A Trip to the Bundeswehr’s Fantastic Defense Technology Museum in Koblenz, Part 3: Submachine Guns [GUEST POST]

    The history of modern small arms is in part so fascinating because of how many firearms have been developed even in obscure circumstances, and how many of those obscure small arms still exist in museums and private collections around the world. Even though I make learning about obscure modern small arms my hobby, I am continually surprised by the new and unique weapons I uncover both on the Internet and in real-life excursions to some of the aforementioned collections.

    TFB reader Bronezhilet¬†recently visited the Bundeswehr’s (German Army) Defense Technology Museum in Koblenz, Germany, and shared with TFB the photos he took of the small arms in the collection there. Over the course of a few installments, we’ll be taking a look at groups of these photos. For the moment, we won’t be taking an in-depth look, but I encourage our readers to check out these weapons for themselves!

    Previously, we checked out some of the selfloading rifles are the museum, but today we’ll be shifting gears and taking our first look at their submachine gun collection. Let’s start with an odd weapon from the beginning of World War II, the Smith & Wesson 1940 Light Rifle:

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    Follow that with the ultimate Steampunk accessory, a British Lanchester Mk. 1:

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    Older? Sure. Here’s the grandaddy of the submachine gun, the Italian Villar Perosa:

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    How about rare German SMGs? Here’s an Erma VMP of 1930 in the center. It was the ancestor to the more-famous-but-still-obscure Erma EMP:

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    And its ancestor, the Erma VPF of 1925:

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    Koblenz has rare Finnish SMGs, too. Readers may recognize the Winter War-era Soumi KP/-31, but above that is its direct ancestor, the KP/-26, with its lower profile curved magazine, and strange stock shape:

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    The unique and tiny French MAS-38:

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    The French MAS-48 SMG, a stamped steel predecessor to the MAT-49:

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    Speak of the devil! The MAT-49:

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    Two descendants of the PPS-43, top the Spanish DUX Model 1953, and bottom a German-produced DUX Model 1959:

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    That’s all for now. Next time, we’ll continue looking at more of the great submachine guns at Koblenz!

    Nathaniel F

    Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. He can be reached via email at [email protected]


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