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News gotcha down?

Take a history break.

The German Sturmgewehr is a rifle with an amazing past:

To keep the Hugo Schmeisser-designed Haenel MKb 42(H) alive in 1943, it was re-designated Maschinenpistole 43 (MP43) and billed as an upgrade to existing submachine guns. In April 1944, Hitler ordered it redesignated MP44 and after being given the opportunity to test fire the gun, he dubbed it the “Sturmgewehr,” meaning “storm rifle.”

Seeking to enhance the propaganda value of the new weapon, Hitler ordered it re-designated StG44 (Assault Rifle, Model 1944), giving the rifle its own class. Production soon began with the first batches of the new rifle being shipped to troops on the Eastern Front. A total of 425,977 StG44s were produced by the end of the war and work had commenced on a follow-on rifle, the StG45.

The world’s first true assault rifle, the StG44 arrived too late to significantly effect the outcome of the war, but it gave birth to an entire class of infantry weapons that include famous names such as the AK-47 and the M16. After World War II, the StG44 was retained for use by the East German Nationale Volksarmee (People’s Army) until it was replaced by the AK-47. The East German Volkspolizei utilized the weapon through 1962. In addition, the Soviet Union exported captured StG44s to its client states including Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, as well as supplied the rifle to friendly guerilla and insurgent groups.

Watch this woman shoot an original WW2 STG-44 Sturmgewehr in full auto: