Military Gear & Army Surplus Gear Blog

The Weapons of Enemy Front

The Weapons of Enemy Front


Resistance fighters can’t be fussy when it
comes to choosing a weapon: when you’re reliant on clandestine supply and captured arms, almost
anything will do. It will come as no surprise, then, that you’ll
encounter quite the variety of weapons… on the Enemy Front. The smallest arms on offer are the handguns:
generally only used in secondary roles or as a backup to a rifle, they are nonetheless
better than nothing. The Americans have the classic Colt M1911:
a .45 calibre hunk of steel that still remains popular a century after its introduction. Designed by the legendary John Browning, the
short recoil, swinging link design can be found in many contemporary semi-automatic
pistols. The similarly iconic German Luger P08 can
be credited with the introduction of the 9mm Parabellum cartridge. An outlandish and somewhat costly design,
the Luger was officially replaced in service by the Walther P38 before the start of World
War 2: but the Luger remained a popular sidearm – and desirable war trophy. The Mauser C96 is an unusual early semi-automatic
pistol that dates to the days of the German Empire. It was known as the ‘broomhandle’ due to its
rounded wooden grip, but the absence of a detachable magazine is perhaps its most notable
feature. Instead, the 10-rounds internal supply is
replenished via stripper clip: not quite as convenient as an interchangeable magazine,
but an effective enough solution for the era. Perhaps most interesting of the handguns on
offer is the British Welrod: its unusual appearance due to an integrated suppressor and less-than-conventional
mode of operation. Designed to be as close to silent as possible,
with a bolt-action keeping the chamber sealed until manual operation. This meant that the weapon was exceedingly
quiet: ideal for assassination and covert operations. Shotguns are generally associated with police
and civilian use, but they do occasionally find function within a military role. The Trench Gun is a pump action shotgun made
by Winchester, also known as the Model 1897. It proved its worth in the trenches of World
War 1, and reprised its close range sweeper role in limited use during the Second World
War, as automatic weapons somewhat displaced the shotgun’s role. Indeed, submachine guns were the close range
weapons of choice in World War 2, with their automatic fire making them much better suited
to urban combat. Few sounds are as terrifying as the chatter
of the German MP40: an efficient yet effective design, originally used by paratroopers and
squad leaders but becoming increasingly desirable in the later stages of the war. Supplies were limited, however – despite the
weapon being relatively easy to manufacture due to its all stamped sheet metal construction. The British Sten gun shares this trait, with
its simple design requiring little machining, nor any difficult to find materials. Chambered in the same calibre as the MP40,
the weapon could even take German 9mm magazines, helping bolster supplies through captured
salvage. Most notably, the MkIIS variant depicted in-game
comes equipped with an integral suppressor: greatly quieting the weapon, although sustained
fire will heat up the weapon rapidly – the canvas handguard serves to protect the user
in such cases. The Polish Lightning SMG is similar to the
Sten: again, designed for ease of manufacture and its ability to use enemy magazines. Known as the Błyskawica in Polish, it was
covertly mass produced in occupied Europe to arm the Polish resistance – proving instrumental
during the Warsaw Uprising. The Russians were also present on the Eastern
front, and the PPSh41 – or the ‘papasha’ – was their SMG of choice, alongside the later,
cheaper PPS. Unlike the slower firing MP40, Sten, and Błyskawica,
the PPSh boasted a tremendous rate of fire – 900 rounds per minute. This earned it a
nickname: the ‘burp gun’, for its furious report – and its deadly effectiveness in close
quarters. Its drum magazine held an impressive 71 rounds,
granting great staying power despite the occasional feed issue. The American Thompson SMG is also known for
its ability to spew lead from a drum magazine, but in a military setting it only used box
magazines – lower capacity but much more reliable in service. The hard-hitting .45 ACP round and ample capacity
for automatic fire meant the weapon was a firm favourite amongst soldier, law enforcement
and criminal alike. Automatic rifles bridge the gap between SMGs
and traditional bolt-action battle rifles, and the introduction of intermediate cartridges
saw the emergence of the assault rifle. One of the earliest such assault rifles was
the Nazi Sturmgewehr 44, firing a new Kurz cartridge – some way between the power of
a rifle and SMG. This meant the weapon could fire full auto
without being too difficult to handle: and the increase in firepower over SMGs meant
a greater effective range without diminished performance. While the Sturmgewehr’s service ended with
the fall of the Third Reich, similar weapons such as the Soviet AK-47 would go on to become
definite infantry weapons of the 20th century. The Fallschirmjägergewehr 42, or FG 42 was
another automatic rifle, developed specifically to fill the needs of German paratroopers. Unlike the sturmgewehr, it fires a full-power
rifle cartridge, drawing from a side-fed 20 round detachable magazine. While it only ever saw limited service, the
weapon would influence later light machine gun designs – with the American M60 taking
some influence during its development. The Maschinengewehr 42 was Nazi Germany’s
general purpose machine gun, alongside the earlier MG34: providing the ability to lay
down sustained fire from a defensive emplacement. It is perhaps best known for its terrifying
level of output – at around 1200 rounds per minute of unrelenting fire, it became known
as ‘Hitler’s Buzzsaw’. The Poles had their own home-grown automatic
rifle in the Wz.28: a Polish-made version of the American Browning Automatic Rifle. It was a powerful weapon, firing a full rifle
cartridge at a rate far beyond typical battle rifles of the era. Its detachable magazine
did limit ready firepower between reloads, however – with only 20 rounds on tap. Despite great advancements in small arms during
the war, most regular infantry would be equipped with rifles: accurate, powerful and already
available in great supply. The Karabiner 98k was the Nazi’s primary service
rifle throughout the war, with over 14 million produced during its lifetime. Its design is based on the earlier Gewehr
98, in service from 1898 until the shortened K variant replaced it in 1935. It suffers in close quarters due to its slower
rate of fire, but when used from a covered position as part of a squad, the powerful
Mauser round is effective out to 500 metres with iron sights: or up to a kilometre with
a telescopic sight attached. The Gewehr 43 was a semi-automatic rifle of
the same calibre: an attempt to improve potential fire output without compromising a rifleman’s
power. To this end it was successful, although the
reduced recoil and select fire of the Sturmgewehr eventually found greater favour. The G43’s gas system took influence from the
Soviet SVT-40, an earlier semi-automatic rifle fielded by the Russians. It displaced the bolt-action Mosin Nagant,
although the Soviet’s ability to manufacture the newer rifles waxed and waned under wartime
stresses. The Americans had a semi-automatic battle
rifle at their disposal quite some time before the war: the M1 Garand entered service in
1936. Its most recognisable feature is the absence
of a detachable magazine: instead, rounds are inserted in an en-bloc clip into a fixed
8-round internal magazine. Upon expenditure of these rounds, the weapon
would automatically eject the clip with an audible ‘ping’: alerting the user to their
need for a reload. One of the more exotic weapons you’ll encounter
is the British De Lisle Carbine: the action was based on a Lee Enfield rifle, but the
carbine boasted an integral sound suppressor – and was chambered for a subsonic .45 ACP
round. This meant that the weapon was very quiet
indeed: and, much like the Welrod pistol, the noisiest part of its operation was not
the shot – but the manual cycling of the action. The Polish Wz.35 Anti-Tank Rifle is perhaps
less subtle: a high-powered bolt-action design intended to pierce through early tank armour. Although based on a standard rifle action,
the cartridge fired carried a much greater charge – vastly increasing muzzle velocity,
and allowing the bullet to punch through thick armour. Unfortunately, advances in tank designs meant
that such armour-piercing rifles became obsolete – and so arms designers turned to a more explosive
means of despatching tracked vehicles instead. Unbridled detonation is a potent destructive
force: anything can be reduced to smouldering rubble with the application of enough TNT. However, there are more efficient means of
delivery: and even a relatively small charge can deal huge damage when its force is focussed. The single-use Panzerfaust gave Nazi soldiers
the means to tackle armoured opposition: and rather than rely on the projectile’s kinetic
energy, the warhead uses a shaped charge to punch through armour more efficiently. The explosive is shaped into an hollow inverse
cone, and lined with ductile copper. Upon detonation, the explosive force is directed
onto a single point, and the resultant jet of molten metal is capable of surprising penetration. The American Bazooka was similar in effect,
although more capable against thicker armour, and able to reach targets further away. Its more durable construction also meant that
it was reusable, but much heavier and more expensive as a result. For resistance fighters, these advanced anti-tank
weapons were not as commonly available – and so improvised arms such as the Molotov cocktail
were the best available tools for disabling enemy vehicles. Little more than a combustible fluid in a
frangible container, the resultant deflagration wasn’t effective against armour – but could
choke engine intakes, emit blinding smoke – and effectively disable the vehicle. Finally, another handheld explosive option
is the Nazi Stielhandgranate – the long handle giving the grenade a distinctive appearance,
as well as providing a lever to aid long-distance throws. A pull cord initiates a 5-second fuse, and
after such time the main charge would detonate – ruining the day of anyone caught within
the blast radius. Thus covers most of the arms you’ll encounter
in Enemy Front: a mix of some classic World War 2 weapons, with some interesting rare
and exotic choices. In a time when even regular forces had strained
supplies, it’s no wonder resistance partisans readily adopted whatever resources were at
hand. Thanks for watching, and until next time:
farewell.


Reader Comments

  1. Actually the 'Burp Gun' nickname was given to the German MP40 because of it's slow rate of fire, it sounded like it belched the rounds out, it was a habit to mock your enemy's weapons, The PPSH-41 was nicknamed the 'Papashah or Anglicised Papa Shaw'

  2. I am so glad that Ahoy doesn't censor the nazi flag like so many other history channels.

    if theres one place I'm okay with seeing that flag being flown its in a historical setting.

  3. I would argue it was less the Automatic weapons that displaced the shotgun's role and more of the change in military doctrine. Mobile warfare killed the shotgun, as storming into trenches without tank support was much less common in the 2nd World War.

  4. Wonder if Americans would ever feel weird if the Vietnamese kept making games about killing them, maybe having the slightest bit of selfreflection while at it , well probably not, thats a european thing to do after all. something for french german or greek philosophers and high browed people like that. you just keep shooting those nazis.

  5. "It was mass produced in occupied Europe"

    Wrong. It was mass produced in occupied Poland. Underground, largely by people who thought they were making gas pipes and boiler parts. Have seen real action only once IIRC, during the Warsaw uprising. Based on Sten, Lightning – or Błyskawica – has eliminated many of Sten's issues, including the magazine mounting (Polish Home Army needed a weapon that was easy to hide and operate in street guerilla warfare, a magazine that was loaded sideways was hardly comfortable to carry under the coat) and jamming issues. Story has it that the guy who presented the design to the army went with a superior officer into a park in the middle of the day, fired an entire magazine into the air, and disappeared before German police showed up to see what the hell is going on, just to prove that it can be easily operated and quickly hidden.

    The name comes from the marking made on the buttstock, depicting three lightning bolts – a symbol similar to the pre-war logo of one of largest Polish radiotechnical enterprises, "Elektrit", located in Vilnius – which was made in order to fool Germans, in case the shipment or manufacture was intercepted.

  6. "outlandish design"
    says the country that still used revolvers and bolt actions well into the second world war.
    even the commies had the brains to realize that weapons that can't fire in quick sucession aren't good at medium to close range. "pa-pa-shah" it's peh-peh-sheh, you pretentious brit! "the nazi sturmgewehr 44" that's just stupid. if I said "the imperial martini henry" would that be correct? no.

  7. Blyskawica was a improved design of the sten, polish engeneers saw stens potential, but it was not fit for conceald carry for assasination missions (they usually took place in the middle of the city in daylight), so they took the sten and redesing it thus giving birth to blyskawica. there are also other ww2 polish weapons, lik "bechowiec" "kiss" etc. some of tchem where manufactured in the woods and the camp moved on horses every week or so, so the the germans would not find them. its a cool history showing that you can manufacture weapons anywhere with practically nothing

  8. The m2 was so quiet, that once a full magasine was unloaded behind a german officer in the desd of night while he was on a walk, this was a demonstration set up by his colleague, who was along side him at the time. The officers did not hear it.

  9. Actually, the service of the StG 44 didn't end with the with the fall of the Third Reich. German post-war border guards on both side of the border and Yugoslav paratroopers kept using the gun until much later, as well as third world countries using them to this day. In fact, it is used in the Syrian Civil War these days.

  10. stuart you forgot about the knife. half of the kills in this game is with a knife.

    or that just me going max stealth all the time everytime?

  11. Just don't drop the sten, it had a habbit of going off when it was dropped and sometimes even discharged a full magazine

  12. "Assault Rifle" is a miss translation the German "Sturm" both means the type of weather and "assault" or "storm" so really "assault rifles" are actually "Storm Rifles"

  13. Massive points for not being a wuss and actually showing an uncensored swastica. Sounds rediculous to censor, but video games nowadays seemingly insist on forgetting about historical icons that some might find “offensive”

  14. I saw the Polish Lightning gun in Warszaw Uprising museum – very impressive and used just simple readily available materials. They also put armour plates in a truck for an improvised tank 'Kubus'.

  15. just a question, is this game any good?
    and the most important thing, did it have bot multiplayer? (my internet kinda crappy sometime)

  16. did you know these polish partisans sold jews to germans or executed them themselves? they hated eveything that wasnt polish. they said jews are worse than Russians Germans, the real partisans were the ones that werent in ANY group

  17. >tfw you get stielhandgranated by a mere camping soldier

    my disappointment is immensurable and my day is ruined

  18. I thought this video is some kind of histroical stuff but its all info about guns from one game xD

  19. Dshk is so under represented… it fires anti tank sized bullets but it’s always the mg42 and sometimes the 50cal

  20. 5:54 it didn't end with the third reich, notably through surplusing programs by the soviets Yugoslavia had them.

  21. First thought its a Rainbow six siege video because the thumbnail is litterally Kapkans operator pic…

  22. I am actually playing the game on my PS3 but I can't pass the first Norwegian mission bc the AI bugged out it pisses me off

    Edit: #Ahoy can you help me or someone?

  23. The Chinese Type 17 Mauser is a modified German C96 Mauser with a selector switch for Semi Automatic & Full Auto capability.

  24. Edit: variants of the Sturmgewehr has used by France and Belgium after ww2 into the 60s, and the remaining stocks has sold to former colonies in Africa, as well as the ones at the middle east such as Syria and Iraq, which can still be seen in the hands of rebels along with many ww2-era guns today.

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