|Panzer Elite||MG34 Veterancy|
|10% reduction to received accuracy.||10||Level 1|
|15% reduction to received damage.||40||Level 2|
|Receives Soldier Armor.||120||Level 3|
|Known Unit (Custom Name)||300||Level 4|
|Feared Unit (Custom Skin)||450||Level 5|
The Maschinengewehr 34, or MG34, was a German machine gun that was first produced and accepted into service in 1934, and first issued to units in 1935. It was an air-cooled machine gun firing the 7.92x57mm Mauser cartridge.
The MG34 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 MG34s soldiered on in all roles until the end of World War II. The MG34 was intended to replace the MG13 and other older machine guns, but these were still being used in WWII as demand was never met.
It was designed primarily at 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.
It was also 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 was intended to 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 was mounted on a larger tripod and was belt-fed. In practice, the infantry relied mainly on belt-cartridge ammunition for the bipod version, functioning as a classic medium support infantry weapon. All magazine-feed MG 34s had been withdrawn from infantry use by 1941, with some remaining in use on armored personnel carriers.
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, and its manufacture was too time-consuming to be built in the numbers required for the ever-expanding German armed forces. It was also the standard machine gun of the Kriegsmarine. It also proved to be rather temperamental, jamming easily when dirty.
Like most machine guns, the MG 34's barrel is designed to be easily replaced to avoid overheating during sustained fire. During a barrel change, the operator would disengage a latch which held the receiver to the barrel sleeve. The entire receiver then pivoted off to the right, allowing the operator to pull the barrel out the back of the sleeve. A new barrel would then be put in the back of the sleeve, and the receiver rotated back in line with the barrel sleeve and latched. The entire process took just a few seconds when performed by a well-trained operator, causing minimal downtime in battle.
A unique feature of the MG34 was its double-crescent trigger, which provided select fire capability without the need for a fire mode selector switch. Pressing the upper segment of the trigger produced semi-automatic fire, while holding the lower segment of the trigger produced fully-automatic fire. Though considered innovative at the time, the feature was eliminated due to its complexity on the MG34's successor, the MG42.
In the light-machine gun role, it was used with a bipod and weighed only 12.1 kg (26.7 lb). In the medium-machine gun role, it could be mounted on one of two tripods, a smaller one weighing 6.75 kg (14.9 lb), the larger 23.6 kg (52 lb). The larger tripod, the MG 34 Laffette, included a number of features, such as a telescopic sight and special sighting equipment for indirect fire. The legs could be extended to allow it to be used in the anti-aircraft role, and when lowered, it could be placed to allow the gun to be fired "remotely" while it swept an arc in front of the mounting with fire, or aimed through a periscope attached to the tripod.
Tactics & Tips
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