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Semantics....


Maus
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This post has nothing to do with CM.With that being said I am curious as to the exact meaning of the German Heavy Machinegun Squad. Does this mean Heavy (Machinegun Squad) or (Heavy Machinegun) Squad? I know that this particular group was armed essentially with a medium machine gun, tripod, scope and extra ammo. What I guess I really wonder about was the lack of a large caliber machinegun (similar to the US .50 cal or the Russian 12.7mm) in the German military. Did the Germans ever suffer tactically as a result of not having a large caliber mahinegun? Any thoughts?

Just wondering.......

cheers,

maus

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Hey, good question!

I'm not pretty sure about the answer

Once I was playing Close Combat 2 (aaaargh, eternal damnation! smile.gif ) and I saw that fancy 'Schweres MG' (or whatever way it is written) I was quite happy with it until I noticed it was plainly a MG that costed twice the points.

Anyway, I may have an answer. MGs could be fitted with a bipod (common MGs) or a heavy tripod. In Close Combat 2, the Schweres MG was fitted on a tripod. This was surely to increase accuracy.

I should also say that MGs could also be fitted with a light or heavy bolt. The heavy bolt decreased rate of fire, therefore increasing accuracy. You wanted to use one of those if you had a bipod-mounted MG. But perhaps a tripod could allow you to use the light bolt effectively.

In short: heavy MG squads could fire at a higher rate of fire (1200 rounds per min insteda of 600/800)

I have to tell you I'm NOT sure about it, but it MAY be true (in Close Combat 2, MGs had bipods and Hvy MGs had tripods, if that helps to support my theory)

smile.gif

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Regards

Reverendo

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Germany was the only country to enter the war with a standard machinegun that could be used as either a light or a heavy machinegun.

By using the heavy mantelet the MG34 could fire for longer periods, without going off target, and could fire farther.

The light version could only fire for short bursts and was basically an assault weapon for advancing troops.

The MG34 also had the ability to be aimed indirectly as well. In this method, telescopic sights would be used from concealed positions to not only protect the gun crew, but also to lob bullets over ones own troops and to hit the enemy. At a range of 2000 meters the bullets would reach a zenith of 42 meters in the middle of its trajectory.

The MG42 was marginally lighter, fired faster, had an easy to remove barrel (for when the gun barrel overheated), and most importantly, was much more cost effective and easy to produce than the MG34 being that it was a stamp produced gun, similar to the process in which the mp40 was made.

The MG42 is still used today, with minor modifications, and is also nearly identical to the current M60 used by the American armed forces.

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I thought the M-60 combined features from several weapons - the MG-42 belt feed and BAR gas operation being hte main ones.

Of course I may be thinking of hte FN-MAG.....as I get older my immunity to memory gets stronger! :)

Mike

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Maus-

To get around to answering your question ... smile.gif

To use your terminology, the Germans had (Heavy Machinegun) teams.

As Rommel says, this used the same MG as the grunts had as their squad automatic weapon, either the MG34 or MG42 depending on the year. Like this:

Grunt squad (LMG): MG34/42 with bipod

MMG team: MG34/42 with tripod, more ammo, maybe 1-2 more spare barrels than the grunts would carry.

HMG team: MG34/42 with tripod, way more ammo, a few more spare barrels, and all the special sighting devices.

Mike: The US M60's other main ancestor besides the MG42 was the somewhat obscure FG4something (see how obscure it is? smile.gif ). This was a special LMG developed for German paratroops (hence the name).

-Bullethead

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Guest Big Time Software

Don't forget there is also the Heavy SMG Squad. This is our name for something that, so far as we know, has no official name. A German Volksgrenaider platoon was broken up into two SMG and one Heavy SMG squads. The difference is that the Heavy SMG squad had some rifles and a LMG42, while the other two had ONLY SMGs. The purpose of this was to have the Heavy one lay down cover and suppressing fire, while the other two moved in for close range fighting. If you use these guys like this you will find that it works pretty well unless someone pays a lot of attention to your Heavy SMG squad at the wrong moment smile.gif

Steve

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Once I was playing Close Combat 2 (aaaargh, eternal damnation! ) and I saw that fancy 'Schweres MG' (or whatever way it is written) I was quite happy with it until I noticed it was plainly a MG that costed twice the points.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The Schwere MG was the Heavy Machine Gun.

'Schwere' being German for 'heavy'

Jason

You know what is sad. My knowledge of the German language only extends as far as the words used in military nomenclature. smile.gif

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>What I guess I really wonder about was the lack of a large caliber machinegun (similar to the US .50 cal or the Russian 12.7mm) in the German military. Did the Germans ever suffer tactically as a result of not having a large caliber mahinegun? Any thoughts?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'm on the road and don't have any reference material with me, but I think one of the MGs used on aircraft was available in a ground version, just not used much. I'm thinking the MG-15 or MG-131(?) or one of these was close to 50 cal.

As far as suffering tactically, the German doctrine treated the MG very differently than others. The MG was the focus of the squad and the riflemen's purpose was to support the MG (The opposite of western doctrine). It was not used as a 'spray and pray' weapon - Instead the squad leader directed the fire in short, accurate, controlled burst with the intent of destroying the target rather than simply suppression.

For this type of doctrine, the light MG42 was ideal - it was very portable, accurate, had an insanely high rate of fire, and had an ingeniously simple barrel-change procedure (took around 5 seconds I think?) which allowed near continuous fire. The heavy version with the tripod sacrificed mobility for superior accuracy thus turning it back into more of a support weapon.

.50 cal is really overkill for use against non-vehicle targets, and the German army had other effective means of dealing with vehicles. There is also a lot to be said for having a single calibre of ammo from the supply standpoint.

Anybody got some better info on german HMGs? I'll try to look up some info when I get home.

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>This post has nothing to do with CM.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

By the way - not true. The accurate modeling in CM makes historical knowledge of doctrine and equipment a real asset during play. Good question - the lack of a high-calibre ground MG is one I have wondered about myself. Someone else want to chime in on their take on the tactical implications of this?

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”Heavy”(here: 10mm or more) machine guns actually used in German service as far as I can see from Gander and Chamberlain (Enzyklopädie Deutscher Waffen):

13mm MG 131:

Used in ground support and AA role from 1944 (originally an aircraft gun). There is a picture of it mounted with a bipod and shoulder stock for use as in direct ground support. Also used in AA roles, mounted in singles, doubles or triplets.

Weight: 16,6 kg

15mm MG 151/15:

Same as above (available from 44 onward) but with a weight of 42 kg the ground support single mount used a small wheeled carriage (described as an contingency solution).

Weight: 42 kg

Most weapons of these two types where used by Luftwaffe units but a few found their way into the hands of the army as well. Prior to 1944 these weapons had been mounted in the fighters and bombers of the Luftwaffe.

These two models were the only German MG´s put into production in this range of calibre, though several other models where designed and tested.

Captured weapons:

MG M38 (t) / FlakMG 39 / FlakMG 490 (j):

15mm MG of Check design also found in Yugoslavia (produced in the UK as Besa Mk 1). Only used as AAMG in German service.

Weight: 55 kg (mounted in wheeled carriage 203 kg)

12,7mm MG 268 ®

Captured Soviet DShK obr. 1938 g. German use limited by supply of ammunition.

Weight: 34 kg (mounted in wheeled carriage 134 kg)

13,2mm MG 271 (f)

Captured French Mitrailleuse Hotchkiss mle 1930. Used primarily as an AAMG but is depicted mounted on what appears to be a ground support tripod.

Weight: 37,5 kg

15mm Kampfwagen MG 376 (e)

The British Besa Mk 1 MG. Only limited used in German hands.

Weight: 56,5 kg

M.

[This message has been edited by Mattias (edited 12-10-99).]

[This message has been edited by Mattias (edited 12-10-99).]

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Guachi,

I knew the meaning, and that was my problem smile.gif

When I saw a 'Heavy Machine Gun' and bought it, I expected to find a .50 cal or something like that, and the only thing I saw was a common MG 42 with a crowd of blokes standing about aimlessly instead of the usual 2 crewmen... I felt like if I was wasting my 'points' (nex time I'll invest in a Königstiger) smile.gif

------------------

Regards

Reverendo

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Reverendo:

The 'Heavy' MG42 truly qualifies as a heavier weapon than the non-mounted version. The increase in the rate of sustained fire attainable and the improvement in accuracy made it a tough weapon to match in any calibre. IMO the only real disadvantage it had (vs other HGMs) was aginst lightly armored targets, but that was not its intended application. I don't have any numbers in front of me, but I'd guess a single round of .50 cal is about 4x(?) the weight of an MG42 round - probably not a good trade off vs infantry. I'd rather have the extra rate of fire & extra ammo...

Anybody got the weight figures handy?

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Thanks Everyone!

This was exactly the type of information I was looking for. The standardization of ammo and the 'suppression' as opposed to 'direct fire' doctrine with the use of machineguns are very good points. I personally feel that there may been a real niche for a heavy caliber machinegune in the German army. Their serious hitting power seems to me to be needed in a number of situations. For example: infantry in relative structurally sound buildings, thin to medium skinned vehicles, infantry in heavy cover (hedgerows, timber bunker/foxholes). These examples all seem to also point to the need for heavier machineguns on vehicles also, not only for increased effectiveness vs these targets but also the ability to be effective against multiple targets (used in conjunction with main guns and other machineguns) and reduced consumption of main gun ammo. But with the examples given by others in this thread of the heavier machineguns available to the German military my guess is it came down to a question of production and supply as much as doctrine.

cheers,

chris

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As far as my expirience with the MG3 (modern mod of the MG42, only minor differences on the weapon because the germans made a legendary weapon in the first place) the only difference between the medium and heavy versions are the pods, bi- and tripod. Mounted on a tripod the MG is much more stable (absorbs more recoil) and got a better sighting mechanism. The versions we used got the same bolt's for both versions so I don't think there should be a difference in bullet rate (the sucker already got 17-22 rounds a second, no wonder the allies called it "ripping canvas"). Norwegian doctrine is to change pipe every 200 rounds (which we never did anyway, it was more like every 400 rounds). For this the loader (usually called MG2-man) got an asbestos glove + a spare pipe. If I remember this correctly the standard ammo mount should be 600 rounds pr infantry team. 200 rounds with MG1-man, 200 rounds with MG2-man and 200 rounds with Squad member 3 but usually we could take us much as we were prepared to carry (I think it was. Been some years since I did this).

I think all the guys that has been shooting with this weapon will agree that the gun has surprisingly little recoil when deployed correct. That means prone on the ground, bipod firmly in the ground then you press your body forward so the gun is secured tightly between your shoulder and the bipod. The left arm is shoulder on the ground and hand on a notch on the lower side of the butt, pressing the gun towards your right shoulder. If done correct the gun is steady as anything. The empty casings fall straight down so the MG-2 man must always keep an eye on the ground beneath the gun to move away empty casings or they can actually pile up so the gun can malfunction. I've also heard about an MG2-man getting his fingers in the feeding mechanism while feeding bullets because of the tremendous ROF.

Well I'd better stop now I'm rambling away here. Just thought some might find it interesting to hear smile.gif

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Howard, yeah, I've been firing the MG3 in the Bundeswehr, too. I'm not an expert, but the MG3 has only one bolt as far as I know, and the MG42 had indeed two different ones and also two different rates of fire (that's part of the modifications done between the 42 and the 3).

Can't confirm the recoil thing, though. It kicks like a mule on a bipod (totally different thing with a tripod, though!), whatever you do. You have to lean into it to keep it sort of steady, and even then it's very tough to fire longer bursts accurately. During an exercise (in rain and mud - of course), the ground was so muddy that - lying prone on the ground - that thing moved me almost a meter backwards after firing a few bursts.

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Didn't know about the different bolt or rate of fire in the MG42 versions no. I never had problems with recoil on the gun but then again the manual clearly says "half second to one second" bursts only. In the recruit period I was my teams MG1-man because of my physique so I must confess I've shot several thousand rounds with the gun. On the firing range you could sometimes hear the officers screaming my name for my long bursts tho heheh.. kids like plenty of boom-boom smile.gif

Do you have any other versions of the MG42 too eg FG42 in the bundeswehr? and what kind of weapons do the infantry teams in the bundeswehr use, squad weapons etc? We still use the old trusty (A)G-3 built on license from H&K. Last I heard we're after renewing our arsenals assault guns but I think we'll go for the H&K G36 (purely my own predictions). (Strange but Norway uses only German made guns G3, MP-5, Glock 17 etc).

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From what I know the FG42 is a completely different design than the MG42, not just another version - but I guess I'm no expert. But no, the MG3 is the only one left over from the war.

When I was in the Army, the G3 was still pretty much the standard for the bulk of the soldiers, although some of the better trained formations (called KRK -"Krisenreaktionskräfte" or crisis reaction forces then, and KSK now, although I am not 100% sure what this stands for) were using more advanced weaponry. I think the G36 never saw service in any meaningful numbers in the Bundeswehr, though.

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Actually, according to my references, it¡¯s the other way around: MG3 can be used with a heavier bolt for 800 rpm and a lighter bolt for 1,300 rpm. I don¡¯t know what was used by howardb and Moon. I think the difference would be significant.

Getting back to the semantics, I think Americans especially are keen to reserve a special place for the .50 caliber machine gun. For classification, one could consider the total weapon system weight, how it is employed or meant to be employed, and crew/unit makeup. In WWI, water-cooled Maxim-type machine guns (MG08 in Germany), firing regular full-powered rifle rounds, ruled the battlefields. They were capable of firing forever (almost) as long as there was ammo and cooling water. One weighed close to 130lbs (60kg) and required a six-man crew to manhandle it. This is the quintessential HMG, imo. To provide tactical mobility without sacrificing sustained fire capability, the Germans developed MG08/15 – essentially a lightened MG08 with a buttstock and a bipod, but still weighing more than 45lbs (21.3kg) with cooling water and assault drum. For much lighter role, Madsen LMGs were used. All too often, the wrong gun was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

On the other hand, the American-designed Lewis LMG, at 27lbs (12.25kg) was used in huge numbers by the British (Germans called it the ¡°Rattlesnake¡±). Captured Lewis guns are said to have been highly prized among German assault units, and its bolt operating system was copied by FG42 and M60. So during the rearmament, the Germans desperately wanted a new light, air-cooled machine gun. First came MG13 built upon WW I water-cooled Dreyse MG 1912 and produced in 1930 with weight at (empty with bipod) 11kg. Of course it was phased out with the appearance of MG34.

This was really revolutionary as well-described by the others here. MG34 was developed as a universal machine gun and is also known as ¡°dual-purpose (i.e., LMG/HMG)¡± or ¡°general-purpose¡± machine gun. In the HMG role, it was capable of performing all that was asked of water-cooled machine guns of the past and the present, and more. It had to pause after firing several hundred rounds to change the barrel, but it took only 10-15 seconds to do that. In fact it was this ingenuous quick-change-barrel system that really allowed the air-cooled machine gun to replicate the sustained firepower of the water-cooled machine guns. The elaborate Lafette 34 tripod (more expansive than the weapon itself) with 3X telescopic sight and precise T&E (traversing and elevating) mechanism extended its effective range to beyond 3,000 meters. The stable platform allows the weapon to stay on target for much longer periods thereby significantly enhancing the practical rate of fire and accuracy. I don¡¯t know much about US M2 tripod, but it doesn¡¯t seem to be anywhere near the quality or performance of Lafette mounts. As a universal machine gun, MG34 was adaptable to various mounts including smaller tripods. And contrary to some people¡¯s belief, MG34 remained in production until the final year of WWII.

So in essence there is nothing wrong with having more expensive Schweres MG teams in a game – since it entails more than just a tripod. An HMG crew should have more firepower as a whole and more ammo supply and significantly better accuracy at longer ranges and slower movement than regular and LMG infantry (but not too much, IMO). I tend to think of the .50 caliber MG as a fixed defense or vehicle-mount weapon. This weapon like the others have advantages and disadvantages. For heavier duty, the Germans regularly employed 20mm AA guns against ground targets. I guess having the right weapon in the right place at the right time is what counts. For that matter, I like the versatility of the German machine guns.

HerrJung

[This message has been edited by Herr Jung (edited 12-11-99).]

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Guest Big Time Software

I didn't know the MG3 had a lighter bolt! I did know that they reduced the RoF over the MG42 however. Even the Germans found towards the end of the war that this was often a liability. Fairly inexperienced crews were likely to burn through their ammo too quickly. This is why you were getting yelled at Howard smile.gif

I got to fire the MG2 this past summer with a tripod. The RoF was lower than a WWII MG42, but the MG2 is basically made out of WWII parts. In the 1950s the Germans were rearmed in a hurry. They took captured stocks of MG42 (I assume many thousands were in storage in Germany already) and simply messed around with the bolt/receiver to get a lower RoF. The receiver top was stamped with WWII markings and post war ones too. How strange wink.gif

Steve

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Howardb:

The Glock 17 is an austrian pistol, not german... The M2 tripod, if my little experience counts, is much more simplest than the Lafette.

An off topic question: Howard, how much you weight? You run with Carl Gustavs and absorves the recoil from an MG3!!!

You are a very BIG viking, I think... smile.gif

Ariel

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As a matter of fact that guy I told you about that went all the way with the CG was actually at least 10 kg's lighter than me in the recruit period. I was in the area of 90-95 kg's and I'm 185 cm high so it's not that abnormal really. For running with a heavy burden it's not as much of your physique if you ask me, it's your ability to grit your teeths and take the pain. Pure will (it isn't size I mean. I've had small sized terriers that could endure much more pain than me in my platoon). Now with absorbing recoil weight really has something to say but if you don't deploy it right it will bounce on you no matter what, but remember half to one second bursts only. It's the same with almost any weapon really, on full auto it's hard to keep any weapon on target.

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