Gun, Machine

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Record 517/959
Copyright Oshkosh Public Museum
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Description A: Machine-gun, B and C: clips, D: sling. Folding butt stock, two ammunition clips and leather sling. One side of hand grip is phenolic resin filled with long-fiber paper pulp, molded under pressure and includes hatch marks to improve gripping surface, other side is wood (probably an in-the-field replacement) with hand incised hatches. Serial number 4249b, model number MP 40. Breech marked: "MP 40/ayf/41" and "Wa 165 4249b". Barrel marked: 4249/b/280/NaA44 (or Na444)", "280 4249b", "NURAL", "41/illegible/COS". Forward of trigger guard marked: "4 24 9/b". Clips marked: "M.P.38u.40", "W8A367", "98E 41", "WaA815".

Maschinen Pistole 40. Designated the MP 38 by the Germans. Manufactured at Erfurter Maschinenfabrik (Erma Werke). Used a simple unlocked blowback mechanism using 9mm Parabellum (9 x 19mm) pistol cartridge, firing from an open bolt position; 9" long barrel. It had a cyclic rate of 500 rpm. MP 40 introduced in 1940 using sheet metal stampings and spot welding to decrease production time and materials, and was largely the same as MP 38 except for minor changes to various safety catches, ejector, and receiver. The gun was called MP 38/40. Additionally, Haenel Waffenfabrik and Steyr in Austria began producing the MP 40. Many subcontractors were used for other parts, such as magazines. Production continued through the end of the war in 1945, but production was significantly decreased in 1944 when the Germans began manufacture of other, more modern weapons. Total production of the MP40 was 705,400. The MP 38/40 was the first submachine gun to be manufactured with both metal and plastic (phenolic resin) parts and the first to have a folding stock. The gun used a single-column vertical 32 round magazine and the MP40 was plagued with reliability problems with the magazine throughout its life. Cocking handle on the left of the receiver. Erroneously called a "Schmeisser" by GIs who through faulty intelligence thought that the famous German arms designer Hugo Schmeisser created this weapon. The gun was actually designed by an engineer named Vollmer who worked for Erma. Over one million were produced. (BGL/ Bishop, Chris, ed. "Guns in Combat". Edison, NJ: Chartwell Books, 1998, pp. 37-40; Shotgun News, June 20, 2005, pp. 12-15.)

See Archives for "capture" certificate permitting PFC Adrian D. Hansen to have possession of this weapon.
Adrian Donald Hansen was born in Eldorado, WI on February 7, 1919, the son of Margaret May Griffiths Hansen and Pearl Steven Hansen. He attended Slough Bridge School, Winnebago County, Wisconsin. Before World War II, he worked for his father and the Wisconsin Diamond Match Company. He entered the U. S. Army on September 29, 1942. He was in the 82nd Airborne Division, 1st Battalion of the 325 Glider Infantry. He was awarded the Purple Heart after being wounded in action in Normandy, France on June 14, 1944. He also received the good Conduct Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Service Ribbon with one Silver and one Bronze Battle Star (six Campaigns or battles), and bronze arrowhead for combat glider landing; Glider Badge, four oversears Service Bars for two years overseas, Distinguished Unit Badge, Combat Infantryman Badge and Glider Wings. His unit received a Presidential Citation for volunteering to go behind enemy lines to rescue troops in the Battle of the Bulge. He served with the 325th glider Infantry in French Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Sicily, Italy, Ireland, France, Holland, Belgium and Germany. He was part of the Normandy Invasion on D-Day. He served in Foreign Service for 2 years, 4 months, 16 days. He was honorably discharged on September 22, 1945. He returned to the Diamond Match Company to work until it closed. He worked for the Turner Horse Stables and the Universal Foundry, Oshkosh until he retired at age 62. He died on September 8, 1998 in Oshkosh WI.
Dimensions H-7.75 W-2.5 L-32.8 inches
Dimension notes Length is with folding stock extended; closed length is 24.8".
Year Range from 1940
Event World War II
Year range to 1945
Made Erfurter Maschinenfabrik (Erma Werke)
Material Metal/Leather/Plastic
Object ID 2002.110.34
Object Name Gun, Machine
Place of Origin Germany
Owned Hansen, Adrian Donald
People Hansen, Adrian Donald
Related Publications Larson, Bradley G. "Voices of History 1941-1945". Oshkosh Public Museum, 2003.
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Last modified on: December 12, 2009