POTD: Late War MKb.42(H)

The still below captures the use of a weapon that some of our readers will immediately recognize, but that might be new to others:


The rifle is an MKb.42(H), Haenel’s prototype for what would later become the famous MP-44 Sturmgewehr. The Maschinenkarabiner – as it was called – was only fielded in limited numbers in 1943, and unlike the later MP-44 fired from an open bolt. It is easily distinguished from its descendant by the presence of a gas expansion chamber running almost the full length of the barrel.

What is most unusual about this still is the presence of a late-model Panzerfaust (either a 60 or 100), which wouldn’t have been introduced until September 1944 at the earliest. The two intervening years were some of the most chaotic in history, and the Germans were losing ground to the Allies virtually throughout. These circumstances are what make this appearance of the MKb.42(H) in 1944 so unusual.

The image above is actually a still from a video clip, contained in the PBS documentary Battlefield, in the episode about the Battle of Berlin:


  • Lance

    I also saw a FG-42 and it may be just some STG-44s. Like many weapons it was too little too late to stop the Red Army assault on Berlin.

    • kevin kelly

      He wouldn’t of had that problem if he didn’t stab the soviets in the back. Now THAT would have been hard to stop. The soviet’s manpower and the Germans efficiency. Thank god for hitler’s ego.

      • buzzman1

        Hitler did it to the Soviets before they did it to him. The Soviet Forces were all on line for the attack when the German AF attacked and the result was the Soviet Tanks were annihilated and the army basically destroyed.

        • kevin kelly

          I wouldn’t say an attack was imminent by the soviets. If they were smart they would have put their egos aside and ran Europe.

    • It’s not an StG-44.

  • Tom W.

    There are still lots of MKb42s showing up as “Bodenfunde” (guns dug up in fields etc). It was a good weapon and they kept using it until the end. There are some German collectors today with MKbs converted to semi-auto only (for all their strict laws, you can have a gun that was formerly automatic and converted).

  • buzzman1

    The NIKE shoe company made Panzerfausts during the war.