The Backbone – Maschinengewehr 42 (Battle of Narva)

42 Gunner taking aim
The backbone of the German infantry taking aim with an MG42 (Maschinengewehr 42). The MG42 has a proven record of reliability, durability, simplicity, and ease of operation, but is most notable for being able to produce a stunning volume of suppressive fire. The MG 42 has one of the highest average rates of fire of any single-barreled man-portable machine gun, between 1,200 and 1,500 rpm, resulting in a distinctive muzzle report. The quality of design and workmanship meant long and extremely precise manufacturing processes, and eventually five factories were doing nothing but turn out MG34s/MG42s as hard as they could. This, the finest general-purpose machine-gun ever produced, is still in service with the German Bundeswehr in only slightly modified form as the 7.62 mm MG 3. Commons: Bundesarchiv.

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