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The MG 34 or Maschinengewehr 34 was a 7.92mm, air-cooled, general purpose, recoil-operated machine gun that was utilized by Germany during World War II.

Description

It entered service into the German Wehrmacht in 1934. It had a rate of fire of around 900 rpm and it weighed about 11 kilograms.[1] The length of the MG 34 was 121.9 cm and the maximum range was about 3,500 meters.[2] Since the MG 34 was designed to be able to take light and heavy roles it could be mounted onto a fixed position or it could be used by infantry with the weapon's standard bipod.[3] While tripods varied, generally the MG 34 used one of two tripods. These were the Lafette 34 for use against infantry and the Dreibein 34 for use in an anti-aircraft role. The MG 34 also carried a 75 round drum or a 250 round belt magazine. 

Variants

The MG 34 had only two variants; the MG 34/41, which had an increased rate of fire, and the MG 34 Panzerlauf, which was modified for tank usage. The MG 34/41 was slightly heavier than the original MG 34 and very little numbers were produced. The MG 34 Panzerlauf had some infantry usage features removed because it was to be confined inside tanks. This included the buttstock.

History

The MG 34 was mainly mounted on tanks and was used throughout World War II even though it was replaced by the MG 42. Since it was a general purpose weapon it could be used in many places making it a very useful weapon to the Germans. It was used in many campaigns throughout the war. There were even some MG 34s exported to Japan at the start of the war. Unfortunately for the manufacturers of the MG 34, it was very expensive and time consuming to produce.[4] The MG 34 was meant to replace many older MGs such as the MG 13, but production never really reached such a high level. Even so, the MG 34 was used in places such as the Dieppe Raid or on the Eastern Front.

References

  1. http://world.guns.ru/machine/de/mg-34-e.html
  2. http://www.militaryfactory.com/smallarms/detail.asp?smallarms_id=63
  3. http://armusa.com/MG34.htm
  4. http://ww2total.com/WW2/Weapons/Infantry/Firearms/German/MG-34/MG34.htm


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