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The Haenel MKb 42(H) was an assault rifle developed in Nazi Germany during World War II. It was chambered for 7.92x33mm ammunition. The MKb 42(H) was an evolutionary step to the development of the StG 44.[1]


The German Army decided that, as they thought the 7.92mm cartridge was too powerful, they needed to develop a new cartridge. The cartridge they developed was the 7.92x33mm round. In 1942, Haenel and Walther were both tasked with creating rifles that utilized this new ammunition. This led to the development of two new automatic carbines; the MKb 42(H) and the MKb 42(W) (the "H" and "W" suffixes standing for "Haenel" and "Walther" respectively, indicating each's place of manufacture). After vigorous trials, the Haenel model was found to be the better model. It was shortly thereafter fielded by the Wehrmacht in the Eastern Front, where combat veterans praised it's reliable performance and it's automatic fire capability. All of this was kept a secret from Hitler, who demanded that only full-power cartridges were to be used on the battlefield. Limited numbers of the MKb 42(H) were produced, and it was swiftly improved and replaced by the new StG 44.[2]


  2. The Illustrated World Encyclopedia of Guns, p.385

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