FGM Major General
- Oct 11, 2010
- Reaction score
The Fallschirmjägergewehr 42 (or FG42) is a selective fire battle rifle developed by german arms manufacturer Rheinmetall, for use by german Fallschirmjäger paratroopers. It is chambered in the powerful 7.92×57mm Mauser cartridge.
Traditional paratrooper operations of the time required that armament be dropped separate of the troops, and paratroopers needed to locate supply drop crates that were deployed along with them, as their harnesses were incapable of supporting their weaponry on their person. This led to serious complications, most notably an operation in Crete, Greece, where German paratroopers armed with only handguns and frag grenades were unable to recover their supply crates and were subsequently obliterated shortly after landing.
The solution was to create a rifle with the combined attributes of a submachine gun, bolt action rifle, and machine gun, reducing the need to serve multiple firearms to a single unit. It needed to be light enough to be carried by a paratrooper during their drop with all of the necessary ammunition, and the rifle needed to be properly rigged to keep it from falling loose during the drop. The FG42 was the solution. While it performed its role extremely well and was a welcome addition to the Fallschirmjäger's arsenal, some soldier complained that muzzle rise greatly reduced accuracy of the FG42. In its time, the FG42 was considered one of the most modern firearms ever devised.
Only 6,397 were ever created between 1942 and the end of the war.