use against the french by the Viet-Minh?
     
  6. Panzerknacker

    Panzerknacker New Member

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    Never heard of the Viet Minh using Mine Dogs, I could be wrong though... :confused:
     
  7. Stefan

    Stefan Cavalry Rupert

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    I have only once heared about their use by the Viet Mihn, but I remember once reading about when the dog mine was used on the eastern front, they had trained them to attack tanks, the problem was that the dogs could not tell the difference between russian or german tanks. IT seems to me that since they used russian hulks the dogs may have thought they were the targets.
     
  8. Greenjacket

    Greenjacket Member

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    As has been said, it's not clear that they were ever used in combat. As for effectiveness, I once read (damned if I can remember where though) that the 'Krummerlauf'had the drawbacks that the physics of 'bending' the barrel greatly reduced muzzle velocity (and therefore lethality) and greatly increased the risk of the weapon overheating. Additionally, the complex optical sight (with prisms to refract light to the same degree as the barrel) that were designed to allow a soldier a measure of accuracy were fragile and cumbersome - adding weight to a weapon that was heavy anyway, and made more front-heavy by the Krummerlauf attachment.
     
  9. CrazyD

    CrazyD Ace

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    Ya know, I've read about the dog mines being used by the russians. I've read in pretty good sources about their attempted use- and how they did exactly what they had been trained to do. Ran under the russian tanks and blew up.( :rolleyes: )

    But one thing gets me- I've never seen a bit of photographic evidence for them. I've seen pictures of a model of one in some russian museum, but never shots of and actual one in action during the war.
    Never even seen a photo of one in "training" or anything.

    Anyone? :confused:

    I have seen photos of the Krummlauf. Not action shots, but still photos from the period. And as far as the existence... well, unless there's a big ole' conspiracy afoot, I took a photo myself of a Krummlauf at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds ordinance museum.

    [ 15. June 2003, 09:19 PM: Message edited by: CrazyD ]
     
  10. Panzerknacker

    Panzerknacker New Member

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    Crazy-I have a picture of Minehunden captured along with their Soviet owners-problem is I can't post pics on the net!!!
     
  11. CrazyD

    CrazyD Ace

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    Hmmm.. neat!
    Issue solved, apparently! It just struck me as odd that so many sources do in fact confirm the use of the Dog Mines, but no photos.
    But if a photo exists, well, that's that. We know that they were at least a real "weapon".

    If you have the option, I'd be interested in seeing the pic. If you can email, chuck me a copy- either my work email listed in profile, or thee_crazyd@yahoo.com

    Poor dogs... but I guess the russians had to try anything in 41-42.
    :(
     
  12. Panzerknacker

    Panzerknacker New Member

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    I just have to dig it up from the archives Crazy.
     
  13. CrazyD

    CrazyD Ace

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    Hey, no rush, no hurry! The fact that a photo actually exists is enough for me. I guess it could be a doctored... but it's the one bit of evidence on the Dog-mines that I have not seen.

    Interesting stuff, no doubt- but it's not like the Dog-mines have any impact on the stuff I'm researching!!
    :D

    [ 17. June 2003, 08:42 AM: Message edited by: CrazyD ]
     
  14. Bill Smith

    Bill Smith Member

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    Greetings gentlemen.

    Panzerknacker, Crazy D, I read this thread, and thought perhaps I could offer up some information here.

    My maternal grandfather, one Obergefreiter Hans Schmuck, 716th Grenadier Rgt., 153rd Field Training Division, Army Group South, Eastern Front, informed me, when I was a younger man, that his unit did in fact experience Soviet forces using dogs with mines attatched to their backs in use during combat.

    He further stated to me that what the Soviet would do is to retrieve German tanks that were salvagable from a battlefield, and condition the dogs to ( apparently ) be fed, and sleep under these hulks so that they would, using Pavlov's theory, be attracted to a German tank during combat with the ingrained belief that their "dinner bell" was ringing.

    He mentioned as well that at least in his unit, they applied sharpshooters to be alert for these animals when reenforced by German armor.

    I have no photographs of this myself, to back me up, but it appears Panzerknacker might some day be able to assist with some photographic evidence, however, I'll take my grandfather's comments over any book. He was there.

    Bill
     
  15. CrazyD

    CrazyD Ace

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    Nice info, Bill! Nice to have a first-hand source...

    I've read quite a few sources that talk about the dog mines- but like I mentioned to Panzerknacker, personally, I've never seen any photographic evidence. NOR- have I ever read any accounts of soldiers who actually saw or encountered one fo the dog-mines. All the acccounts seem to refer to them as being used relatively commonly for a while, but again, nothing specific.
    This made me wonder- if they were used so often, why no photos? Why no first-hand accounts of the dog-mines in action?

    But your grandfather adds further confirmation that the dog-mines were actually used.
    One thing I wonder- did your grandfather actually see any of the dog-mines, or was it just known to him that his unit encountered them? Reason I ask, I'm wondering if the dog-mines were used often, or in large numbers... were there enough of them that soldiers like your grandfather actually had to regularly watch out for them, or were a few snipers at the outset of an engagement enough?

    I would have to imagine that the russians ran out of dogs pretty quickly!
    (geez, the whole dog-mine thing... :rolleyes: ...desperate times call for desperate measures, I guess!)
     
  16. TheRedBaron

    TheRedBaron Ace

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    nothing will ever be as odd as the British Officer who took a Longbow to France in 1940... :D
     
  17. TheRedBaron

    TheRedBaron Ace

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    On the subject of dog mines Hans Von Luck had this to say...

    "Once we came to an abandoned village. A dog ran up to us. He wagged his tail and whimpered. When we tried to stroke him, he crawled under an armoured vehicle. Suddenly we heard a bang, an explosion. The vehicle was damaged, but luckily failed to catch fire. We ran up to it and discovered that the dead dog had had an explosive charge concealed in the fur of its back with a movable pin as detonator. When the dog crawled, the detonator tipped over and triggered off the explosion. The dog had been trained to find meat under armoured vehicles. Unfortunately, from then on we had to shoot all dogs that approached us."

    From Panzer Commander by Hans Von Luck.

    This would have been in 1941 when his unit was advancing on Smolensk.
     
  18. mtchristman

    mtchristman Member

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    I don't know about the German version, but we had an attachment for the grease gun to shoot around corners and out of the turret of a tank.
     
  19. Wayne Allen

    Wayne Allen New Member

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    There is a video in the Forgotten Weapons series on Youtube that features this weapon.
     
  20. stivemorgan

    stivemorgan New Member

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    Hi there. Thanks for the information.
     

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