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I'd like to learn more about AFV mgs


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O the joys of learning about pivoting cylinders which spray hundreds of rounds of death wielding lead. Where shall we begin? :D

Let us start with...

Bow: The bow mounted machine gun refers to the machine gun mounted in the hull of the vehicle. In most German tanks where the radioman is positioned beside the driver, the radio man operated the hull mounted machine gun. As far as I know this is the case with most other country's tanks as well but I could be wrong.

The advantage of the bow machine gun is quite obvious. It allows the vehicle to have a defense against soft targets directly facing the front of the vehicle. The disadvantage of a bow mounted machine gun is it is located in the front of the vehicle so only targets in front of the vehicle can be engaged.

Coaxial: The coaxial mounted machine gun refers to the machine gun mounted in the turret of the tank beside the main gun. This enabled crew within the turret to engage targets with both the main gun as well as the machine gun, whichever they see fit to use.

The advantage of the coaxial machine gun is that instead of using the tank's main gun, perhaps for an unnecessary target for the main gun, the crew could use the machine gun. As previously stated, for soft and vulnerable targets.

The disadvantage of the coaxial machine gun is that wherever the main gun is aiming, so is the coaxial machine gun. The turret has to be rotated for the coaxial machine gun as does the main gun.

Rear: The rear mounted machine gun refers to a machine gun mounted in the rear of a vehicle. Located in the rear of the turret, the rear turret mounted machine gun's purpose was to engage targets behind the vehicle. Examples of the vehicles that employed this design being the KW-I & KW-II, models of the T-26 and the IS-2.

The advantage of the rear mounted machine gun was that it could be used to engage targets behind the vehicle without turning the turret. The disadvantage is that if a tank only has a rear mounted machine gun, they cannot engage targets in the front of the vehicle. But most vehicles with rear mounted machine guns had front facing machine guns as well.

And last but not least...

Flexible: The flexible mount machine gun refers to a machine gun mounted on the hatch of the turret. The primary use of the flexible machine gun is to engage low flying aircraft as its only means of personal AA defense.

Although depending on the situation the flexible machine gun can be used to engage soft targets around the vehicle. Albeit the hatch has to be opened and the TC visable to operate the flexible, turret mounted machine gun.

Other vehicles beside tanks had flexible machine guns for AA purposes as well as for soft targets. An example of this being the Sdkfz 251/10 halftrack. Which had a rear mounted flexible machine gun for personal AA defense as well as for engaging soft targets.

The advantage of this machine gun is its ability to engage low flying aircraft. It may not be a very effective means of doing so but at least you have some defense against aircraft. Another advantage is, given the situation, the ability of having a machine gun to engage soft targets

Despite not being included there were German flexible machine gun mounts for tanks. But these were used primarily during movement through areas where air attacks are possible. Instead of using a specific high caliber weapon such as the Russian DShK 12.7mm and American M2HB 12.7mm machine gun. German crews simply mounted an MG34 or MG42 for the purpose.

And even though you did not mention it. I will elaborate on remote controlled machine guns...

Remote: Remote controlled machine guns or rundumsfeuer, meaning remote control, were present on a few German vehicles. Namely the late Sturmgeschütz IIIG & IV models as well as the Hetzer. The purpose of these machine guns being that they could be operated without the operator being visible, as well as being operated manually.

The advantage being that you can be safely within your tank and still engage targets with the mounted machine gun. The disadvantage to these machine guns is they had to be reloaded manually, with the operator visible.

I hope that helps. In closing I do not think I have ever used the word machine gun that many times!

Tschüß!

Erich

[ October 26, 2006, 05:51 PM: Message edited by: Fußball ]

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Originally posted by Fußball:

O the joys of learning about pivoting cylinders which spray hundreds of rounds of death wielding lead. Where shall we begin? :D

Let us start with...

Bow: The bow mounted machine gun refers to the machine gun mounted in the hull of the vehicle. In most German tanks where the radioman is positioned beside the driver, the radio man operated the hull mounted machine gun. As far as I know this is the case with most other country's tanks as well but I could be wrong.

The advantage of the bow machine gun is quite obvious. It allows the vehicle to have a defense against soft targets directly facing the front of the vehicle. The disadvantage of a bow mounted machine gun is it is located in the front of the vehicle so only targets in front of the vehicle can be engaged.

Coaxial: The coaxial mounted machine gun refers to the machine gun mounted in the turret of the tank beside the main gun. This enabled crew within the turret to engage targets with both the main gun as well as the machine gun, whichever they see fit to use.

The advantage of the coaxial machine gun is that instead of using the tank's main gun, perhaps for an unnecessary target for the main gun, the crew could use the machine gun. As previously stated, for soft and vulnerable targets.

The disadvantage of the coaxial machine gun is that wherever the main gun is aiming, so is the coaxial machine gun. The turret has to be rotated for the coaxial machine gun as does the main gun.

Rear: The rear mounted machine gun refers to a machine gun mounted in the rear of a vehicle. Located in the rear of the turret, the rear turret mounted machine gun's purpose was to engage targets behind the vehicle. Examples of the vehicles that employed this design being the KW-I & KW-II, models of the T-26 and the IS-2.

The advantage of the rear mounted machine gun was that it could be used to engage targets behind the vehicle without turning the turret. The disadvantage is that if a tank only has a rear mounted machine gun, they cannot engage targets in the front of the vehicle. But most vehicles with rear mounted machine guns had front facing machine guns as well.

And last but not least...

Flexible: The flexible mount machine gun refers to a machine gun mounted on the hatch of the turret. The primary use of the flexible machine gun is to engage low flying aircraft as its only means of personal AA defense.

Although depending on the situation the flexible machine gun can be used to engage soft targets around the vehicle. Albeit the hatch has to be opened and the TC visable to operate the flexible, turret mounted machine gun.

Other vehicles beside tanks had flexible machine guns for AA purposes as well as for soft targets. An example of this being the Sdkfz 251/10 halftrack. Which had a rear mounted flexible machine gun for personal AA defense as well as for engaging soft targets.

The advantage of this machine gun is its ability to engage low flying aircraft. It may not be a very effective means of doing so but at least you have some defense against aircraft. Another advantage is, given the situation, the ability of having a machine gun to engage soft targets

Despite not being included there were German flexible machine gun mounts for tanks. But these were used primarily during movement through areas where air attacks are possible. Instead of using a specific high caliber weapon such as the Russian DShK 12.7mm and American M2HB 12.7mm machine gun. German crews simply mounted an MG34 or MG42 for the purpose.

And even though you did not mention it. I will elaborate on remote controlled machine guns...

Remote: Remote controlled machine guns or rundumsfeuer, meaning remote control, were present on a few German vehicles. Namely the late Sturmgeschütz IIIG & IV models as well as the Hetzer. The purpose of these machine guns being that they could be operated without the operator being visible, as well as being operated manually.

The advantage being that you can be safely within your tank and still engage targets with the mounted machine gun. The disadvantage to these machine guns is they had to be reloaded manually, with the operator visible.

I hope that helps. In closing I do not think I have ever used the word machine gun that many times!

Tschüß!

Erich

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I will add a couple things but Furball's comments are exhaustive and accurate.

Bow MG: One disadvantage was that when the vehicle is hull down it cannot be used. Another possible disadvantage is that in some vehicles the mount creates a 'shot trap' that tend to allow AP munitions to penetrate. But all-in-all I'd rather have a bow MG than not have one.

Coaxial MG: On many tanks the coaxial can be used to help range the main gun. I can't remember the exact parameters, but on the Sherman the coaxial MG, out to a certain range (not much beyond several hundred meters) mimicked the ballistics of the main gun such that if you hit the target with the mg, you could just pull the trigger on the main gun and it would hit with a very high degree of first round accuracy. This is still the case with the Abrams.

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Originally posted by civdiv:

I will add a couple things but Furball's comments are exhaustive and accurate.

Thanks for the additional input, I forgot to add about the tank's hull machine gun being 'blind' when hull down. I also read about tank's using tracers to range for the main gun but I only read about it being used with modern tanks such as the M1 Abrams. So I was unsure whether or not to add this.

O and by the way, my tag is spelled Fussball without the esset or double s ( ß ). smile.gif

Tschüß!

Erich

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A reply so nice you posted it twice. :D

Thanks, Fussball.

You can edit your post to delete the text I think.

Very correct about the coax being used to aim the main gun.

Flexible MG -- In CM, disadvantage is that the tank commander will usually fire all of his ammo off in one or two rounds if you have directed the tank to area fire. Button up if necessary to save flexible mg ammo. But, with many tanks or AFV having about 12 blasts, you will go through all of it in the early part of the game anyway.

Rear MG -- I have never seen a tank fire from the rear MG and have been in a few situations when it should have been used. Has anyone ever seen the rear MG fired?

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One other major consideration is that the coaxial MG benefits from the main gun's sight, including magnification, crosshair targeting, fine adjustment of the aim point, etc. The coaxial was the most dangerous MG on the tank by far, because of it.

As for turret rear and flexible, the other main points about them ought to be obvious but might not be - they are intended to function as close defense weapons against infantry intent on attacking the tank, whatever else. Infantry tries to come at a tank from a direction it isn't facing, either hull or turret, for obvious reasons. It helps to be able to shoot in the other directions etc.

Flexible also had maximum height for use when hull down, and best field of view over uneven ground etc.

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One drawback of the coaxial mg that it can't be fired together with the main gun because of the different ballistic characteristics. I don't know if it's modeled in CM or not, but I remember this modeled in other games. I don't know how they used it for the main gun aiming, maybe it was used for range estimation.

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Originally posted by jBrereton:

IIRC the German tanks almost always used MG34s, because MG42s were the 'wrong shape'.

I doubt that, as they are nearly the same. Besides, late war you'd think they could've made allowances for this in new tank production. If the Germans wanted MG42s in their tanks they would've had.

What I understood to be the case was that the MG34 requires less barrel changing due to it's lower ROF. With barrel changing a major PITA inside an AFV that would be a good reason to keep it.

Also, I've heard it put forth that that the MG34 was somewhat allergic to dirt because of the precision engineering whereas the MG42, being more crudely constructed, was more tolerant to dirt but mechanically less reliable as a result too. So you mount the MG34 in a tank where it's relatively safe from dirt and hand the MG42 to the infantry trudging who are through mud.

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There were also fixed guns - the Lee/Grant has 2 mounted side by side on the left side of the hull. They are aimed by pointing the whole tank, so are only useful against targets directly ahead.

IIRC the BMD (post war airborne APC) also haf 2 fixed MG's - in the front corner of the hull.

JK mentions stuarts having them, but I don't know about them.

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