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Old 30th October 2018, 03:37 PM   #241
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
The 88 was never used as indirect artillery though was it? They make that mistake is Saving Private Ryan, but I'm pretty sure it didn't start there. US soldiers commonly referred to all German artillery as "88's"; I know I've seen it in print and filmed documentaries.
Yeah, "88" was a common GI term for any German artillery piece.

In rough situations, apparently, there were attempts to use 88's for indirect fire, but with little success.
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Old 7th November 2018, 02:57 PM   #242
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If you are talking about a weapon where the Germans were ahead of the curve, it was the MG 34/42 . Easily the best LMG of the war. It was a Squad LMG with the firepower of the other countries Medium Machine Gun. Allied Troops gladly used it instead of their own LMG as long as ammo could be found for it. Eisenhower was so impressed with it after he saw a captured model in action that he serious advocated having it straight up copied for Allied Use. Even today, almost every Squad level LMG is based on the principals used for the MG 34/42.
BTW the two models functioned the same, the 42 was just a simplified for mass production with some of the frills the 34 had on left off.(they were seldom used anyway.
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Old 7th November 2018, 06:38 PM   #243
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Problem with the MG42 was the stupidly high rate of fire.

I didn't have the firepower of a medium. Like all LMGs it was air cooled, this limited it's sustained fire rate. Like the Bren it camewith several barrels so they could be swapped to keep them cool.
Plus it had to go on a tripod to take on the medium role so you lost the advantages of the air cooling but still had the drawbacks for sustained fire use.
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Old 8th November 2018, 05:13 AM   #244
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
If you are talking about a weapon where the Germans were ahead of the curve, it was the MG 34/42 . Easily the best LMG of the war. It was a Squad LMG with the firepower of the other countries Medium Machine Gun. Allied Troops gladly used it instead of their own LMG as long as ammo could be found for it. Eisenhower was so impressed with it after he saw a captured model in action that he serious advocated having it straight up copied for Allied Use. Even today, almost every Squad level LMG is based on the principals used for the MG 34/42.
BTW the two models functioned the same, the 42 was just a simplified for mass production with some of the frills the 34 had on left off.(they were seldom used anyway.
I'm a bit of Commonwealth nut, but I believe that the Bren was a better LMG than the 34/42. I haven't seen any evidence of Canadian troops using captured 34/42s such as pictures or written reports that such weapons were used for more than just emergencies (ie. using a just captured piece), unlike German parkas, or MP38/40s which had to be ordered withdrawn from use a few times.
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Old 8th November 2018, 10:43 AM   #245
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Originally Posted by Border Reiver View Post
I'm a bit of Commonwealth nut, but I believe that the Bren was a better LMG than the 34/42. I haven't seen any evidence of Canadian troops using captured 34/42s such as pictures or written reports that such weapons were used for more than just emergencies (ie. using a just captured piece), unlike German parkas, or MP38/40s which had to be ordered withdrawn from use a few times.
BREN was not British design... (BRno-ENfield)
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Old 8th November 2018, 11:07 AM   #246
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Originally Posted by Border Reiver View Post
I'm a bit of Commonwealth nut, but I believe that the Bren was a better LMG than the 34/42. I haven't seen any evidence of Canadian troops using captured 34/42s such as pictures or written reports that such weapons were used for more than just emergencies (ie. using a just captured piece), unlike German parkas, or MP38/40s which had to be ordered withdrawn from use a few times.
The MG-42, with a lower ROF, and chambered for 7.62 NATO is basically still in service. The FN-MAG, or M240 is US military terms. But the ROF was just too frickin high for infantry use. ETA: oh and it replaced the Bren and Lewis gun in the British Army lol.

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Old 8th November 2018, 11:54 AM   #247
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
The MG-42, with a lower ROF, and chambered for 7.62 NATO is basically still in service. The FN-MAG, or M240 is US military terms. But the ROF was just too frickin high for infantry use. ETA: oh and it replaced the Bren and Lewis gun in the British Army lol.
Bren was issued up until 1992 and was replaced with the Enfield L86 LSW which in it's original form wasn't that good but the current versions are good.

Bren being magazine fed could be fired from the hand and on the move, ammunition was kept clean and was easier to carry as magazines could be distributed through a section and Magazines could be reloaded with loose ammunition in the field.

Vickers Guns were still the standard medium machine gun and could sustain almost indefinite fire unlike an air cooled gun.
When they were withdrawn from service in the 1960s some of them had fired more than a million rounds and were still reliable with little sign of wear on their mechanisms.

Lewis Gun was only used by Home Guard units and some small warships like Minesweepers as AA guns in WW2.

Vickers on 'Forgotten Weapons' (one of the best YouTube channels for old guns

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Bren at the range on 'Forgotten Weapons'

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MG34 on 'Forgotten Weapons'

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MG42 at the range on 'Forgotten Weapons'

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Development of the 'Universal machine Gun' concept on 'Forgotten Weapons'

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Old 8th November 2018, 12:05 PM   #248
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Bren was issued up until 1992 and was replaced with the Enfield L86 LSW which in it's original form wasn't that good but the current versions are good..

Lewis Gun was only used by Home Guard units and some small warships like Minesweepers as AA guns in WW2.
I meant Vickers instead of Lewis

The L7A2 is still in service with British Army. The L7A1 saw service during the Falklands war (although I honestly don't know in what specific roles, or if the Bren was still the SAW), and the Argentines had their own version of it. Not to say the Bren was bad (I'd take it over a BAR), but if the basic design of the MG-42 wasn't better than the Bren then I guess a whole bunch of militaries adopted the wrong weapon.
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Old 8th November 2018, 12:11 PM   #249
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You are confusing different roles though, the L7A1 'General Purpose machine Gun' was a different weapon with a different role to the LMG (bren), as stated it was withdrawn when the L86 came in to service. a Bren was issued to each section of four men, the L7a1 was a platoon weapon.
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Old 9th November 2018, 12:15 PM   #250
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Going to see "Overlord" tonight.
GI's fighting Nazi Zombies just looks like too much fun to pass up...
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Old 9th November 2018, 12:24 PM   #251
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Bren was issued up until 1992 and was replaced with the Enfield L86 LSW which in it's original form wasn't that good but the current versions are good.

Bren being magazine fed could be fired from the hand and on the move, ammunition was kept clean and was easier to carry as magazines could be distributed through a section and Magazines could be reloaded with loose ammunition in the field.

Vickers Guns were still the standard medium machine gun and could sustain almost indefinite fire unlike an air cooled gun.
When they were withdrawn from service in the 1960s some of them had fired more than a million rounds and were still reliable with little sign of wear on their mechanisms.

Lewis Gun was only used by Home Guard units and some small warships like Minesweepers as AA guns in WW2.

Vickers on 'Forgotten Weapons' (one of the best YouTube channels for old guns

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Bren at the range on 'Forgotten Weapons'

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MG34 on 'Forgotten Weapons'

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MG42 at the range on 'Forgotten Weapons'

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Development of the 'Universal machine Gun' concept on 'Forgotten Weapons'

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Your last link was just the MG34 one again - I guess it was a typo
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Old 9th November 2018, 02:26 PM   #252
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
Your last link was just the MG34 one again - I guess it was a typo
No it isn't the first MG 34 link was about the development of the gun and includes a strip down, the second one is shooting both at the range. 42 is from 2:40

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Old 11th November 2018, 12:07 PM   #253
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Problem with the MG42 was the stupidly high rate of fire.

I didn't have the firepower of a medium. Like all LMGs it was air cooled, this limited it's sustained fire rate. Like the Bren it camewith several barrels so they could be swapped to keep them cool.
Plus it had to go on a tripod to take on the medium role so you lost the advantages of the air cooling but still had the drawbacks for sustained fire use.
The rate-of-fire could be reduced to ~800rpm with the heavy bolt.
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Old 11th November 2018, 12:08 PM   #254
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Originally Posted by Border Reiver View Post
I'm a bit of Commonwealth nut, but I believe that the Bren was a better LMG than the 34/42. I haven't seen any evidence of Canadian troops using captured 34/42s such as pictures or written reports that such weapons were used for more than just emergencies (ie. using a just captured piece), unlike German parkas, or MP38/40s which had to be ordered withdrawn from use a few times.
I remember seeing a photo of one mounted on a Cromwell in place of the top Bren.
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Old 11th November 2018, 12:53 PM   #255
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A Cromwell wouldn't have had a Bren on top. British tanks didn't have a mounting for a turret top gun at all. (There were some exceptions early in the war in the Desert where an AA fitting was added to some tanks)
Shermans got a .50 or .30 cal gun because they came as standard with them from the USA and had a mount for them.

Any gun you saw on a Cromwell would have been added by the crew.

But again, a gun fitted on top of a tank is a different thing to an LMG.

We seem to be getting confused as to the roles of different classes of machine gun.

We have already seen it suggested that the FN L7A2 replaced the Bren. It didn't it replaced the Vickers Medium.
Bren (or LMG as it was later designated) was replaced with the L86 when the SA80 came in to service.

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Old 11th November 2018, 02:08 PM   #256
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Not that a Bren wasn't part of the issued kit for a tank.
A Cromwell had a Bren and Thompsons issued as personal defence weapons.
They were stowed inside the tank with one of the Thompsons on the turret side and available to the commander or Radio Operator (the men with hatches).
Belt fed weapons aren't a good idea inside a tank and the MG34 /42 had 'snail magazines' available so they could be used in a Light Machine Gun Role where a belt of ammunition would be awkward.
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Old 12th November 2018, 04:04 AM   #257
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British tanks used 8mm mauser ammo in their besa machine guns so using a captured MG34 or 42 would be an option. Infantry would have a harder time keeping them fed.
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Old 12th November 2018, 04:49 AM   #258
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Originally Posted by Reactor drone View Post
British tanks used 8mm mauser ammo in their besa machine guns so using a captured MG34 or 42 would be an option. Infantry would have a harder time keeping them fed.
You think that the crew of a tank have the time to strip ammunition out of a Besa belt and try to reload a belt for a captured MG?
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Old 12th November 2018, 12:37 PM   #259
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Problem with the MG42 was the stupidly high rate of fire.

I didn't have the firepower of a medium. Like all LMGs it was air cooled, this limited it's sustained fire rate. Like the Bren it camewith several barrels so they could be swapped to keep them cool.
Plus it had to go on a tripod to take on the medium role so you lost the advantages of the air cooling but still had the drawbacks for sustained fire use.
Technically it was the birth of the GPMG. And true medium and heavy machineguns are not fielded by anyone any more.
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Old 12th November 2018, 12:38 PM   #260
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Originally Posted by Border Reiver View Post
I'm a bit of Commonwealth nut, but I believe that the Bren was a better LMG than the 34/42. I haven't seen any evidence of Canadian troops using captured 34/42s such as pictures or written reports that such weapons were used for more than just emergencies (ie. using a just captured piece), unlike German parkas, or MP38/40s which had to be ordered withdrawn from use a few times.
Of course those SMG's would be easier to feed than the MG42
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Old 12th November 2018, 01:02 PM   #261
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
Technically it was the birth of the GPMG. And true medium and heavy machineguns are not fielded by anyone any more.
The M2 Browning was definitely a heavy machine gun from inception and is still used.

I'd agree about medium machineguns like the Maxim (or equivalents).
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Old 12th November 2018, 01:21 PM   #262
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Water cooled guns went out of favour when warfare became more mobile.

If I was setting up a defensive position and needed sustained fire over defined arcs then a Vickers would still be the best choice. It can shoot for as long as you can feed ammunition in to it without a break.
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Old 12th November 2018, 03:00 PM   #263
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Water cooled guns went out of favour when warfare became more mobile.

If I was setting up a defensive position and needed sustained fire over defined arcs then a Vickers would still be the best choice. It can shoot for as long as you can feed ammunition in to it without a break.
Are there any modern situations like that? Maybe the DPRK might have some?

ETA: I am struggling to envision a situation where one side has the resources to attack such a fixed defence, and doesn't have the resources or will to attack such low-mobility strongpoints with some form of guided munition.
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Old 12th November 2018, 04:16 PM   #264
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
Of course those SMG's would be easier to feed than the MG42
With the Sten using the same mags? Yes, and they were a lot more reliable then the Sten as well.
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Old 12th November 2018, 07:14 PM   #265
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I think that was supposed to be LMGs not SMGs?
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Old 13th November 2018, 05:19 AM   #266
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
I think that was supposed to be LMGs not SMGs?
I was responding to the idea that Allied troops used MG34/42s in other than an emergency. I've seen quite a bit in the Regimental war diaries about order coming down to stop using MP38/40s, but nothing about orders to stop using MG34/42s. (Also a couple of orders sent out in January and February 1945 to stop wearing German Parkas)

This tells me that the use of captured MG34/42s by Allied troops (at least in NW Europe by 1 Cdn Army) was not very common, but the use of captured SMGs was. When you consider that the Sten used the same magazine and ammunition as the MP38/40, and was a far more reliable weapon that makes sense. Using a captured MG34/42 makes less sense when you start realizing that the hassle of keeping it fed (and the other issues that may come from using captured equipment) is going to outweigh any increase you might find in capability over your own kit.
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Old 13th November 2018, 05:29 AM   #267
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Sten Magazine is different to MP magazine but ammo was the same..
Forgotten Weapons has a couple of very good vids on the Sten and the development of the Stirling post war.
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Old 13th November 2018, 05:31 AM   #268
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
The M2 Browning was definitely a heavy machine gun from inception and is still used.

I'd agree about medium machineguns like the Maxim (or equivalents).
That is because the definition of a heavy machine gun has changed. Maxim is the original heavy machine gun, because it was accurate and could fire as long as ammunition heald out and the tripods weighted as much as the gun.

the M2 is really the first of what we call heavy machine guns now but being air cooled never really could hold up to the kind of sustained fire of real ones.

In the context of WWII Maxim and vickers were heavy machine guns, if on the right mount.
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Old 13th November 2018, 05:33 AM   #269
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Water cooled guns went out of favour when warfare became more mobile.

If I was setting up a defensive position and needed sustained fire over defined arcs then a Vickers would still be the best choice. It can shoot for as long as you can feed ammunition in to it without a break.
Which is why the terminology has shifted with regards to heavy machine guns. Now they refer to the anti material machine guns.
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Old 13th November 2018, 07:00 AM   #270
Captain_Swoop
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There were water jacketed .50 cals.
They were used as AA guns on ships and the US Army had a half track AA mount.
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Old 13th November 2018, 01:03 PM   #271
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
There were water jacketed .50 cals.
They were used as AA guns on ships and the US Army had a half track AA mount.
M1917 Water cooled Browning .30 cals were in widespread use in the Pacific by US Marines at least early in the war. I know they were in use in Korea because I've heard stories of soldiers urinating in the reservoir as emergency anti-freeze.
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Old 13th November 2018, 01:48 PM   #272
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
M1917 Water cooled Browning .30 cals were in widespread use in the Pacific by US Marines at least early in the war. I know they were in use in Korea because I've heard stories of soldiers urinating in the reservoir as emergency anti-freeze.
And that likely would be a very useful weapon against the human wave attacks used in that war.
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Old 13th November 2018, 03:54 PM   #273
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In a previous post the Besa machine gun used in British tanks in WW2 was mentioned.
There were usually two of them, one coaxial with the main gun and fired by the gunner the other in the hull front in a flexible mount with it's own gunner to fire it.
This latter gun could be dismounted and used with a tripod and shoulder stock if needed.
I haven't come across any pictures or examples of it actually being done though.
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