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Nazi Germany's MP 38 and MP 40 submachine guns are among World War II's most iconic weapons, but it is often forgotten that they continued in use all over the world for many decades after 1945, even being seen during the fighting in Libya in 2011. Widely issued to Fallschirmjäger (parachute infantry) owing to their portability and folding stocks, the MP 38 and MP 40 became the hallmarks of Germany's infantry section and platoon leaders; by the war's end the Germans were following the Soviet practice of issuing entire assault platoons with submachine guns.
Over 1 million were produced during World War II, many finding their way after 1945 into the hands of paramilitary and irregular forces, from Israel to Vietnam; the Norwegian armed forces continued to use them until the early 1990s, and examples and derivatives saw widespread use in the Yugoslav wars of that decade.