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Book Review: German Military Rifles and Machine Pistols 1871-1945

Available from the publisher, Schiffer:

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I have had several people ask if I might write a book on the development of German military rifles in the same format as my book on French rifles. I do not plan to, in large part because there is a lot of literature on the subject already published in English. In particular, Hans Dieter Gotz’ book “German Military Rifles and Machine Pistols 1871-1945” does a quite good job of covering this history.

Gotz’ book is not a collector’s guide so much as a book for historians and enthusiasts. It does not include things like details of production dates by serial number, or explanations of specific markings. Instead, it explains why each new type of rifle or submachine gun was adopted, how it was developed, how it was used in service, and why it was eventually replaced. The books does a good job covering some of the controversies and difficulties associated with various rifles, and is easy to read. It pulls no punches when describing faults and flaws, either, with section headings like “The Rifle Nobody Wanted” and “An Expensive Armament Record – The New Guns Fail”.

This book was originally published in German by Verlag, and has been translated into English and sold that way by Schiffer. The photography is not bad, although entirely black and white. Cover price as of this filming is $60, although used copies can be found for less.

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