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: