How far is a 9mm carabiner exactly

Reader's question: why didn't Hitler want the best rifle?

Prop masters love it. Whether "Steiner - The Iron Cross", "The Bridge of Remagen", "The Soldier James Ryan" or, more recently, "Our Mothers, Our Fathers": Hardly any feature film about the Second World War in Europe can do without German soldiers use the rifle with the characteristic, slightly forward curve.

70 years ago, in the late summer of 1943, the first almost 15,000 copies of the weapon were delivered for a major troop test on the northern eastern front. It soon turned out that units equipped with it were far more powerful than troops armed conventionally with carbines, submachine guns and machine guns.

Nevertheless, Hitler had repeatedly forbidden the further development of the weapon and the associated ammunition. Why didn't the dictator want what was obviously the best rifle of World War II?

Problems with the ammunition

Developing ammunition is a multi-variable task. If you change one, it automatically affects other factors. So it is no problem to develop a very powerful and long-range projectile - but that makes the individual cartridge heavy. What is not a problem with 20 or 30 pieces can make a big difference with 10,000 or 20,000 shots at once.

On the other hand: does every soldier really need such a powerful force? The Army Weapons Office of the Wehrmacht knew even before the start of the Second World War that the range of the German standard infantry weapon, the carbine 98k, was never actually used in normal combat situations. This wasted gunpowder and also non-ferrous metal in the 7.92 x 57 millimeter cartridge cases, which were longer than actually necessary.

In addition, repeating by hand limited the rate of fire. Infantrymen with the 98k were therefore inferior to opponents with semi-automatic rifles.

The introduction of the Schmeisser submachine guns MP38 and especially the MP40 partially made up for this disadvantage. But these weapons fired pistol ammunition with a caliber of 9 by 19 millimeters, which was far below any rifle in terms of range and penetration power.