The following is a list of the weapons and equipment featured in Call of Duty: World at War, each with its own historical description and link(s) to images of the real things. I just decided to post this to help players get a better understanding of how the guns they are firing in the game would have been like in the real world.
M1903 Springfield: Originally used in WWI, the Springfield bolt action rifle was used almost exclusively as a sniper rifle in WWII. The M1 Garand replaced it as the standard issue rifle.
Arisaka: The standard infantry rifle of the Japanese military, the Arisaka was usually equipped with a bayonet. It was already somewhat outdated by the start of the war.
Mosin-Nagant: Standard issue Russian Rifle prior to WWII and remained in service and production throughout the war. It was adapted to a sniper rifle in some cases and was rugged, reliable, and favored by most Soviet troops.
Karabiner 98K: Widely used German infantry rifle in WWII. The Kar98k was simply and updated and shortened version of its cousin from the First World War. Reliable and accurate, it was also adapted to a sniper rifle by the end of WWII.
PTRS-41: This Russian anti-tank gun was simple but reliable. It was used against everything from light vehicles to mortar emplacements.
SVT-40: Used by the Red Army during Hitler’s long, cold winter offensive. The rifle was a bit short lived among Russian troops in WWII who lacked the training to operate it, and saw only moderate usage after the war.
Gewehr 43 (with scope): Used by German soldiers in the second half of WWII, the G43 was the German answer to the American M1 Garand and Soviet SVT-44. The Gewehr was semi-automatic and often fitted with a telescopic sight.
M1 Garand: The first widely used semi-automatic rifle of the war, the American M1 Garand would set the stage for weapons such as the Gewehr 43. The Garand’s semi automatic firing mechanism gave U.S. troops an instant advantage over enemies wielding bolt-action rifles. This versatile rifle could be adapted to use sniper scopes, rifle grenades, and bayonets.
STG-44: Another in the line of innovative German weapons towards the end of the war. The STG-44 had enough range to counter rifle-toting opponents. It could provide supporting fire like a machine gun, and could also be used effectively at close range.
M1A1 Carbine (paratrooper): The versatile M1A1 Carbine was used by a mix of U.S. troops in WWII. It was handy for paratroopers because of its light weight and small size. It was also used by other highly mobile front line soldiers especially in the jungles of the Pacific theatre where it was convenient in the dense underbrush. However, the M1A1’s accurate range was less than that of the M1 Garand.
Thompson SMG: The Thompson sub machine gun was used by both American and British forces and could be seen throughout the war with either the 30-round box or stick clip, or the 50-round drum magazine. The Thompson was accurate at close range, lightweight, and small. It was particularly favored by paratroopers, British commandos, and scouts.
MP-40: The Machinenpistole-40 saw extensive use among German soldiers. It was small with low recoil which made it popular among paratroopers. This German SMG had had a slower rate of fire than it’s American counterpart (the Thompson) and was operated by a simple recoil operated bolt.
Nambu Type-100: Japan’s only sub machine gun of the war. It was accurate and light with low recoil and often fitted with a bayonet. The Type-100 did not see use quite as widespread as the SMGs of the U.S. and Germany but demand did go up as the war went on. The gun was underpowered but well made none the less.
PPSh 41: The Pistolet-Pulemyot Shpagina 41 was a widely massed produced and, highly popular, Russian sub machine gun. It was low maintenance and easy to produce. The high rate of fire made the PPSh an extremely effective close range weapon.
M1897: The “Trench Gun” shotgun got its name due to its deadliness in the trenches of both World Wars. It was particularly popular among resistance fighters.
Double Barrel Shotgun: It is unclear exactly when the first double barrel shotguns were actually produced. While they may have been used in some scenarios in WWII, they were not (to the best of my knowledge) issued to soldiers on any front (with the possible exception of partisans). The image is of an older model of shotgun.
Type-99: This Japanese light machine gun was commissioned towards the start of WWII and used throughout. It gas operated and air cooled with a relatively low rate of fire making single shots possible with a tap of the trigger. The gun came equipped with a carrying handle for portability and was usually fired while resting on its bipod.
Browning Automatic Rifle (with bipod): The BAR was a standard issue American medium machine gun in WWII. The gun couldn’t really be used as a heavy support weapon because of its low ammo capacity and was not as small and light as the Thompson. The BAR was used simply as a shoulder fired automatic rifle. It was plagued with rust and corrosion however and had mixed reviews by the end of the war.
DP-28 (with bipod): The DP-28 was the main light machine gun of the Soviets during WWII. It was, like so many other Soviet weapons, easy to build and maintain as well as very durable. Its slower rate of fire meant that overheating was not a major problem.
MG-42 (with bipod): The Machinengewehr-42 inspired fear in any soldier who faced it due to its extremely high rate of fire (about 1200 rounds per minute). While this meant that the gun could be used to terrifying effect on exposed enemies, it also meant that the barrel overheated and wore out very quickly. Most MG-42s where used as emplaced weapons and were not very portable. In fact, a six man crew was optimal for operating one although three man crews were more common.
FG-42: The Fallschirmjägergewehr-42 was specifically designed as a German paratrooper weapon. It saw only limited use outside of paratrooper corps. The gun could be used as a semi-automatic rifle or in fully automatic support roles.
Browning M1919 (with tripod): The air-cooled infantry version of the American Browning M1919 was operated by a two to four man crew and needed to be set on a tripod or bipod in order to be fired accurately. Infantry use was only part of the M1919’s capabilities however, it was also mounted on tanks and other vehicles.
Colt M1911: The Colt M1911 pistol was the standard issue sidearm to American soldiers in WWII. The recoil operated design was simple and reliable and widely copied by other nations.
Nambu: The Nambu was the most common sidearm of the Japanese army in WWII. The original variant of the weapon was used in WWI and was changed little by the Second World War. The weapon was fairly crude overall but was widely used nonetheless.
Walther P-38: The innovative Walther P-38 was a German pistol used towards the end of the war. It was originally designed as a replacement for the German Luger P08.
Tokarev TT-33: The TT-33 was a widely used semi-automatic Russian pistol with a simple, recoil operated design. Like many other Soviet weapons during WWII, the TT-33 was easy to produce and maintain.
M2-2 Fragmentation Grenade: The American “pineapple” Mk-2 fragmentation grenade was commonly used throughout WWII
No. 74 ST:The "Sticky" Grenade was a high elxplosive grenade coated in cloth which was soaked in an adhesive substense so that it would stick to the treads of tanks.
M18 Smoke Grenade: Commonly used by soldiers to signal their location to other troops or cover their movements from enemy eyes.
Walther Signal Flare Pistol: Signal flares were used throughout WWII. They were often fired from a specially designed pistol but could also be tossed by hand. They were used to signal friendly troops or to illuminate an area at night.
Telescopic Scope: Telescopic sights were used on sniper rifles throughout WWII. Lower zoom sights were also used on some German weapons such as the Gewehr 43 and STG-44.
Bayonet: Bayonets were used by all sides throughout the war but most notably by Japan. Japan’s rich military heritage lead to the continued widespread use of bayonets all the way through WWII even though they were quickly growing outdated.
Rifle Grenade: First used in WWI, rifle grenades were often simply normal fragmentation grenades equipped with a frame that mounted on the end of a rifle barrel. The idea was to increase accuracy and range, and rifle grenades are being used to great effect even now.
Sound Suppressor (as early as 1902): Sound suppressors were developed even before the First World War but they did not see widespread use until the middle of the second. Even then most attachments served only to reduce muzzle flash rather than report. Still, they were used in WWII. In fact, the Browning Automatic Rifle came with a bipod and built in flash hider. The term “silencer” which is often applied to sound suppressors is somewhat inaccurate. This is because even if the report is silenced the gun would have to fire sub-sonic rounds in order for the rounds to make a sound.
Aperture sight: Aperture sights consist simply of a small round metal ring through which the soldier aligns the front sight. They were common on several WWII era guns such as the M1 Garand.
Bouncing Betty: This nickname applies to both American and German variants of an anti-personnel mine employed during WWII. The most famous of those mines was the German Schrapnellmine which was trigger by a pressure of about 15 pounds (although later adapted to use tripwires), and was launched into the air by a black powder charge. The mine then detonated at a height of two to four feet, sending shrapnel in all directions.
Panzershreck: Inspired by the American "Bazooka", this German anti-tank weapon was designed after the start of the war to fill the void of effective infantry anti-tank weaponry available at the time. It fired a rocket-propelled charge capable of disabling or destroying most allied tanks in a single, well-placed shot. The large amounts of smoke it generated along with its shear weight were the only weaknesses to this otherwise fearsome weapon.
M9 series "Bazooka": The American "Bazooka" was an inventive and effective anti-tank weapon. It fired a rocket-propelled charge that was improved throughout the war until it could penetrate five inches of tank armor.
Flamethrower: Flamethrowers were first used by Nazi soldiers at the start of WWII. The American versions of the flamethrower were the M2A1-7 and the M2-2 which saw extensive use in the Pacific theatre. The only weaknesses to the otherwise devastating weapon were its short range and the volatile backpack that had to be worn to carry fuel.