By Dan Shea

“..... it is clear that war should never be thought of as something autonomous but always as an instrument of policy; otherwise the entire history of war would contradict us. Only this approach will enable us to penetrate the problem intelligently. Second, this way of looking at it will show us how wars must vary with the nature of their motives and of the situations which give rise to them.

The first, the supreme, the most farreaching act of judgment that the statesman and commander have to make is to establish by that test the kind of war on which they are embarking; neither mistaking it for, nor trying to turn it into, something that is alien to its nature. This is the first of all strategic questions and the most comprehensive.”
- Carl von Clausewitz, ON WAR published 1832 (From English Translation 1976)

I simply wanted to bring a little of von Clausewitz’s Vom Kreig to the table for our military and political readers. Some of Master Sun Tzu’s thoughts as well:

“So it is said that if you know others and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know others but know yourself, you win one and lose one: if you do not know others and do not know yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle. - Master Sun Tzu, The Art of War

My simple thought on what I am seeing out there, is that it would seem our media and the liberal base in general are running the fog machine 24/7, with the purpose of obscuring the focus and clarity of thought of our leaders and soldiers. I spend a lot of time with our armed forces personnel, and for the most part that fogging isn’t working. They have a clear vision of who they are, and what they are doing. It’s the mixed messages coming from the rear that undercut them and that is what we need to guard against. Thousands of years of military history define that self knowledge is a requisite to victory. All I want to say is “Thank you” to the men and women of the armed forces of the United States and our allies, who put on the uniform, and are out doing it every day. Please remember the vast majority of us know why you’re there, and honor your commitment.

Off the soapbox, and onto some gun stuff. We have a couple of antique machine gun questions this month:

Q- I need some advice about disassembling the trigger housing of the Polish PPS-43 submachine gun. I want to remove a cracked part that is located behind the sear. There is only one pin in the entire trigger housing that seems like it can be removed to start the disassembly process. There is a spring and a short bushing over this pin. The little bushing butts up against an inside wall of the trigger housing. Is this pin designed to be removed without cutting it? Can you also print a photo of the individual trigger housing parts with identification of each part?

A- Disassembly of the fire control system is not quite as simple as it would seem at first and the pin/spring combination you are looking at is actually part two of disassembly. If the cracked part behind the sear is part of the assembly riveted into the bottom, this is a more complex “fix” than can be addressed here.

The Polish Model 1943/52 is a copy of the famous Soviet PPS-43, which was made in the ’50s for Polish forces. Originally, these had a wooden stock, but some of the military units had a folding metal stock. The folding stock model is what I have seen imported to the US. Model makers should note that the receiver is slightly longer than Soviet PPS-43. I obtained a Soviet PPS- 43 parts set from Don Bell at Omega Weaponry (www.omega-weaponssystems. com/catalog.htm) and a Polish kit like you have, from Inter Ordnance (http://www.interordnance.com) while at the SAR Show, so that we could do a good pictorial on this for you. Remember to wear safety goggles while working on this, the springs tend to “launch” and can be quite hazardous. The fire control system was designed for a cheap, fast, stamped metal manufacturing process like the rest of the weapon, and it was basically a “throw-away” if it broke. Taking out the FC parts is a royal pain, until you get the hang of it.I have never seen an original manual that covered this; they keep operator disassembly very simple for reasons that will become apparent. (Photos by Dan Shea, courtesy LMO Working Reference Collection)

Q- I have just purchased an MG13 parts set and am making a dummy MG13 for display. I don’t have a problem making the dummy, but I want to make my display as accurate as possible. Do you have any pictures of the accessories?

A- It is a very interesting German machine gun, under-rated and left as a bit of a footnote today. This is mostly because of it being magazine fed and not generally considered up to the job like the belt fed guns. The German Army adopted it in 1931, but the “13” designation was rooted in the interwar secrecy of German weapons manufacturing, which was restricted on machine guns. This was the first machine gun the Germans designated other than the year of manufacture. The MG13 uses 25-round magazines feeding 7.92x57mm ammunition from a side position, perhaps predicting the later FG42 series. We will be covering the MG13 in more depth later, but here is a good start on your accessories search. In addition to the pictured items, the MG13 gunner usually had spare recoil boosters, a blank booster called a 13P and a lidded container that was used for soaking the boosters for cleaning. Obviously, the famous 75-round saddle drum with two drum boxes and drum loading tool is needed for your display, as well as the various mounts. This should get you started. (Photo pre- WWII German original, Daniel Musgrave Collection, courtesy LMO Reference Library)

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This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V10N7 (April 2007)
and was posted online on December 7, 2012


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