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MP 34 Bergmann Submachine Gun

The following report on the MP 34 9-mm Bergmann Submachine Gun was published in Foreign Military Weapons and Equipment, Vol. III, Infantry Weapons, Pamphlet No. 30-7-4, Department of the Army, 1954.

9-mm Submachine Gun MP 34/I (Bergmann)

MP34 Bergmann Submachine Gun

This weapon is a development of the original German Bergmann machine pistol Model 1918. It was in wide use in the German Army and was also used extensively by U.S.S.R. It is the original of all blowback-type submachine guns and is the forerunner of practically every submachine gun manufactured today. It was adopted as the official submachine gun of the Swedish Army in 1937 and was widely distributed throughout Europe during the years immediately before World War II.

This weapon can be recognized by: (1) The cocking handle at the rear of the receiver; (2) the protruding magazine well on the right side of the receiver (on the Soviet Bergmann the magazine well on the left side of the receiver); (3) the automatic safety device placed behind the trigger to prevent firing of the weapon unless the cocking handle is locked down; (4) the cylindrical body tube which is threaded at the front end to receive the barrel and barrel jacket; and (5) the method of selective fire, i.e., slight trigger depression results in single fire, greater trigger depression results in full automatic fire.

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Jeep Sling

Instructions for making a jeep lift bar from the 881st Ordnance HAM Company, from Army Motors, July 1945.


Ordinarily, when you evacuate a helpless jeep and have to lift it on or off a cargo truck with your wrecker, the victim is hoisted by wrapping a chain around it. This gets it where it’s going. But often the jeep is in even worse shape when you’re through because the chain damages the body. To prevent a lot of unnecessary repair work, the 881st Ord. HAM Co. got busy and devised a simple sling that holds the jeep firmly but never leaves a mark.

Jeep Sling Figure 2

The sling is made of a reinforced 6″ I-beam, a chain with a hook at one end, two chains with hooks on the other end, and two heavy metal rings near the center of the beam. You reinforce the I-beam on both sides, preferably with U-channel iron if you’ve got it; otherwise use plate. It’s better not to extend these reinforcements along the beam’s full length or it’ll increase the sling’s weight considerably. Instead, you can place one at each end and overlap them in the center for added strength under the ring holes.

In case you can’t find an I-beam, two pieces of frame side-rail bolted or welded together will do just as well and you won’t have to bother to reinforce it. You’ll find the exact dimensions for building the sling in Fig. 1.

Jeep Sling Figure 1

To put this sling to work, first lower the top and windshield of the 1/4-ton and see that the rear seat is level with the back edge of the body. Then place the I-beam lengthwise over the jeep with the single-chain end to the rear (Fig. 2). Hook the single chain in the pintle, or if there isn’t any, under the rear edge of the frame. Then hook the other two chains under the two frame-ends supporting the front bumper. After you place the wrecker hook through the center rings, you can gently lift the jeep to where you want it with nary a slip.


Valentine with Short Track for Towing

Illustration showing the Valentine tank modified with a short track for towing, from the WW2 Russian manual.


9-mm Luger Pistol M1908

The following report on the German Luger Pistole Parabellum 1908 was published in Foreign Military Weapons and Equipment, Vol. III, Infantry Weapons, Pamphlet No. 30-7-4, Department of the Army, 1954.

9-mm Luger Pistol M1908
(PISTOLE 08 or P-08)

German Luger Pistol P08

The 9-mm Luger 08, or parabellum, pistol was the official German military sidearm from its adoption in 1908 until the beginning of World War II when the Walther P-38 began to replace it.

The Luger action is based upon the design development by an American, Hugo Borchardt, during the 1890’s. The original action, which was heavy, clumsy, and badly balanced, was redesigned in 1900 by Georg Luger of the German D.W.M. firm and since has been designated the Luger in the United States. It was initially manufactured on a large scale under the name Borchardt-Luger, later shortened to the present name “Luger.” It has been widely distributed throughout the world.

It is found in three models, one with a short (3.94 inch) barrel, one a navy model with a 6-inch barrel, and the other with an 8-inch barrel and shoulder stock attachment. A 32-round drum magazine, which enables a higher fire capacity, may be used with all models. The long-barrel type with the shoulder stock and drum magazine was replaced by the submachine gun during World War II.

Although the 9-mm was the official German Army caliber, commercial versions of this weapon may also be found in .30 caliber (7.63-mm).

The weapon is recognized by: (1) Its unique toggle locking system with the two milled knobs on the top of the receiver; (2) a square side plate above the trigger on the left side of the pistol; (3) a semicircular recess cut in the bottom of the grip to receive the circular magazine buttons; and (4) a grooved spur milled on the lower, rear portion of the hand-grip butt for attaching a shoulder stock.

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Allied Uniforms

Allied Army, Navy, and Air Force Uniforms: Newsmap, U.S. War Department, March 1943.

WW2 Uniform United States

United States

British Empire Uniforms

British Empire

France WWII Uniforms


Uniforms WW2 Russia, Soviet Union, USSR


Poland WW2 Uniforms


WWII Uniforms China



Valentine Tank’s Driver Position

Drawing of the Driver Position in the Valentine Tank.

Source: WW2 Russian Manual for the Valentine Tank.

How to Tie Down an Me 109 Fighter Aircraft

Me 109 Fighter Aircraft Tie Down

"BF109 F-1 bis F-4 Flugzeughandbuch", May 1941.


Dig Deep to Protect Against Tanks

One Man Foxhole Protects Against Tanks

One-man foxhole protects against tanks. (FM 5-15: Field Fortifications, U.S. War Department, February 1944.)


The Japanese Zero Fighter

Intelligence report on a Japanese Zero fighter forced down over the Aleutian Islands and captured by American forces. Source: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin, (“All Hands Magazine”), November 1942.

Japanese Zero Fighter
Though it now wears American colors, the airplane above is a vaunted Japanese Zero warplane (Mitsubishi ’00), disabled and forced down during an air battle over the Aleutian Islands. Salvaged by Americans and shipped to San Diego for repair and testing, the highly maneuverable fighter has a wing span of 39 feet 5 inches and an over-all length of 30 feet 3 inches. It mounts two 22-mm. low velocity cannon in the wings and two 7.7 guns in the nose.

The Japanese “Zero” Fighter
Plane proves maneuverable but protection is poor

A Japanese Zero fighter (Mitsubishi ’00), which was salvaged after being only slightly damaged when forced down in the Aleutian Islands, has been brought to the United States and repaired at the Naval Air Station, San Diego, Calif.

The enemy plane will be brought to the Naval Air Station at Anacostia, D.C., where Navy pilots will put it through exhaustive tests in order to obtain data on its performance characteristics. Preliminary tests already have taken place at San Diego.

Present plans call for the Zero to be flown across the United States, in view of the difficulties attached to shipping it. Because the Zero’s airframe is a single unit and the wings are riveted solidly to the fuselage, it is not considered feasible to attempt disassembly of the plane. Details of the proposed cross-country flight have not been worked out.

When salvaged, the Zero was painted a smooth light grey tinted with blue and light green, a coloring selected for operations in the foggy Aleutian area. It has been repainted in Navy colors.

Preliminary flight tests of the Zero developed a top speed of slightly less than 300 m.p.h. Later tests may increase this speed somewhat.

The Zero shows to best advantage in a dogfight where tight turns make high speeds impossible. Then its maneuverability and climbing speed come into play.

Around 200 m.p.h. the Zero is very light on the controls, but at higher speeds the controls become stiff. Above 225 m.p.h. the Zero will not make a fast roll because of this stiffness. At 380 m.p.h., in a dive, the Zero develops marked flutter and vibration, which may be inherent or due to some undetected disalignment caused by its rough landing in the Aleutians.

Otherwise the Zero is a stable, easy-to-fly plane with generally good flying characteristics. Its lightness is not gained by flimsy construction, as it is well designed. The lack of self-sealing tanks and armor protection for the pilot, which mainly accounts for its lightness, have made its over-all combat record against the Navy’s Grumman Wildcat a poor one. The Zero’s empty weight is 3,781 pounds and its combat weight, without belly tank, is approximately 5,200 pounds.

The 900-horsepower radial engine is a 14-cylinder, double-row design using modifications or direct adoption of many features found in our Pratt & Whitney and Wright engines. The propeller is a three-bladed, constant speed, hydraulic type identical with the Hamilton model. Radio equipment is copied after Fairchild units.

The over-all length of the Zero is 30’3″, its wing span 39’5″. The wings are hinged 2 feet from the tips to allow folding for easier carrier handling. The cockpit would be uncomfortably small for most of our pilots.

Armament consists of two 22-mm. low velocity cannon, one mounted in each wing, with 60 rounds of ammunition, and two 7.7 guns, with 500 rounds each, in the nose to fire through the propeller disk.


Machine Gun Turrets

Introduction to aircraft machine gun turrets from the WWII manual Index of Aeronautical Equipment with Navy and British Equivalents: Volume 5, Armament, March 1944.


The primary function of a machine gun turret is to provide an automatic means for a gunner to track a target and operate the guns. All turrets consist of an enclosure, a turret control system, and means of mounting, sighting, feeding, and firing the guns.

Upper Turret

The locally-controlled turret is a rotatable structure in the form of a ball, dome, or rounded cylinder, in which one or more machine guns are mounted. The guns are sighted, controlled, and fired by a gunner within, above, or below the turret, depending upon its type and location in the airplane.

Turrets are designated according to their installation in the airplane, i.e.: upper turrets (on the upper deck), lower or belly turrets (under the fuselage), tail turrets, and nose turrets.

Upper turrets are non-retractable and have dome-like, transparent enclosures of plexiglas and metal under which the gunner sits or stands. The guns may be rotated through 360 degrees horizontally, through 90 degrees in elevation, or any simultaneous combination of the two movements.

Lower, or belly turrets can be either retractable or non-retractable. They may be spherical, with the gunner seated inside; or hemispherical, with the gunner kneeling inside the airplane above the turret. The enclosures are usually of metal and plexiglas. The guns may be rotated through 360 degrees horizontally, through 90 degrees in depression, or any simultaneous combination of the two movements.

Lower Gun Turret and Ball Turret

Tail turrets are not retractable. The cylindrically-shaped enclosure includes steel armor plate protection, a cover of transparent plexiglas, and, in some installations, flat panes of bullet-proof glass. The gunner is seated completely inside the structure and controls the turret to move the guns through approximately 180 degrees horizontally, 90 degrees upward, and 90 degrees downward.

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