American Rifleman - July 2014 - (Page 54)

FG-42 with .303 Lee-Enfields picked them off in the dozens as they raced about to find their weapons canisters. The doctrine at that time was to jump with handguns as primary weapons, while canisters carrying heavier weapons went out the door with them, and had to be found, opened, and distributed before action. After that, Hitler soured on the big drop theory. The 10,000-man Fallschirmjäger divisions ended up in pitched battles, fighting essentially as specialized defensive infantrymen. Never again were they to jump on a large scale; they were sent where the fighting was heaviest-Monte Cassino, the Neva River in Russia, Normandy-where their reputation for courage, resilience, gallantry and creativity was well earned. The new gun they demanded was already in the pipeline, at least for a little while. (By late war, it had been deprioritized, which is why so few were built.) The gun may also have represented a bit of eliteunit vanity. After all, commandos pretend to topsecrecy but at the same time, they like the world to know they are the chosen few. The Fallschirmjäger were already singular: their helmets had been conspicuously trimmed of that ear-and-nape-of-neck flange so Teutonic in profile that marked the stahlhelm; instead, to prevent the rim of the pot from cutting the ripcords as they descended, their helmets fit like mushroom caps. They wore bloused lace-up boots (you need laces if you're going to hang beneath a parachute), a camouflage tunic they called a "bone bag" and carried a stainless steel gravity knife for cutting cords, shrouds and throats. After Crete, Hermann Goering, who was head of the Luftwaffe to which they belonged-as opposed to the more hide-bound, conservative army-okayed the radical nature of the FG-42. (He also owned Rheinmetall, the company that initially contracted to produce it, so he was selling it to himself at a significant profit, being as corrupt as he was corpulent). As they put together the specs for the new arm, the paratroopers managed to create a tactical niche that it has taken the rest of the world 70 years to appreciate. http://www.LASERLYTE.COM http://www.LASERLYTE.COM

American Rifleman - July 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - July 2014

Contents
American Rifleman - July 2014 - Cover1
American Rifleman - July 2014 - Cover2
American Rifleman - July 2014 - 1
American Rifleman - July 2014 - Contents
American Rifleman - July 2014 - 3
American Rifleman - July 2014 - 4
American Rifleman - July 2014 - 5
American Rifleman - July 2014 - 6
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