The Second World War-era United States Marines, the elite landing troops that wrested back control of the Pacific from Imperial Japan.
The German Fallschirmjäger, the battle-hardened paratroopers of Hitler’s Luftwaffe, used to overwhelm Nazi Germany’s enemies and defend her borders.
Who is deadliest?
To find out, I’ve suggested some of history’s most lethal weapon to be tested by the world’s leading combat experts. I’ll recommend some tests that could be performed with 21st Century science to see what would happen if the two warriors went toe to toe. No rules, no safety, no mercy – it’s a hypothetical duel to the death to decide who would be…the deadliest warrior!
The first test would be medium-range weapons. Both sides would have to fire their medium-range automatic rifle at a series of targets – first at two advancing targets while behind a wall, and then at 3 in a bunker formation. The test would be timed and scored for accuracy and lethality.
For the USMC: The M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle, a .30 caliber automatic rifle with a 20 round magazine, designed after the American experience with trench warfare in World War I.
For the Fallschirmjäger: The StG 44, the world’s first assault rifle, which fired a 7.92mm round from a 30 round clip.
The second test would be accuracy at distance with long-range weapons. Both sides would have to shoot at a series of four targets, two in the open, and two in cover. The targets would be at a series of distances (75 ft, 150 ft, 225 ft, 300 ft). Both sides would get 15 rounds and be timed, and suffer penalties for inaccuracy.
For the USMC: The M1 Garand, the standard rifle of the Americans in the Second World War. The Garand was the first semi-automatic rifle to be issued as standard gear.
For the Fallschirmjäger: The Gewehr 43, a semi-automatic rifle designed to increase the amount of firepower the average German infantryman could put out: and especially deadly in the hands of a paratrooper.
The third test would be for melee weapons. In this test, we’d deal with quickness to draw and strike lethal blows on two approaching targets. Time AND lethality is a factor with this test.
For the USMC: The KA-BAR combat knife, the lethal favoured melee weapon of Marines, and specifically designed for knife fighting.
For the Fallschirmjäger: The Messer gravity knife, designed especially to allow the paratroopers to defend and fight right after hitting the ground.
Finally, we would test pistols. Again, a draw and engage paradigm would be used. The operator would have to draw and turn and fire on an approaching target, then move through a short obstacle course and kill four enemies.
For the USMC: The Colt M1911, the famous Colt .45; the official sidearm of the United States military for over fifty years.
For the Fallschirmjäger: The Browning Hi-Powered, a Belgian pistol co-opted by the Fallschirmjäger in recognition of its unique utility and excellent stopping power.
This would be really close. I think the advantage lies with the StG at medium range, but the Garand at long; not sure how the pistols would fare. This matchup could easily end up dead even. I hope the guys at DW do this matchup; it’d be a classic.