Welcome to the second installment of the Weapon Files. Yesterday we introduced this new section of the Heroes & Generals news blog with a discussion about weapon ranges. Now it is time for serious business. We’ll begin by revisiting one of the most popular weapons in the game: the dreaded Maschinenpistole 40 !
Submachine guns are weapons of close combat and urban warfare, offering both good stability and a high rate of fire, two crucial characteristics when faced against enemies who move quickly from cover to cover. Historically, the MP 40 was primarily issued to German squad leaders and paratroopers, with the bulk of German troops using Kar98s. However after the Battle of Stalingrad, where the Wehrmacht encountered entire Red Army battalions equipped with PPSh submachine guns, the Germans also began to adopt all-SMG tactics, albeit on a more limited scale. It is estimated that around 1 million MP 40s were produced during WWII.
But, some of you must be wondering, why is it called a submachine gun? How does it differ from other automatic weapons? The answer lies both with the ammunition type and the size of the weapon. Submachine guns use pistol cartridges rather than rifle cartridges, and pistol ammunition does not “kick” as hard (lower muzzle velocity), which means that range is sacrificed in favor of stability. Not only is the recoil much lower than that of light machine guns, but in addition SMGs are also smaller in size and lighter in weight, making them much easier to handle in fully automatic fire.
The recoil on a MP 40 is minimal, as the bolt absorbs most of the energy from the expanding gunpowder gases and transfers it in turn to the loading mechanism (this is called blowback operation). Another notable advantage is the relatively short reload time, comparable to that of a clip-fed semi-automatic rifle. However, the MP 40’s damage and accuracy start to rapidly decrease at mid-range, making it less useful in the middle of an open field. But when it comes to street battles, the MP 40 is your best friend.
Stay tuned for more!