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

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.

Available from the publisher (Schiffer) or from Amazon:

7 Comments

  1. “(…)published in German by Verlag, and(…)”
    Wait, is not some word missing here? So far I know Verlag means in Deutsch just publisher and I expect some name after Verlag.

  2. Hans-Dieter Götz (with an Umlaut) published a number of books on guns and gun collecting. He’s actually very appreciated over here.

    Some of his titles are also available in English, but most were only (ever) published in German.

  3. Excellent Books…I have both German and English versions from over 20 years ago.The information is essential for the collector starting off.
    Other books go into detail for individual types of Waffe.
    DocAV

  4. Good book. I bought the English language version in the mid-1990s. Well done overview on the development of German rifles and submachine guns (the translation of “Maschinenpistole” was too literal, I suppose).

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