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World War 2 Guns (1939-1945) - Personal Weapons and Related Infantry Small Arms of the Second World War


Despite technological advances since the close of World War 1, World War 2 made use of weapons from the past while incorporating all-new designs.

Despite its separation by some two decades from the First World War of 1914-1918, World War 2 was an extension of the earlier conflict that saw an end to the ages-old empires that once dominated the globe through their various colonies. The world was redrawn with all-new borders and new political groups took power which would have major implications in the upcoming global conflict. At the end of the 1930s, Europe would once again find herself embroiled in Total War, a war that would span into the middle of the next decade, taking with it countless lives in the process.

In the period immediately following the end of World War 1, the military powers of the globe saw major restrictions on procurement and development. This ensured that many pieces of the World War 1 battlefield would make their way to the battlefields of World War 2. The semi-automatic rifle was just beginning to take hold and progress was had by the Americans and the Soviets but others chose to rely on their manually-operated bolt-action Enfield, Mauser and Mosin-Nagant systems. However, the submachine gun was a firearms development that was here to stay - embodied by the classic German MP18 and MP38/40 lines, the British STEN, the American 'Tommy Gun' and the Soviet PPSh-41.

The German invasion of Poland in September of 1939 forced the small arms industry to reach all new levels of production, particularly in the Soviet Union and the United States, and millions of arms were produced during the span of the war. Beyond rifles and submachine guns were pistols (revolver and semi-automatic types), hand grenades, mortars and machine guns. Portable assault guns were introduced that provided infantry with broader killing powers - especially for lightly-equipped paratroopers. The anti-tank gun rose to prominence and became a mainstay of militaries and can still be found in inventories today. Perhaps the chief infantry-level development in the whole of the war was the 'assault rifle', born in Germany and perfected elsewhere in the Cold War that followed. The self-loading, repeat-fire rifle was here to stay - and still permeates every section of the battlefield in modern times.

There are a total of 270 World War 2 Guns (1939-1945) - Personal Weapons and Related Infantry Small Arms of the Second World War in the Military Factory. Entries are listed below in alphanumeric order (1-to-Z). Flag images indicative of country of origin and not necessarily the primary operator. Weapons such as hand grenades and portable (squad-level) artillery systems, such as assault guns and mortars, are also featured in this listing.