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How The Sub-Machine Gun Revolutionized Ware-fare Forever

Posted on 26 Mar 2018
How The Sub-Machine Gun Revolutionized Ware-fare Forever

Short History Of The Sub-Machine Gun

Since World War I, the sub-machine gun has played a crucial role in infantry fighting. It allowed infantrymen to lay down auto-fire, but without having to actually carry heavy machine guns. This small machine gun fires off pistol ammunition. 

The Villar Perosa

The original version of the sub-machine gun is thought to be the Villar Perosa. This small machine gun was mounted to a bike's handlebars, truck or even a tripod. It didn't have good portability either, which is why the sub-machine guns were popular when they hit the market. 

Rapid-Fire: Not So Much

The Villar Perosa was basically using an underpowered version cartridge used in the 9MM Luger. It used Glisenti cartridges, but it could not produce the level of fire it ought to. Let's put it this way, in less than a few seconds of continuous firing, the gun ran out of ammunition. Soldiers who were using the gun likely spent far more time than what should have been spent on reloading the Villar Perosa. 

The MP 18

This was the first sub-machine gun to have a meaningful impact on the war. Hugo Schmeisser, from Germany, invented the gun. It fired Kugelspritz, which were Luger Bergmann Musquet cartridges.

When storm-troopers launched the Ludendorff%u2019s 1918 offensive, this was the gun they used. It actually went down as one of the greatest war success stories ever. This is why the gun became associated with military power in Germany.

German Plans

Germans had a plan, which was to provide 10% of their privates with the MP 18, as well as every company officer and NCO, but the plans never came to life. This is because the Germans were not able to produce enough of the firearm before the war came to an end. The Germans tried, but they just didn't get the job done in time. 

Beretta 38: The Origins

The Italians didn't sit on the sidelines as the Germans were producing sub-machine guns. Tulio Marangoni got to work and turned the Villar Perosa into two separate weapons that infantrymen could carry. This new gun was used in World War I and it eventually led to the development of Model 38, which became one of the best weapons for personal use in the second World War.

Banned In Austria And Germany 

When World War I ended, terms were drawn up and one of the terms was that machine guns couldn't be used by the Germans or Austria. There were a few exceptions, such as the police could use them. However, the armed forces were no longer permitted to use them. 

However, manufacturers in Germany were still creating designs for sub-machine guns. Most of the guns were using the Luger cartridges (9 MM). The ban was centered more around actually having the weapons and not understanding how the weapons were produced.

The Tommy Gun

Oscar Payne created the first American sub-machine gun. He was one an employee of John T. Thompson. The gun he created used auto pistol cartridges, .45 cartridges to be more precise. 

The Trench Broom is what the gun was known as, but it wasn't produced in time because the war ended, and the military had no interest in it after the war ended. Civilian agencies such as the Coast Guard and the police were buying up the gun. Unfortunately, criminals started to buy and use the gun, but it never became as popular among criminals as the movies made it out to be, but it was quite popular among criminals.

The Thompson gun was also adopted by the Marine Corps, and they were used in smaller wars in Central America, as well as the Caribbean. When the Second World War arrived, many countries realized the power of these guns. America also is woken up by its power. 

Popularity In Finland

The Finns decided to produce their very own sub-machine gun, which was known as the Suomi, which became one of the most critical weapons used in the Winter War. The Finns used the guns to defend themselves from the USSR. It was during this war that the Soviets started to take notice of the sub-machine guns.

Mastering Mass Production Of Sub-Machine Guns

The Americans and British were some of the last to start using sub-machine guns. However, they were also the ones who found an effective way to mass produce them. This is probably one of the reasons why the sub-machine guns started to gain popularity in the countries. 

The grease gun, formally known as the American M 3, and the Sten Gun (British) were some of easiest sub-machine guns to the product. This launched them into being a standard infantry weapon. This was something the Germans dreamed about for decades. 

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Shooting Parties In The Soviet 

The Soviets realized just how valuable the sub-machine guns were when they were facing the Finns. This is why they were more than happy to embrace it. In fact, the gun became just as important as the rifle. 

The sub-machine gun infantry started after the Red Army conducted a regular attack during World War. They were able to lay down the fire of up to 200 yards ahead of the advance as they moved forward. Tanks and tank riders were coming up behind them, and the riders protected the tanks by using sub-machine guns against troops with anti-tank weapons that were powerful enough to penetrate the armor of the tanks. 


The sub-machine gun started to be used less once the Second World War was nearing its end. The sub-machine guns were eventually surpassed by the US M-2 carbine. The German sturmgewehr assault rifle has also surpassed it as infantry weapons and it was no secret why because of its power. 

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