SAMOPALY SLOVENSKEJ A POVSTALECKEJ ARMÁDY (1939 – 1945)
Machine guns of the Slovak Army and Uprising army (1939 – 1945)
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The author deals with the machine gun armament during the World War 2. He states that the machine gun has become one of the symbols of the World War 2. Thanks to photographs and movies, the general public became aware of a German soldier with the MP-40 machine gun or a Soviet one holding a PPŠ-41. The Slovak or uprising soldier is linked more to a rifle or some kind of legend. Since 1940, the Slovak Army had been planning to introduce machine guns into its armament. This was based on the German influence and based on the first front-line experiences of the Army. The plan fulfilment started in 1942 when the ZK-383 machine guns from the Brno Munition Factory were ordered, introduced to the Slovak Army as the machine pistol ZB vz.42. Their supplies could not achieve the demanded volume by far. The Army was solving the issue by using the captured Soviet arms and smaller amounts of German machine guns. The effort to introduce machine guns in the army on a larger scale had led to ordering the German MP-41 machine guns. However, these guns were never included in the Army's equipment. The supplies got delayed, postponed and finally cancelled. In 1943, the German MP-40 machine guns were delivered to the Army. The standard German military power machine gun was supplied in several batches with the largest amount delivered as a part of the Eiche armament program. These were introduced to the army as the Sch vz.41 machine gun. Altogether, more than two thousands of these machine guns were supplied, making up the most typical gun in the Slovak Army of this category. The author states that even this number of supplied machine guns was not sufficient. However, the additional supplies involved the third type, which were the Italian Beretta Modello 1938A and 1938/42 machine guns. The Slovak Army did not manage to officially introduce these machine guns into its armament. However, they played their role in the Slovak National Uprising in particular. The rebellious 1st CS Army in Slovakia inherited the material of the Slovak Army. The number of machine guns was also insufficient, however, thanks to the air deliveries of arms from the Allies, the problem was managed to be solved at least partially. The Soviet Union and the USA supplied the rebels with more than two thousand machine guns. Therefore, the rebellious army had more machine guns available from the Allies than from the Slovak Army. The PPŠ-41 machine gun has thus become one of the symbols of the partisan soldier.
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