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There are 4 famous people who are running for president. They are Hilary Clinton, Barak Obama, Ron Paul, and Rudy Giuliani. Paul is from the independent party. Obama is from the democrat party. Rudy is a rebublican, and Clinton is a rebublican. Bush are current president has served his two terms.


World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a worldwide military conflict; the amalgamation of two separate conflicts, one beginning in Asia, 1937, as the Second Sino-Japanese War and the other beginning in Europe, 1939, with the invasion of Poland. It is regarded as the historical successor to World War I.

This global conflict split a majority of the world’s nations into two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. Spanning much of the globe, World War II resulted in the deaths of over 70 million people, making it the deadliest conflict in human history.[1]

World War II was the most widespread war in history, and countries involved mobilized more than 100 million military personnel. Total war erased the distinction between civil and military resources and saw the complete activation of a nation’s economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities for the purposes of the war effort; nearly two-thirds of those killed in the war were civilians. For example, nearly 11 million of the civilian casualties were victims of the Holocaust, which was conducted by Nazi Germany, largely in Eastern Europe, and the Soviet Union.[2]

The conflict ended in an Allied victory. As a result, the United States and Soviet Union emerged as the world’s two leading superpowers, setting the stage for the Cold War for the next 45 years. The United Nations was founded in the hopes of preventing another such conflict, and self determination gave rise to decolonization/independence movements in Asia and Africa, while Europe itself began traveling the road leading to integration.



The bazooka is a man-portable anti-armor rocket launcher, made famous during World War II where it was one of the primary infantry anti-tank weapons used by the United States Armed Forces. It was one of the first weapons based on the High explosive anti-tank (HEAT) shell to enter service. It was nicknamed “bazooka” from a vague resemblance to the musical instrument of the same name invented and used by Bob Burns. It saw widespread use throughout WWII.

The German armed forces copied the design increasing the caliber to 88 mm, as well as other changes, and issued it as the Raketenpanzerbüchse “Panzerschreck”.

In addition to the actual weapon, the word “bazooka” is often incorrectly used to refer to any shoulder-launched missile weapon.


There have been two main machine gun eras: the era of manual machine guns and the era of automatic machine guns. The technical development itself is marked by a series of developments of specific automatic features, as well as technical developments (such as linked ammunition). The era of manual multi-shot devices extends back hundreds of years (such as manual volley guns), but the development of manual and automatic machine guns takes place almost entirely in the latter half of the 1800s. Manual machine guns are manually-powered, e.g., a crank must be turned to power reloading and firing, as opposed to simply holding down a trigger, as with automatic machine guns. There are many other notable features, but this is one of the most significant to allowing higher rates of fire common to machine guns.

Manual machine guns, as well as manual volley guns, saw their first major use in the American Civil War. The Gatling gun and “coffee gun” both used manually-powered automatic loading, fed via a hopper filled with cartridges. The Gatling gun would be the major type of the late 19th century, though there were many other manual designs with varying degrees of use (e.g. the Nordenfelt machine gun). The first automatic machine gun was the recoil-operated Maxim gun, which used linked (belt) ammunition, as well as a single barrel and automatic loading. This concept of using bullet energy would also drive the development of nearly all other semi and fully automatic firearms of 20th century.

The two major operation systems of modern automatic machine guns are gas operation and recoil operation. As the name implies, the gas operated system uses the gas generated from the burning powder to cycle the action, whereas the recoil operated uses the recoil generated from the ejecting bullet. The first gas-operated machine gun was the Colt-Browning M1895.[2]

Another (minor) type is the externally-powered machine gun. Rather than human manual power or energy generated by the cartridge, an external source such as an electric motor is used. These types are now called by more specific names such as Minigun and Chaingun. They are common on fighting aircraft and ground vehicles, where the externally powered mechanism allows for automatic clearing of many failure conditions that would otherwise disable the firearm.

[edit] Caliber Overview

Machine guns are generally categorized machine guns and autocannons. The separation takes place by caliber at about 20mm, with the larger-caliber guns being referred to as autocannons.

Another factor is whether the gun fires conventional rounds or explosive rounds. Guns firing large-caliber explosive rounds are generally either autocannons or automatic grenade launchers (“grenade machine guns”). Machine guns tend to share a very high ratio of barrel length to caliber (a long barrel for a small caliber).

[edit] Overview of modern automatic machine guns

Jędrusie Polish underground group firing a belt-fed water-cooled automatic machine gun- a Browning M1917 clone

Jędrusie Polish underground group firing a belt-fed water-cooled automatic machine gun- a Browning M1917 clone

The Gatling gun of a USAF A-10 ground attack aircraft.

The Gatling gun of a USAF A-10 ground attack aircraft.

Unlike semi-automatic firearms, which require one trigger pull per bullet fired, a machine gun is designed to fire bullets as long as the trigger is held down and ammunition is fed into the weapon. Although the term “machine gun” is often used by civilians to describe all fully automatic weapons, in military usage the term is restricted to relatively heavy weapons fired from some sort of support rather than hand-held, able to provide continuous or frequent bursts of automatic fire for as long as ammunition lasts. Machine guns are normally used against unprotected or lightly-protected personnel, or to provide suppressive fire.

Some machine guns have in practice maintained suppressive fire almost continuously for hours; other automatic weapons overheat after less than a minute of use. Because they become very hot, practically all machine guns fire from an open bolt, to permit air cooling from the breech between bursts. They also have either a barrel cooling system, or removable barrels which allow a hot barrel to be replaced.

Although subdivided into “light“, “medium“, “heavy” or “general purpose“, even the lightest machine guns tend to be substantially larger and heavier than other automatic weapons. Squad automatic weapons (SAWs) are a variation of light machine gun and only require one operator (sometimes with an assistant to carry ammunition). Medium and heavy machine guns are either mounted on a tripod or on a vehicle; when carried on foot, the machine gun and associated equipment (tripod, ammunition, spare barrels) require additional crew members.

The majority of machine guns are belt-fed, although some light machine guns are fed from drum or box magazines, and some vehicle-mounted machine guns are hopper-fed.

Other automatic weapons are subdivided into several categories based on the size of the bullet used, and whether the cartridge is fired from a positively locked closed bolt, or a non-positively locked open bolt. Fully automatic firearms using pistol-caliber ammunition are called machine pistols or submachine guns largely on the basis of size. Selective fire rifles firing a full-power rifle cartridge from a closed bolt are called automatic rifles, while those using a reduced-power rifle cartridge are called assault rifles.

Assault rifles are a compromise between the pistol-caliber submachine gun and a traditional rifle firing a full-power cartridge, allowing semi-automatic, burst and full-automatic fire options (selective fire). The modern legal definition of “assault rifle” is of significance in states like California, where according to state law, certain short, small-caliber, semi-automatic weapons are categorized as “assault weapons“, which were also made illegal by civilians to acquire or own. Supporters of gun rights generally consider the use of the phrase “assault weapon” to be pejorative when used to describe these civilian firearms, and this term is seldom used outside of the United States in this context.

The machine gun’s primary role in modern ground combat is to provide suppressive fire on an opposing force’s position, forcing the enemy to take cover and reducing the effectiveness of his fire [citation needed]. This either halts an enemy attack or allows friendly forces to attack enemy positions with less risk.

Light machine guns usually have simple iron sights. A common aiming system is to alternate solid (“ball”) rounds and tracer ammunition rounds (usually one tracer round for every four ball rounds), so shooters can see the trajectory and “walk” the fire into the target, and direct the fire of other soldiers.

Many heavy machine guns, such as the Browning M2 .50 caliber machine gun, are accurate enough to engage targets at great distances. During the Vietnam War, Carlos Hathcock set the record for a long-distance shot at 7382 ft (2250 m) with a .50 caliber heavy machine gun he had equipped with a telescopic sight [citation needed]. This led to the introduction of .50 caliber anti-material sniper rifles, such as the Barrett M82.






MP43, MP44, and StG44 were different designations for what was essentially the same rifle, with minor updates in production. The variety in nomenclatures resulted from complicated circumstances in Nazi Germany. Developed from the Mkb 42(H) “machine carbine”, the ‘StG44’ combined traits of carbines, submachine guns and automatic rifles. StG is an abbreviation of Sturmgewehr. The name was chosen for propaganda reasons and literally means storm rifle as in “to storm a bunker.” After the adoption of the StG44, the English translation “assault rifle” became the accepted designation for this type of infantry small arm.

The rifle was chambered for the 7.92 x 33 mm cartridge, also known as 7.92 mm Kurz (German for “short”). This shorter version of the German standard (7.92 x 57 mm) rifle round, in combination with the weapon’s selective-fire design, provided a compromise between the controllable firepower of a submachine gun at close quarters with the accuracy and power of a Karabiner 98k bolt action rifle at intermediate ranges. While the StG44 had less range and power than the more powerful infantry rifles of the day, Wehrmacht studies had shown that most combat engagements occurred at less than 300 meters with the majority within 200 meters. Full-power rifle cartridges were overpowered for the vast majority of uses for the average soldier.

The StG44’s receiver was made of heavy stamped and welded steel as were other contermporary arms such as the MP40 and MG42. This made for a fairly heavy rifle, especially one firing an intermediate-power cartridge. Difficulties with fabrication, the need to use available non-priority steels, and the exigencies of war resulted in a heavy receiver. U.S. military intelligence criticized the weight of the weapon along with the inclusion of the full automatic feature which it considered “ineffectual for all practical purposes.” [1] The British were also critical saying that the receiver could be bent and the bolt locked up by the mere act of knocking a leaning rifle onto a hard floor. [2] Criticisms of the StG44 can largely be dismissed out of hand as propaganda by a simple comparison. The American Thompson submachine gun weighed only one pound less and the M3 submachine gun was equally if not more fragile than the Sturmgewehr.

To its credit, it was the first weapon of its class, and the concept had a major impact on modern infantry small arms development. By all accounts, the StG44 fulfilled its role admirably, particularly on the Eastern Front offering a greatly increased volume of fire compared to standard infantry rifles. In the end, it came too late to have a significant effect on the tide of the war.

[edit] Background

At the start of the Second World War German infantry was equipped with similar weapons to most other military forces. A typical infantry unit was equipped with a mix of bolt action rifles and some form of light or medium machine guns. One difference from other armies was the emphasis on the machine gun as the primary infantry weapon, as opposed to it being thought of mostly in the support role. German units tended to be machine gun “heavy”, carrying more ammunition for the machine gun than for the rifles, using belt ammunition for their more modern section-level weapons to maintain a higher rate of fire, and generally thinking of the rifle as a support weapon. Although newer rifle designs had been studied on several occasions, these designs were never considered very important.

One problem with this mix was that the standard rifles were too large to be effectively used by mechanized and armored forces, where they were difficult to maneuver in the cramped spaces of an armored vehicle. Submachine guns such as the MP28, MP38, and MP40 were issued to augment infantry rifle use and increase individual firepower, but suffered from a distinct lack of range and accuracy for ranges beyond 100 meters. A small fast-firing weapon would be useful in this role as well, but again the need did not seem pressing.

The issue arose once again during the invasion of the Soviet Union. The Red Army had been in the process of replacing its own bolt action rifles in the immediate pre–war era. Increasing numbers of semi-automatic Tokarev SVT38 and SVT40s were reaching Red Army units, though issue was generally restricted to elite units and non-commissioned officers. Submachine guns were extremely widespread, and issued on a far larger scale; some Soviet rifle companies were completely equipped with fast-firing PPSh-41 submachine guns. [3]

This experience with high volumes of hand-held automatic ‘assault’ fire forced German commanders to rethink their small arms requirements. The German army had been attempting to introduce semi-automatic weapons of their own, notably the Gewehr 41, but these early rifles proved troublesome in service, and production was insufficient to meet forecast requirements. Several attempts had been made to introduce lightweight machine guns or automatic rifles for these roles, but invariably recoil from the powerful 7.92 mm Mauser round made them too difficult to control in automatic fire.

The German solution was to use a round of intermediate power, between that of a full-power rifle cartridge and pistol ammunition. Experiments with several such intermediate rounds had been going on since the 1930s, but had been constantly rejected for use by the army. By 1941, it was becoming clear that action needed to be taken, and one of the experimental rounds, the Polte 7.92 x 33 mm Kurzpatrone (short cartridge) was selected. To minimize logistical problems, the Mauser 7.92 mm rifle cartridge was used as the basis for the final 7.92 mm Kurz intermediate round, which also utilized an aerodynamic spitzer rifle bullet design.

[edit] MKb 42

Contracts for rifles firing the Kurz round were sent to both Walther and Haenel (whose design group was headed by Hugo Schmeisser), who were asked to submit prototype weapons under the name Maschinenkarabiner 1942 (MKb 42, literally “machine carbine”). Both designs were similar, using a gas-operated action, with both semi-automatic and fully-automatic firing modes.

The original prototypes of Haenel’s design, the MKb 42(H), fired from an open bolt and used a striker for firing (the mechanism is based on the Czechoslovak ZB vz.26). The receiver and trigger housing with pistol grip were made from steel stampings, which were attached to the barrel assembly on a hinge, allowing the weapon to be “folded open” for quick disassembly and cleaning. The Haenel design proved superior to Walther’s MKb 42(W), and the army then asked Haenel for another version incorporating a list of minor changes designated MKb 42(H). One was to include lugs for mounting a standard bayonet, another to change the pitch of the rifling. A production run of these modified versions was sent to the field in November 1942, and the users appreciated it with a few reservations. Another set of modifications added a hinged cover over the ejection port to keep it clean in combat, and rails to mount a telescopic sight. A run of these modified MKb 42(H)s in late 1942 and early 1943 produced 11,833 guns for field trials.

Ultimately it was recommended that a hammer firing system operating from a closed bolt similar to Walther’s be incorporated. The gas expansion chamber over the barrel was deemed unnecessary, and was deleted from successive designs.

[edit] MP43

While the new version was under development in late 1942, administrative infighting within the Third Reich was in full swing. Hitler was increasingly concerned with this, and after Hermann Göring had created the FG 42 in a separate program from the army’s similar Gewehr 41 efforts, Hitler cancelled all new rifle projects completely. This included the production of the MKb 42(H). One concern was that the new weapon used a new ammunition type which would further hamper an already daunting logistics problem.

In order to preserve the weapons development, a new project at Gustloff was started to produce a similar weapon using the original Mauser round, the Mkb 43(G). Whenever Hitler asked about the progress of the rifle, he was always shown one of these prototypes, although there was no intention of producing them. Meanwhile the newest version of the original Mkb 42(H) was called the Maschinenpistole 43 (MP43) to disguise it as an upgrade to existing submachine guns. Another change fitted a rifle grenade launcher attachment from the earlier MKb 42(H) to the MP43/1.

Eventually the truth surfaced and Hitler ordered the project stopped once again. However in March 1943 he allowed the run to continue for evaluation purposes, which then continued until September. Due to the positive combat reports, it was then allowed to continue.

[edit] MP44, StG44

On 6 April 1944, Adolf Hitler issued the following decree:

a) The former MG42 is to retain the same designation
b) The former self-loading rifle, known as the Gewehr 43, shall receive the designation Karabiner 43 (K43).
c) The former new MP, known as the MP43, shall receive the designation MP44.

In July 1944 at a meeting of the various army heads about the Eastern Front, when Hitler asked what they needed, a general blurted out “More of these new rifles!” This caused some confusion, but once Hitler was given a chance to test fire the MP44, he was impressed and gave it the title Sturmgewehr. Seeing the possibility of a propaganda gain, the rifle was again renamed as the StG44, to highlight the new class of weapon it represented, translated “assault rifle, model 1944”, thereby introducing the term.[1]

By the end of the war, some 425,977 StG44 variants of all types were produced. The assault rifle proved a valuable weapon, especially on the Eastern front, where it was first deployed. A properly trained soldier with an StG44 had an improved tactical repertoire, in that he could effectively engage targets at longer ranges than with an MP40, but be much more useful than the Kar98k in close combat, as well as provide light cover fire like a light machine gun.

The StG44 was an intermediate weapon for the period; the muzzle velocity from its 42 cm barrel was 647 m/s, compared to 880 m/s (K98k), 744 m/s (Bren), 600 m/s (M2 Carbine), and 365 m/s (MP40).

One unusual addition to the design was the Krummlauf, a bent-barrel attachment for rifles with a periscope sighting device for shooting around corners from a safe position. It was produced in several variants, an “I”-version for infantry use, a “P” version for use in tanks (to cover the dead areas in the close range around the tank, to defend against assaulting infantry), versions with 30°, 45°, 60° and 90° bends, a version for the StG44 and one for the MG 42. Only the 30° “I” version for the StG44 was produced in any numbers. The bent barrel attachments had very short lifespans – 300 rounds for the 30° version, and 160 for the 45° variant. The 30° model was able to achieve a 35X35 cm grouping at 100m.[4]

A primary use of the MP44/StG44 was to counter the Soviet PPS and PPSh submachine guns, which used a 7.62 x 25 mm round. These cheap mass-produced weapons used a 71-round drum magazine or 35-round “box” magazine and though shorter-ranged than the Kar98k rifle were more effective weapons in close quarter combat. The StG44, while also lacking the range of the Kar98k, had a longer range than the PPS/PPSh submachine guns and a comparable rate of fire. Also, while they could fire fully automatic, they were designed to default to semi-auto fire. They were surprisingly accurate, and their slow rate of fire gave them controllability even on full-auto. While the design details are quite different, the concept of the StG44 was obviously carried on in the most famous and most numerously manufactured assault rifle, the AK-47.

[edit] Late prototypes

Mauser developed several prototype Sturmgewehr 45 assault rifles, first with the Gerät 06 (Device 6) using a roller-delayed blowback mechanism originally adapted from the roller-locked recoil operation of the MG42 machine gun but with a fixed barrel and gas system. It was realized that with careful attention to the mechanical ratios, the gas system could be omitted. The resultant weapon, the Gerät 06(H) was supposedly slated for adoption by the Wehrmacht as the StG45. This mechanism would later be developed by former Mauser engineers in Spain and used on the post-war CETME and Heckler & Koch‘s G3 assault rifle and MP5 submachine gun.

Towards the end of the war, there were last-ditch efforts to develop cheap so-called Volksgewehr rifles in the 7.92 x 33 mm caliber. One of these Volkssturmgewehr 1-5 (the VG 1-5) used a gas-delayed blowback action based on the Barnitzke system, whereby gas bled from the barrel near the chamber creates resistance to the rearward impulse of the operating parts, which ceases when the projectile leaves the muzzle, allowing the operating parts to be forced rearward by the residual pressure of the cartridge case. This principle has been used most successfully in the Heckler & Koch PSP or P7 pistol.

[edit] Post-war

Generally accepted as the world’s first assault rifle, the StG44’s effect on post-war arms design was wide-ranging, as evidenced by Mikhail Kalashnikov‘s famous AK-47, and later in the U.S. M16 and its variants.

The Soviet Union was quick to adapt the assault rifle concept. The AK-47 used a similar-sized round and followed the design concept, but was mechanically very different.

Many of the other Western countries continued using their existing weapons. The 7.62 x 51 mm NATO round that was adopted post-war was still a full power cartridge with slightly smaller dimensions, however even in the West the adoption of less powerful rounds had been a pre-existing trend. For example, the M1 Garand, had initially been developed for the .276 (7 mm), a cartridge less powerful that the 30-06 in use at the time. The U.S Army’s adoption of the M1 Carbine in 1941 proved the utility of a small, handy, low powered rifle that required little training to use effectively. The selective fire M2 Carbine is generally not considered an assault rifle due to its second-line role, though it technically fits all of the requirements.

America and, later, NATO developed assault rifles along a roughly similar path as the Soviet Union by at first adding selective-fire capability in a reduced power, full-caliber cartridge. The Soviet Union quickly lightened the AK-47 and introduced the AKM. America developed the concept of small-caliber, high-velocity (SCHV) bullets and further reduced the weight of their firearms with the introduction of the M16. The Soviets followed suits by introducing the SCHV AK-74 rifle.

As for the Sturmgewehr itself, it remained in use with the East German Nationale Volksarmee until it was eventually replaced with variants of the AK-47 assault rifle. Argentina manufactured their own trial versions of the StG44 in the late 1940s and early 1950s [5], but made the decision to adopt the FN FAL instead in 1955 [6]. Examples of the StG44 are used by Lebanese Forces[7], along with limited numbers by irregular forces in some countries in the Horn of Africa and the Middle East. Examples have been confiscated in Iraq.

New, semi-automatic reproductions of the MKB42, MP43, and MP44 assault rifles are being manufactured in Germany today by Sport-Systeme Dittrich.


The Karabiner 98k was a bolt-action rifle with Mauser-type action holding five rounds of 7.92 x 57 mm (also known as 8 mm Mauser or 8 x 57 IS) on a stripper clip, loaded into an internal magazine. It was derived from earlier rifles, namely the Karabiner 98b, which in turn had been developed from the Mauser Model 1898. The Gewehr 98 or Model 1898 took its principles from the Lebel Model 1886 rifle with the improvement of a metallic magazine of five cartridges. Since the rifle was shorter than the earlier carbines, it was given the designation Karabiner 1898 Kurz, meaning “Short Carbine Model 1898”. The standard Karabiner 98k iron sights could be regulated for ranges from 100 m up to 2000 m in 100 m increments.

The rifle was noted for its good accuracy and effective up to 500 meters (547 yards) with iron sights. For this reason, rifles selected for being exceptionally accurate during factory tests, were also fitted with a telescopic sight as sniper rifles. Karabiner 98k sniper rifles had an effective range up to 800 meters (875 yards) when used by a skilled sniper. The German Zeiss Zielvier 4x (ZF39) telescopic sight had bullet drop compensation in 50 m increments for ranges from 100 m up to 800 m or in some variations from 100 m up to 1000 m. There were also ZF 42, Zeiss Zielsechs 6x and other telescopic sights by various manufacturers with similar features employed on Karabiner 98k sniper rifles.

The 98k rifle was designed to be used with a S84/98 III bayonet[2] and to fire rifle grenades. Most rifles had laminated stocks [3], the result of trials that had stretched through the 1930s. Plywood laminates resisted warping better than the conventional one-piece patterns, did not require lengthy maturing and were less wasteful.

The 98k had the same disadvantages as all other turn-of-the-century military rifles in that it was comparatively bulky and heavy, and the rate of fire was limited by how fast the bolt could be operated. Its magazine had only half the capacity of Great Britain’s Lee-Enfield rifles, but being internal, it made the weapon less uncomfortable to carry. While the Allies (both Soviet and Anglo-American) developed and moved towards standardization of semi-automatic rifles, the Germans maintained these bolt-action rifles due to their tactical doctrine of basing a squad’s firepower on the unit’s light machine gun and possibly their problems of mass producing semi-automatic rifles.

In close combat, however, submachine guns were often preferred, especially for urban combat where the rifle’s range and low rate of fire were not very useful. Towards the end of the war, the Kar98k was being phased out in favour of the StG44 assault rifle, which fired a round that was more powerful than that of submachine guns, but that could be used like a submachine gun in close-quarters and urban fighting. Production of the StG44 was never sufficient to meet demand, being a late war weapon, and because of this the Mauser Kar98k rifle was still produced and used as the standard infantry rifle by the German forces until the German surrender at the end of World War II in May 1945.

[edit] Combat use

[edit] World War II

The Mauser Kar98k rifle was widely used by all branches of the armed forces of Nazi Germany during World War II. It saw action in every theatre of war involving German forces, including occupied Europe, North Africa, the Soviet Union, Finland, and Norway. Resistance forces in German-occupied Europe made frequent use of captured German 98k rifles. The Soviet Union also made extensive use of captured Kar98k rifles (and other German infantry weapons due to the Red Army experiencing a critical shortage of small arms during the early years of World War II) and rifle factories during World War II, as they were somewhat familiar with the weapon’s technology after buying the licences and machinery necessary to manufacture them from the Nazi Germany during the time of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. However most of these factories were converted to produce Mosin-Nagant rifles and carbines as Soviet forces gained stable territory and were able to establish supply lines for production. Many German Soldiers used the verbal expression “Kars” as the slang name for the rifle.

[edit] Post-World War II

During World War II, the Soviet Union captured millions of Mauser Kar98k rifles and re-arsenaled them in various arms factories in the late 1940s and early 1950s. These rifles were originally stored in the event of future hostilities with the Western democracies.

Most of these rifles were eventually shipped to communist or Marxist revolutionary movements and nations around the world during the early Cold War period. A steady supply of free surplus military firearms was one way that Moscow could support these movements and states without giving them the latest Soviet infantry weapons until these movements and states gained the trust of Moscow to warrant the supply of modern Soviet infantry weapons.

One example of the Soviet Union providing the Mauser Kar98k rifle (as well as other infantry weapons captured from the Germans during and after World War II) to its communist allies during the Cold War period occurred during the Vietnam War with the Soviet Union providing military aid to the armed forces of North Vietnam and to the NLF in South Vietnam.

A considerable number of Soviet-captured Mauser 98k rifles (as well as a number of 98k rifles that were left behind by the French after the First Indochina War) were found in the hands of NLF guerrillas and VPA soldiers by U.S. and Allied forces alongside Soviet-bloc rifles like the Mosin-Nagant, the SKS, and the AK-47.

In the years after World War II, a number of European nations that were invaded and occupied by Nazi Germany used the Mauser Kar98k rifle as their standard-issue infantry rifle, due to the large numbers of German weapons that were left behind. Nations like France and Norway used the Mauser Kar98k rifle and a number of other German weapons in the years after World War II. Firearms manufacturers like Fabrique Nationale (FN) in Belgium, Česká Zbrojovka (CZ) in Czechoslovakia (as P-18 or puška vz. 98N, the first being the manufacturer’s cover designation of the type, the second official army designation – rifle model 98, N for německá – German) and the Zastava plant in Kragujevac, Serbia, Yugoslavia, continued to produce the Mauser Kar98k rifle after 1945 as M48. In Romania, the Czechoslovak version was known under the informal name of ZB, after Zbrojovka Brno – the Czechoslovak main state producer of small weapons and munitions (now closed) – and, since a large surplus of this version was available, it was used to arm Romania‘s Patriotic Guards, before sufficient numbers AKMs were available for them. From 1950 to 1965, Zastava produced a near-identical copy of the Kar98k called the Model 1948 (M48) which differed only from the German rifle in that it had the shorter bolt-action of the Model 1924 series of Mauser rifles. Yugoslavia sold many of these rifles to Algeria, Egypt and Iran during the 1950s and ’60s. Many surplus M48s have been sold in the United States, Australia and Canada in recent years.

[edit] Israeli Mauser Kar98k rifle

Close-up of the K98k Bolt action

Close-up of the K98k Bolt action

A number of non-European nations used the Mauser Kar98k rifle as well as a few guerrilla organisations to help establish new nation-states. One example was Israel who used the Mauser Kar98k rifle from the late 1940s until the 1970s.

The use of the Kar98k to establish the nation-state of Israel often raises a lot of interest among people and rifle collectors today. Many Jewish organizations in Palestine acquired them from post-war Europe to protect various Jewish settlements from Arab attack and used them to carry out guerrilla operations against British Army forces in Palestine.

The Haganah, which later evolved into the modern-day Israeli Defence Forces, was one of the Jewish armed groups in Palestine that brought large numbers of Mauser Kar98k rifles and other surplus arms (namely the British Lee-Enfield bolt-action rifle, which was used on a large scale by these organisations alongside the Kar98k rifle) from Europe during the post-World War 2 period.

One of most important purchases was a January 14th 1948 $12,280,000 worth contract with Czechoslovak Government including 4,500 P 18 rifles, as well as 50,400,000 rounds of ammunition.

The Israeli version of the Mauser Kar98k rifles differ from the original German version in that they have had all of the Nazi Waffenamt markings and emblems defaced with over stamped Israeli Defence Force and Hebrew markings as part of an effort to ideologically “purify” the rifles from their former use as an infantry weapon of Nazi Germany. The Mauser Kar98k rifles produced by Fabrique Nationale post-World War II have Israeli Defence Force markings on the rifle as well as the emblem of the IDF on the top of the rifle’s receiver. The FN-made Kar98k rifles with the IDF markings and emblem on the rifle were produced and sold to Israel after Israel established itself as an independent nation in 1948.

During the late 1950s, the Israeli Defence Force converted the calibre of their Mauser Kar98k rifles from the original German 7.92 mm round to 7.62 mm NATO after the Israeli Defence Force adopted the FN FAL rifle in 1958. The Israeli Mauser Kar98k rifles that were converted have “7.62” engraved on the rifle receiver. Rifles with original German stocks have “7.62” burned into the heel of the rifle stock for identification and to separate the re-chambered Kar98ks from the original 7.92 mm versions of the weapon then in service or held in reserve, though some 98k rifles were fitted with new, unnumbered beech stocks of recent manufacture. All of these converted rifles were proof-fired for service.

The Kar98k rifle was used by the reserve branches of the Israeli Defence Force well into the 1960s and 1970s and saw action in the hands of various Israeli Army support and line-of-communications troops during the 1967 Six-Day War and the 1973 Arab-Israeli War. After the rifle was retired from reserve military service, the Israeli Mauser Kar98k was given to a number of Third World nations as military aid by the Israelis during the 1970’s and 1980’s (there is evidence that a number of Israeli Mausers were sent to Latin America during this period of time) as well as being sold to civilian gun owners across the world.

[edit] Usage today

The Kar98k rifles that were used by Germany during World War II are highly sought after collector’s items in many circles.

The Mauser Kar98k rifle is very popular among many rifle shooters and military rifle collectors due to the rifle’s historical background, as well as the availability of both new and surplus 7.92mm ammunition, also known as 8mm Mauser. The military version of the Mauser does NOT fire the 7.62 NATO or .308 caliber ammunition. Some of the sporter variants are available in other chamberings, but most are large-bore hunting calibers. The exception to this is the Israeli version of this rifle, which was re-chambered in the 7.62 NATO round. Since the Israeli Mauser Kar98k rifle is chambered in 7.62mm NATO, the rifle has been very popular with many rifle shooters the world over due to the low cost nature and wide-spread use of the 7.62mm NATO/.308 Winchester round among rifle shooters. Also, the unique history behind the Israeli Mauser Kar98k rifle is another factor for the rifle’s ongoing popularity with rifle shooters, especially military rifle collectors.

As of 2005, the Mauser Kar98k rifles that were captured by the Soviets during World War II and refurbished during the late 1940s and early 1950s have appeared in large numbers on the military surplus rifle market. These have proven popular with buyers in the United States and Canada, ranging from ex-military rifle collectors to target shooters and survivalists, due to the unique history behind the Soviet capture of Mauser Kar98k rifles.

The Bundeswehr still uses Kar98k rifles in the Wachbataillon for military parades and show acts.

During the 1990s, the Yugoslavian Kar98k rifles and the Yugo M48 and M48A rifles were used by all warring factions of the Yugoslav wars, alongside modern automatic and semi-automatic rifles. There are a number of photographs taken during the war in Bosnia, showing combatants and snipers using Yugoslavian-made Mauser rifles from high-rise buildings in the Bosnian city of Sarajevo. Many Third World nations still have Kar98k rifles in their arsenals and it will most likely be encountered in regional conflicts for years to come.

Since 2003, the Mauser Kar98k rifle (along with the Mosin-Nagant series rifles and carbines) has also been encountered in Iraq by US and Allied forces in the hands of Iraqi insurgents alongside more modern infantry weapons like the AK series rifles and the SKS carbine. The extra range afforded by the 7.92 cartridge still makes it a viable low-cost sniper rifle.

[edit] Civil use

Mauser Karabiner 98k based hunting rifle

Mauser Karabiner 98k based hunting rifle

The widespread availability of surplus Mauser 98k rifles and the fact that these rifles could, with relative ease, be adapted for hunting and other sport purposes made the Mauser 98k popular amongst civilian riflemen. When German hunters after World War II were allowed again to own and hunt with full bore rifles they generally started to “rearm” themselves with then abundant available and cheap former Wehrmacht service rifles. Civilian users changed these service rifles often quite extensively by mounting telescopic sights, aftermarket hunting stocks, aftermarket triggers and other accessories and changing the original military chambering. Gunsmiths rechambered and rebarreled Mauser 98K rifles for European and American sporting chamberings such as the 6.5 x 55 Swedish Mauser, 7 x 57, 7 x 64, .270 Winchester, .308 Winchester, .30-06 Springfield, 8 x 60 Spitz, etc. The magnum hunting cartridges 6.5 x 68, 8 x 68 S and 9.3 x 64 were even specially developed by German gunsmiths for the standard military Mauser 98 action. Some surplus Mauser 98K actions were used by Schultz & Larsen in Denmark as the basis for target rifles. Some of these are still in competitive use today although with the benefit of new barrels.

[edit] Modern civilian offspring of the Mauser 98K

Throughout history standard sized and enlarged versions of the Mauser M 98 system were produced for the civil market. The M 98 Magnum bolt action was designed to reliably function with the large sized cartridges normally used to hunt Big Five game and other dangerous game species. For this specialized type of hunting, where absolute reliability of the rifle under adverse conditions is very important, the M 98 system remains the standard by which other action designs are judged. The trouble for a hunter or guide is that used M 98 Magnum rifles are hard to come by. Most owners consider these rifles to represent the peak in dangerous game rifles development, and seldom sell them. Since 1999 Mauser M 98 and M 98 Magnum rifles are again manufactured in Germany by Mauser Jagdwaffen GmbH (Mauser Huntingweapons Ltd.) according to drawings of 1936 and the respective Mauser patents.