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Thread: The Prisoners of Silence - NSDAP 1936-1991 (History and background)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karelian View Post
    At the end of the Middle-Eastern War the lessons of this first Cold War conflict were painstakingly clear for the Luftwaffe leadership: the qualitative advantage the Reich had enjoyed in jet aicraft design during the late 1940s was now a thing of the past.
    And one imagines the equality will end up as a gap, unless Neuropa has loosened up Nazi restrictions on scientific engineering.

    In Tailor´s view nuclear deterrence alone would not be enough to guarantee the national security and international strategic interests of the United States. Instead he envisioned a new doctrine that would coordinate US military, economic and diplomatic strength towards a clearly stated, unified goal.
    Oh, boy. A military-industrial complex.
    I am therefore officially rooting for a Franco-German strike on Russia, prompting the Soviets to strike back with their hitherto secret nukes. This will serve as a salutary lesson to all involved and leave everyone suitably chastened.-El Pip

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    Quote Originally Posted by Faeelin View Post
    And one imagines the equality will end up as a gap, unless Neuropa has loosened up Nazi restrictions on scientific engineering.
    See the former post about education system for more info - the critical part is that universities are able to retain at least some form of academic freedom and their pre-war high standards despite the politized mess of the rest of the education system.

    By late 1980s equality will indeed begin to turn into a gap in some critical areas due the increased US defense budget and global arms race, but by then that will least of the many problems plaguing the Reich.

    Quote Originally Posted by Faeelin View Post
    Oh, boy. A military-industrial complex.
    Don´t count on MacArthur to warn people about it in his Farewell Address.
    Last edited by Karelian; 06-05-2009 at 15:41.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karelian View Post
    The situation of Cuba and Central America will require an additional update, but I seriously doubt that US would tolerate outright revolution in the island.
    So I assume that if revolution does break out in Cuba, MacArthur would respond in a Reagan-esque manner. In other words, send in military forces. For that matter, I think we could see an early equivalent of the Reagan Doctrine being implemented by the MacArthur Administration in regards to Central America.
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    This is fantastic, it’s like reading a history book! Great job.
    Is there more update coming?


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    I hope. That's incredible!!!
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    Aftermatch of the Middle-Eastern War III: Western small arms


    US Marines clearing a Lebanese house during the assault on Beirut.

    The British Rifle - EM2

    During the Second World War it became obvious that the bolt-action rifles used as standard by all armies except the USA were obsolescent. In fact, the German StG 43, which was in widespread service by the end of the war, emphasised the advantages of automatic as well as semi-automatic fire. The logic of this led several armies into the development of less powerful cartridges generating less recoil, to permit more controllable automatic fire. British Army was no exception to this general trend, and already during the war call went forth to design a new “intermediate” cartridge and a new automatic rifle as the Germans had done before them. In parallel with these developments, the British were also attracted to the idea of a rifle which was made much shorter than standard (while retaining the same barrel length) by mounting the barrel and action far back in the stock, which would enable it to replace the sub-machine gun as well as the rifle.

    The first goal of the British infantry arms modernization program was to create a cartridge that would replace all small arms in .303, including the Bren and Vickers MMG, with a cartridge suitable for a "light rifle." Thus the cartridge had to demonstrate ballistic performance equal to that of a full powered rifle round and yet exhibit as little recoil and blast as possible, so that it would remain controllable during rapid or automatic fire. After extensive tests by the "Ideal Cartridge Panel" in 1947, the British decided upon two 7 mm cartridges – the .270 and the .276. Later on the design focused solely on the latter cartridge that was renamed to .280. Final testing of the new round resulted to changing the rim diameter of the .280 to the size of the .30-06, thus renaming the round once more to .280/30.

    With new round ready, the Royal Small Arms Factory tasked two weapon design teams for the new “light rifle” project under the leadership of Noel Kent-Lemon, who dictated that both teams should use the previously described bullpup consept as the basis of their work. One design team was led by Stanley Thorpe and came up with gas-operated rifle with a locking system based directly on that of the German StG 43, with a number of steel pressings in its manufacture. The steel pressings proved impossible to obtain reliably, and this design was scrapped. The other team, led Stefan Janson, a Polish native who had fled to England during the war and supported by another Polish exile Stalowa Wola on weapons design, came up with a successful design that was to be the center of an international storm.


    Futuristic and radical in it´s outlooks and accurate and deadly in it´s planned role, the British EM2 became a success story despite it´s troubled start.

    Janson´s team produced two experimental rifles that were called the EM-1 and EM-2 (Experimental Model 1 and 2) and were of similar layout and dimensions, being different mostly in shape details and controls. Both rifles were of bullpup layout, meaning that the magazine and the barrel chamber were located behind the triggerguard and pistol handle. The EM-2 attracted more attention, being slightly less futuristic in appearance. The rifle was fitted with a optic sight which did not magnify the target but merely allowed the shooter to aim quicker than with iron sights. All in all the EM-2 was a very well balanced and laid out rifle, with comfortable controls, accurate and reliable. By 1950 the EM-2 + 280/30 combination appeared to have achieved all that was asked of it, and all seemed clear for mass production to begin. However, it initially faced serious political obstacles.

    The problems had begun when the new British round had been submitted for comparative testing in the competition to select a new standard Allied rifle/MG cartridge in 1948. Initially things seemed good, as the .280/30 was regarded by the US Army's testers at Fort Benning as a better basis for development than the new US .30 cal round with which it was competing, and other Allied countries (Canada, at least) were very interested in the concept. The British made great efforts to meet the objections of the US Army, but to no avail. Despite the fact that the British had responded to the American criticism first by stepping up the loading to 2,700 joules and then by developing a longer cartridge, the US Ordance still expressed conserns that the new round wasn't powerful enough. In 1950, however, the dream of standardization of weapons and ammunition between the Western Allies might have come true if it had not been for the efforts of Colonel René Stundler (director of Ordnance for the U.S. Army, based at Springfield Armory) and other proponents of the “battle rifle”-idea within the top brass of US military.

    During WWII Colonel Stundler had openly denied the usefulness of the whole assault rifle concept: he considered the German StG 43 as having too short a combat range, to light a projectile, and too low a muzzle velocity for effective ballistics. When the discussion about a new standardization program begun, Studler already had a pet project, and it seems that he was unwilling to allow any other weapon to stand in the way of his ambition to provide the next generation of service rifles for the U.S. Army. What Studler wanted was a select-fire long-range combat rifle with a twenty-round magazine that would chamber the new US-made T65 7.62 X 51 mm cartridge: the T44 rifle. The T44 was at its heart an M1 Garand with a new gas system, a twenty-round removable box magazine and a flash hider.


    The T44 was a logical next step in the long-standing US Army pursuit of long-range ballistics and accuracy.

    When news of the American opposition to British .280-cartridge became public roughly a year after the testing had begun, arguments immediately broke out in the British Parliament and the press, along political party lines. The Labor Party had given tip trying to convince the Americans that the British design was superior and were resolved to build a British rifle in British factories for British soldiers, while the Conservative Party wanted to promote standardization at all costs, even if it ment adopting the new American service rifle and cartridge. At this point, Canada entered the picture. The Canadians had decided they would accept whatever rifle and cartridge was deemed acceptable to the US, hoping that a compromise could be reached with the UK. Now Canadian government faced with the possibility of having to manufacture three separate cartridges, the new American 7.62 X 51 mm. the British .280/30 and the old .30-06 for their current M1 Garands. The Canadians, having a vested interest in standardization, were naturally aghast. Canadian Defence Minister Brooke Claxton called for a meeting at the ministerial level to review the issue. The meeting was arranged on August 1, 1950 at the Pentagon, but since the representatives of Britain and US were still defending their competing viewpoints and projects, the only outcome of these negotiations was a following joint statement:

    "unanimously agreed that any decision on the adoption of a new round of small arms ammunition would not affect the immediate situation, and that the presently accepted standard ammunition and weapons should be continued in production for some time. . . .as early as practicable, a new round of small arms ammunition should be adopted."

    The inconclusive statement was purposefully left vague enough to buy time for future negotiations between the three parties - but before they could begin, the situation in Middle-East escalated into the first armed conflict of the Cold War era. As the matter of re-arming the British Army turned into a hotly debated political issue, the escalating Middle-Eastern War more or less forced the unstable Conservative government of PM Eden to go forward with a compromise solution. Since the previous Minister of Defence Emanuel Shinwell had allready announced the acceptance of the .280/EM2-combo for British service as "Rifle, No.9 Mk 1" and the 280/30 round re-designated as the "7 mm MK1Z", Eden´s government ultimately decided to go forward with a limited production run in order to appease the Army officials who were stubbornly defending the viability of the delayed EM2 project. An all-out replacement of WWII-era infantry weapons was still out of the question due the American preference of high-calibre battle rifles and partially because the new conflicts in Africa, Middle-East and Malay Peninsula were beginning to divert resources away from the British postwar modernization program. Soon the first series of Rifle No.9s was being shipped out to the units of 3rd Commando Brigade and the 16th Parachute Brigade stationed to the Suez area in July 3. 1951.


    The Black Rifle appears to the scene

    Meanwhile the leadership of the U.S. military that beared the brunt of the fighting in the Palestinian and Syrian fronts of the new conflict was still debating about the future of their infantry weapons. As the German military aid for Syrian and Lebanese forces steadily increased, the Americans frontline troops were once again facing an opposing infantry force where some elite units were almost solely armed with StG 43s and MG-42s. In this new situation sheer firepower was ultimately deemed much more beneficial than long-range effective ballistics, especially in the brutal close-quarters fighting at the hills and urban areas of Lebanon. The pre-war arguments stating that the British .280-caliber bullet would not work well over 600 yards and would not penetrate a steel helmet at 1000 yards were rendered more or less insignificant when early analysis indicated that average infantry fights during the Middle-Eastern War were occuring at about 50-150 yards.


    During the Middle-Eastern War the German-armed and trained elite Arab units soon gained the respect of their American opponents due the devastating close-range firepower of their assault rifles and LMGs.

    The early American reaction to these battlefield reports was mixed. In 1952 Chief of Staff General J. Lawton Collins stated that “…having every soldier armed with an automatic weapon might be occasionally useful, and there certainly should be a light automatic weapon in every squad. But arming every soldier with such a weapon would be a mistake and a waste of too much ammunition.” But while gravel-belly old guards like Collins and Stundler kept stubbornly defending the viability of T44-project, internal opposition to the current official line of the U.S. Army was also beginning to organize its ranks.

    The opponents of T44 based their arguments on the reported combat performance of EM2 and German StG 43, but their main support came from the U.S. Army Operations Research Office (ORO) report codenamed ORO-T-160, better known as “Operational Requirements for an Infantry Hand Weapon.” By studying the WWII-era after action reports and analyzing the ongoing fighting of the Middle-Eastern War, the civilian research committee led by Norman A. Hitchman concluded that select-fire automatic weapon using lighter- than-.30 caliber should be considered as optimal for the future army. ORO stated that a practical investigation of combat shootings showed that most shots were fired at ranges of fewer than 150 meters: power at long ranges just wasn´t generally needed. The researchers also said that infantrymen using special high-rate-of-fire automatic weapons could be expected to have greater hit and kill probability on a target.

    General Willard G. Wyman, commander of the U.S. Continental Army Command (CONARC) was one of the few senior-rank officers who were impressed by the findings of the ORO reports. He had previously worked with the Infantry Board, where the Small Caliber/High Velocity-consept of future infantry weapons had been examined with considerable interest. Encouraged by the findings of ORO, he put together a team to develop a "intermediate caliber" weapon for testing, and requested funds for the project. The finalized request called for a select-fire weapon of 6 pounds (2.7 kg) when loaded with 20 rounds of ammunition. The bullet had to penetrate a standard U.S. steel helmet, body armor, or a 0.135 inch (3.4 mm) steel plate and retain a velocity in excess of the speed of sound at 500 yards (460 m), while equaling or exceeding the "wounding" ability of the .30 Carbine. Meanwhile testing of the 7.62 mm T44 continued alongside with the ever-intensifying Middle-Eastern War - a conflict that once more increased the defense budgets of all major powers after the initial postwar cutbacks and thus created more room for experimental projects. This was especially beneficial for the future of US small arms design, since it enabled a new dark horse candidate from previously unknown small company to arrive to trials just when the selection of T44 seemed like a foregone conclusion.



    With courage to use experimental and risky solutions, Eugene Stoner and his design team in ArmaLite offered alternatives to conservative designs of older and better known weapon designers such as Springfield and Winchester.

    Found in 1954 as a new branch of the Fairchild Corporation, ArmaLite was a new company focused solely on design, development and production of prototype weapons by utilizing new materials created in aircraft technology during the WWII and first Cold War years. Combining the innovative ideas of company´s founder George Sullivan and consultant Melvin R. Johnson to his own, ArmaLite´s chief engineer Eugene Stoner created new, innovative small arms design. As a Marine veteran of the Pacific campaigns of WWII, Stoner utilized his former experience of Army ordnance technician in ArmaLite´s latest project, an automatic rifle chambered to 7.62 X 51 mm calibre used in T44 program. Stoner´s team created a lightweight, air-cooled, magazine-fed, select-fire gas-operated rifle that used the direct impingement gas principle with a rotary bolt locking mechanism. Basically this ment that their new weapon was designed in a way where the barrel and bolt withstood the highest pressure of the firing, whereas the rest of the weapon basically supported these central parts of the rifle. This allowed the design team to use innovative light plastics and aluminum forgings for the rest of the weapon, making it fully two pounds lighter than T44, while simultaneously making it more controllable on full automatic fire.

    Two prototypes of the new Armalite AR-10 rifle were delivered to the U.S. Army's Springfield Armory for testing late in 1956. At this time, the Middle-Eastern War was a thing of the past, and the final stage service rifle evaluation program had been ongoing for two years. The AR-10 was thus a newcomer with respect to older, more fully-developed T44. Thus it was not suprising that T44 was selected as the new battle rifle for the U.S. Army as M14. While this choise naturally satisfied Ordnance officiers, times were changing quickly in US small arms industry. After the weapons had fallen silent in the Middle-East in October 1953, postwar analysis brought new viewpoints to the service rifle debate in the US, especially considering the question of calibre. Both the German 7.92 Kurtz and the British 7mm MK1Z-round had by now established their reputation as combat-proven and reliable cartridges, while early experimentation with T44s in actual frontline conditions proved that while it was indeed powerful and accurate, the new rifle was also heavy and bulky and had a recoil that was next to impossible to control when firing in fully automatic.

    Meanwhile the late appearance to the service rifle competition had gained the AR-10 the attention of General Wyman´s CONARC light rifle design project. Wyman was firmly aware of the solid support the M14 enjoyed in the upper ranks of the military, and knew that AR-10 would never be adopted for US military usage in its present form. But since he was nevertheless impressed by AR-10´s performance and statistics, Wyman personally suggested to ArmaLite officials a following deal: the AR-10 should be redesigned to accept a new, lighter cartridge, while Wyman would request additional funds so that this new weapon should take part to the light rifle testing program of Continental Army Command.


    ArmaLite keenly accepted the general´s offer, and Stoner´s team begun to consider their current situation. They concluded that basic design of AR-10 was sound, especially after the struggle conserning the usage of new composite material barrels had ended to the victory of Stoner, who had strongly disapproved Sullivan´s plan to use new experimental composite material structure in the barrel. Thus Stoner´s team now in a similar position when compared to the situation of Stefan Janson´s team years earlier: before they could continue the design of the actual weapon, they had to solve the problem of cartridge. After meeting with Army officials at Fort Benning to learn just what was desired for the new .22-caliber round, Stoner spent some time examining the problems.

    To meet the required penetration characteristics and the nearly doubled range requirements, Stoner decided that there would have to be radical case design change from the proposed .222 Remington in order to meet the necessary powder volume the new round would have to have. ArmaLite designers were still analyzing their options when received news that General Wyman´s request had been approved quicker than anticipated, and funds had been allocated for a test program where ten new ArmaLite prototype rifles based on AR-10 design and different potential intermediate calibre rounds would be produced for testing along with 100 000 rounds of ammunition. The tests would also be extended to include similar prototype weapons developed by other companies to meet the board´s requirements.

    Faced with unexpected new competition and the tight timetables of CONARC test program, ArmaLite rejected the plan to wait while the new 0.258 in (6.6 mm) round would be finally ready. Stoner and his team ultimately decided to begin their work now by creating several prototypes, including one that would use the combat-proven British .280/30-round, the 7mm MK1Z. The project they now undertook was thus much more than just simply rescaling the AR-10 to the new round, it was a comprehensive redesign that aimed to meet the range and penetration demands put forward by Army Infantry Board. And while this project would ultimately achieve this and much more, that outcome was still far from clear in the last years of the 1950s.


    A weapon for the masses - the new Soviet assault rifle


    After having gained fame with his highly successful PPS-43 submachine gun, Alexey Ivanovich Sudayev proved his capabilities as a weapons designer by developing a Soviet assault rifle a roughly a year after the German military had adopted the StG 43. While the new weapon arrived too late to take part of the war, it became a central part of the postwar Soviet arsenal and a well-known symbol of Soviet military might.

    But while the American military continued their debate about the future of American infantry weapons, things were moving ahead much more swiftly in the postwar Soviet Union. As a part of the extensive postwar reorganization of the Red Army, the Soviet designers were seeking a way to counter the combat-effective new German assault rifles by developing a new intermediate cartridge of their own. This 7,62x 39mm cartridge, the M43, was adopted for usage allready in late 1943, and the famed Soviet weapon designer Simonov soon created a new semiautomatic carbine, the SKS, to use this new round.



    Form followed the function in Sudayev´s new assault rifle, the highly succesfull and reliable AS-44.

    After the armistice of the Treaty of Kirovograd the Soviet rearmament program was given even higher priourity in Stalin´s plans, and at this point the success of the StG 43 was allready a well-known fact. The Red Army planners were dictated to create a similar weapon, and to meet this aim another famed Soviet weapon designer, A.I. Sudayev, submitted a 7.62x39mm automatic rifle in early 1944. While it was formally quite similar to StG 43, internally Sudayev´s first prototype was a blowback operated gun using a massive bolt. The extremely tight timetable of this project was clearly visible in the early trials, when tests indicated that the gun would quickly shoot itself to pieces due the bolt design, and that further development was needed. Sudayev then submitted a second design that incorporated a new rotating bolt mechanism and a folding butt. Now the only fault that new tests indicated was the weight of the AS-44, and the Soviet Artillery Committee of the Main Artillery Commission issued requirements for decreasing the weight. This problem was solved in 1946 and the 36-year-old major that had led the development of the successful PPS-43 submachine gun thus ensured that in the coming decades his surname would be well-known in the numerous battlefields throughout the Third World.


    With a design that was simple to maintain and highly resilient to poor conditions, dust and dirt, the AS-44 was an ideal weapon for conscripts of the Red Army and Third World Communist guerrilla fighters alike.
    Last edited by Karelian; 11-04-2012 at 19:22.
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    Fert and jkf: Thanks for the feedback, be rest assured that this story will continue in HoI3 once it comes out.
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    sounds super

    again, a fantastic story!

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    At the moment I have several ideas for the next update, so it´s time for a little poll. Which topic would you prefer to read about next:
    * Domestic and foreign policy of the Soviet Union
    * Impact of the Middle-Eastern War in New Europe
    * US presidential elections of 1956
    * General overview of Africa during the 1950s
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    Pantomacatalasecesionanis ta

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    * Impact of the Middle-Eastern War in New Europe

    and

    * General overview of Africa during the 1950s
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    Africa!

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    Do the weapons you described actually exist, Karelian?

    Quote Originally Posted by Karelian View Post
    At the moment I have several ideas for the next update, so it´s time for a little poll. Which topic would you prefer to read about next:
    * Domestic and foreign policy of the Soviet Union
    * Impact of the Middle-Eastern War in New Europe
    * US presidential elections of 1956
    * General overview of Africa during the 1950s
    * Domestic and foreign policy of the Soviet Union would smoothly continue from where you left off in the last update.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Madien View Post
    Do the weapons you described actually exist, Karelian?
    As far as I can tell, they did. The only one which did not enjoy a long development was the Sudaev AS-44, as its creator died before he could finish the whole project. But it existed, as all the other weapons mentioned.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt_Steiner View Post
    As far as I can tell, they did. The only one which did not enjoy a long development was the Sudaev AS-44, as its creator died before he could finish the whole project. But it existed, as all the other weapons mentioned.
    In OTL the EM2 project was abanoned without actual combat testing for political reasons - Churchill returned to power in October 1951, and the British Army was soon afterwards armed with FN-FAL (that doesn´t exist in this timeline.)

    And as for the AS-44: it could be one of these rifles as well, but the Soviets were definitively going to adopt AK-like design for their new assault rifle in the 1950s:

    http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=79&t=31808
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  16. #296
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    I would like to see Africa in the 1950s, personally.
    I am therefore officially rooting for a Franco-German strike on Russia, prompting the Soviets to strike back with their hitherto secret nukes. This will serve as a salutary lesson to all involved and leave everyone suitably chastened.-El Pip

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  18. #298
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    1 Impact of the Middle-Eastern War in New Europe

    2 General overview of Africa during the 1950s

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    Errata corrige for

    SS-Jäger Regiment "Monterrosa"

    the true name is "Monte Rosa" that is "Pink mountain", and in Italian sounds well...
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  20. #300
    I vote for general overview of Africa in the 50s.

    (Oh, and I will take advantage of this message to express my admiration of this splendid AAR i've lurked silently so long. )

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