Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Mihail Kalashnikov Admits German "Help" To Create The AK-47 Rifle

Mihail Kalasnikov is admitting he was "helped" by the German inventor and arms maker Hugo Schmeisser to create the AK-47 assault rifle

-- The German inventor developed the first assault weapon Sturmgewehr 44 during WWII. After the end of the war Schmeisser was displaced and forced to work in the Soviet Union

Sturmgewehr 44 and AK-47

February 17 16:09

Famous Soviet arms builder Mihail Kalasnikov recently acknowledged he didn't worked alone at the design and development of the AK-47 assault rifle, but he benefited from the help of Hugo Schmeisser, the most prolific small arms inventor of the Third Reich. Kalashnikov and Schmeisser meet each other at the small arms factory of Izhevsk, writes Life.ru as quoted by Agerpress, the Romanian national news agency.

According to the Russian historian Aleksei Korobeinikov, Schmeisser arrived in Ijhevsk immediately after the war. The city of Suhl, Schmeisser's hometown in defeated Germany, was situated in the Soviet occupation zone. Schmeisser and another couple of dozens German small arms specialists received from the Soviet occupiers an offer they "couldn't refuse": to work at a Soviet small arms factory in the Urals. How the Soviets were making these types of "generous offers" after the war isn't a secret for anyone anymore. So as a result of the Soviet "proposal" a train with German specialists arrived at Izhevs on October 24th 1946. Together with Schmeisser and his colleagues, the train carried all the blue prints and plans the Soviets could grab from their occupation zone. Truth be told, the Western Allies did exactly the same thing.

Mihail Kalasnikov and Hugo Schmeisser

The Russian experts are claiming that it is pretty hard to determine Hugo Schmeisser contribution to the design and development of the AK-47 assault rifle because all official documents referring to this episode are still classified (gee, I wonder why?) and Schmeisser didn't left behind any kind of memoirs or letters about his life in the Soviet Union.

Referring to this period, Schmeisser evasively said "I gave the Russians some advice".
The German arms maker left behind in Izhevsk only a couple of letters and photographs. The house in which Schmeisser and his colleagues used to live is now in ruins. Aleksandr Ermakov, an employee of the Kalashnikov Museum declares: "only a few letters are in our possession in which Schmeisser is petitioning the Soviet Defense Minister for improving the substandard living conditions, complains about the food and asks for an increase in salary and a travel permit to visit his homeland.

Many historians are claiming Michail Kalashnikov has "stolen" the AK-47 design from the Germans. In opposition, the Russians claim that Schmeisser only role was to implement the new manufacturing technologies for mass producing the new assault rifle.
The assault rifle designed by Hugo Schmeisser during WWII (STG 44 - Sturmgewehr 44, also known as MP 43 and MP 44) looks very similar with the AK-47, designed by Kalasnikov. But the Russians are claiming that the similarities are stopping once you get to look inside the rifle. Kalashnikov is claiming he started work on his design in 1943 and by 1946 his rifle was already in the testing phase. However, denying the German contribution to the mass production of the AK-47 rifle would be a another Soviet lie historians say; it is undeniable that at Ijhevsk, Schmeisser took care of the AK-47 stamped receiver manufacturing process. Moreover, the merit for the mass production of the stamped receiver, the ammunition magazine and other important parts of the rifle are undeniably the product of Schmeisser's efforts.

Translation from Ziua Online by Transsylvania Phoenix

For the naysayers who say comrade Kalashnikov couldn't have been helped by Hugo Schmeisser in the design of his AK-47 rifle because he started working on his project in 1944 and the German inventor only arrived in the Soviet Union in 1946: you forgot a little detail, my friends.
And that is Schmeisser's StG-43/44 was already in service and issued to German troops in 1944. Not coincidentally, it was the same year Kalashnikov started his work on the AK-47.

So here is an easy question for you: on who's desk do you think the first Stg-43/44 captured by the Soviet troops on the battlefield landed once it arrived in the Moscow?
You don't need to be a rocket scientist to guess the answer: the Kalashnikov bureau of reverse engineering, or however the Russkies may have called it at the time.

Edited on December 27, 2013 to add: 
Dear readers: although you just discovered this blog just today please keep in mind the article you just read was published in February 2009 so it is five years old (see date at the top).  It is my word for word translation from the Romanian newspaper Ziua Online. Ziua Online quoted and linked Life.ru ( a Russian newspaper) as the original source where the article was published first. 
However, Ziua Online ceased to exist in January 2010 (see link).  The Russian website Life.ru where the original article was published does not have a searchable internet archive going back five years; therefore both the Russian and the Romanian  sources are no longer available. 

That being said: feel free to approve or disapprove the validity of the arguments made in the article above. Everybody is entitled to have his own opinions in a free country. However, accusing me that I "made up" the claims in the article myself will guarantee the rejection of your comment. Feel free to waste your time.


Unknown said...

if I'm not mistaken the mp44 is a system more similar to the cetme and hk derivatives than the ak.

Anonymous said...

Don't post anything you know nothing about


(c)2014 Richard L. Kent, Esq. (MichiganSilverback at gmail dot com) said...

OFF TOPIC: TP, what happened to your comments page for the Charles Johnson thread? Every time I try to open it, I get a TP page with no text on it, and a "Google is Undefined" error. Can fix at your end? Gracias.

Transsylvania Phoenix said...

"quaest said...
Don't post anything you know nothing about"

Da, comrade!


Armed Partisan said...

The MP42H, MP 43, STG44, and other derivatves use tilting bolt mechanisms which are not very good for stamped metal designs. In person, the STG44 is MUCH bigger than it appears in pictures (and it weighed 12 lbs...) The MP45 is the one that is like the later CETME, which was also built by German Engineers then working for Spain, who was still a Facist state.
Internally, the AK-47 is an M1 Garand with the action flipped upside down and the opperating rod on top instead of on the side. Mikhail may have come up with that idea without ever actually handling or even seening a STG 44 based on similarities to SMG designs of the day. The 7.62x39mm M43 cartridge however, probably owes more to German engineering than the Soviets admit.
The stamped metal AKM that most people call the AK-47 is probably influenced more by Hugo's work than by Mikhail's.

Neil Camberly said...

Hat's off to Transsylvania Phoenix!

Like another card-carrying communist with the initials MK (the only American with his own national holiday), Kalashnikov is a fraud (beyond his recent calls for global crackdown on civilian gun ownership).

Peripherally relevant is the widespread disinformation canard that Schmeisser's boss Adolf Hitler was a gun-grabber. In reality, he greatly REDUCED restrictions on firearm ownership and ensured that miltary rifle ownership was widespread throughout his nation, where he openly mingled with unscreened citizenry (think about that!). The reason Zionist front groups like the obfuscatory JPFO flee at the mention of books like GUN CONTOL IN GERMANY 1928-1945* should be clear to anybody reading a list of the biggest gun-ban supporting groups and politicians in the US. Senators Schumer, Feinstein, Metzenbaum ring a bell?

*a short must-read, discusses JPFO agenda, available free here:


Shantowners said...

Lets think about it Hugo Schmeisser in his life invented an array of automatic weapons. Many dissimilar in design and function. He was in Russia for such a purpose and I assume his creation was the AK. Kalashnikov on the other hand can lay claim just to one gun that is it. Seems odd that such a "genius" could only invent one thing. The Soviets loved to create heroes and I think this is another example. Who do you think was the inventor a tank mechanic or one of the greatest firearm inventors of all time?

Unknown said...

The "naysayers" are correct.

There is no proof that Schmeisser had any hand in the design of the Kalashnikov. Only in helpign with the production of the stamped parts.

As previously noted, the STG-44 is only similar in concept and appearance. IE, they were both gas-operated, select-fire assault rifles firing an intermediate, .30 cal. cartridge. The construction, bolt locking mechanism, safety are all different.

Also previously noted, the AK design was influenced by a number of different firearms. Including, but not limited to: the Garand, the Remington model 8 rifle and the Browning auto-5 shotgun.

And it is not Kalashnikov's only successful firearm design. He also designed the PK light machinegun.

Anonymous said...

This is just a load of crap, please give us a direct link to more information about this. And more proof where Kalashnikov himself is confirming this. Otherwise I see this as nothing more then flat out lies.

Transsylvania Phoenix said...

The article already have two links posted, dumb ass. Look for them, they are written in light blue color instead of black like the rest of the text. When you click on the first one, it will take you to the original article published in the Russian magazine Life; the second link will take you to the same article published in Ziua, the second largest daily newspaper in Romania.

ebd10 said...

The safety mechanism for the AK-47 is derived from the Remington Model 8, of which, the USSR bought hundreds in the early days.

Anonymous said...

OMG. Engineering is not only creating new idea , but mostly in upgrading and modification . And if some people say that St G44 is prototype of AK47 , they MUST accept that fakt , that Soviet SVT-38/40 ( or shorten version SKT 40 ) is prototype of FN FAL , SIG 259 and german Gewehr 43 (G43) ( semi-automatic rifle ). Make modification from semi-auto to automatic ( assault ) rifle and u will have StG44.
BTW do u know that Spaceshuttles are flying on Soviet engines RD-180 ?

Anonymous said...

Fail to the poster above, merely saying the G3 was using the SVT as a prototype because of the similiar caliber doesn't make it true. Get your OPINIONS straight moron.

G3 was different in every aspect, to mention one HUGE difference is the fire rate. SVT is semi-automatic only the STG44 was the first designed fully automatic "assault" rifle. Therefore the G3 was not based on the SVT but based on the STG44 and the STG44 had nothing in common with the SVT.

Kalashnikov simply was a fraud to not giving credit to the person who was responsible for the Ak47: Hugo Schmeisser.


KVLG said...

"if I'm not mistaken the mp44 is a system more similar to the cetme and hk derivatives than the ak."

You're probably thinking of the MP/Stg 45, not the 44. The former was a roller delayed system, while the latter was gas operated.

"Kalashnikov on the other hand can lay claim just to one gun that is it. Seems odd that such a "genius" could only invent one thing. "

Actually, ol' Mikey K. designed a prototype submachine gun and a prototype semiauto carbine before hand. The smg's safety looks almost identical to the AKs.

"There is no proof that Schmeisser had any hand in the design of the Kalashnikov. Only in helpign with the production of the stamped parts. "

Considering that the AK-47 had a machined receiver, Schmeisser's help probably came later, with the AKM.

"Kalashnikov simply was a fraud to not giving credit to the person who was responsible for the Ak47: Hugo Schmeisser."

Actually, Kalashnikov DID design the AK47, he just had help from a team of designers and engineers who helped turn the prototype into a final design, and Schmeisser was likely one of them.

Anonymous said...

"Russkies" is an offensive and derogative term. Just by using it, never mind some, yellow online news blog as your source of information, shows no value in your "discovery of truth".

Transsylvania Phoenix said...

"Russkies" is no more derogative for Russians than "Yanks" is for us Americans.

Unknown said...

Don't know if anyone noticed or cared but the picture is of a Check VZ 58 and not an AK.

Popular belief is that the VZ was BASED on the earlier striker fired version of the STG44 - think the STG43?

It however has as much in common with the STG 44 as the AK does - which is not a lot apart from looks.

There are in fact very few weapons that as BASED on each other - the Israeli Galil being BASED on the AK is one example but most weapons in a class is INFLUENCED by the other weapons in that class - especially if the designer experienced a particular weapon prior to his/her design.

Personally I am much more interested in the evolution of the assault rifle than the actual history but the truth is, most of the the technology in what we call modern weapons today can be traced back to some German designer somewhere and a lot of that coming from WWII so whether we like it or not, we have to give credit to the Germans indirectly for the AK anyway, even if no German ever touched the design.

Anonymous said...

You can't even link properly. Where is this life.ru article that claims of Kalashnikovs admission of any help from the Germans? People keep citing you as a source, now that Mr. Kalashnikov has passed away. But you don't seem to have any sources yourself.

Transsylvania Phoenix said...

If you wouldn't be such an idiot, you would have noticed this blog entry is dated February 2009 and therefore the life.ru article I quoted is also 4 years old. I'm not exactly sure under what rock do you live, but I bet you probably setup your AOL account and started browsing the internet just yesterday.

KVLG said...

Schmeisser was sent to Izhevsk, but Kalashnikov supposedly designed the AK in Kovrov. Also, from what I heard, none of Schmesser’s works bear any resemblance with the AK action. On the other hand, Kalashnikov did design a semi auto carbine prototype in 1944 similar to the M1 Carbine or Garand, on which AK action is based and fact that among lots of late 3rd Reich small arms ideas (roller bolt, gas retarded blowback etc) there is nothing like reworked and improved rotating bolt (like M1 Carbine or Garand) action. Furthermore, from what I heard, the AK-47 borrowed a good deal from a rival design by Bulkin. Still, nothing indicates that Hugo Schmeisser had anything to do with AK. It’s development history is easily traceable. It starts with Kalashnikov’s own semi auto carbine prototype of 1944, then there are two AK-46s, being derived from the prototype. Then there is AK-47, which was combination of Kalashnikov’s bolt - bolt carrier cooperation (clearly inspired by American weapons, like the Garand and M1 Carbine) and main features taken from Bulkin’s AB-46 assault rifle, including some virtually identical parts, like mainspring guide and receiver cover (Kalashnikov had support of influential group in military-industrial complex and had access to competitiors work...). On of three AK-48 subvariants was what was adopted as AK and AK-49 was prototype of later AK with milled receiver. Then, again, maybe Bulkin took from Schmeisser. Who knows? Also, Schmeisser was noted by Dragunov at the time to not contribute much , as he was ill most of the time.

KVLG said...

Oh, and by the way, the original AK-47 had a machined receiver, not stamped (except for the 1st model, but that was a minority of AK-47s). The AKM, on the other hand, was indeed a stamped receiver rifle, and one in which Schimeisser's help was quite possible.

Anonymous said...

russians are nothing but a big fraud. All they can do is to steal others designs. I grew up there, I know what I'm talking about. Jews stole the bomb for them, Germans built rockets, the flipping gun, cameras, ural motorcycles (it's actually BMW). For 50 years after the war they lived off shit that they took away from Germany. The whole plants were taken apart and moved to russia. It's actually amazing how German engineering work lasted that long. But nothing lasts forever and now it came to the point when they have to come up with something new. And what do we see? It took them 12 years to copy Intel 8086. By that time 386 was already out and they gave up. They have brick sized (and weight) GPS knockoff receivers, and their own smartphone (assembled in Hong Kong).
OK I can talk about this shit forever but it's not the point. The point is that yes, The States are in deep shit right now but if you think that russkis are any better you are wrong. They are trying to promote themselves as some kind of flipping saviors, in reality all they want is to screw everybody three times over. Comrade pupok spends millions on shit like "russia (got bent over) today" (US turn tomorrow). Try to start anti government TV channel in russia, they'll make lots of holes in you with their favorite ak.
OK, that really got me going. Listen though, the final pearl of wisdom: soviet union did not go anywhere. Why? Because it's not a state, a government or whatever. soviet union is the way of thinking, it's in their heads. Until there's one russian alive the soviet union will be. And you can say whatever alqaida shmalqaida but the fact remains that the soviet union is the only thing in the world that has potential to destroy everything. Only idiots can ignore it.

Anonymous said...

appeasement+the smell of fear+money

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facebook said...

if I'm not mistaken the mp44 is a system more similar to the cetme and hk derivatives than the ak.