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Addendum II - Light weapons

January 13 2006 at 2:33 PM

Response to imaginary Dutch arms production/development after 1940

As stated before the Dutch were able to produce a line of light weapons themselves, like
- Hembrug 6,5mm rifles and carbines;
- Hembrug-Lewis 6,5mm lmgs
- Hembrug-Vickers 6,5 mm mmgs

Now the Hembrug rifles and carbines were still usefull weapons. Some historians have complained about the old model year (M95= 1895), but that is nonsense. All armies at the time used weapons that were designed in the last decade of the 19th century (Mauser, Lee-Enfield, Arisaka, etc). The guns had been continuously improved and were produced right untill 1940 (KNIL still placed orders of carbines then) They could have used the guns throughout the war.

By 1940 the Lewis type was of course quickly becoming obsolete. I do not know if anything else was considered or planned (Ithink there were also some Madsens), but I could imagine the Dutch would be trying to look for a newer model soon. What realistic options would they have had in 1940-41 as a neutral country surrounded by warring and occupied ones?

They could have bought small batches of lmg's in Germany, maybe several hundred MG34 or the non-regular Knorr-Bremse, paid in Dutch butter or Gouda cheese. Some BAR's might have been obtained in the US and maybe some from Belgian stocks (the Germans do not seem to have used them). They could have tried to obtain a licence for the BAR and produce that. Later the Johnson Lmg might have become available (as ordered by KNIL) but we know that would not have happened until mid 1942.I can think of only one more realistic option to acquire a reasonable stock of light machine guns and that would have been the Mexican Mendoza, which seems to have been a reliable weapon.

The Dutch did not have a submachinegun in 1940, but KNIL used the Schmeisser MP28. They still had a lot on order by may 40, so in our scenario that order would have been fullfilled. This could have been a reasonable option for the Dutch army as well and the weapon, which was a non-standard German one anyway, could have been produced by Hembrug as well from 1941. Further away some batch of Beretta's could have been bought in Italy (paid well in tulips) and in Hungary the Danuvia M39 could have been purchased. One of these could have been built under licence as well. Additional Thompsons would have been bought in the US, just like KNIL did in the real world. Large numbers of 9mm UDM's and .45 Reisings would be in the picture from early 1942 just the same.

Now that I am fantacising anyway, suppose among the Belgian refugees in May 1940 would have been the engineer staff of FN in Liege. They might have brought the SAFN design along and Hembrug would have developed a Zelfladend Karabijn by 1941!

Any comments welcome!

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