The need for a Semi-Automatic weapon to improve the Wehrmacht's combat efficiency was realised early in WW2 as it relied heavily on Bolt Action Weapons such as the Mauser Kar 98. A new design specification for a Semi-Automatic weapon was sent to various manufacturers and both Walther & Mauser submitted prototypes - designated G41(W) & G41(M). Both weapons looked similar but the Mauser was found to be virtually unusable with many being returned from the production run. Only 6673 were made. The Walther version - Gewehr 41 (W) was therefore chosen as the model to be mass produced although this too left a lot to be desired. Because the original specification precluded a gas operated feed system from the barrel, the Danish "Bang" System was tried using gases from the muzzle instead. The specification also called for a Bolt Action in case the main feed failed and also no moving parts on the outside. This caused erosion of fine parts from salt used in the primer for the ammunition and Carbon fouling in the barrel, making the weapon difficult to maintain. At the beginning of Operation Barbarossa in June 1941, German Infantry Units were shocked to find that the Red Army already had a Semi-Automatic weapon in the SVT-40. Though far from perfect it was a marked improvement over the Kar 98 being able to fire bursts and single shots. Captured examples of the SVT-40 were shipped back to Germany for further examination. The SVT's gas operated feed system was a far more straight forward design than the G41(W)'s and Walther gradually incorporated this mechanism in to the G41. The resulting Gewehr 43 was a much better & reliable weapon and was accepted into production in 1943. In 1944 the Karabiner 43 joined the G43 and although given a different designation was identical to the G43 in every aspect except the letter stamped on the side. About 400,000 G/K43's were produced before the end of the war with Sniper Versions also manufactured. Gewehr 43 & Sniper Version.