Military Review

Automatic weapon for Volkssturm. Sten for the poor


MP 3008 with T-shaped shoulder rest

By the end of 1944, Germany's defeat in World War II was no longer in doubt. At the same time, the leadership of the Third Reich tried to postpone this day as much as possible. One of the last attempts to delay the end of the war was the organization of the Volkssturm militia units. In total, the German command planned to create 6710 battalions of the people's militia. In fact, until May 1945, it was possible to form about 700 Volkssturm battalions.

The Volkssturm was formed by the personal order of Adolf Hitler on the basis of an order dated October 18, 1944 and was one of the last examples of the agony of the Third Reich. Total mobilization presupposed putting under arms the entire male population aged 16 to 60 years, not yet in military service. In total, according to various estimates, it was planned to recruit from 6 to 8 million Volkssturmists to the service.

Arming such a mass of people was a huge problem, with a shortage of small arms weapons Hitlerite Germany collided even before the formation of the first Volkssturm units. To solve the problem, it was planned to create and send into mass production the most simplified models of small arms as soon as possible. According to one of these programs, at the end of the war in Germany, a simplified version of the English Sten submachine gun was developed.

Automatic weapon for Volkssturm. Sten for the poor
British Sten submachine gun

At first, the Germans underestimated this British submachine gun, considering this model of small arms a misunderstanding. However, in reality, Sten coped well with his combat duties. It is worth noting that in Great Britain it was really created not from a good life, trying to increase the number of automatic weapons in the troops after the disaster at Dunkirk. It is curious that the British themselves created Sten, simplifying the German MP-28 submachine gun to the limit. The weapon turned out to be simple, cheap in mass production and very technological. At the end of World War II, the Germans chose Sten as an alternative to the MP-40 for arming the Volkssturm, while the weapons in production were even more simplified.

An analogue of the Sten submachine gun was assembled at a shipyard in Hamburg

One of the places for the production of the German version of the Sten submachine gun was supposed to be the large Hamburg shipyard Blohm & Voss. This is a shipbuilding company with a rich history, founded back in April 1877. The shipyard operates in Hamburg today. For anyone interested in the history of the naval fleetBlohm & Voss is not just the name of another shipbuilding company. During the First World War, 98 submarines were assembled here. During the reign of Hitler, the shipyard did not lose its military significance.

It was in Hamburg at the Blohm & Voss shipyard that the real symbols of Hitlerite Germany were created. The battleship Bismarck, the heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper and the infamous cruise liner Wilhelm Gustloff, sunk at the end of the war by Soviet submariner Alexander Marinesko, were built here. In addition to building ships and submarines, Blohm & Voss also worked on the development of seaplanes. Here, among other things, the largest production seaplane of the Luftwaffe was assembled - the six-engine Blohm & Voss BV.222 "Wiking".

Completion of the battleship "Bismarck"

Blohm & Voss was a constant target of bombing aviation allies. The shipyard's factories were hit by about five thousand registered bomb strikes. Despite this, the shipyard continued to work; by the end of the war, about 15 thousand employees worked here, thousands of Europeans herded for forced labor and an unknown number of prisoners of the Neuengamme concentration camp.

Any remaining production facilities at the end of the war were of great value to Germany, so they tried to expand the production of a submachine gun for the Volkssturm at the Blohm & Voss shipyard. It is known that an exact copy of the Sten submachine gun was produced in Germany for a rather long time, but a simplified version of the weapon was needed to arm the Volkssturmists, and not a German copy of the British model. It is known that by the end of 1944 the German industry produced at least 10 thousand submachine guns under the code designation Geraet Potsdam ("Sample Potsdam"). It was an exact replica of the Sten Mk.II submachine gun. In November of the same year, the weapons company Mauser presented blueprints for a new model based on the Sten, codenamed Geraet Neumuenster ("Sample Neumuenster"). In the future, this model received the official designation MP 3008 in production.

In turn, a number of submachine guns were assembled at the plant in Hamburg, which were a cross between the two projects listed above. These models retained the barrel casing typical of the British "Walls" (the difference was the presence of four holes instead of three). In addition, the Hamburg walls received typical box magazine receivers with a spring-loaded retainer. In turn, this latch was intended solely to secure the barrel casing. Due to the fact that the magazine receiver was immovably welded in the lower position, it was impossible to turn it to the side, as on a British submachine gun.

An additional distinctive feature of the Blohm & Voss models was the wooden pistol grip for better holding the weapon: it was quite practical and was located behind the trigger. Neither the British Sten submachine guns nor the simplified German MP 3008 had such a handle. In order to accommodate the handle, the Hamburg-based designers have specially lengthened the mounting plate of the T-shaped metal shoulder rest downward. Since the model was designed to conduct only automatic fire, there was no translator of the fire mode on it. This model was made with obviously unnecessary complexity at that time, so it hardly became widespread enough. It is difficult to say what series these submachine guns were made in, most likely, several hundred of these submachine guns were fired. It is believed that they were intended for transfer to the fortified area that was being created around Hamburg, and could represent their own vision of the Sten submachine gun with a simplified non-rotating magazine receiver for standard German MP-38/40 magazines.

A variant of the Sten submachine gun from the Hamburg shipyard Blohm & Voss

MP 3008 submachine gun

On the creation of an already simplified modification of the submachine gun, which received the army designation MP 3008, the engineer of the large arms company "Mauser-Werke" Ludwig Forgrimmler worked. The first thing he did was change the location of the store. The model used a standard 32 rounds 9x19 mm box magazine from MP-38/40 submachine guns. In contrast to the British model, the position of the horn has become vertical rather than horizontal.

Such a design move shifted the center of gravity of the weapon to a symmetrical plane, which had a positive effect on the accuracy of shooting from the model compared to the British "Walls". This was especially noticeable when firing bursts. True, the vertical arrangement of the store receiver had a drawback. When shooting from a prone position, this was not the most convenient location for the shooter - in this regard, it was Sten with a movable magazine receiver and its lateral location when shooting turned out to be better.

MP 3008 with frame shoulder support

Also, the MP 3008 model differed from the British Sten submachine gun by a seriously redesigned barrel attachment. Unlike the British and his copy of the Gerat Potsdam project, the barrel on this sample was rigidly fixed in the receiver, and there was no casing at all. This further simplified and reduced the cost of the production of new automatic weapons. At the same time, the MP 3008 model (in contrast to the samples produced at the shipyard in Hamburg) retained the push-button fire translator. Position "E" - single fire, "D" - automatic. Extremely simple in both production and development, the MP 3008 submachine gun was most often equipped with the most primitive metal shoulder rest, more often a frame one, there was also a T-shaped one. Nobody paid attention to the aesthetics of appearance, as well as to the culture of production - it was good if the weapon could simply shoot.

The last statement is not even a joke. All models, the production of which was carried out in the final months of World War II, were assembled defiantly roughly, which is clearly visible in the copies of this weapon that have come down to us and the quality of the welds. They tried to launch the MP 3008 model into mass production, scattering a dozen different enterprises, including very small arms and machine-building firms throughout Germany. The submachine gun and its individual components were produced in Suhl, Berlin, Bremen, Solingen, Hamburg, Oldenburg, Lonn and other cities. Due to the serious difference in the level of technological equipment, training of workers and experience in the production of small arms, models produced in different cities could have significant deviations from the accepted uniform documentation for a submachine gun.

MP 3008 near perfect build quality

The production volumes of the MP 3008 are also not known for sure, but this model was already released in commercial quantities. Until the end of the war, a variety of German enterprises could produce tens of thousands of such ersatz submachine guns. True, this was still not even close enough to arm all the Volkssturm units planned for formation, which often rushed into battle, even without having enough small arms.
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must to register.

I have an account? Sign in

  1. Asad
    Asad 7 November 2020 05: 05
    There was a similar article recently! Something quickly on the second round!
    1. Kote Pan Kokhanka
      Kote Pan Kokhanka 7 November 2020 05: 38
      Different Authors - different details and nuances, so that Sergey Spasib !!!
      1. Asad
        Asad 7 November 2020 05: 42
        I agree that there are different authors, and I liked this article better! Is it a competition?
        1. Kote Pan Kokhanka
          Kote Pan Kokhanka 7 November 2020 05: 52
          No, Sergei continues his long-running cycle of "ersatz weapons of the Second World War"!
          1. mat-vey
            mat-vey 8 November 2020 09: 16
            Quote: Kote Pan Kokhanka
            No, Sergei continues his long-running cycle of "ersatz weapons of the Second World War"!

            Oh, then it will be graduated by grandchildren or great-grandchildren ... there is so much of this stuff ...
            1. Kote Pan Kokhanka
              Kote Pan Kokhanka 8 November 2020 09: 38
              Fishlessness and cancer!
              Today is an informational diet, or in plain text hunger !!!
              1. mat-vey
                mat-vey 8 November 2020 09: 40
                Well, we'll take a look .... and wait.
  2. Avior
    Avior 7 November 2020 06: 25
    There was a similar article, but it paid more attention to the "Potsdam Appliance", a distinctive feature of which is called the prohibitively high cost.
    I don't know how realistic the cost is to reality, I came across a statement that the cost was allegedly caused by the requirement of maximum similarity with the original Stan, up to imitation of the quality of welding and metal processing in general, as it was intended for sabotage purposes, but it would be interesting to compare with the cost described in the article MP3008, which, by definition, should be as simple and cheap as it was originally intended.
    And as for
    ... a distinctive feature of the Blohm & Voss models was the wooden pistol grip for better holding the weapon: it was quite practical and was located behind the trigger. Neither the British Sten submachine guns nor the simplified German MP 3008 had such a handle.

    Some versions of Stan also had a pistol grip, for example, on the MKII.
    1. ycuce234-san
      ycuce234-san 7 November 2020 14: 13
      In August 1941, the British suffered heavy losses at Dieppe, and later many "parcels by forest airmail" to the French Resistance did not reach their addressees. Therefore, saboteurs did not need copies with an excess of originals. It could be just an installation batch of products, on which the mechanism was accurately reproduced and then reworked. Probably, well-known machine-building "copyists" use this method - the Chinese.
      1. Avior
        Avior 7 November 2020 17: 22
        Nevertheless, the customer was the RSHA, not the Wehrmacht
        1. ycuce234-san
          ycuce234-san 8 November 2020 10: 49
          Because it was engaged in state defense (II A 4) and had the most extensive units of the ordinary criminal police.
          1. Avior
            Avior 8 November 2020 14: 48
            The Wehrmacht had its own structure.
            Army Armaments Directorate ..
            1. ycuce234-san
              ycuce234-san 8 November 2020 18: 14
              It was planned to produce a total of such 25 thousand barrels.
              On average, 11 small arms were lost daily in the USSR alone. At the same time, the loss of small arms amounted to 000 million units in total. If we take only rifles and submachine guns (personal weapons), then the loss is 15,47 million pieces. In Great Britain there were 13,55 million PPs. and in the USSR 5,9 million.
              Germany over the years of WWII produced 10 million units. small arms more than the USSR and 22 thousand pieces. (278 43 - 385 21) More personal small arms than she had in general mobilized soldiers. In the given data, captured weapons are not taken into account, since their number is large enough and passed from hand to hand of the opposing sides. For example, Germany in 107-1940. had about 1941-5 million captured rifles. However, by the end of the war there was a great shortage of small arms. " Conclusion: the rational behavior would be to organize trophy teams and open the simplest front-line repair shops (including not only the army, but also the RSHA), in which the original captured weapons would be repaired for the army saboteurs and one copy would be assembled from several broken ones. Trophy workers and repairmen of the RSHA sent to the front (including German private firms hired for this mission) sent selected weapons and ammunition to their service. It is simply cheaper with better results.
              Heereswaffenamt had the necessary personnel and matbase for army weapons development, which the RSHA did not have, but they were rather engaged in different aspects of the state defense (such as civil defense and shelter for the population and field army fortification) - especially since they were produced by a private trader Mauser-Werke AG (so the police department got out of the situation with the absence of their own matbase and personnel). With a streamlined production, an exact copy would be only, on the strength and irregularly, one out of ten PP and 9/10 - a simplified simplification for internal needs. But first, we need a proven reconstruction of the original technology, which is why the first small batches should contain the most accurate copies. But 25 thousand expensive barrels for equipping saboteurs, and even if there are rich free trophies in the country - it is too much. But for the fight against the saboteurs of the USSR, England, the USA, with the criminals that have become more active in wartime, carrying militarized guards (German "Vohrovtsy"), the forces of the German self-defense forces with a "simplified" in their hands is enough. But if the Heereswaffenamt were forced to engage in such a "hobby-reconstruction" then it would be more unambiguously argued that this is a sabotage weapon for such an extensive sabotage program that already serviceable trophies are not enough, and the goals of the departments did not coincide. Conclusion: the police department survived as best it could in an attempt to arm its VOKhR, its own and only its saboteurs and policemen, and exact copies are just a product at the stage of mastering the technology, nothing more.
              1. Avior
                Avior 8 November 2020 23: 48
                You interpret the numbers very freely.
                The Germans did not have such reserves in 1944, much less new modifications and in good condition.

                Sten is distinguished by the simplest technological requirements, there is no need to work out the technology on thousands of copies. Sten is the level of the school workshop of labor lessons, there are no special technologies or technological methods, there is no need for working out
                We checked the technological maps for a hundred - another copies - and more.
                1. ycuce234-san
                  ycuce234-san 9 November 2020 00: 38
                  In 1940, the total number of detained and broken violators of the state border in Belarus was 57 people, the Germans planned to deploy a network of saboteurs for 069 thousand people only in Belarus - such was the scale of the sabotage of the Germans. In 12, the Brandenburg-1943 sabotage division had more than 800 men. It is impossible to arm all of them without trophies, since a lot of weapons would have to be copied and they were needed right now and not in a year or two, and these trophies were in their warehouses (otherwise the Brandenburgers would have to fight in German). And other people's PPs, even deliberately specialized by their creators for simple production, could not accurately copy the professional weapons manufacturer - Mauser-Werke AG in the required quantities, let alone handicraft workshops. The metric system in Germany since 20, unlike England, and there were not even the necessary inch consumables there - and an inch pipe is also an inch pipe rolling mill (well, or already the necessary pipes are bought from neutral countries or trophy pipes must be captured at sea on cargo ships, having previously received intelligence on them - that is, fantasy in general), for example; the British steel recipe in the pound system had to be compiled, etc.
                  1. Avior
                    Avior 9 November 2020 01: 07
                    Okay, are there any other explanations for the fabulously high cost of the German Stan?
                    1. ycuce234-san
                      ycuce234-san 9 November 2020 09: 07
                      There are many high-precision manual operations, when, for example, marks and characteristic defects were probably literally cut out by hand with cutters, as if in the manufacture of forged documents. The required inch assortment was not cheap, since its owners perfectly understood why it was a German arms contractor and sold it at exorbitant prices. And they did not have time to launch the simplified metric version and did not make stamps on it.
                      Stan, by the way, has never been a weapon of small workshops, since, in mass production, it is based on stamping and precision casting (there were cast valves). This means that you need to have a foundry and a stamping shop with hydraulic presses and expensive stamping equipment. It was just that in small workshops it was assembled from parts made by factories.
                      And it could be even cheaper in the original. England did not play its "Indian card" here: in India, which had extremely cheap labor, the second industrial base of the British Empire developed during the war.
                      By the end of the war, India itself covered almost 90% of all the needs of its armed forces (2,5 million people) in weapons and equipment. By May 1940 alone, the production of military products here increased six to seven times compared with the first year of the war, while the production of shells increased 12 times. Already in 1942, about 250 enterprises were engaged in the production of weapons in India, producing over 700 types of various weapons: armored vehicles, machine guns and other automatic weapons, which were not previously produced here.
                      1. Avior
                        Avior 9 November 2020 10: 42
                        Stan, by the way, is never a weapon of small workshops, since, in mass production, it is based on stamping and precision casting (there were cast valves)

                        In Steen, stamping is practically not used, in contrast to PPSh or PPS, for example, in which it is the base .. Precise complex-shaped shutter casting is an option, completely optional.
                        The entire Stan is made on machines with low quality requirements, with the exception of the chamber and barrel.
                        Casting and stamping are not needed for its manufacture.
                      2. Avior
                        Avior 9 November 2020 10: 52
                        About the stigma and other things.
                        And why was it necessary, if not for sabotage purposes?
                        Or the Germans, according to you, were so stupid that they did not think that
                        ... There are many high-precision manual operations, when, for example, marks and characteristic defects were probably literally cut out by hand with cutters, as if in the manufacture of forged documents.

                        Has nothing to do with the characteristics of the weapon and its ability to perform its function?
                      3. ycuce234-san
                        ycuce234-san 9 November 2020 23: 09
                        These are archival footage from production. They are by no means a handicraft workshop.
                        The RSHA, with a sudden shortage of weapons, might have a desire to combine the useful and the necessary: ​​to master in-line production and reuse expensive products of exact imitation, adding to the originals stored in the saboteurs' warehouses (we still imitate the entire mechanism very accurately with manual work and add a brand or a characteristic scratch cut through this is already a small and final part of the work on mechanics).

                      4. Avior
                        Avior 9 November 2020 23: 50
                        A set of tools from the school workshop for labor, except for the welding one.
                        Vise, hammer, etc.
                        I have most of the necessary tools in my garage.
                        No presses, dies, lines, and any punches with a matrix.
                        When there is a shortage of weapons, they make it much easier, cheaper and faster, but for saboteurs it is expensive, slow and as reliable as possible.
                      5. ycuce234-san
                        ycuce234-san 10 November 2020 01: 54
                        The press at the end and the punching of the gate box are not shown.
                      6. Avior
                        Avior 10 November 2020 10: 16
                        USM box, maybe, but not a bolt box, it is not stamped by Stan
            2. ycuce234-san
              ycuce234-san 9 November 2020 09: 40
              Based on the aftermath, we can say that on the Indian base it would still be, similar to the modern Chinese example, very effective to organize the radio engineering and food industry.
  • Mountain shooter
    Mountain shooter 7 November 2020 09: 54
    The gloomy German genius also distinguished himself here. A wonderful example of an ersatz weapon for arming an ersatz soldier ... Thanks to the author. I've never seen one like that.
  • Reviews
    Reviews 7 November 2020 10: 35
    in Germany, a simplified version of the English Sten submachine gun was developed

    Wow. Interestingly, and Arminius at one time also developed a simplified version of the club and cobblestone?
  • Skif
    Skif 7 November 2020 12: 55
    Hmm. A German clone of a British clone?
  • Catfish
    Catfish 7 November 2020 13: 54
    It is curious that the British themselves created Sten, simplifying the German MP-28 submachine gun to the limit.

    The British "simplified to the limit" not the MP-28 / II, but its clone, their own p / p "Lanchester", one to one ripped off the Schmeiser's machine.

    We already talked about this in the previous article about the ersatz weapons of the Reich.
  • faterdom
    faterdom 7 November 2020 15: 24
    And many of our soldiers and officers died from such "products", in cramped buildings, basements and around the corner. Not having lived to see Victory, offensive two or three months, or even weeks or days.
    The quality and quantity of cartridges played a role, which even in such semi-handicraft homemade products worked quite well.
    Speer, in general, in my opinion, jumped above human strength, and helped Germany a lot to fight for a longer time.
  • Egor-dis
    Egor-dis 8 November 2020 20: 21
    Hmm. It is a pity that only applied aspects are considered. And I am more and more interested in performance characteristics and production technology. But such information is a problem. For niz-zya.