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German Infantry Weapons
Military Intelligence Service, Special Series No. 14, May 25, 1943
[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from a WWII U.S. War Department Special Series publication. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]



The calibers of small arms (weapons with a caliber below 20 millimeters) are measured by the Germans in millimeters, whereas weapons with calibers of 20 millimeters and higher are measured in centimeters: for example, the 9-mm Pistole 08, the 7.5-cm Kanone. This should not cause any confusion, as the conversion from centimeters to millimeters is simply a multiplication by 10.

Some confusion, however, may be caused by the German practice of referring to calibers approximately. The Germans refer to their rifle and machine-gun ammunition as caliber 7.9 mm, whereas in reality it is caliber 7.92 mm (.312 inch). Their 8-cm mortar ammunition is actually 8.1 cm. In many instances the exact caliber is used: for example, 3.7-cm Pak.

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