Of all infantry weapons conceived during the 20th century, few were as important as the submachine gun, a weapon designed specifically for close-quarter combat. This illustrated history examines what was arguably the best such weapon during World War II: the German MP 40. The MP 40 "Schmeisser" - the name comes from the famous German weapons designer who was wrongly believed by Allied troops to be the inspiration for the weapon - is a detailed history of the development and use of this infamous machine pistol. Heavily illustrated with archival photography, cutaway drawings, and twelve detailed artworks, this account follows the MP 40 from its genesis in preliminary World War I designs through its use by the German forces on all fronts and its postwar service with other nations. Comprehensive appendices include full specifications and extensive comparisons with contemporary Allied weapons.