Infantry weapons of world war 2
The rifles, sub machine guns, pistols, and other weapons of world war 2 soldiers
Even with tanks and aircraft, the foot soldiers remain an essential element of modern armies, both because there are tasks they do best, and because even the richest nations can't afford to equip millions of soldiers with tanks.
This essay details the various classes of weapons carried and used by infantry soldiers, including the multiple classes of guns:
When world war 2 begun, most soldiers were equipped with bolt-action rifles. A 19th century technology, these rifles were powerful and very accurate weapons, effective to a long range of over half a mile, but since they required manual reloading after each shot, they were never suitable for combat situations which demanded a rapid rate of rife, and were therefore replaced during the war by newer weapons.
The only combat role where bolt-action rifles are the best even today, are sniper rifles, where their long effective range and high accuracy are the only things that count.
These are bolt-action rifles which are adapted with magnifying telescopic sights, and often also with additional enhancements such as bipods, cushions, and higher standard production, all in order to maximize the sniper's ability to deliver the few selective shots that can sometimes affect the battlefield more than a hail of less accurate bullets.
Semi-Automatic Rifles were the natural development from the bolt-action rifle. By simply adding an automatic reloading mechanism, these guns provided the soldier with a significantly faster rate of fire, not just technically, but also because he could keep his aiming eye on the sights and on the target between shots, making continuous aiming and firing possible. These quickly became the basic personal weapons of world war 2...