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The Fallschirmjägergewehr 42 (FG 42) Was an assault rifle produced by Germany during WWII. In German, the name of the weapon meant Parachute Rifle.

This rifle was developed for the paratrooper German who, after their experience with Invasion of Crete, Realized the need to equip themselves with a machine gun. While his enemies had a large number of readily portable machine guns, such as Bren or B.A.R. Germany had no weapon so. The German paratroopers were thus forced to use a limited number of machine guns MG-34 that while in his light machine gun configuration, were significantly heavier, forcing the use of weapons such as Karabiner 98k and MP40. However, these weapons, although portable, would not produce the firepower needed. As a result, after the authorization Hermann Göring, Germany began the development of FG 42.


After entering the service of self-loading rifles G41 and G43 in the German Army and Waffen SS and the inability of the Karabiner 98k and MP40 during the Battle of Crete, Hermann Goering insisted that their Fallschirmjäger be equipped with a weapon even more advanced. The requirements were that the weapon should be light enough for a parachutist to carry power during the jump, which were able to automatic fire and serve as a shotgun when necessary.

A german soldier with a FG-42 fighting in france trying to repeal the allied force during operation Overlord in june 1944

Contracts were given to six manufacturers, but only two prototypes are known to have undergone. The design Rheinmetall-Borsig designed by Louis Strange was accepted for production by Heinrich Krieghoff of Suhl (FZS) and LO Deitrich of Altenburg (GCY). However, due to flaws in design, the gun had to be amended twice, increasing its capabilities but also increasing its weight and cost.

The mechanism of FG-42 incorporated an entirely new arrangement in the release of the trigger. When shooting mode semiautomatic, Closed the bolt on yoke. When the gun was fired at automatic mode (burst) the bolt stayed open making the air flow inside the chamber, greatly improving its cooling system (similar to M1941 Johnson machine gun).


After about 2000 Fallschirmjägergewehr 42 were produced by Krieghoff, the supply of manganese metal was diverted to the production of other equipment. This meant the need to redesign the gun to use stamped metal. The reports were also fighting to request minor upgrades, such as moving the bipod to the front of the trigger of the gun tip to reduce the dispersion to shoot, change the angle of the handle of the weapon to an almost completely vertical angle, increase the size protection ahead of the

FG-42 with a scope

trigger and change the support arm of stamped metal to wood to minimize overheating. By the time that the FG42/II had been developed since the war had worsened to the side of the Germans. The frequent bombing of the allies had already destroyed several factories in Germany and the only weapons that could be produced in smaller numbers were manufactured with materials of poor quality and were subject to poor production methods. Only 5,000 units of the new model were produced and only a limited number made it to the battle fronts. Commands under the command of Otto Skorzeny were the first to use the FG 42 during the rescue of risky Benito Mussolini.

The FG 42 was an excellent weapon, but expensive and the manufacturing process of industrial production required much effort. So it was never used on a large scale and is remembered today as an exclusive weapon of paratroops Germans. Soon after, the German Army and SS eventually choose another firearm selective equally innovative, but manufacturing faster and cheaper, the celebrated StG 44.



Caliber 7.92x57mm
Overall length 937 mm 1060 mm
Barrel length 508 mm 525 mm
Weight, empty 4.38 kg 5.05 kg
Rate of fire 900 rounds per minute 600 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity 10 or 20 rounds

See also[]

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