My brother and I went shooting yesterday. This is not unusual. I shot my M1 carbine, one of the guns that we used in WWII, Korea, and even into Vietnam. My brother brought along his CZ-52 and his new-to-him Mauser Broomhandle. We had a lot of fun shooting. We had a lot less fun cleaning afterwards. When I say "we" I mean him.
The internal workings of the broomhandle are a wonder. Until you take them a part to clean them. Then they are one of the most fiendish jigsaw puzzles ever devised. I have no idea how a German soldier of WWI or WWII would ever clean his weapon in the field. There are little pieces that are easily lost. Grit in the wrong place and you would surely be screwed. Putting everything back together requires tools and a lot of know-how. It isn't fun.
We didn't have a hard time dreaming up a scenario where an American Doughboy came up against a German Gerry in the trenches and had this conversation:
"Hey Fritzie, whatcha doing?"
"Achhh, mein mauser she is impossible. I cannot get her back together..."
"Really mine comes apart like this..." clackity clackity "and goes together like this" clickity clickity.
"Oh damn." Violence follows.
"Hey Klaus, whatcha doing?"
"Achhh, mein Luger she is impossible..."