Danish M1941 Suomi SMG

When the Tikkakoski company bought the rights to produce the kp/31 “Suomi” submachine gun in the 1930s, they attempted to make a bunch of export sales, although none were very successful. By the late 30s more countries were interested, but by that time Finnish military needs took precedence. While a few export sales were made during World War Two, the more significant exports were in the forms of licensed production. In particular, Sweden, Switzerland, and Denmark all bought the rights to manufacture Suomis.

In Denmark, this was the Model 1941, produced by both Madsen and Hovea with approval of the German occupying authorities. About 1400 were made between the 1941 and 1943 before the Germans lost confidence in Denmark and disarmed its military. The M1941 is mechanically identical to the standard Finnish kp31 except for:

– Front sight protective wings
– Triangular front sling swivel
– Rear sling swivel (instead of a sling bar)
– Aggressive pistol-grip stock design

Interestingly several of these changes were also incorporated into Tikka’s 1942 prototype improved kp31, which never saw production.

11 Comments

  1. HV stands for Hjemmeværn, or Home Guard, and that marking was obviously put there after the war. The Home Guard being a voluntary military organisation (or militia) raised after the war, to act as a ready-made, State funded, and State trained resistance group to be activated in case of another invasion.
    A common slogan heard in Hjemmeværnet to this day is “Aldrig mere 9. april”, meaning “Never again 9th of April”, the date of Germanys occupation of Denmark, to which the Danish military response was woefully inadequate.

    • “(…)Danish military response was woefully inadequate.”
      https://en.natmus.dk/historical-knowledge/denmark/german-occupation-1940-1945/
      government in Copenhagen decided that the German military superiority was too great to justify further resistance. At the same time heavy bombardment of the Danish cities and towns was feared. Therefore after only a few hours it was decided to surrender.
      Was not surrender logical decision in situation as seen by Danes back then?
      Also how much more could Denmark do in 1940 keeping in mind that it was at disadvantage in virtually (all?) aspects like attacker-friendly mostly flat terrain, many times lower population and many times lower industrial power?

      • Sure, the Germans would have invaded no matter how stiff a resistance the Danish military put up. Yes, the invasion would have resulted in a surrender within days of the invasion. The shame comes not from being occupied; but from having hardly put up a fight. There were warnings of an imminent German invasion that were not acted upon. The government was all too eager to collaborate with the Germans in order to avoid trouble. That phenomenon has a name: cowardice. It was not an honourable surrender after a stiff-but-hopeless fight.
        The Home Guard was a response to this, and many Resistance men from the war joined the Home Guard soon after the war. The Home Guard was at first made up of many small, autonomous groups without any government oversight or control. The arms were often either captured German weapons, or airdropped Allied weapons. The government couldn’t close down this spontaneous and autonomous citizen milita, and so did the next best thing: Made it an official and State approved Milita. And so it has been ever since.

  2. “(…)About 1400 were made between the 1941 and 1943 before the Germans lost confidence in Denmark and disarmed its military.(…)”
    Following conclusion of German attack at Denmark in 1940 (unlike many European countries occupied by Germany) Denmark’s monarch and government stayed and managed to hold control over internal affairs in their hands. They used that to among others avoid enacting anti-Jewish laws. When Germans launched “solution” to “question” of Jews many of them were smuggled to neutral Sweden
    https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/king-christian-x-of-denmark

    • Hilariously, many German soldiers stationed in Denmark didn’t want to deport Danish Jews to concentration camps because this would anger the Danes (whose property are you standing on!?). If you are a guest in someone’s house, it is best not to piss off your host. The guy in charge of the local SS (or whatever) ordered his troops to allow Jewish folks to board ships to Sweden. His reply when someone higher up asked why he didn’t deport those people to the concentration camps: “You wanted the place ‘Jew-free’ and I made it exactly that.” I could be wrong.

  3. Listing the prewar importers of Suomi, one could mention Poland as well, with ca. 250 guns bought as early as 1934 and used by the State Police in riot squads. And Polish Suomis had stocks with the same dramatically angular (as compared to Finnish or Swedish ones) pistol grips.
    Ian, do not make a big deal out of the lack of the Danish 20-rd mag: as you correctly commented, the Danish Suomi could take all Suomi mags. The Danes used both a copy of the Finnish 20-rd staggered row mag (not their own, as you stated) but even before 1943 they must have switched to a copy of the Swedish 50-rd four-stack. Interestingly, there is no Danish magazine pouch known for the 20-rd magazines, yet there is a leather belt-worn pouch with three pockets for 50-rounders, and it can be seen in May 1945 photos, worn alongside the Swedish 4x50rd magazine bag (worn on its own leather strap), that came along with the Danish Brigade soldiers from Sweden, armed with the Swedish Kpist m/37-39 (aka the Swedish Suomi).
    The right-angled pistol grip and front sight protectors were already featured in the Estonian Suomi, or püstolkuulipilduja m/39 – National Library in Tallin has a manual online, with photos showing these features, as well as the side-mounted selector lever, shared with the Polish model.
    Finnish sling was attached to a rear sling swivel as well – the sling-bar mentioned in the video was only a postwar modification, along with reinforcing bolt thru pistol grip – so it was not a Danish-only modification.
    @Cattus+Borealis – re: movies featuring the Danish Suomi: Reptilicus (a Danish take on Godzilla movies) featured the Maskinpistol M/44, or Swedish Kpist m/37-39, as well as their replacement, the Hovea MP M/49, which was a half-brother (and competitor) of the Swedish Carl Gustaf Kpist m/45 (Swedish K). If you want to see a real Danish MP M/41 in a movie, see the Norwegian Resistance hero saga “Max Manus” where Max has a Danish Suomi in his Winter War in Finland reminiscenses, and then is shown bodyguarding the crown prince Olav entering Oslo on 13 May 1945 armed with a Sten(!), even though the well-known photo taken on the occasion shows him clearly with a Kpist-37/39 (aka MP M/44).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*