Unterrichtstafel UT 112 (instruction table UT 112)
Unterrichts Tafel (Instruction Table) UT 112
The instruction table 112 was used to teach technical- and administrative personnel about all the different parts of the MP38 and MP40 and their official descriptions. The basic accessories to the MP40 were also pictured on the table with their official descriptions. Regular soldiers and officers were only allowed to dismantle the MP40 in its main 3 parts. As stated in the „Merkblatt für die Ausbildung mit der Maschinenpistole 38 und 40“.
Once the MP38 and the MP40 were put into use in the different parts of the German armed forces it happened that weapons broke down and parts got lost during battle, transport or training. One can imagine that ordering new parts can be quite confusing since the proper nomenclature was basically unknown. (Try to think how to describe one of the specific pins of the trigger assembly) Chances were high that miscommunication arose with the result that wrong parts were ordered and delivered. As from the 20th of November 1940 the D167/2 “Einzelteile” was already in use. This manual described all the parts of the MP38 and MP40. The descriptions used in the D167/1 almost match the descriptions used on the instruction table. It’s a mystery why this was not 100% synchronized. In order to give a clear explanation to a group of individuals in front of a class room it was necessary to develop a large instruction table.
The issue date of the poster was the 15th of November 1942. It is interesting to see that the poster is already showing the updated and improved version of the MP40. The small connector on the front sight for the hinged muzzle cap is no longer visible, the improved retracting handle is pictured, the magazine receiver has the improved strengthening ribs as does the magazine. Of course it was already 1942 when the instruction table was made. The main alterations to the mp40 took place in 1941. The picture of the cutaway MP38 is also not showing the connector for the hinged muzzle cap. The drawing is left unfinished probably to prevent confusion with the trainees. Different than the D167/2 the instruction table is not picturing the specific MP38 parts.
A set of early pouches with the short corner straps is pictured below. Interesting because the design of the individual pouches already changed to the pouch with the slightly longer strap placed a few centimeters under the corner of the pouch. Why not picture the updated pouch? Probably because the main inventory of pouches consisted mainly out of these early pouches. This would however contradict the magazine brush that is also pictured. The magazine brush was officially announced on the 21st of August 1942 so a fairly new accessory.
Interestingly the mysterious blank cartridges device or “Platzpatronegerät” is showing up on the Instruction table as well. In all official documents like the official manual and D97 equipment list this device is showing up. Strangely enough a blank cartridge was never officially used by the German Armed forces. Also none of these devices have been encountered after World War 2. If you do however have information on this inexplicable accessory please let me know; email@example.com
The Instruction table is made of a strong and heavyweight paper. Over the full length of the top and the bottom a black painted wooden bar is stapled to the paper. On the top bar a black rope is connected in order to hang it on the wall. The poster measures 119 cm x 86 cm.
Norwegian instruction poster PS 5-82
Where the Germans needed one page the Norwegians needed 3 pages to picture the same information. It seems that the simple drawings on the Norwegian poster have been poorly copied or redrawn from the German UT 112. The official description in the Norwegian Army was “9 mm MASKINPISTOL m/40” and they needed the full first page to mention this. The poster was issued by the “Haerens Overkommando” (Army High command) in 1960. The poster set consisted of:
1) The cover page
2) The page picturing an full MP40 and a cutaway of the MP38
3) The parts and description
The numbering of the different parts is exactly the same as the German UT112. Only the Norwegians did not picture the accessories apart from the magazine and the sling. As mentioned earlier, the MP40 remained on active duty in the Norwegian Army till 1992.
The instruction poster set is consisting out of 3 pages as explained. The three pages are kept together by a wooden bar. Measurement are almost identical to the German UT 112; 120 cm x 86 cm. Contrary to the German poster the pictures are coloured.
I would be very interested to know if any other instruction tables were produced both by the Germans or post war. Please let me know firstname.lastname@example.org