Sturmgewehr rifle & magazine factory packing to soldier Definitive guide about quantity of mags, ammo and issue doctrine

German weapons, vehicles and equipment 1919-1945.

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america
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Sturmgewehr rifle & magazine factory packing to soldier Definitive guide about quantity of mags, ammo and issue doctrine

Post by america » Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:35 am

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As specified in German doctrine, manuals and other official documents surviving from the Third Reich, that you can post or cite. Examples of the information being sought, have been listed below.

1. How were these rifles and their magazines packed at the factory, and delivered along the chain at the final destination, to the troops in the field?

2. If the pictured crates are accurate, how many rifles are inside, 4?

3. How many magazines, if any, were packed in these crates, 1 x 30rd for each rifle or more?

4. Was there a packing crate only for magazines, if yes how many magazines did they contain?

5. What was the basic total load (quantity) of 30rd magazines and spare ammo (if in 15rd carton boxes or on 5rd stripper clips) to be issued with each weapon, under various conditions, if different by date (period, conditions, duty), etc.

6. To refill their magazines, were German soldiers issued cloth bandoleers, filled with spare ammo on stripper clips, like USGI's? Or spare ammo boxed, loose or on stripper clips? How many rounds?

7. How many rounds were packed to an ammo case (wooden crate, etc.)



Though the answers being sought with this post are from the (a) category listed below. Perhaps there can be 3 categories of discussions and answers for each question:

(a) Official (official documents, manuals, etc., from Third Reich)

(b) References from memoirs, credible books and your information from discussions with veterans, participants and survivors

(c) Our armchair conjecture and guesstimate, how it should and could have been done, etc., given the perceived chaotic situation during 1944-45.


These photos from Die Deutsche Wochenschau 17.2.1945 may be a purely staged propaganda sequence, so perhaps it can not be considered as an accurate reflection, about how these rifles, magazines and ammunition were actually delivered and handed out in reality.

Some rifles are in crates, while at least 2 are handed out unpacked with magazines already fitted.

The rifles in the crates do not appear to have magazines fitted inside the weapon.

Photo with 2 red circles on one of the carried crates, seems to resemble magazines. Perhaps the mags were wired to the wood panels or there were slots inside the case for them, like there seem to be for the stock.

The smaller circle may be a shadow from wood cross section or mag. Larger red circle seems to have at least 2-3 mags at bottom horizontal and 1 mag at top vertically, unless this is another shadow playing tricks on the eyes.

Maybe someone has blueprints they can share or more information about the crates and what they contained. If someone has a real crate, perhaps there are slots inside for mags to assist in determining quantity.

It would have made good sense to pack each rifle with at least 1 x magazine, or more, such as to satisfy the minimum basic issue for each rifle, whatever that was, in the event the separate packing crate, if one exited, with magazines was lost in transit. The same can be said for providing a basic minimal load of ammunition, also packed in the crate, to get the rifles up and running in an emergency.

Comparing the Sturmgewehr crate in the photos to a MP40 wooden crate (more like a foot locker) shown elsewhere, that was completely sealed without openings. Containing 1 x MP40 and slots for 6 x 32rd Magazines total. There was still open space in the MP40 crate to stuff more magazines and boxed ammo cartons inside. Perhaps there are also other versions of the Sturmgewehr and MP40 crate containing more weapons, magazines and ammo.



During WWII and other conflicts, it was common to see USGI's with 2-4+ cloth bandoleers, filled with 8rd Garand clips across their shoulders in photos and video and more possibly stuffed into their packs.

Thus, far, by way or comparison, unlike USGI's, the few photos and videos viewed, do not appear to show any German soldiers, also being handed or carrying cloth bandoleers, slung across the shoulders, filled with spare ammunition on stripper clips or boxed ammo.

Now if the Germans did not have cloth bandoleers of spare ammo issued, and only carton boxes of 15rds each were handed out, to satisfy the spare ammunition requirement. What were the various degrees of this quantity requirement? Depending upon how many rounds were placed into each MP44 magazine, 30, 28 or 25, this would require 12 to 10 x 15rd carton boxes of spare ammo for each 6 magazine basic load reload of 180, 168 or 150 rounds. How many reloads of the initial basic load was each soldier expected to preform to dictate the final spare ammo (in 15rd boxes, loose, on 5rd stripper clips etc.) carry quantity?

~100rds for 3 days of intense combat seems little if one is expected to survive human wave attacks and urban combat. Having 1 or 2 mags total would have nullified most of the advantages of the weapon and possibly requiring a buddy system of alternating re loaders and shooters to operate.



This thread is mostly to do with the Sturmgewehr, but you are also welcome to include similar weapons at the time, like Thompson, Sten, MP40 and handguns.

During the late war period, there must have been key differences in the ammo and mag distribution system doctrine, comparing various mag fed weapons, one side suffering shortages and the other an abundance in supply marking their crates "Do Not Conserve Ammo."

There are some internet postings of what the US ammo usage was for various weapons in the Pacific and what the estimated load US paratroopers could carry during the D-Day drop. It will also be interesting to see how the German numbers compare for similar weapons, though their roles and style of fighting are different.

Facing human wave attacks on the Eastern Front or Banzai charges in the Pacific, What is surprising most, are the role of handguns and how Germany and the USA came up with the calculation for 2 x basic load mag (1 x in gun, 1 x in holster pouch) for the P08-P38 and the US 3 x basic load mags (1 x in gun, 2 x on belt pouch) for 1911, as if that would be enough as an immediate need ready to go.
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