German

 The K98 Mauser      The MP40     The MG13     The MG34        
            The MG26(t)           The MG30(t)      The MG37 (t)                                                        
 

 World War One and the conditions of the Treaty of Versailles destroyed the German Arms industry. While there were a number of state arsenals, these were backed up by numerous private companies. Mauser had a long tradition of firearm manufacture and by the turn of the 20th century were leaders in many fields of design. Being a private company, these were protected by worldwide patents. The Mauser rifle was produced under licence by a number of countries around the globe. Simson & Co were another of the engineering firms in Germany which turned their production to small arms. Founded by two Jewish brothers, all was well until the arrival of the NAZI government. In 1938, the company was taken over by the state and renamed BSW. Simson & Co had been actively involved in the development and manufacture of both the MG13 and MG34 and many of the early examples of the latter are marked BSW, while the MG13's are marked as produced by Simson. Until the late 1920's and the commencing of the secret moves to re-armament, these companies, and many like them, were forced to diversify in order to both retain the skills and remain in business.


The Germans, being a nation of engineers, insisted upon exacting standards of engineering tolerance and as such rejected many parts produced; the components which passed inspection received the coveted Waffenamt or War Office inspection mark. The Waffenamt comprised an eagle and inspection code. Certainly as late as 1938, this was still the Imperial-style eagle, though it was soon changed to the stylised NAZI eagle atop a swastika. It is said that the Chinese Nationalist Army was supplied with guns assembled entirely from Waffenamt reject components.


In the early phase of the German re-armament, there was a lot of cooperation with Soviet Russia.

Please click on the links above to view the guns.



Example of an early Waffenamt marking.



Example of a later Waffenamt marking.

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