Military Manuals (1938-1945)
Finding a military MP40 manual is as hard as finding some of the ultra rare accessoiries like the hinged muzzle cap or the wintertrigger. They are simply not available! For example the D167/1 & 2. In the last 10 years I have encountered well count 3 D167/1's and 4 of the D167/2's. That includes one museum. If you sell one you can almost ask anything you like because there is not really a price for it. The luftwaffe manual that is discussed in Frank Iannamico's "Blitzkrieg" is something that I only know from this book and never seen it at any museum or archive.
In general I have noticed that these military manuals were not issued to soldier but usually to a unit. Other wise much mure would have survived. For example the D167/1 manual that I own has several stamps on the second page of different units:
- Dienststelle Feldpost Nr.L22829 Luftgaupostamt Amsterdam uber Bernheim
- LW Baubatl. 4/IV
- Stabsoffizier der lw. Bautruppe -OT- Einsatzgr. Italien
- Ubermi.......... gem. ........... gem. Beleg Nr.: 1
- Brigade Hermann Goring
- ................einnahmt Nr. 5236
This shows that these manuals were passed to different units during the war. It also could be that units were reformed and therefore received a new stamp. Anyway it seems that these manuals were not widely spread during that time either. Another proof for this is that there are time original copies in the form of stencils/mimeographs of the D167/1. See the stencil MP40 manual of the Luftgau-Flakartillerieschule Belgien-Nordfrankreich. The text is almost identical to the D167/1. Maybe this is also the reason why publishers like the Heinz Dencler Verlag and Verlag Alfred Burkhardt sold these "civilian" manuals.
Sofar I can come up with the following military manuals. I will describe them in a chronological way. There are probably more so please if you have any extra information please send me an e-mail so I can add these to my listing. Also if you feel I'm not giving the right information, please e-mail me. firstname.lastname@example.org
1) D147 (2. August 1938) MP38 Manual
This manual is briefly described in D. de Vries and B.J.Martens Propaganda photo series Vol. 2. Unfortunately they are not describing the title of the Manual. This is the very first manual of the MP38. As described in the MP38 section it feautures a "proto-type" MP38. The longitudinal grooves on the receiver are cut over the full length of the receiver. Also it has wooden handgrips instead of the bakelite ones. An original version of this manual is being held by the Bundesarchiv Militararchiv in Freiburg, Germany. From one source I know that it is supposedly handwritten or handtyped.
At this point I do not have more information about this manual. I want to bring them a visit in the future. If at all possible I will make a copy.
2) Merkblatt fur die Ausbildung mit der Maschinenpistole 38 und 40 (M.P.38 u.40) Vom 4. December 1939,
Interesting fact on the cover of this manual. The manual is from December 1939 but the MP40 is already in the title. I often heard the rumor that the mp40 was already produced late 1939. This is more or less a proof of that. The pictures in the manual are however pictures of a MP38. These pictures are not the same as the ones in the D147 manual. This MP38 seems to be a "regular" early version. Another interesting fact is the soldier that is pictures in the manual. This is a Wehrmacht soldier and not a Luftwaffe soldier. That is interesting because it is always claimed that the Fallschirmjager units were the first ones that were equiped with the MP38.
Nr. of pages: 27
Printer: Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (no mistake, there is no printer to be found on the document)
Date: 4 december 1939
3) D (Luft) 5602 (august 1940)
This is the extremely rare manual that is described briefly in Frank Iannamico's excellent "Blitzkrieg" MP40 Book. The pictures of the early MP38 in this manual are the same as in the Vorschrift ohne nummer (4 December 1939) described previously. Interesting to see is that the featured MP38 has a slightly different hinged muzzle cap.
Nr. of pages: 15 (assuming it's the same as the original)
Printer: Dr. M.Matthiesen & Co.
Date: August 1940
4) D167/1 & D167/2
The D167 manual is devided in 2 parts. The D167/1 is in fact the manual. The D167/2 Einzleteile is the description of the parts. None of the other manuals have a description of the parts in it. I can assume it was also used by the waffenmeister and by the supply units to reorder spare parts. I have frequently difficulties in naming certain parts therefore I published this list as well on this website. I can imagine this was also the case back then.
The D167/1 is covering the description, maintenance, shooting instructions, problem solving, cleaning, sizes and weight, ammunition and ballistics. The pictures are not in between the text as with the other manuals but they are printed on fold-out pages in the back of the booklet. As far as I know there are 2 prints. One dated 25-9-1942 and one of which I assume it has the same date as the earlier D167/2; 20-11-1940. The one from 1942 displays a MP40 with the new type retracting handle.
The D167/2 also comes in 2 prints. with the same differences as mentioned before with regard to the binding. The dates are however different. One is from 20-11-1940 and the later one from 11-12-1942. The 1940 dated version still display all the features of the early MP38's and MP40's like the early retracting handle, the early magazine and no accessories apart from the sling. The 1943 dated version displays de bolt with the new safety retracting handle, the new type magazine and a page with the accessories, showing the double 3 cell pouch and the 6 cell pouch. Further more there are a lot of other small differences. De description of the parts has sometimes been extended. An exemple for this is that part 73 the magazine receiver (in the early print) has been extended to 2 parts 73a the magazine receiver and 73b which describes the complete part including the tube. Another important difference between the two prints is that early print has single pages to show the pictures and the later print has fold out prints.
167/1 Beschreibung, Handhabungs- und Behandlungsanleitung:
Nr. of pages: 32
Printer: Ernst Steiniger Druck- und Verlagsanstalt (only on the 1940 version)
Date: 20-11-1940 (assumption) and 25-9-1942
D167/2 Teil 2 Einzelteile:
Nr. of pages: 32
Printer: Ernst teiniger Druck- und Verlagsanstalt (only on the 1940 version)
Date: 20-11-1940 and 11.12.1942
5) Customized typed out Manuals (Luftgau example)
The typed out manual pictured here has more or less the same text as the D167/1. It lacks the references to the pictures as well as the pictures. I think the manuals like the D167/1 were already pretty scarce during the war therefore the different army units were typing them out themselves.
Nr. of pages: 9
Printer: Luftgau-Flakartillerieschule Belgien-Nordfrankreich
Date: No dating
This is infact the same manual as the manual described under point 2. It has some changes. The biggest being the addition of the chapter: "Behandlung der Maschinenpistole zum verhindern von Hemmungen". Which is the military addition described after this (point 6).
Nr. of pages: 22
Date: No dating
6) Beilage zum H.W. BL. 1941 Teil C Nr. 985 Merkblatt fur die Behandlung der Maschinenpistole zum Verhindern von Hemmungen.
During 1941 the "Merkblatt fűr die Behandlung der Maschinenpistole zum Verhindern von Hemmungen" (Instruction sheet for handling the machine pistol to prevent jamming) was published. Basically this instruction sheet gave a series of instructions that were supposed to be executed in order to keep the machine pistol firing when needed. Furthermore it reads: "Supplement to h.B.Bl.1941 part C Nr. 985". I do not have a clue what this exactly is. Please e-mail me if you know more email@example.com
You can read more about the safety strap here: Safety strap
Anhang 2 Winterabzug MP
|Ausbildungsvorschrift für die Infanterie (1942)