The STG 44 is a German assault rifle developed during World War II. Also known as the MP43 and MP44, it was an improvement on the earlier Maschinenkarabiner 42(H). The MP44 was the first successful assault rifle that featured an intermediate cartridge, controllable automatic fire, and a more compact design. The principle design of the weapon was to reduce muzzle impulse in order to get useful automatic fire within a more accurate range of combat. This proved to be one of the most important advancements in small arms history, with its influence still being seen today in modern assault rifles.