The MP35 (Maschinenpistole 35, literally "Machine Pistol 35") was a submachine gun used by the Wehrmacht, Waffen-SS and German police both before and during World War II. It was developed in the early 1930s by Emil Bergmann (son of Theodor Bergmann) and manufactured at the Bergmann company in Suhl (that also built one of the first submachine guns, the MP 18).[1]

This article is about the Bergmann submachine gun, not to be confused with the Erma MP-35. If you were looking for the similar Steyr submachine gun, see MP34.
Maschinenpistole 35 (MP35)
Bergmann MP35 with a Spare Magazine and a Pouch.
TypeSubmachine gun
Place of originNazi Germany
Service history
In service1935–1945
Used byNazi Germany
Ethiopian Empire
WarsChaco War
Spanish Civil War
World War II
Production history
DesignerEmil Bergmann
ManufacturerBergmann, Schultz & Larsen
Produced1935 - 1944
VariantsBMP32, Bergmann MP34
MassUnloaded 4.24 kg (9.3 lb)
Length840 mm (33.1 in)
Barrel length200 mm (7.9 in)

Cartridge9×19mm Luger Parabellum
Actionopen bolt blowback
Rate of fire~540 round/min
Muzzle velocity~365 m/s (1,198 ft/s)
Effective firing range150–200 m (490–650 ft, 160–220 yds)
Feed system24- or 32-round detachable box magazine
SightsFront post, notched adjustable rear


The forerunner of the MP35 was the MP32 that Danish company Schultz & Larsen produced (under licence from the Bergmann company) and which was chambered for 9×23mm Bergmann ammunition. The BMP32 design was later updated by the Bergmann factory and in 1934, the Bergmann MP34 submachine gun appeared (not to be confused with different Steyr MP34). The limited manufacturing capabilities at the Bergmann plant required production to be shifted to Carl Walther's Zella-Mehlis plant. This German company produced some 2,000 BMP34s for export and domestic sales.

Several variants of the BMP34 were manufactured with a 200mm standard or 320mm barrel. During 1935, a simplified version of the BMP34 designated as Bergmann MP35/I appeared. Initial production orders for MP35 were also placed at Walther, which made about 5,000 SMGs between 1936 and 1940.

With the outbreak of World War II, production once again shifted from Walter to Junker & Ruh (manufacture code 'ajf') to manufacture the MP35 weapon (which it did through to 1944). During the war, about 40,000 Bergmann submachine guns were produced by Junker, and almost all were supplied to the Waffen-SS.


The MP35 was a blowback operated, selective fire SMG which fired from an open bolt. The weapon featured a non-reciprocating cocking handle placed at the rear of the receiver, which was operated in a similar fashion to bolt-action on a Mauser rifle. This involved the weapon carrier to manually pull the handle up, pull backwards, push forwards and lock back down. When the gun was then fired the cocking handle remained stationary.

On the BMP32 the weapon featured a safety at the rear of the bolt (again in a similar location to the Mauser rifle). On both BMP34 and MP35 the safety was relocated to the left side of the receiver. The shooter could select the mode of firing by applying different pressure to the trigger – a short pull fired single shots; a long pull resulted in full automatic fire. Feed was from the right side of the gun, for some mysterious reason, with ejection to the left.

In contrast to many other SMGs of the time the MP35's magazine was inserted from the right-hand side of the weapon. Early versions used proprietary magazines, the BMP35 used Schmeisser MP28-compatible magazines. The barrel was enclosed into tubular jacket with cooling slots and muzzle brake/compensator at the front.


It was first known as the MP32 when adopted as such by the Danish Army in caliber 9×23mm Bergmann then as the MP34 (this not the same as the MP34 made by Steyr) when it was adopted by the Belgian Army as the Mitraillette 34.

It was adopted officially as MP35 by the Wehrmacht. It saw action predominantly with SS troops.[2] In Yugoslavia, both the Partisans and the Chetniks used captured ex-German MP35s.[3]

The MP35 was exported to Bolivia,[4] Ethiopia, Spain and Sweden (where it was designated the number M39).


  1. Chris Bishop. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of WWII. Sterling Publishing Company, Inc. p. 259. ISBN 1-58663-762-2. Retrieved 17 August 2010.
  2. Bruce Quarrie (1993). Waffen-SS Soldier 1940-45. Osprey Publishing Ltd. p. 15. ISBN 1-85532-288-9.
  3. Scarlata, Paul (1 October 2017). "Yugoslav Part II: World War II small arms: an assortment of small arms from friends and foe alike". Firearms News.
  4. Huon, Jean (September 2013). "The Chaco War". Small Arms Review. Vol. 17 no. 3.
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