German Arms Exports

Germany is apparently #3 on the international arms export market.
That's quite interesting - Germany's industry is well-known for its export success and we've got a strong mechanical engineering industry, but also some very tough laws that exclude most crisis regions of the word for our arms exports.
We don't have dependent nations, puppet states or proxies that would prefer our products for political reasons (which is one explanation for the large volume of U.S. arms exports).

An article about the arms exports issue (with a critical tone) appeared in the Netzeitung, and was illustrated with this photo:
This photo is outright amazing.

I see a complete Sturmgewehr 44 of WW2 vintage, a MP40 of WW2 vintage, an incomplete assault rifle (also Sturmgewehr 44?) and something that looks like an Italian WW2 submachinegun.

That's certainly no good photo choice for an article about German arms exports in 2007 - but an amazing photo in itself. I knew that the grandfather of all assault rifles (at least production-wise) was still in use in Lebanon and elsewhere by militias during the 90's, but I didn't expect to see it ever in a news(paper) article any more.

It's also a small reminder how little small arms actually changed since WW2 - even the first of all assault rifles (Vollmer automatic carbine, prototypes built & successfully tested in the 30's) would still be a credible battlefield weapon today.
And the Indian police that failed (due to poor morale apparently) against terrorist raiders in Mumbai was armed with hundreds of Lee-Enfield rifles, an only slightly different model than the original Lee-Enfield rifle of about a hundred years ago.


  1. Yeah, Sven. It seems to me that the one on the right is the Italian MAB, designed in 1938.
    I fired it in 1996 (I was in the Italian Navy then), and I am sure it was still used until 1999 by police cadets in parades.
    Reference: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beretta_M1938

    Paolo S – Italy

  2. Sven,

    the 2008 book "BND: Der deutsche Geheimdienst im Nahen Osten" (BND: The German intelligence agency in the middle east) by Schmidt-Eenboom contains some more bits about German arms exports in that region. The book is not very well written, but if you're interested in that topic you may want to check it out.

    The book talks a lot about how in the 50s and 60s many ex-Wehrmacht/SS officers were "military advisers" in Egypt and Syria, also in Saudia Arabia and Iraq. Often condoned by or actively working with the BND/AA, they helped Egypt develop or buy weapons like these:

    - HA-300 fighter jet (Egypt; failed project in the 60s)

    - Al Zafir, Al Kahir, Al Ra'ed (Egyption missiles, 1962)

    - radio SIGINT equipment (Egypt, 1962)

    - anti-tank weapons (Egypt)

    - missile "Condor"(Egypt, 70s), then continued in Iraq as "Saad 16"

    and so on... check out the book.

  3. Submachinegun is Suomi M31