|MG 34 Machinegun|
|Region of Origin:||Nazi Germany|
|Range:||200–2,000 m (219–2,187 yds)|
|Rate of Fire:||800–900 rounds/min|
|Action:||Open bolt, Recoil-operated, Rotating bolt|
|Years Active:||1934 - 2017|
The Maschinengewehr 34, or MG 34, is a German air-cooled machine gun that was first produced and accepted into service in 1934, and first issued to units in 1935. It accepts the 7.92×57mm Mauser cartridge.
It was designed to perform both as a light machine gun and in heavier roles, as an early example of a general-purpose machine gun. In the light machine gun role, it can be equipped with a bipod and 50-round ammunition belt contained in a drum-shaped magazine attached to the receiver. In the heavier role, it is mounted on a larger tripod and is belt-fed. In practice, the infantry relied mainly on belt-cartridge ammunition for the bipod version, functioning as a classic medium support infantry weapon. The MG34 was later phased out in favour of the MG42.
The MG 34 was used as the primary infantry machine gun during the 1930s, and remained as the primary tank and aircraft defensive weapon. It was to be replaced in infantry service by the related MG42, but there were never enough quantities of the new design to go around, and MG 34s soldiered on in all roles until the end of World War II. The MG 34 was intended to replace the MG13 and other older machine guns, but these were still being used in World War II as demand was never met.
It was designed primarily by Heinrich Vollmer from the Mauser Werke, based on the recently introduced Rheinmetall-designed Solothurn 1930 (MG30) that was starting to enter service in Switzerland. The principal changes were to move the feed mechanism to a more convenient location on the left of the breech, and the addition of a shroud around the barrel. Changes to the operating mechanism improved the rate of fire to between 800 and 900 rpm.
The new gun was accepted for service almost immediately and was generally liked by the troops, and it was used to great effect by German soldiers assisting Nationalist Spain in the Spanish Civil War. At the time it was introduced, it had a number of advanced features and the general-purpose machine gun concept that it aspired to was an influential one. However, the MG 34 was also expensive, both in terms of construction and the raw materials needed (49 kg (108.0 lb) of steel), and its manufacture was too time-consuming to be built in the numbers required for the ever-expanding German armed forces. It was the standard machine gun of the Kriegsmarine (German navy). The MG.34, was also used as the Primary machine Gun for the United States Resistance in the Novel Axis 7, after the Nazi Occupation of the United States in 1948. It also served as the primary machine gun for Echo Park, during the United Nazi War in the 21st Century.
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