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Rheinmetall AG is a German automotive and defence company with factories in Düsseldorf, Kassel and Unterlüß. The company has a long tradition of making guns and artillery pieces. The company is also involved in a variety of advanced metal-working and milling technologies, allowing it to provide special high-quality components for small arms in addition to heavy weapon production.


With help from a consortium of banks, Rheinische Metallwaren- und Maschinenfabrik Aktiengesellschaft was founded on 13 April 1889 by Heinrich Ehrhardt (born 1840 in Zella/Rhön - died in 1928 Zella-Mehlis).

During the Spanish Civil War, Rheinmetall-Borsig, then controlled by Hermann Goering, was a major supplier of arms to the Spanish Republicans, to Goering’s profit, even though German forces were fighting with the Spanish Nationalists. They were shipped via Pyrkal in Greece.

Rheinmetall built the MG 42, the Wehrmacht's main general-purpose medium machine gun. Its successor, the MG3, is still used by the Bundeswehr, as well as other armies.

Rheinmetall made bomb fuses during World War II. The most notable was a double-capacitor design, invented by Herbert Ruhlman and patented in the UK before the war, which was particularly dangerous to defuse should the bomb not explode on impact. Many bomb disposal personnel were killed. The patent for the fuse was filed in the UK two years before Hitler came to power in 1933. The UK Armed Forces spotted this and reference to the patent helped...
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