May 26, 2022

WE ARE ALL NATIONAL SOCIALISTS NOW: WaPo senior editor reminds us that the AR-15 was ‘invented for Nazi infantrymen’ in the late 1950s.

More details here: The Washington Post Invents A New History For AR-15s.

A 2018 Washington Post article about AR-15s is recirculating today after senior editor Marc Fisher tweeted it out in the wake of the Texas elementary school shooting. In it, he contends that the AR-15 was “[i]nvented for Nazi infantrymen” and “is a descendant of the machine guns Nazi infantrymen used against Soviet forces in World War II.” The piece is brimming with the customary fearmongering, but as I’d written a chapter about the AR-15/M-16 in my cultural history of guns, the claim piqued my curiosity.

In researching the origins of the Armalite company, reading every book and contemporaneous information I could get my hands on, never once do I recall running across any mention of the AR’s inventor Gene Stoner being influenced by “Nazi” firearms, much less basing his famous rifle on a German assault rifle. Armalite, in fact, was the first company to successfully hybridize American technological advances of World War II airplane design, plastics, and alloys, with small arms. So, I’d love to find out which Wikipedia page Fisher pulled this information from.

Comrade Ogilvy used one, but I forget if it was in the Eastasia or Eurasia campaign?

(Classical allusion in headline.)

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