MP38 (Maschinenpistole 38) Submachine Gun (SMG)
The MP38 submachine gun set the mold for future submachine gun designs to follow.
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The MP38 served as the predecessor to the well known MP40 series of mass-produced submachine guns developed by the Germans in World War 2. The type was revolutionary principally in its construction which broke from the practiced norms of the time. However, the MP38 was eventually deemed too expensive to produce in the large numbers required for the German Army, resulting in the creation of its simplified sister design - the MP40 of 1940 - which utilized steel pressings and welds while keeping machining to a minimum.
The submachine gun had gained steam in the interwar years following World War 1 as an interim firearm for use by general infantry, special forces and vehicle crews requiring self-defense. Submachine guns could be fired from the confines of a tank and even a non-combat detachment could arm themselves when traversing across hostile territory. For special forces groups or special units such as paratroopers, the submachine gun was portable and suitable for Close-Quarters Battle (CQB) and, with general infantry, it served well alongside established rifle units and machine gun elements in nearly any environment. In any case, the submachine gun remains just as important to the modern army today as it did in World War 2.