Cockwood AN 44 - History

Cockwood AN 44 - History

Corkwood

Any of several trees having light or corky wood.
(AN-44: dp. 1,100; 1. 194'6"; b. 37'; dr. 13'6"; s. 12 k.;
cpl. 56; a. 1 3"; cl. Ailanthus)

Corkwood (AN-44) was launched as YN-63, 29 March 1944 by Everett Pacific Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Everett, Wash., sponsored by Miss D. Anerson; reclassified AN 44 and named Corkwood 20 January 1944; and commissioned 16 May 1944, Lieutenant J. L. Driggs, USNR, in command.

Sailing from Seattle 27 August 1944 with YTL 422 in tow, Corkwood arrived at Pearl Harbor 6 September for duty towing target rafts and for replacing buoys and radar rafts until 16 October. From 27 October until 6 March 1945 Corkwood conducted net operations and laid cruiser moorings at Eniwetok. Sailing by way of Ulithi to Beyte, she joined Amphibious Group 7 and sortied with an LST flotilla for the Okinawa operation. She served as harbor entrance control ship at Kerama Retto between 26 March and 6 July. She also conducted salvage and net maintenance operations, frequently under enemy attack.

Arriving at San Pedro Bay, Leyte, 12 July 1945 Corkwood underwent repairs, then sailed to Ulithi arriving 17 August. She tended nets at this port until 16 October when she departed for the west coast. She arrived at San Diego 29 November and remained there until decommissioned 7 March 1946. She was transferred to the War Shipping Administration for disposal 13 March 1946.

Corkwood received one battle star for World II service.


Great Western Railway

The GWR was the only company to keep its identity through the Railways Act 1921, which amalgamated it with the remaining independent railways within its territory, and it was finally merged at the end of 1947 when it was nationalised and became the Western Region of British Railways.

The GWR was called by some "God's Wonderful Railway" and by others the "Great Way Round" but it was famed as the "Holiday Line", taking many people to English and Bristol Channel resorts in the West Country as well as the far southwest of England such as Torquay in Devon, Minehead in Somerset, and Newquay and St Ives in Cornwall. The company's locomotives, many of which were built in the company's workshops at Swindon, were painted a Brunswick green colour while, for most of its existence, it used a two-tone "chocolate and cream" livery for its passenger coaches. Goods wagons were painted red but this was later changed to mid-grey.

Great Western trains included long-distance express services such as the Flying Dutchman, the Cornish Riviera Express and the Cheltenham Spa Express. It also operated many suburban and rural services, some operated by steam railmotors or autotrains. The company pioneered the use of larger, more economic goods wagons than were usual in Britain. It operated a network of road motor (bus) routes, was a part of the Railway Air Services, and owned ships, docks and hotels.


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Cockwood Primary School

We&aposve analysed all the government data to bring you the rundown on your local primary schools.

Here Cockwood Primary School, Cofton Hill, Cockwood, Exeter, EX6 8RB, is put into focus to show its scores in relation to other schools in the area.

You can also see how the primary school compares against other schools across England.

Data is available on pupils&apos attainment, progress, absence levels and when the school was last inspected.

The teacher to pupil ratio is also a good indication of the focus your child will get. Plus we can show how many full-time teachers there are at the school.

School details

Information School
Name Cockwood Primary School
Previous Name Cockwood Primary School
Local Authority Devon
Address Cofton Hill, Cockwood, Exeter, EX6 8RB
Telephone number 01626890471
Open date 01/06/2019
Status

The open date and status above indicate when Cockwood Primary School opened or when it changed to its most recent incarnation, with a number of schools converting to academies in recent years. Where schools have changed type recently, data for previous years covering their previous incarnation is included below as well - so a school may have a status of New due to converting to an academy but have data for previous years prior to conversion.

What type of school is Cockwood Primary School?

Information School
Type Community School
Sponsor
Age range 4 to 11
Gender Mixed
Religion Does not apply

How many children have been on the school roll in recent years?

Pupil characteristics - what percentage of pupils are in different groups and how does this compare to the national average?

Pupils Pupils - School Pupils - National
% English as additional language (EAL) 2.1 21.2
% Free School Meals 8.5 23
% SEN 9.6 12.6
% SEN Statement 0 1.6

How do we rate this school?

Rating 2019 Rating 2018 Rating 2017 Rating 2016 Rating
Overall Stars 4 4 3 5
Overall Score 56.2 56.3 44.1 69
England Rank 3,287 3,215 8,194 918
Local Rank 34 38 135 14
Missing Data? Yes
Data missing (out of 42) 17

Our unique rating system takes into account a range of different indicators to evaluate a school&aposs performance. The system tracks achievement, pupil progress, teaching, pupil attendance and whether the school is improving.

The 2019 KS2 tests were assessing a new curriculum that was introduced in 2014. Ratings for years before 2016 were based on how the school performed on the previous curriculum so performance is not directly comparable to 2019.

Data may be missing for some indicators because it has not been published. This may be because the school is new or because it is very small so data has been suppressed to avoid identifying individual pupils. Schools do not lose points for missing data, so will still fare better in the ranking than schools that underperform on that indicator, but they cannot score as highly as schools that perform well on the indicator.

How Cockwood Primary School scores on each indicator.

Star Ratings Stars - 2019 Stars - 2018 Stars - 2017 Stars - 2016
Attainment 5 5 2 5
Attainment for All 2 3 1 2
Progress 2 4 4 5
Attendance 5 5 5 5

What Ofsted says about this school

Cockwood Primary School has been rated as Good at its most recent Ofsted inspection.

If table is blank, it means there are no recent inspections for this school. Inspections may relate to a previous incarnation of the school (for example, where they have converted to an academy), and are provided for information (as they are not the Ofsted rating for the current school). Inspection information correct as of November 30.

Overview School Overview
Overall Effectiveness Good
Inspection Date 20/11/2014
Web Link Read Report
Category of Concern
Inspection report relates to current school? No
Date of most recent short inspection (if applicable) 20/02/2018
Short inspection outcome School remains Good
Short Inspection report relates to current school? No

How does Cockwood Primary School perform on each of the areas inspected by Ofsted? As of September 2012, a score of 3 changed from indicating Satisfactory to Requires Improvement.

Category Ofsted
Outcomes for pupils Good
Quality of teaching, learning and assessment Good
Effectiveness of leadership and management Outstanding
Personal development, behaviour and welfare

Attainment

In 2019, 91% of pupils at Cockwood Primary School reached the expected standard in reading, writing and maths.

How have pupils at Cockwood Primary School done in assessments at the end of Key Stage 2 and how does it compare to local authority and national averages?

While pupils are generally aiming to be working at the expected level in reading, writing and maths, what proportion of children at Cockwood Primary School had a high score in reading and maths and were working at greater depth in writing, and how does this compare to performance at local and national level?

Attainment for All

How do children at Cockwood Primary School with different levels of attainment at Key Stage 1 and pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds perform in terms of reaching the expected standard in reading, writing and maths?

How does the % of boys and girls at Cockwood Primary School achieving the expected standard in reading, writing and maths compare to the national average?

What is the pupil:teacher ratio at Cockwood Primary School and how does it compare to the national average?

How many teachers are there and what is the average wage?

Teachers Teacher Details
No. of Teachers (FTE) 4.4
No. of Teaching Assistants (FTE) 3
Mean Gross Salary of All Teachers 2018/19 (GBP) 38,808
Mean Gross Salary of All Teachers 2018/19 (GBP) - National 38,369

Progress

Pupils are assessed on how much progress they make between assessments in Key Stage 1 (infants) and Key Stage 2 (juniors), with the progress of all pupils contributing to an overall &aposvalue added&apos measure for the school.

At Cockwood Primary School, pupils had an average progress score in maths in 2019 that was -0.6 compared to the national average of 0.

How do children with different levels of attainment at infant level and pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds perform in terms of the progress made in maths and how does this compare to local averages?

At Cockwood Primary School, pupils had an average progress score in reading in 2019 that was -0.2 compared to the national average of 0.

How do children with different levels of attainment at infant level and pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds perform in terms of making progress in reading and how does this compare to local averages?

At Cockwood Primary School, pupils had an average progress score in writing in 2019 that was -2.2 compared to the national average of 0.

How do children with different levels of attainment at infant level and pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds perform in terms of making progress in writing and how does this compare to local averages?

Attendance

Figures below show what proportion of half-day sessions were missed by pupils and how this compares to local and national averages.

In 2017/18, the most recent full school year, 2.6% of half-day sessions were missed by pupils at Cockwood Primary School. Nationally, primary school pupils missed 4% of half-day sessions.

Figures below show what proportion of half day sessions were missed by pupils and counted as an unauthorised absence and how this compares to local and national averages.

What proportion of pupils are classed as persistent absentees (missing 10% or more of all sessions)?

Finances

While finances are not included in our calculation of how good schools are, many schools publish information about how much they are spending on pupils&apos education.

What is the total school spend per pupil at Cockwood Primary School compared to the local average? (school is in blue)

How much does Cockwood Primary School spend per pupil on teachers and educational support staff and how does this compare to the average spending across Devon?

What percentage of the budget at Cockwood Primary School is spent on supply staff?


A First Great Western London bound HST passes Cockwood harbour nr Starcross, Devon

Copyright © Rob Hawkins 2013
Picture Id: # 309512

About our Canvas

  • Manufactured in the UK by expert craftsmen.
  • Printed on 260 GSM 100% polyester, which is much stronger and longer lasting than paper or plastic material.
  • Standard 38mm (1.5inch) pine wood frame on all our canvases.
  • Stapled and taped on the back to create a clean and seamless finish allowing the canvas to reset perfectly on the wall.
  • All our canvases come with metal hangers attached ready to hang.

Bleed options explained

Cloned on Sides

We take about 1.5" [38mm] of the edge of the picture and duplicate it on the side of the canvas so that none of the frontal image is lost and creates a slight 3D effect. Also known as "mirrored" on the sides.

Wrapped on Sides

The entire image is stretched over the entire canvas. Meaning that the sides of the image will be on the side of the canvas. This gives the image a "flow" to it, however part of all 4 sides will be off the sides and can be "lost" depending on where the canvas is placed.

White Sides

We print the image on the front of the canvas, and add 1” [25mm] of white around the sides.

Black Sides

We print the image on the front of the canvas, and add 1” [25mm] of black around the sides.

About our Framed Mounted Print

Showroom quality and exceptional finishing that will enhance your living space, so that you can enjoy luxury art at an affordable price.

Printed on Epson 189gsm paper. This bright white paper is perfect for images and your art. The paper highly saturates images, while maintaining excellent highlight and shadow detail. The image is encased in a framework that is 30mm wide and 13mm deep.

Photo4me uses "Polcore Frames" which are made from 100% high quality recycled material, but then given a wooden finish as described above.

Note: Due to the bespoke nature and natural cutting and fitting of the picture, mount and frame, there may be a small discrepancy between the total product dimensions stated and the product you receive.

Additional details

  • Black brushed finish.
  • Natural wood colour, smooth woodgrain finish (Oak coloured).
  • Teak "antique" smooth woodgrain finish.
  • White brushed finish.
  • Grey woodgrain finish.
Standard Fitting

When the order is near completion, we professionally tape the mount and picture into the frame. This however can cause the image to become wavy overtime due to gravity or atmospheric changes in temperature.

Dry-Mounting

This is the process where your printed photo is irreversibly bonded to a stiff, flat board using heat and a vacuum environment to ensure your print is perfectly flat and stays flat. No risk of ever 'rippling' where the print develops a 'wavy' surface due to atmospheric changes in temperature and moisture.

About our Framed Print

A modern mount-free framed option made to order.

The image is encased in a framework that is 30mm wide and 13mm deep. Like the framed mounted prints, the frames are available in a choice of five different coloured frames.

  • Black brushed finish.
  • Natural wood colour, smooth woodgrain finish (Oak coloured).
  • Teak "antique" smooth woodgrain finish.
  • White brushed finish.
  • Grey woodgrain finish.

Photo4me uses "Polcore Frames" which are made from 100% high quality recycled material, but then given a wooden finish as described above.

Additional details

The frames comes with acrylic glazing which is crystal clear to the eye and gives a glasslike finish but stronger enabling it to survive transportation and shipping without any issues or problems.

The reverse of the frame will have a reenforced string attached to hang your frame on the wall and holding brackets for the larger sizes.

Standard Fitting

When the order is near completion, we professionally tape the mount and picture into the frame. This however can cause the image to become wavy overtime due to gravity or atmospheric changes in temperature.

Dry-Mounting

This is the process where your printed photo is irreversibly bonded to a stiff, flat board using heat and a vacuum environment to ensure your print is perfectly flat and stays flat. No risk of ever 'rippling' where the print develops a 'wavy' surface due to atmospheric changes in temperature and moisture.

About our Acrylic

An image you will say "wow" to every time you or someone walks into the room. A very classy & modern looking finish that will enhance the style of your living space.

These stunning acrylic prints are created by laser printing your photo onto diamond cut acrylic which is 10mm thick. The acrylic glass has polished edges giving them perfect clarity this creates movement within the frame allowing light to be captured through the acrylic.

We recommend acrylics have a white layer on the background, so that they can be hung on any wall.

Additional details

The acrylic comes with wall, spacers, caps and instructions. The acrylic gives the impression the image is floating from the wall.

The acrylic is a wonderful piece to add to any residence, business or gift. With good care, acrylics can last for 100 years or more!.

The frames comes with acrylic glazing which is crystal clear to the eye and gives a glasslike finish but stronger enabling it to survive transportation and shipping without any issues or problems.

The reverse of the frame will have a reenforced string attached to hang your frame on the wall and holding brackets for the larger sizes.

  • Thick 10 mm diamond cut acrylic.
  • Beautiful clarity, gives the impression the image is floating on the wall.
  • Can be mounted indoors or outdoors.
  • Included with the Acrylic: spacers, caps, instructions.
  • The Acrylic total depth is 40mm. Broken down:
    Spacer is 25mm, Acrylic is 10mm and the caps are 5mm.

About our Print

A flexible option for those wishing to frame their chosen image separately upon delivery. High-quality HP inks are used to represent your chosen image on professional high-grade 270 GSM glossy photographic paper. Your unframed print will be delivered in a wide reinforced tube.

All prints come with a 10mm white border.

Please note you are purchasing a print alone. You will need to purchase a frame separately. If you are looking for a framed print please select 'Framed Print' or 'Framed Mounted Print' from the options above.


Cancellation policy

Change of plans? No problem. You could receive a partial or full refund, depending on when you cancel.

100% refund within 24 hours after booking (provided the stay is at least 60 days away).

50% refund of the amount paid (minus the booking fee*) if cancelled at least 4 weeks before check-in.

No refund if cancelled less than 4 weeks before check-in.

Cancellation policy

24 hours after booking

4 weeks before


Book Review: Normandy ’44

This account of the Normandy campaign by seasoned military historian James Holland provides an insightful and anecdote-filled chronicle of a popular chapter of World War II history.

In describing the elaborate preparations leading up to the Allied invasion of Normandy, Holland reminds readers the D-Day operation was vastly more complex than all previous amphibious operations. However, he refuses to approach June 6 as a cliff-hanger, pointing out the Allies had a tolerably easy time at three of the five beaches. The Canadians at Juno Beach ran into difficulties. While historians emphasize the bloody stalemate on Omaha Beach, it took the Americans less than a day to overcome the beachhead’s defenses. Despite being outnumbered and hampered by Adolf Hitler’s interference in command structures, the Wehrmacht put up a strong resistance and made use of Normandy’s dense hedgerows for seven weeks of stubborn defense before collapsing to the massive influx of Allied men and material.

Holland isn’t shy about expressing his opinions, evaluating Allied generals more favorably and German generals less so. He argues the Germans’ contemptuous dismissals of American and British troops as unimaginative and cumbersome in battle was not wrong but irrelevant, as firepower and superior resources proved key to success in the Normandy campaign and the broader war.


Colt .44 Single Action Army

Description:
Drillings, Double Rifles, and Rifles - This outstanding example of gun art and custom work is featured on page 792 of "The Colt Engraving Book Volume II" by R.L. Wilson. Featuring gold inlays of Western motifs and flush gold borders, crisply cut scrollwork, Royal blue Finish, and eagle grips. We have ordered Volume I & II to go along with this purchase.

The gun appears unfired. It was engraved (see copy of original invoice dated January 23 1979) by Robert B. Burt who worked for the Colt Custom shop for many years.

The gun is in unfired condition and does not appear to have been turned. This would make an outstanding gift (retirement, birthday, or just because) to a loved one or how about yourself? *** Note: To see this gun with high resolution photos and a zoom-in feature, go to the vintagedoubles main site and search for the gun ID: 4340 or browse the main site to see our full gun collection.

Price: $12,600.00

Manufacturer: Colt .44 Single Action Army

A Piece of gun art, investment, and history by a well known engraver from the Colt Custom Shop
Model: None
Serial Number: SA7600
Caliber Info: .44 Special
Ejectors: No
Barrels: 4
Barrel Type: Steel
Action: single
Gauge: Caliber
LOP: NA
Weight: 2 lbs. 5.75 oz.
Choke Left: NA
Choke Right: NA
Proof:Nitro: .44 Special


Part of Cockwood village, seen from across the harbour. Cockwood is a small village on the west side of the Exe Estuary in the county of Devon.

Copyright © Anthony Michael Poynton 2013
Picture Id: # 316112

About our Canvas

  • Manufactured in the UK by expert craftsmen.
  • Printed on 260 GSM 100% polyester, which is much stronger and longer lasting than paper or plastic material.
  • Standard 38mm (1.5inch) pine wood frame on all our canvases.
  • Stapled and taped on the back to create a clean and seamless finish allowing the canvas to reset perfectly on the wall.
  • All our canvases come with metal hangers attached ready to hang.

Bleed options explained

Cloned on Sides

We take about 1.5" [38mm] of the edge of the picture and duplicate it on the side of the canvas so that none of the frontal image is lost and creates a slight 3D effect. Also known as "mirrored" on the sides.

Wrapped on Sides

The entire image is stretched over the entire canvas. Meaning that the sides of the image will be on the side of the canvas. This gives the image a "flow" to it, however part of all 4 sides will be off the sides and can be "lost" depending on where the canvas is placed.

White Sides

We print the image on the front of the canvas, and add 1” [25mm] of white around the sides.

Black Sides

We print the image on the front of the canvas, and add 1” [25mm] of black around the sides.

About our Framed Mounted Print

Showroom quality and exceptional finishing that will enhance your living space, so that you can enjoy luxury art at an affordable price.

Printed on Epson 189gsm paper. This bright white paper is perfect for images and your art. The paper highly saturates images, while maintaining excellent highlight and shadow detail. The image is encased in a framework that is 30mm wide and 13mm deep.

Photo4me uses "Polcore Frames" which are made from 100% high quality recycled material, but then given a wooden finish as described above.

Note: Due to the bespoke nature and natural cutting and fitting of the picture, mount and frame, there may be a small discrepancy between the total product dimensions stated and the product you receive.

Additional details

  • Black brushed finish.
  • Natural wood colour, smooth woodgrain finish (Oak coloured).
  • Teak "antique" smooth woodgrain finish.
  • White brushed finish.
  • Grey woodgrain finish.
Standard Fitting

When the order is near completion, we professionally tape the mount and picture into the frame. This however can cause the image to become wavy overtime due to gravity or atmospheric changes in temperature.

Dry-Mounting

This is the process where your printed photo is irreversibly bonded to a stiff, flat board using heat and a vacuum environment to ensure your print is perfectly flat and stays flat. No risk of ever 'rippling' where the print develops a 'wavy' surface due to atmospheric changes in temperature and moisture.

About our Framed Print

A modern mount-free framed option made to order.

The image is encased in a framework that is 30mm wide and 13mm deep. Like the framed mounted prints, the frames are available in a choice of five different coloured frames.

  • Black brushed finish.
  • Natural wood colour, smooth woodgrain finish (Oak coloured).
  • Teak "antique" smooth woodgrain finish.
  • White brushed finish.
  • Grey woodgrain finish.

Photo4me uses "Polcore Frames" which are made from 100% high quality recycled material, but then given a wooden finish as described above.

Additional details

The frames comes with acrylic glazing which is crystal clear to the eye and gives a glasslike finish but stronger enabling it to survive transportation and shipping without any issues or problems.

The reverse of the frame will have a reenforced string attached to hang your frame on the wall and holding brackets for the larger sizes.

Standard Fitting

When the order is near completion, we professionally tape the mount and picture into the frame. This however can cause the image to become wavy overtime due to gravity or atmospheric changes in temperature.

Dry-Mounting

This is the process where your printed photo is irreversibly bonded to a stiff, flat board using heat and a vacuum environment to ensure your print is perfectly flat and stays flat. No risk of ever 'rippling' where the print develops a 'wavy' surface due to atmospheric changes in temperature and moisture.

About our Acrylic

An image you will say "wow" to every time you or someone walks into the room. A very classy & modern looking finish that will enhance the style of your living space.

These stunning acrylic prints are created by laser printing your photo onto diamond cut acrylic which is 10mm thick. The acrylic glass has polished edges giving them perfect clarity this creates movement within the frame allowing light to be captured through the acrylic.

We recommend acrylics have a white layer on the background, so that they can be hung on any wall.

Additional details

The acrylic comes with wall, spacers, caps and instructions. The acrylic gives the impression the image is floating from the wall.

The acrylic is a wonderful piece to add to any residence, business or gift. With good care, acrylics can last for 100 years or more!.

The frames comes with acrylic glazing which is crystal clear to the eye and gives a glasslike finish but stronger enabling it to survive transportation and shipping without any issues or problems.

The reverse of the frame will have a reenforced string attached to hang your frame on the wall and holding brackets for the larger sizes.

  • Thick 10 mm diamond cut acrylic.
  • Beautiful clarity, gives the impression the image is floating on the wall.
  • Can be mounted indoors or outdoors.
  • Included with the Acrylic: spacers, caps, instructions.
  • The Acrylic total depth is 40mm. Broken down:
    Spacer is 25mm, Acrylic is 10mm and the caps are 5mm.

About our Print

A flexible option for those wishing to frame their chosen image separately upon delivery. High-quality HP inks are used to represent your chosen image on professional high-grade 270 GSM glossy photographic paper. Your unframed print will be delivered in a wide reinforced tube.

All prints come with a 10mm white border.

Please note you are purchasing a print alone. You will need to purchase a frame separately. If you are looking for a framed print please select 'Framed Print' or 'Framed Mounted Print' from the options above.


Our History

44 Farms was founded in 1909 by Sherwood and Josie McClaren, great grandparents of current owner Bob McClaren. For nearly a century, 44 Farms produced crops and raised cattle. Bob has fond memories of visiting his grandparents on the family farm during his childhood. When the opportunity arose for Bob to run 44 Farms, he jumped at the chance and brought together some of the finest cattlemen and range and production managers in the business.

44 Farms not only produces the finest steaks, but is also recognized as one of the premier Black Angus producers in the country. It is a working ranch, not a factory. The ranchers here know and evaluate every animal they raise - and they know the land and its capabilities. 44 Farms manages for sustainability. By emphasizing livestock health and responsible pasture management, they improve both: cattle help maintain the pasture's natural balance in turn, the diverse grasses combine to provide top-notch nutrition for the grazing cattle.

Though we raise thousands of cattle, we have a decidedly down home approach to business. People do business with people, not big companies. 44 Farms is a place where customers can call home where you really can know your rancher. Our gate is always open. We want folks to know us -- who we are and what drives us. We love the land and treasure our traditions and community, but we're always looking forward - with an eye on the long view, the big picture. We work hard to provide the very best steaks available anywhere.


Birth of the Assault Rifle – The Sturmgewehr 44

The assault rifle is now used by infantry units in armies across the globe. However, prior to World War Two, such weapons were virtually unknown.

The first mass-produced assault rifle was introduced by Nazi Germany during that conflict. This weapon influenced many subsequent designs, and it may even be directly related to the famous Russian AK-47.

During World War One a surprising fact emerged. The rifle, the main infantry weapon, wasn’t a particularly effective means of inflicting casualties on the enemy.

Many rifles used during that conflict were superb weapons: the bolt-action British SMLE (Small Magazine Lee-Enfield) rifle for example, was provided with a ten round magazine and the highly trained professionals of the British Expeditionary Force were able to fire fifteen aimed rounds per minute during early battles.

Sturmgewehr 44. Photo: Claus Ableiter / CC BY-SA 4.0

The problem was, relatively few of those rounds were hitting their targets. Artillery was the main killer in World War One, estimated to have accounted for up 70% of British and French combat casualties on the Western Front and around 60% of German casualties. Next in lethality was the machine gun.

It wasn’t possible to distinguish between combat wounds caused by machine guns and rifles, as most of the heavy machine guns used by all sides fired the same cartridges as infantry rifles. However, observation on the battlefield made it clear that the machine gun was responsible for far more casualties than the rifle.

Infantryman with assault rifle 44. By Bundesarchiv – CC BY-SA 3.0 de

The issue wasn’t a fault with the rifles themselves – the average range at which rifles were used during World War One was over eight hundred yards. At that distance and using iron sights it’s barely possible to distinguish a human-sized target, let alone to hit it reliably with a single shot.

What was needed was a weapon which was easily portable by a single soldier, and also capable of fully automatic fire which would give it a better chance of supressing a distant target.

Sturmgewehr 44 at the Battle of the Bulge museum. Photo: Joey Van meesen / CC BY 2.0

One of the earliest attempts to produce such a weapon was the Fedorov Avtomat, designed by a Captain Fyodorov in the Russian Army in 1915. This weapon fired the Japanese 6.5×50mm SR Arisaka cartridge which was widely available in Russia as many of its infantrymen were equipped with Arisaka rifles.

Stamo of Russia: The Russian weapon of World War I. The 6.5 mm Fedorov Avtomat model 1916.

The Avtomat was provided with a 25 round magazine and was capable of fully automatic fire. It was used in small numbers by the Russian army during World War One, and by both sides in the Russian Civil War which followed.

The Fedorov Avtomat can be regarded as the very first example of what we now call an assault rifle, but it wasn’t particularly successful as a weapon of war. It was complex and expensive to manufacture, it wasn’t especially accurate, and it tended to overheat and jam.

Later in the war the French produced the Ribeyrolles Carabine Mitrailleuse 1918. This used a completely new round, created by joining the 8mm Lebel projectile to a necked-down version of the .351 Winchester Self-Loading cartridge case.

Ribeyrolle,1918. Photo: Grunty89

The Ribeyrolles proved to be extremely unreliable in use, and it was never used in combat. However, this was the first time that anyone had attempted to produce what would later come to be called an “intermediate” round, a reduced-power rifle round designed specifically for use in a fully automatic weapon.

In the search for improved firepower, most armies in World War One elected for the sub-machine gun, sometimes called the machine pistol, a weapon capable of fully automatic fire but which used pistol ammunition. These weapons had short range and indifferent accuracy but they proved ideal for close-in trench fighting.

Between the wars there were several attempts to produce a military rifle with fully automatic capability. The Swiss Pistolengewehr was introduced in 1921, and used the same toggle mechanism as the Luger pistol. It was chambered for a 7.65x35mm cartridge and was a select fire weapon which could be used in semi or full automatic modes. However, it was not adopted outside the Swiss Army.

Ordnance Luger pistol of the Army of the Third Reich. By Rama, CC BY-SA 2.0 fr

In Germany, research led to the development of the Vollmer M35, a rifle caliber weapon with full automatic capability. However, it proved complex and expensive to manufacture and it was never mass produced.

The standard German army rifle, the Karabiner 98k, was a reliable and accurate weapon, but it was large and unwieldy. It didn’t fit with new German tactical approaches focused on mechanized warfare, in which infantry were rapidly deployed into combat from trucks and armored personnel carriers.

A 1940 Karabiner 98k stored in the Swedish Army Museum

In response, the German army equipped increasingly large numbers of its troops with machine pistols such as the MP-38 and later derivatives including the MP-40, which fired the 9mm Parabellum pistol round. Despite being completely inaccurate at ranges of anything over 300 feet, these weapons proved adequate during the early phases of World War Two.

The German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 changed everything. Faced with large numbers of Soviet troops armed with the SVT-40 semi-automatic rifle, the Wehrmacht reported an urgent need for an automatic weapon capable of being carried and fired by a single soldier but with greater range and accuracy than machine pistols.

An SVT-40 self-loading rifle

Analysis showed that most engagements on the Eastern Front took place at ranges of between 200 and 600 feet, so any new weapon had to be accurate at the upper end of this range. German development contracts were issued in early 1942 for an automatic weapon which would use the new 7.9x33mm Kurz (Short) intermediate round.

The German company C. G. Haenel Waffen produced prototypes of a new weapon, the MKb 42(H), designed by Hugo Schmeisser. Schmeisser’s name has now become most closely associated with the MP 38 machine pistol, although he had almost nothing to do with the design of that weapon.

The Haenel MKb 42(H) rifle of 1942.

Prototypes of the MKb 42 were field tested in November 1942 and received very strong support from the Wehrmacht. The new weapon was fully automatic and provided with a distinctive, curved 30 round magazine. It weighed no more than a rifle and could easily be carried and used by a single soldier.

More than 11,000 MKb 42s were sent for additional field testing in early 1943. The new weapon was found to be reliable and accurate at ranges of up to 900 feet – a vast improvement over existing machine pistols.

Then, disputes between different departments responsible for the production of rifles led to Hitler angrily stepping in and halting work on all new rifle designs, including the MKb 42. However, setbacks on the Eastern Front led to continuing demands for improved weapons.

Maschinenkarabiner 42(W). Photo: Hmaag CC BY-SA 3.0

In June 1944, Hitler was finally persuaded to personally test the MKb 42. He was so impressed that he insisted it be immediately put into production.

Hitler, who liked dramatic sounding names, also instructed that the new weapon was to be called a Sturmgewehr. The literal translation is “Storm Rifle” but this is more usually given as “Assault Rifle,” the first time that this term was used.

More than four hundred thousand examples of the newly designated StG 44 were produced in the last ten months of World War Two. The assault rifle proved to be an effective and reliable weapon. Experience of bitter street fighting on the Eastern Front even led to the production of a Krummlauf version, which had a barrel bent at either 30° or 45° to allow for shooting round corners.

/>MP44 (Sturmgewehr 44), Germany.

However, introduction of the new weapon was too late to prevent the defeat of the Wehrmacht. The Soviet Union captured large numbers of these weapons when the war ended. The Soviets then used them to equip military and police units in East Germany, as well as supplying insurgents in many parts of the world.

StG 44s have been used by the PLO and Hezbollah and surviving wartime examples were even taken from militia units during recent conflicts in Iraq. GSG (German Sport Guns), a German firearm manufacturer based in Westphalia, currently sells the GSG-StG 44, a semi-automatic, .22 rimfire copy of the StG 44.

Officers of the East German Volkspolizei parading through the streets of Neustrelitz in 1955. The StG 44 remained in service until the early 1960s. By Bundesarchiv – CC BY-SA 3.0 de

It has also been widely claimed that the StG 44 directly influenced the design of the AK-47, the most widely used assault rifle of the 20 th century. However, assessing whether that is true is difficult.

Officially, the Avtomat Kalashnikova 47 (AK-47) was designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov, a Russian combat soldier who was wounded in fighting against the Nazis before being moved to the main Soviet rifle design bureau. This was surprising because Kalashnikov wasn’t formally trained as an engineer, a designer or even as a gunsmith.

AK-47 – As of 2004, Of the estimated 500 million firearms worldwide, approximately 100 million belong to the Kalashnikov family, three-quarters of which are AK-47s. -Allatur CC BY-SA 3.0

Rather, Kalashnikov was a farmer’s son and an enthusiastic tinkerer who dreamed of designing a new weapon for the Red Army. He was also a particularly ardent Communist, so politically it suited the Soviets to claim that their new weapon had been created not by a technocrat but by an ordinary Soviet soldier. The story played well in Pravda, but not everyone believed it.

Most of the early designs created by Kalashnikov were rejected. It wasn’t until he relocated to the Izhevsk Armaments factory in the Ural Mountains that his design for a new weapon suddenly improved to the point where it was selected as the winning entry in a competition to design an assault rifle for the Soviet army in 1946.

Sturmgewehr 44

Many people feel that it is not coincidental that the designer of the StG 44, Hugo Schmeisser, and members of his design team who had been captured by the Russians were forced to work at the same factory from 1946-1952. It’s also notable that the earliest prototypes of the AK-47 which were produced in Izhevsk were similar to the StG 44, though production versions incorporated notable differences.

Some people have even pointed out that after the German design team had been allowed to return home, Kalashnikov never produced another innovative weapon.

Iraqi airmen fire AK-47s during firing drills March 29, 2011.

Kalashnikov is still generally credited as the designer of the AK-47, though he did admit in 2009 in an interview given on the occasion of his 90 th birthday that he might have been “helped” by Hugo Schmeisser and his team. Schmeisser died in 1953 and never spoke about his time in Russia.

Kalashnikov died in 2013 at the age of ninety-four. In September 2017 a commemorative statue of the inventor was unveiled in Central Moscow. The base on which the figure stood was adorned with several cast metal plaques which showed detailed views of the AK-47. Or at least, most of them did.

Mihail Kalashnikov. Photo: Mil.ru / CC BY 4.0

Embarrassingly and ironically, at least one actually showed an StG 44 – apparently the sculptor had confused the two weapons, which do look externally very similar. A grim-faced official with an angle grinder quickly turned up to “correct” the new monument by removing the image of the German weapon.

The Sturmgewehr 44 was the first mass-produced assault rifle and as such it is the predecessor of weapons such as the American M16. We will never know for certain, but it may also have had a much more direct relationship to the design of the definitive Russian assault rifle, the AK-47.


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