Hello and welcome back to another Forgotten Hope 2 update.
Today we are showing off the first of many hand weapons for the French, and why not start with the most modern rifle in their armoury in 1940, the MAS 36.
In the aftermath of the First World War, the French army started on a program to replace their ageing infantry weapons, and especially the obsolete 8mm Lebel cartridge. With the successful adoption of the 7.5mm cartridge and the FM 24/29 light machinegun to go with it, attention turned towards infantry rifles. It was decided that there would be 3 separate rifles produced in the new calibre: conversions of existing 8mm rifles as a stopgap, a semi automatic rifle to equip the standing army and a new bolt action rifle for the reserves.
By 1927, neither the conversion program or the development of the semi automatic rifle were progressing fast enough, so the reserve rifle became the priority. Approved in 1936, this new rifle was very much a product of the lessons of the First World War. Manufactured from only a few tens of parts, the MAS 36 was a cheap and quick to manufacture rifle that was capable of withstanding significant abuse. The rifle was supplied with a cruciform spike bayonet that was stored under the barrel and flipped around for use. It had a 5 round internal magazine, with a rear aperture sight and a thick front post protected by two wings.
Production of the MAS 36 started in 1937, and by the time of the German invasion about a quarter of a million had been produced. Despite having been intended as a rifle for the reserves, as the most modern rifle available they were mostly issued to the professional units. There was a version of the Viven-Bessières rifle grenade launcher made to fit the MAS 36. 1.1 million of the rifles would eventually be produced by 1952, with production resuming almost as soon as the Saint-Étienne factory was liberated in 1944. Ours was made by Seth Soldier.
That's all for this week, but be sure to come back next time for another update. Until then, feel free to visit our Discord, our public forums, and/or our Twitter and Facebook pages to discuss this update and other news.