Hugo Schmeisser was born September 24, 1884 in Germany. in 1918 Schmeisser began working on a small, easily maneuvered weapon with rapid fire capability in response to the large number of human losses created by trench warfare during WW I. Schmeisser’s first design, the MP 18/1 saw limited action at the end of WW I with great success. However, the MP 18/1’s limited number and late introduction did not allow it to impact the outcome of the war. Schmeisser continued to improve his submachine gun design in secrecy due to restrictions from the Treaty of Versailles. Adolph Hitlers rise to power relaunched the German arms program and prompted German arms manufacturer ERMA Waffenfabriek to develop the MP 38 based on Schmeisser’s MP 36 design. Later the design was again simplified leading to the production of the MP 40. Schmeisser’s design and its descendants were some of the first submachine guns to see widespread use and Hugo Schmeisser is regarded as one of the most influential weapons designers of the 20th century.