Introduction to the main players
Germany had lost the “great war” but apart from this humillation Germany was put to fierce restrictions by the Allies through the “Versailles treaty” and the issue of submachinegun had to be approved by the Allied Commission. The Reichswehr was downsized from a first worldwar, multi-million men Army to a, for that time, pathatic 100.000 men army. Apart from restrictions in numbers of soldiers there were restrictions in weaponry. As said sub-machineguns were subject to approval of the Allied Commission. The police however was allowed to carry them in order to fight communist organisations. Contrary to what is written in a lot of books regarding this subject, the Reichswehr was very interested in sub-machineguns but was neither allowed to carry submachine guns or have them produced. So in order to get around the restrictions the manufacturing of sub-machineguns was done in Switzerland (SIG, mp18) and Belgium (Anciens Establishments Pieper, mp28) under license. Sub-machineguns of german design were sold all over the world. The ones sold in to European policeforces and armies came good in hand when Hitler’s armies conquered Europe. The secret production codes used on the mp40 like “bnz”, “fxo” and “ayf” were a direct result of the policy to hide and mislead the Allies about the german re-armament.