Following World War I, the Treaty of Versailles set strict limits on the
amount and types of weapons that Termany could have and the size of her Army. These limits
had the effect of increasing the quality or the Army, as all officers could be
hand-picked, and what little development budget was available could be concentrated on the
types of weapons that were allowed under the Treaty.
The [German] Army had taken a long hard look at the lessons learned
between 1914 and 1918 and had decided that the principle weapon of the battlefield would
become the machine gun. Considerable progress had been made by the outbreak of war in
1939, but the financial constraints of the early post-war years had slowed development in
all areas. Consequently, although Germany had some fine weapon designs, many captured and
obsolete designs remained in service...