MP 40 – Role & "Tactics"

MP 40 - Role & "Tactics"

A look at the role of MP 40 (and its very similar “predecessor” the MP 38) in terms of role and tactics within the German Army in the Second World War. For this we look at German Army regulations, reports, tables of organization and equipment and also the weapons themselves. We look at the relation of the MP 40 submachine-gun to the Panzerwaffe, but also as its use by the infantry, particularly the squad leader, platoon leader and company commander.

Disclaimer: I was invited by the Wehrkundliche Sammlung Schloss Ebelsberg.

» patreon – see videos early (adfree) –
» subscribe star –
» paypal donation –
» YouTube Membership –

» teespring –


OKH: H.Dv. 130/2a: Die Schützenkompanie. Ausbildungsvorschrift für die Infanterie – Heft 2a. Verlag „Offene Worte“, Berlin, Germany, 16. März 1941.

BArch, RHD 8/261: D 167/1: Maschinenpistole 40. Beschreibung, Handhabungs- und Behandlungsanleitung. September 1942.

Reibert: Der Dienstunterricht im Heere: Ausgabe für den Schützen der Schützenkompanie. E. S. Mittler & Sohn: Berlin, 1940.

Wettstein, Adrian E.: Die Wehrmacht im Stadtkampf 1939-1942. Ferdinand Schöningh: Paderborn, Germany.

Buchner, Alex: Das Handbuch der deutschen Infanterie 1939-1945; Gliederung – Uniformen, Bewaffnung – Ausrüstung, Einsätze. Podzun-Pallas: Friedberg in Hessen, Germany, 1987.

von Heygendorff: Die Schützenkompanie des Infanterieregiments. Das Kommandobuch von Carl Siwinna. 25. neubearbeite und erweiterte Auflage. Mars-Verlag Carl Siwinna: Berlin, Germany, 1941.

Der Feuerkampf der Schützenkompanie (Schulgefechtsschießen und Gefechtsschießen) nach den neuesten Grundsätzen der Feuertaktik. 2. (Kriegs-)Auflage. Verlage „Offene Worte“: Berlin, Germany, 1940.

BArch, RH 1/1543: H.Dv. 299/4a: Ausbildung und Einsatz der Panzergrenadierkompanie a (Entwurf). OKH, General der Schnellen Truppen, 8. Januar 1943.

BArch, RH 1/1886: OKH: H.Dv. 470/1: A. Leitsätze für die Erziehung und Ausbildung im Heere. B. Ausbildungsziele für die Einzelausbildung der Panzertruppe. Verlag „Offene Worte“: Berlin, Germany, Berichtiger Nachdruck 1940 (2. Oktober, 1938)).

Lidschun, Reiner; Wollert, Günter: Infanteriewaffen. Illustrierte Enzyklopädie der Infanteriewaffen aus aller Welt bis 1945. Parragon: Bath, UK, o.J.

BArch, RH 1/260: OKH: H.Dv. g 92: Handbuch für den Generalstabsdienst im Kriege. Teil II. Reichsdruckerei: Berlin, 1939.

TsAMO: F 500, Op. 12480, D 137: Sturmgeschütz-Schule Lehrstab: Merkblatt – Die Geschützbedienung, Burg b. M., Oktober 1943.

Niehorster, Leo W. G.: German World War II Organizational Series. Volume 1/I: Mechanized Army and Waffen-SS Units (1st September 1939). Dr. Leo W.G. Niehorster: Hannover, Germany, 1990 (1988).

Niehorster, Leo W. G.: German World War II Organizational Series. Volume 1/II-1. 1st and 2nd Welle Army Infantry Divisions (1 September 1939). The Military Press: Buckinghamshire, UK, 2007 (2006).

Handrich, Dieter: Sturmgewehr 44. Vorgänger, Entwicklung und Fertigung der revolutionärsten Infanteriewaffen. 2. überarbeitete und erweiterte Auflage. dwj Verlags-GmbH: Blaufelden, Germany, 2016.

#MP40 #SMG #MP38


Like it? Share with your friends!


What's Your Reaction?

hate hate
confused confused
fail fail
fun fun
geeky geeky
love love
lol lol
omg omg
win win


Your email address will not be published.

  1. Want to see more videos with content from museums or historical sites?
    Consider supporting me on Patreon or Subscribestar, these supporters make trips like this possible. Additionally, you will get early access (no ads) and other features, more info here:
    » patreon – » subscribe star –
    11:57 – "geschwungener Spaten" should be translated with "swung spade" or "wielded spade". Thanks to the Patreon Galgenvogel for pointing that out.

  2. I got a better tactic of using this gun

    hold up the gun and pull your trigger when the end of barrel is pointed at enemy while avoid enemy barrel being point at you

  3. the MP40 was a good gun a friend of mine was a Vietnam vet in MACV-SOG and he said about am old Sergeant who insisted on carrying an MP40 till my friend meet him he was on his 3ish tour and was still carrying the MP40 in the field he said it was the best SMG you could get this coming from a man who had access to any weapon on the market in the late 60 he said the only thing that came close was the UZI but it fired bullets too fast and the M3 was too small and 45 was too heavy for what you got if your options are a carbine or an M3 carry the carbine

  4. In Russian – Пистолет-пулемёт [pistolyet-poolyemyot – PP in short] (translated as pistol-mashinegun): PPD-40, PPS-43, PPSh-41 family.

  5. As a 10 year old on the UK many years ago now
    I was looking through a book on guns and saw a mp40 and was so impressed by it I made one in woodwork class with folding stock and all

    I still have it today

  6. My Father had one pointed at him outside of Casio by a Fallschirmjaeger. Caught caught away from his rifle, they looked at each other for a moment then the German backed into the woods without firing a shot.

  7. Nothing about airborne usage? My understanding was, and I may be wrong, that the German Paratroopers used submachine guns extensively. Mainly because they could be carried under there parachute harnesses rather than dropped in containers as the longer weapons were.

  8. Thanks again for the great videos.

    The submachine gun is my favorite "light weapon". And aftet just saying this it wouldn't be my favorite weapon if I had to shoot 300 yards at the enemy.

    The submachine gun is easier to use by relatively green troops. It's even easier to run out of ammunition for it. It excels in urban environments were most fire-fight distances between small-arms is less than 20 yards

    I watch the documentary where a reenactment of a Tiger tank over-running a trench outside of Stalingrad where crewmember was firing a submachine gun at a Russian soldier who ead ready to throw a Molotov cocktail into the engine compartment.


    Other than American paratroopers and British Commandos, I know of no other field Infantry except for the 13th Guards Division that exchanged their rifles for submachine guns which to go into the city of Stalingrad to fight according to the documentary "Soviet Storm in the East."

    I don't know why more American units did not do this. I know the M1 Garand had semi automatic fire, but it was still as long as a boat oar.

    And some things I have a problem with Germany's higher-ups before the war: how can the best military machine on Earth at the time have bolt-action rifles and only five out of its hundred thirty-five divisions mechanized? How is the German Soldier supposed to assault a position with a bolt-action rifle?

  9. As someone who's learning German, I love the quotations laid out in both languages. Certainly helping with my vocabulary, I'm sure "Todesverachtung" comes up all the time in casual conversation.

  10. Is there an initial holdover idea from late WW1 trench assault tactics? I wonder if there was an original concept which was based on the experience of the previous war and which ended up being poorly adapted to WW 2. After that they just tried to fit the weapons into wherever they would be most useful. Just an idea.

  11. I enjoy watching the submachine guns in the old Worldd War II movies. I like the MP 38's and MP 40's, but there was another submachine gun I saw many times in movies that I was unable to identify. It was shorter and rounded than the MP 40 and MP 38. It did not have the fold up stock. Do you have any idea what kind of submachine gun this could have been? I have not been able to find it in any of the photo books of guns of this time period. I'm not sure if this was a real weapon or made up by the movie producers. I also have a question about the use of the MP 40s and MP 38s. If a private who was issued a rifle found a submachine gun on the battle field and liked it better than the rife, and took the submachine gun for his own use, would he have gotten in trouble?

  12. Yeah, the MP38 was issued in low numbers early in the war

    But didn't they had the MP-28 and other early war MP-18 derivatives instead of it, or did they recall those instantly once the MP-38 was introduced? (Which i find it hard to believe)

  13. "I am not Ian from forgotten weapons so I will not give you a in depth breakdown" Bravo mein freund. Love to see unique content, I am going to subscribe for certain!

  14. I like they style of this video… the quotation from specialist literature, your (Austraian?) accent, the info graphics… Well done! Very entertaining and quite informative.
    (Übrigens spreche ich ein besseres Deutsch, als Englisch ;-

  15. Although it was listed as being for the driver, I would imagine a lot of Panzergrenidier squads would take the extra MP40 and leave a rifle behind especially if they were expecting close combat. It would do a lot more good in the hands of the infantry than strapped to the sides of a vehicle, and that close quarter firepower would be awfully tempting

  16. When you say the English "Thousand", it is easy to pronounce it like the German "Tausend". But if you stick your tongue slightly past your teeth when you say "tausend" you will get the "TH" sound on the first syllable, making the pronunciation more accurate for English. Likewise, with the word "vehicle", if you put the emphasis on the first syllable, as in "VE-hicle", rather than "ve-HIC-le", it sounds more naturally English. Finally, the word 'recon' in English puts the emphasis on the first syllable: "RE-con", which is unusual since the root word is pronounced "re-CON-assiance', but nevertheless the shortened word is pronounced 'RE-con' in popular usage.
    Your videos are excellent and interesting and informative and I enjoy them very much. My intent with this post is friendly; I would want the same if I were speaking German and a friend were giving me tips on how to speak it more accurately, and no offense is intended.