The StG 45: Roller-Delayed Blowback StG 44

Sturmgewehr_45_reproduction

A design that truly could have changed the war, the StG 45 was not completed until 1945. Designed to replace the StG 44, which was expensive and time-consuming to produce, the StG 45 was the result of a cost-reduction and mechanical simplification development. To meet the requirements of the war, the gas system was removed and roller-delayed blowback was introduced, alone with the fluted chamber to assist in extraction.

Prototype of the Gerat 06H, what would later become the StG 45

Prototype of the Gerat 06H, what would later become the StG 45

The technicians that worked on the rifle ultimately would go on to influence many post-war rifles and the CETME was introduced with the same roller system. Ultimately, Heckler & Koch would purchase a license for the design which became the G3 and served as the mechanical basis of the ubiqutous MP5.

For further reading on the rifle, see World.gunsΒ and Forgotten Weapons.

 



Nathan S.

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

Nathan can be reached at Nathan.S@TheFirearmBlog.com

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


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  • Lance

    Like most late war German Assault Rifles didn’t make as much of a impression on the Western Alliance since most had access of automatic arm. But made a BIG impact on the Russian who mostly used bolt action rifles.

    • Riot

      And entire sub machine gun companies………

    • snmp

      In fact, Russian have massive use of SMG PPSH41 & PPS42/43 in front line… Division level and eache Squad have DMR (for clearing)

      • Vitsaus

        Still didn’t change the nearly 11 to 1 casualty rates they suffered against the Wehrmacht.

        • Phil Hsueh

          But the Russians could afford 11 to 1 casualties because there was always a 12th man.

          • Abram

            Go Hawks!

        • Don Ward

          ELEVEN to one casualties? Wow. You actually believe that?

          • Vitsaus

            Russian sources are unreliable, most scholars debate the figures but it hovers between 8-1 and 11-1. Some claim higher though.

          • Don Ward

            Who are these “most scholars”? I would truly like to see them try to explain how the German Army killed 40 million Red Army soldiers and wounded another 60-80 million. And that’s not counting the contributions made by Germany’s Finnish, Romanian, Hungarian, Italian, etc allies.

  • lucusloc

    A lot of older videos showing up recently. Not that I particularity mind, but is the news cycle really that slow?

    • In the post-SHOT few months not much happens in the industry.

      • lucusloc

        Ah, that makes sense. “Here is a whole bunch of new and exciting!…” later: “And now for some history. . .”

        Kinda has a nice flow. Now see if you can dig up something I have not seen yet. I demand entertainment πŸ˜‰

      • MR

        Maybe avoid the German stuff until mid-June or so. Give the 88ers a chance to get the pot residue out of their bloodstream before they get all goofy in the comment section.

    • I like to post old stuff. Preferably decades old, at least. πŸ˜‰

      • lucusloc

        Lol, fair enough. If you manage to dig up some stuff more than a few decades old, there is a decent chance I have not seen it. Something worth keeping in mind πŸ˜‰

  • valorius

    No one or one hundred weapons would have changed the outcome of WWII. It was lost on the strategic level by der fuhrer, not on the battlefield.

    • David

      Yep. The biggest errors were the overly delayed buildups for Operations Barbarossa and Citadel. If Barbarossa had started earlier in the year, the weather in late Fall wouldn’t have stymied operation Typhoon. Had they made the Archangel-Astrakhan line before winter, the war in the east would have a drastically different outcome.

      With Citadel, had the operation not been delayed, and therefore not alerted the Russians to the overall plan, then Citadel could have been a very successful offensive.

      • Don Ward

        If by a drastically different outcome, you mean the Germans would have been even further from their supply lines and even more overstretched and been even more exposed to the Soviet counter-offensives of the Winter of 1941, then yes. Things would have been totally different.

        • David

          I don’t want to get too off the topic of firearms. I think if the Germans could have taken the Archangel-Astrakhan line before the winter of 41, The Russian counter offensives wouldn’t have been as effective. Russia would have minimal access to lend-lease materiel. The Germans were well supplied come spring. I think it could be argued either way, honestly. But after reading a lot of first hand accounts of the eastern front, I tend to think that had the Germans cut off Russia from their lend-lease ports, 42 would have gone very differently. I accept your position is just as valid. Because in the end, who knows.

          • Don Ward

            I’m not really sure how the Germans could have captured Archangel as well as Moscow, the latter really being the whole political goal of the Barbarossa exercise. More time would mean the Germans very well could have reached Moscow but I don’t think they would have taken it, not with how fortified that city was in 1941 and it would have just been a repeat of Stalingrad one year earlier. But again, butterflies flapping their wings.

            In retrospect and with hindsight, if the Nazies invading Russia was still going to happen, I feel the Germans would have been better off focusing on and capturing Leningrad first. This would have opened up a supply port on the Baltic and drastically shortened their supply lines heading into the Soviet Union, allowing for an easier push on Moscow in 1942. But, then what I just described totally negates the goal of the so-called “Blitzkreig” into the Soviet Union to begin with.

      • valorius

        I particularly agree about the delays for Barbarossa.

        You can make a pretty good case that Hitler lost the war via his obsession with stalingrad as well. Had he not kept diverting and rediverting the panzers, and stayed fixed on the caucuses oil field objectives as the plan called for, the war could have been far different as well.

        Citadel was really the Eastern Fronts much larger version of the battle of the bulge. And equally disastrous in the end.

  • Bal256

    A good supply of assault rifles could have changed the war… then again, they would still be behind on aircraft, armored vehicles, logistics, medical supplies, etc. I don’t know what you’re able to do with an assault rifle when you have thousands and thousands of pounds of bombs being dropped on your factories daily.

    • Esh325

      A lot of German tech seemed to have had a greater impact when the war was over rather than when it was going.

    • MR

      The ME262 jet aircraft may have had some effect as well, had it been allowed to continue development as a fighter. Instead, dip#### delayed production by demanding it be converted for use as a light bomber. His own worst enemy.

      • Don Ward

        The ME262 had the effect of “Holy cow, that is a terrible design, let’s never use it and stick with our own domestic variants”. OK, to be fair, the Soviets tried to make the thing work before finally throwing up their hands after a couple of years and stealing a British jet engine design.

      • aweds1

        Sounds like our development program with the F-35…

        • Phil Hsueh

          Sort of. The problem with the ME262 was that Hitler was still obsessed with going on the offensive during its development even though things were starting to go bad for Germany, esp, with the round the clock Allied bombing. So instead of developing the ME262 as the fighter it was intended to be Hitler instead ordered that it be a (light) bomber instead but later changed his mind and had Messerschmidt go back to continuing development as a fighter. This resulted in the ME262 coming out later than it could have and although even if it had come out on time it still wouldn’t have been enough to do much except prolong the war for just a bit longer.

          • mikee

            The development of the ME262 to carry bombs is a myth that has been greatly exagerated over time. The real problems with the ME262 were – 1) lack of strategic raw materials, especially high temperature resistant metals that were required for efficient jet engine performance; 2) lack of fuels with with a consistent octane rating; 3) lack of trained pilots to actually fly the aircraft; 4) high speed intercept tactics were very much in their infancy; 5) production sabotage: 6) Internal fighting and bickering among the three services development bureaus due to politics. Lastly, too many so called “wonder weapons” paper projects that drained valuable resources in the development of weapons systems in general. This is all fertile material for the post WWII conspiracy crowd!!!

          • Blake

            add to that that very early jet aircraft had the best top speed of the day, but the throttle control was pretty inaccurate & quite unresponsive, & thus didn’t lend itsself well to agile dogfighting.

      • SS Wiking

        who you callin’ dip####, j#w?

        • Don Ward

          What is Hilarious is our troll is now sporting an acronym based on foreign volunteers that the Nazis had to drum up because Germany was scraping the bottom of the barrel in terms of manpower by 1942 and 1943.

    • Vitsaus

      Lets say they had assault rifles starting in 1939… that would just have made the allies, especially the US with near limitless resources, develop their own version of the concept much sooner. Look at how quick the M3 grease gun or the Stens were developed. A Wehrmacht with STG rifles in 1939 would only have meant there would be US troops with them in ’42. Lets also not forget that the mythological image of the unstoppable Germany was perpetuated during and after the war by the allies as propaganda.

      • RickH

        I don’t think so, at least not in the case of the US. Senior US military minds were only going to approve of a weapon that fired a full powered cartridge. Other allies would probably be more open minded to an intermediate cartridge.

  • Don Ward

    “A design that truly could have changed the war, the StG 45 was not completed until 1945.”

    No, the design wouldn’t have changed the war. No small arms fielded by Nazi Germany in any realistic period of time would have changed the eventual outcome of the war. By 1943, for every new Mauser and MP40 produced, you could have swapped out with a H&K G3 and the Nazis would have still lost the war. Although they MIGHT have lasted long enough to get the Atom Bomb dropped on them.

    • Phil Hsueh

      Not necessarily, while I agree that no weapon they developed or were developing would have allowed them to ultimately win the war I don’t think that the only result would have been prolonging the war until the atom bomb was ready. Depending on when a major weapons system would have been fielded it could have led to a German surrender on terms instead of the ultimate unconditional surrender. If the weapon(s) stung the Allies hard enough they might have been willing to settle for a negotiated surrender where Germany would have been allowed to keep some of its gains and everybody calls it a day.

      • Don Ward

        And certainly, a lot of butterfly wings flapping could have occurred. The adage of the want of a nail causing one to lose a horseshoe, which loses a horse, which negates a cavalry charge which loses a battle and then a war can always apply.

        But the fact remains that the Germans didn’t even have the industrial capacity to produce enough spare magazines and ammo for the Stg44 project as it was. I’m not sure how this rifle would have changed that particular fact.

        • Phil Hsueh

          Maybe not by the time the StG44 was finally fielded but possibly earlier in the war and if Hitler didn’t squander a lot of resources on fielding so many different types of tanks, half-tracks, and armored cars and constantly try to pursue all manners of silly wonder weapons. Germany probably never had a real chance of ever winning the war but they certainly had a real chance of getting to a negotiated end to the war had Hitler not been such an idiot. Fortunately for us, and the rest of the world, Hitler was Germany’s worst enemy during the war and nobody was ever successful in assassinating or overthrowing him before things got really bad for Germany.

          • Southpaw89

            Now there’s and interesting thought, say someone had succeeded in assassinating Hitler, and someone far more competent took his place. It wouldn’t have been enough for the Axis to win, but could certainly have made things much more painful for the Allies.

          • ostiariusalpha

            Ugh, Reinhard Heydrich in charge of the German war machine would have been a nightmare.

          • Sulaco

            Not to mention that Goring had plans on the board for long range bombers intended to hit the east coast of the US carrying atom bombs….later up graded to long range jet bombers. brrrrr. We really dodged a bullet in that conflict if the Germans had been able to prolong the war or been better mid range planers the world would be a VERY different place now.

          • Phil Hsueh

            I think that it would have depended a lot on when exactly the assassination took place exactly, early war things could have gone worse for the Allies, mid to late war we might have seen Germany try to negotiate terms for an end of hostilities.

  • Brian Mead

    What lost WW2 Ficken mit Mutterrussland. Deutschland was lost from the moment it made an enemy of Mother Russia.

  • Pedenzo

    Uhm….I was taught to clear the weapon before disassembly…kind of hard to do that with the mag still in place….

  • Southpaw89

    The roller delayed blowback started out with a lot of promise, but with the exception of the MP-5 seems to have all but died off, does anyone know why this is? Is it too expensive to manufacture (I thought it was cheaper), less reliable than gas operated, too hard to maintain, or is it just that the market prefers gas operation for no specific reason. Just curious.

    • exoskeleton

      From what I’ve read, roller delayed blowback is a very fragile balance of forces. Thus your ammunition should be very consistent, not a problem for Germans, but a problem for most other ammo manufacturers. In short, it is not as reliable as a piston driven weapon if you want to shoot a wide verity of ammunition.

      • Southpaw89

        That makes some sense, certainly would reduce attractiveness to the civilian market.

  • n0truscotsman

    Forgotten weapons had an article about that. Very interesting firearm.

  • Stephen Beat

    I’m sure someone has already mentioned this but looking at the 06 firing, not only is cocking a bit ham-fisted but did I see ejected empty cases coming back down on top of the rifle/shooters head? As to any infantry weapon ‘changing the war’, by 1945 it wasn’t guns but men that were the deciding factor – simply the Germans were running out of men.