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World War 2 Weapons

Updated on August 18, 2015

WW2 Memorials

Whitehall memorial commissioned by the Royal Tank Regiment
Whitehall memorial commissioned by the Royal Tank Regiment
Women of WW2
Women of WW2

World War 2 Timeline

In September 1931, Japan invaded Manchuria under false pretexts and captured it from China.

In 1933, Adolf Hitler became the leader of Germany, and under Nazi power, Germany began to rearm and pursue new foreign policy by demanding the cession territories which were historically a part of Germany.

In July 1937, Japan invaded the mainland of China, and bombed Shanghai and Guangzhou.

In Europe, Germany and Italy, began a hostile and aggressive fight over foreign policies, to which the United Kingdom and France attempted to solve diplomatically with appeasement.

In September 1939, Germany invaded Poland in cooperation with the Soviet Union, causing the war in Europe to follow. Although, the French and British hoped to appease Hitler, they did not declare war at first, but when Hitler failed to respond, they declared war. But, throughout the winter of '39 and '40, no one was willing to engage the other; this period is now known as the Phoney War.

In the spring of 1940, Germany captured Denmark and Norway.

In the summer of 1940, Germany captured France and the Low Countries.

In June 1940, Italy declared war, and the Italian Army attacked France.

In 1940, Japan invaded French Indochina, and the United States, Great Britain, and the Netherlands put economic sanctions on the country

In June 1941, Germany invaded the Soviet Union, which brought the Soviet Union into alliance with the United Kingdom.

In December 1941, launched simultaneous attacks against the United States at Pearl Harbor and British assets in Southeast Asia. Four days later, Germany declared war on the United States.

In 1942, Japan suffered its first major defeat against U.S. forces in the Battle of Midway. German forces in Africa were being pushed back by Anglo-American forces, and Germany's offense in the Soviet Union had ceased.

In 1943, Germany suffered great losses at Stallingrad and Kursk. They were expelled from Africa, while their Allied forces were driven northward through Sicily and Italy.

In September 1943, Italy signed the Italian Armistice.

In 1944, German troops were forced out of Russia and were pushed into Poland and Romania. The Western Allies invaded Europe's mainland, liberating France and the Low Countries, while reaching Germany's western borders. At the same time, while Japan launched a successful offensive in China, in the Pacific, their navy suffered great losses as American forces captured airfields within bombing range of Tokyo.

In 1945, the war ended when the Soviet Union invaded Manchuria and the United States dropped atomic bombs on Japanese mainland. Leaving the Soviet Union and the United States as the world's two leading superpowers

WW2 Weapons

Since so many different countries were pulled into the worldwide war, different technology was used per the different countries. As, not every country was a military equal, various weapons including pistols and handguns, rifles, machine guns, submachine guns, anti-tank weapons, flamethrowers, grenades, and grenade dischargers, were used.

M1917 Revolver
M1917 Revolver
M2 Browning Maching Gun
M2 Browning Maching Gun
Soliders with the Bazooka
Soliders with the Bazooka

American WW2 Weapons

The United States held out of the war as long as it could. When Japan attacked the base at Pearl Harbor, the U.S. officially entered the war as one of the three Allies. The United States used various weapons of choice throughout their stay in the war. Some of the more common weapons are listed below.

Pistols and Handguns:

  • M1917 Revolver
  • Smith & Wesson M&P
  • Colt M1911/A1
  • Colt General Officer's Model (only issued to General Officers)


  • M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle
  • M1 Garand
  • M1 Carbine
  • M1903 Sringfield

Machine Guns:

  • Browning M1919 Medium Machine Gun
  • Browning M1917A1 Heavy Machine Gun
  • Browning M2 Heavy Machine Gun

Submachine Guns:

  • Thompson M1928, M1928A1, M1, M1A1
  • M3/A1 'Grease Gun'

Anti-Tank Weapons:

  • M1/A1 "Bazooka"


  • MK2 Fragmentation Hand Grenade

US WW2 Weapons

Walther P38
Walther P38
Karabiner 98K
Karabiner 98K
German soldier with Raketen-Panzerbuchse 43
German soldier with Raketen-Panzerbuchse 43

German WW2 Weapons

Nazi Germany was one of the main factors in the Second World War. They were just one of the three countries that composed the Axis Powers. The German military used a variety of weapons during WW2 to include various pistols, rifles, machine guns, and other weapons. The more commonly used weapons are listed below.

Pistols and Handguns:

  • Walther P38
  • Luger P08
  • Selbstaldepistole Modell 1932 full auto pistol
  • Walther PP, PPK


  • Mauser Karabiner 98 Kurz

Machine Guns:

  • Maschinengewehr 1934 (MG 34)
  • Maschinengewehr 1942 (MG 42)

Submachine Guns:

  • Maschinenpistole 1938/1940 (MP-38/40)

Anti- Tank Weapon:

  • Panzerfaust
  • Raketenpanzerbüchse "Panzerschreck"
  • Panzerbüchse 38 & Panzerbüchse 39
  • Raketen-Panzerbüchse 43 (Dolly)


  • Model 24 Stielhandgranate Offensive Hand Grenade
  • Model 43 Stielhandgranate Offensive Hand Grenade
  • Model 39 Stielhandgranate Offensive Hand Grenade
  • Spilttering

Beretta M1934
Beretta M1934
Carcano M1891
Carcano M1891

Italian WW2 Weapons

Fascist Italy was a second wheel on the Axis, and was, also, played a strong part in World War 2. Their more common weapons tended to lean towards guns handguns, rifles, and machine guns.

Pistols and Handguns:

  • Beretta Modello 1934
  • Beretta Modello 1935
  • Glisenti M1910


  • Carcano M1891
  • Carcano M1891 Moschetto da Cavelleria (Cavalry Carbine)
  • Carcano M1891 TS Moschetto per Truppe Speciali (Special Troop Carbine)
  • Carcano M1938 Carbine

Machine Guns:

  • Breda Modell 30
  • Breda Modello 1937
  • Fiat-Revelli Modello 1914
  • Fiat-Revelli Modello 1935

Submachine Guns:

  • Breretta Modello 1918
  • Moshchetto Automatico Beretta 1938
  • FNAB-43
  • TZ-45

Hand Grenades:

  • Bomba a Mano mod. 35
  • Bomba a Mano mod. 42

Nambu Pistol
Nambu Pistol
Type 96 Light Machine Gun
Type 96 Light Machine Gun
Type 1 Heavy Machine Gun
Type 1 Heavy Machine Gun

Japanese WW2 Weapons

The third country in the three Axis powers was Imperial Japan. Japan invaded the French Indochina, launched attacks on the United States, and attacked British assets in Southeast Asia. Japan, although successful throughout the war, lost as America dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese mainland.

Pistols and Hand Guns:

  • Nambu Type 14
  • Type 26
  • Nambu Type 94


  • Type 38 Rifle
  • Type 2 Rifle
  • Type 38 Cavalry Rifle
  • Type 99 Rifle
  • Type 97 Sniper Rifle
  • Type 44 Cavalry Rifle

Machine Guns:

  • Type 11 Light Machine Gun
  • Type 96 Light Machine Gun
  • Type 97 Light Machine Gun
  • Type 99 Light Machine Gun
  • Type 1 Heavy Machine Gun
  • Type 3 Heavy Machine Gun
  • Type 4 Heavy Machine Gun
  • Type 92 Heavy Machine Gun


  • Type 93
  • Type 100


  • Type 10 Fragmentation Hand/Discharger Grenade
  • Type 91 Fragmentation Hand/Discharger Grenade
  • Type 97 Fragmentation Grenade
  • Type 99 Hand/ Rifle Fragmentation Grenade

Grenade Dischargers:

  • Type 10
  • Type 89

Weird WW II Weapons

Tokarev TT-33
Tokarev TT-33
Tokarev SVT-40
Tokarev SVT-40
F1 Fragmentation Hand Grenade
F1 Fragmentation Hand Grenade

Soviet Union WW2 Weapons

The Soviet Union was another Allied country. With the United States, the Soviet Union came out of the war as one of the two leading superpowers. To gain this notable title, they used weapons such as those that have been listed below.

Pistols and Handguns:

  • Nagant M1895
  • Tokarev TT-30/TT-33


  • Mosic-Nagan M1891/30, M1938, M1944
  • Tokarev SVT-38, SVT-40

Machine Guns:

  • DP-28 Light Maching Gun
  • Maxim PM1910 Medium Machine Gun
  • DShK 1938 Heavy Machine Gun

Submachine Gun:

  • PPD-40
  • PPSh-41
  • PPS-43

Anti-Tank Weapons:

  • PTRD-41 (Bolt action Anti-Tank Rifle)
  • PTRS-41 (Semi-Automatic Anti-Tank Rifle)


  • ROKS-2
  • ROKS-3


  • F1 Fragmentation Hand Grenade
  • RGD-33 Fragmentation Hand Grenade
  • RG-41 Anti-Tank Hand Grenade
  • RG-42 Fragmentation Hand Grenade
  • RPG-6 HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank) Hand Grenade
  • RPG-43 HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank) Hand Grenade

Colt M1911
Colt M1911
Lewis Light Machine Gun
Lewis Light Machine Gun
PIAT (Projector, Infantry, Anti-Tank)
PIAT (Projector, Infantry, Anti-Tank)

United Kingdom WW2 Weapons

The third Allied country, was the United Kingdom. To which weapons they commonly used were various handguns, machine guns, and grenades.

Pistols and Handguns:

  • Enfield Revolver No. 2 MK.1
  • Webley Mk.VI (.455) & Mk.IV (.38/200)
  • Smith & Wesson "Victory"
  • Browning FN-Inglis No. 2 Mk.1 Pistol
  • Colt M1911/A1


  • Lee Enfield SMLE's
  • Pattern 14 (P14) "No. 3"

Machine Guns:

  • Bren Ligh Machine Gun
  • Lewis Light Machine Gun
  • Vickers Medium Machine Gun

Submachine Guns:

  • Sten
  • Lanchester
  • Thompson M1928, M1928/A1, M1, M1A1

Anti-Tank Weapons:

  • PIAT (Projector, Infantry, Anti-Tank)
  • Rifle, Anti-Tank, .55 in, Boys


  • No. II Mk.II Flamethrower "Lifebuoy"


  • No. 36M Mk.I (Fragmentation Hand/Rifle Grenade; "Mills Bomb")
  • Grenade, Rifle No. 68 AT- HEAT anti-tank rifle grenade
  • No. 69 Mk.I Bakelite Concussion Hand Grenade
  • No. 73 Anti-tank hand grenade "Thermos Grenade"
  • No. 74 ST Grenade "Sticky Bomb"- anti-tank hand grenade
  • No. 75 Anti-tank Hand Grenade "Hawkins Grenade"/ "Hawkins Mine"
  • No. 76 Special Incendiary Phosphorus Hand Grenade
  • No. 77 White Phosphorus Hand Grenade
  • No. 82 Anti-tank Hand Grenade "Gammon Grenade/ Bomb"

Aftermath of World War 2

After the end of the war, many British crown colonis and Dutch territories claimed their independence.

New nations and alliances were formed throughout Asia and Africa.

The Philippines were granted their independence from the United States in 1946.

Poland redrew its boundaries to inlude portions of pre-war Germany, and to exclude most of the areas taken by the Soviet Union.

Germany was split into four zones of occupation, and the three zones under the Western Allies was reconstituted as a constitutional democracy.

Europe was informally split into Western and Soviet spheres of influence.

In 1945, the allied nations, formed the United Nations in order to minimize future conflicts.

In 1952, a peace treaty was signed between Japan and the United States.

And, after the war China's international status was enhanced as they no longer had Imperial Japan interfering.


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