The Hyde Submachine Gun (Cal. .30 Carbine)
By Michael Heidler
The German-born weapons designer George J. Hyde (1888 – 1963) is primarily known for his submachine gun “Hyde M2” and his work as a chief-engineer at the Inland Division of General Motors during the Second World War. Under his guidance some well known weapons like the M3 “Grease Gun” or the “FP-45” (Liberator) sheet-metal pistol were developed. From another interesting project only some photos are remaining: The Hyde Submachine Gun...
The photos were taken during the trials at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland on May 8, 1944. They are showing a submachine gun in caliber .30 Carbine (7.62x33mm) with perforated barrel jacket and a quick-change barrel system located on its right side. The mainspring is housed inside the plastic stock, covering it well from dust and debris. A moveable rod, fixed to the rear end of the bolt, transmits the force of the spring to the bolt. A similar feature was used on the Austrian/German submachine gun MP34(ö). Because of the similarity of the quick-change barrel system to the one of the advanced German sheet-metal machine gun MG42, it can be assumed that George Hyde used a captured weapon as a source of inspiration.
Unfortunately no other documents, especially no report of the trial, could yet be found. So the reason for the development is still lying in the dark. Maybe George Hyde did it of his own accord without an official order. Nevertheless, a new submachine gun with quick-change barrel system is an surprising development at this stage of the war. It appears highly questionable if a new weapon would have been taken in production. One month after the trial the Allied forces landed in Normandy and already in August they were liberating Paris. The Red Army was advancing on the borders of East Prussia. Thus, the end of the war was foreseeable and only a question of time and further testing was probably deemed unwarranted.
The author would like to thank Richard Colton (Springfield Armory NHS) and Gregory Hagge (U.S. Army Ordnance Training & Heritage Centre, Fort Lee, VA) for their support.
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