Forever associated with the WWII Wehrmacht, the stahlhelm (literally, ‘steel helmet’) enjoyed surprisingly long use in Latin America after WWII, up until the present time.
(Bolivian soldiers with stahlhelm M35 helmets and M16 assault rifles.)
(Chilean soldiers in 2009 wearing the stahlhelm M35.)
(Late 1950s Dominican Republic soldiers with stahlhelm M53 helmets, NATO-standard FN FAL assault rifles, and American M1936 belts from WWII Lend-Lease.)
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Great Britain’s Lanchester submachine gun was a WWII firearm largely irrelevant to the outcome of the war, but which had a surprisingly long career afterwards.
The Lanchester (named after it’s designer, George Lanchester of Sterling Armaments Company) came about as a “crash” program in 1940. After the Dunkirk evacuation but before Lend-Lease deliveries picked up, the British military was critically short of small arms including submachine guns. At the same time, the Royal Air Force was concerned that, if Germany were to proceed with an invasion of England, that it’s airfields might come under ground attack. The Royal Navy was also looking for a new submachine gun to equip watchstanders and boarding parties.
(A boatswain of the Royal Australian Navy with a Lanchester during WWII.)
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