Why did Soviet soldiers pick up German machine-gun belts during the war?
Why did Soviet soldiers pick up German machine-gun belts during the war?

During World War II, Soviet soldiers on the eastern front actively collected German machine-gun belts after the end of the battle. Why did the domestic fighters need these products of Nazi Germany? Was such a collection of any practical nature, and was it also a grassroots initiative. All this can be learned today from quite reliable sources.

German machine guns were taken as trophy weapons

The collection of machine-gun belts by Soviet soldiers during the Second World War was not at all a "grassroots initiative". At the same time, it is possible that in some units experienced soldiers and commanders could think of something like this even before the release of an official order. An instruction dated December 13, 1944, drawn up by Major Engineer Kuznetsov, has survived to this day, telling that German machine-gun belts, in particular belts from MG-34, are suitable, among other things, for the Maxim machine guns that are widely used in the Red Army.

MG tape - metallic

The fact is that the Maxim machine guns used mainly canvas belts. And even in the First World War, it turned out that their operation in harsh field conditions is fraught with a number of difficulties. First of all, such belts damp enough quickly, which made them re-equipping an extremely problematic task. Ultimately, canvas products were stretched more and more and at some point, in principle, became unusable.

"Maxim" had canvas ribbons

At the same time, it turned out that German ribbons are quite versatile for themselves and can be used with different weapons. Moreover, trophy ribbons were collected for the same reason that captured weapons were collected. Soviet units used, among other things, captured MG machine guns, so they constantly had to make up for the lack of equipment in this way. And the most important thing was that the German ribbons were metal, which means they served longer than the old canvas ribbons.

Scan instructions Such a document

Note:the scanned instructions can be viewed on the popular "Memory of the People" archive portal. The document is fully entitled "Instructions for the use of a metal tape from the German MG-34 light machine gun to a heavy machine gun."

Popular by topic