Cautiously moving forward and carrying his brand-new Sturmgewehr ’44 this SS trooper is holding one of the world’s first and most effective Assault Rifles. Although most of the initial production was sent to units fighting on the Eastern Front a number were sent westwards to be tested in France and the Low Countries. By the end of the war in Europe some 425,000 Stg. ‘44s had been produced and distributed. Post 1945 the Sturmgewehr ’44 remained in use with the East German People’s Army until the early 1960s when it was finally replaced by the ubiquitous AK47.