The Maschinengewehr 34, or MG 34, is a German recoil-operated air-cooled machine gun, first tested in 1929, introduced in 1934, issued to units in 1936. It introduced an new concept in automatic firepower – the Einheitsmaschinengewehr – and is considered the world's first general-purpose machine gun; the versatile MG 34 was chambered for the full-power 7.92×57mm Mauser rifle cartridge, was arguably the most advanced machine gun in the world at the time of its deployment. The MG 34 was envisaged and well developed to provide portable light and medium machine gun infantry cover, anti-aircraft coverage, sniping ability, its combination of exceptional mobility – being light enough to be carried by one man – and high rate of fire was unmatched. It entered service in great numbers following Hitler's repudiation of the Versailles Treaty in 1936, was first combat tested by German troops aiding Franco's Nationalists in the Spanish Civil War. Nonetheless, the design proved too complex for mass production, was supplemented by the cheaper and simpler MG 42, though both remained in service and production until the end of the war.
After World War I the German military faced restrictions imposed by the Treaty of Versailles. The treaty restricted the German Reichswehr to maximally stockpiling 792 heavy machine guns and 1,134 light machine guns and actual production of machine guns and development of sustained fire weapons were prohibited. From 1933 Nazi Germany was committed to repudiating the Treaty of its restrictions; as part of a military revitalization program the German military sought avenues to get around restrictions imposed by the treaty by resorting to innovative weapon design and engineering, German arms designers working abroad and other foreign assistance. The MG 34 was based on a 1930 Rheinmetall design, the MG 30; the Swiss and Austrian militaries had both licensed and produced the MG 30 from Rheinmetall shortly after patent and started to enter service in Switzerland. In the spring of 1931 the development of the Einheitsmaschinengewehr started; the MG 30 design was modified by Heinrich Vollmer of Mauser Industries.
Vollmer designed the feed mechanism to accept MG 15 inspired 75-round Patronentrommel 34 spring-loaded saddle-drum magazines. The Patronentrommel 34 was a rather complex magazine for which a filling device existed and requiring ordnance personnel and a special tool to optimize the spring tension for reliable feeding. Users were ordered not to adjust the drum spring tension. In 1937 the feed was redesigned to use reusable non-disintegrating Gurt 33 and Gurt 34 metal belts and a 50-round Gurttrommel 34; the Gurttrommel was designed to be clipped to the left side of the gun and was not a true magazine but held a curled 50-round belt and corresponding starter-segment preventing it from snagging and getting stuck during mobile assaults. Vollmer increased the rate of fire; the MG 34's double crescent trigger dictated either semiautomatic or automatic firing modes. The capability to use the previous 75-round Patronentrommel 34 saddle-drum magazines was retained. All 75-round Patronentrommel 34 fed MG 34s had been withdrawn from infantry use by 1941, with some remaining in use on armoured personnel carriers.
As the MG 34 was technically based on and featured design elements of several other machine guns, the German arms industry negotiated and worked out complex royalties and patents matters regarding the MG 34 to every involved side's satisfaction. In the field, the weapon could operate in defensive applications; the offensive model, with a mobile soldier, used either a 50-round Gurttrommel or a 75-round Patronentrommel 34. In a stationary defensive role, the gun was mounted on a bipod or tripod and fed by a non-disintegrating metal ammunition belt. Belts were carried in boxes of five; each belt contained 50 rounds. Belt lengths could be linked for sustained fire. During sustained fire, barrels would have to be changed at intervals due to the heat generated by the rapid rate of fire. If the barrels were not changed properly, the weapon would misfire. Changing barrels was a rapid process for the trained operator and involved disengaging a latch and swinging the receiver to the right for the insertion of a new barrel into the barrel shroud.
Accordingly, stationary defensive positions required more than one operator. The MG 34 was the mainstay of German Army support weapons from the time of its first issue in 1935 until 1942, when it was supplanted by the next Einheitsmaschinengewehr generation Maschinengewehr 42 or MG 42. Although the MG 34 was reliable and dominant on the battlefield, its dissemination throughout the German forces was hampered due to its precision engineering and use of high-quality metal alloys, which resulted in high production costs and a slow rate of production. For its successor, the MG 42, the Germans instead used mass production techniques similar to those that created the MP 40 submachine gun; the Germans continued widespread production of MG 34s until the end of the war. The MG 34 was accepted for service immediately and was liked by the troops, 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.
The MG 34 was used as the primary infantry machine gun during the 1930s, remained as the primary armored vehicle defensive weapon as it took limited space to chang
A tank is an armoured fighting vehicle designed for front-line combat, with heavy firepower, strong armour, tracks and a powerful engine providing good battlefield manoeuvrability. They are a key part of combined arms combat. Modern tanks are versatile mobile land weapon system platforms, mounting a large-calibre cannon in a rotating gun turret, supplemented by mounted machine guns or other weapons, such as ATGMs, or rockets, they combine this with heavy vehicle armour which provides protection for the crew, the vehicle's weapons, its propulsion systems, operational mobility, due to its use of tracks rather than wheels, which allows the tank to move over rugged terrain and adverse conditions such as mud, be positioned on the battlefield in advantageous locations. These features enable the tank to perform well in a variety of intense combat situations both offensively with fire from their powerful tank gun, defensively due to their near invulnerability to common firearms and good resistance to heavier weapons, all while maintaining the mobility needed to exploit changing tactical situations.
Integrating tanks into modern military forces spawned a new era of combat, armoured warfare. There are classes of tanks, some being larger and heavily armoured, with high calibre guns, while others smaller armoured, equipped with a smaller calibre, lighter gun; these smaller tanks move over terrain with speed and agility and can perform a reconnaissance role in addition to engaging enemy targets. The smaller faster tank would not engage in battle with a larger armoured tank, except during a surprise flanking manoeuvre; the modern tank is the result of a century of development from the first primitive armoured vehicles, due to improvements in technology such as the internal combustion engine, which allowed the rapid movement of heavy armoured vehicles. As a result of these advances, tanks underwent tremendous shifts in capability in the years since their first appearance. Tanks in World War I were developed separately and by Great Britain and France as a means to break the deadlock of trench warfare on the Western Front.
The first British prototype, nicknamed Little Willie, was constructed at William Foster & Co. in Lincoln, England in 1915, with leading roles played by Major Walter Gordon Wilson who designed the gearbox and hull, by William Tritton of William Foster and Co. who designed the track plates. This was a prototype of a new design that would become the British Army's Mark I tank, the first tank used in combat in September 1916 during the Battle of the Somme; the name "tank" was adopted by the British during the early stages of their development, as a security measure to conceal their purpose. While the British and French built thousands of tanks in World War I, Germany was unconvinced of the tank's potential, built only twenty. Tanks of the interwar period evolved into the much larger and more powerful designs of World War II. Important new concepts of armoured warfare were developed. Less than two weeks Germany began their large-scale armoured campaigns that would become known as blitzkrieg – massed concentrations of tanks combined with motorised and mechanised infantry and air power designed to break through the enemy front and collapse enemy resistance.
The widespread introduction of high-explosive anti-tank warheads during the second half of World War II led to lightweight infantry-carried anti-tank weapons such as the Panzerfaust, which could destroy some types of tanks. Tanks in the Cold War were designed with these weapons in mind, led to improved armour types during the 1960s composite armour. Improved engines and suspensions allowed tanks of this period to grow larger. Aspects of gun technology changed as well, with advances in shell design and aiming technology. During the Cold War, the main battle tank concept became a key component of modern armies. In the 21st century, with the increasing role of asymmetrical warfare and the end of the Cold War, that contributed to the increase of cost-effective anti-tank rocket propelled grenades worldwide and its successors, the ability of tanks to operate independently has declined. Modern tanks are more organized into combined arms units which involve the support of infantry, who may accompany the tanks in infantry fighting vehicles, supported by reconnaissance or ground-attack aircraft.
The tank is the 20th century realization of an ancient concept: that of providing troops with mobile protection and firepower. The internal combustion engine, armour plate, continuous track were key innovations leading to the invention of the modern tank. Many sources imply that Leonardo da Vinci and H. G. Wells in some way "invented" the tank. Leonardo's late 15th century drawings of what some describe as a "tank" show a man-powered, wheeled vehicle with cannons all around it; however the human crew would not have enough power to move it over larger distance, usage of animals was problematic in a space so confined. In the 15th century, Jan Žižka built armoured wagons containing cannons and used them in several battles; the continuous "caterpillar" track arose from attempts to improve the mobility of wheeled vehicles by spreading their weight, reducing ground pressure, increasing their traction. Experiments can be traced back as far as the 17th century, by the late nineteenth they existed in various recognizable and practical forms in several countries.
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The Cei-Rigotti is an early automatic rifle created in the final years of the 19th century by Amerigo Cei-Rigotti, an officer in the Royal Italian Army. Although the rifle was never adopted by any military, it was tested extensively by the Italian Army during the lead-up to the First World War The rifle was gas operated and had selective fire capabilities. Available information on this gun is sparse and contradictory. According to several publications, the prototype rifle was chambered for the 6.5×52mm Mannlicher–Carcano. The gun was presented by Cei-Rigotti to his superiors in a private demonstration in 1895. An Italian newspaper reported on this event in 1900. According to another source, a demonstration was held publicly in Rome on June 13, 1900, when 300 rounds were fired on full automatic before the gun got so hot it seized up, yet another source mentions a demonstration in the same year the Brescia Arsenal. The British ordered and tested the gun after this event, but they found it unsuitable.
The rifle found at the UK National Firearms Centre in Leeds is chambered in 7.65x53mm Mauser, as is another example found in a U. S. private collection. One unusual feature of the Cei Rigotti was its trigger, which extended through a slot across the entirety of the trigger guard; the purpose of this design is unknown, although it has been theorized that it was intended to make the weapon easier to operate in heavy gloves. The trigger guard assembly was connected to the magazine, needed to be removed in order for the magazine to be replaced; this magazine is a major point of contention among military historians, as, since the weapon was reloaded via stripper clips rather than detachable magazine, many argue that it disqualifies the Cei Rigotti from being classified as an assault rifle. Prototypes with magazines up to a capacity of 50 rounds existed. Browning Automatic Rifle Charlton Automatic Rifle Farquhar-Hill rifle Fedorov Avtomat Furrer M25 Huot Automatic Rifle Mors submachine gun Encyclopesarmes https://archive.org/stream/generalinformati3541unit#page/212/mode/2up
General-purpose machine gun
A general-purpose machine gun is an air-cooled automatic weapon that can be adapted to light machine gun and medium machine gun roles. A GPMG weapon will feature a quick-change barrel, configuration for mounting on bipods and vehicles as infantry support weapons, calibered to fire full-powered rifle cartridges such as the 7.62×51mm NATO, 7.62×54mmR, 7.5×54mm French, 7.5×55mm Swiss, 7.92×57mm Mauser. The general-purpose machine gun originated with the MG 34, designed in 1934 by Heinrich Vollmer of Mauser on the commission of Nazi Germany to circumvent the restrictions on machine guns imposed by the Treaty of Versailles, it was introduced into the Wehrmacht as an new concept in automatic firepower, dubbed the Einheitsmaschinengewehr, meaning "universal machine gun" in German. In itself the MG 34 was an excellent weapon for its time: an air-cooled, recoil-operated machine gun that could run through belts of 7.92×57mm Mauser ammunition at a rate of 850 rounds per minute, delivering killing firepower at ranges of more than 1,000 meters.
The main feature of the MG 34 is that by by changing its mount and feed mechanism, the operator could radically transform its function: on its standard bipod it was a light machine gun ideal for infantry assaults. During World War II, the MG 34 was superseded by a new GPMG, the MG 42, although it remained in combat use; the MG 42 was more efficient to manufacture, more robust, had an high cyclic rate of fire of 1,200 to 1,500 rounds per minute. One of the Einheitsmaschinengewehr roles was to provide low level anti-aircraft coverage. A high cyclic rate of fire is advantageous for use against targets that are exposed to a general-purpose machine gun for a limited time span, like aircraft or targets that minimize their exposure time by moving from cover to cover. For targets that can be fired on by a general-purpose machine gun for longer periods than just a few seconds the cyclic firing rate becomes less important. Arguably the finest all-round GPMG produced, it was nicknamed "Hitler's buzzsaw" by troops of Allies, alongside the MG 34 it inflicted heavy casualties on Allied soldiers on all European and North African front of World War II.
Following the end of the war the victorious Allied nations took interest in the MG 34 and MG 42, influencing many post-war general-purpose machine guns, many of which are still in use today. They lent design elements to the Belgian FN MAG and the American M60, while spawning the Zastava M53, Swiss M51, Austrian MG 74; such were its qualities of firepower and usability that it became the foundation of an entire series of postwar machine guns, including the MG 1 and MG 3 - the latter is still in production and service to this day. German Rheinmetall MG 3, a direct descendant of the MG 42, is still in service with the German Army and others and exported. German Heckler & Koch HK21, is based on the Heckler & Koch G3 rifle and exported. German Heckler & Koch MG5, the new standard machine gun of the German Army. Belgian FN MAG, which copied the MG 42's trigger-mechanism, it is the most used GPMG among western armies. Belgian Mk 48, is a GPMG based on the FN Minimi light machine gun and M249 SAW. American M60, based on the German FG 42 and uses the MG 42's feed-system and stamp-steel construction.
American M240, itself an FN MAG variant. It replaced the M60 in U. S. service. French MAS AA-52, which more or less copies the MG 42 feed-system, it has been phased out in favour of the FN MAG and FN Minimi. Czechoslovakian Uk vz. 59, is based on the Vz. 52 and Vz.52/57, originating with ZB vz. 26 and Bren gun designs. Russian PK/PKM, family of multi-purpose machine-guns, is based on the AKM assault rifle featuring stamped receivers exported. Russian AEK-999, is an improved version of the PK/PKM. Russian Pecheneg, is a variant of the PK/PKM with a fixed barrel and cooling jacket. Yugoslav Zastava M84, is a direct copy of the Russian PK machine-gun. Polish UKM-2000, is based on the Russian PK machine-gun. People's Republic of China Type 80, is based on the Russian PK machine-gun. People's Republic of China Type 67, improved models. People's Republic of China Type 88 Machine Gun Japanese Sumitomo NTK-62, is a GPMG based on the FN MAG. South African Vektor SS-77, is based on the Russian PK/PKM. Swiss MG 51, a direct descendant of the MG42.
Swiss SIG MG 710-3 Swiss SIG MG 50 Canadian C6A1 FLEX Heavy machine gun Squad automatic weapon List of firearms
The 7.92×57mm Mauser is a rimless bottlenecked rifle cartridge. The 7.92×57mm Mauser cartridge was adopted by the German Empire in 1903–1905, was the German service cartridge in both World Wars. In its day, the 7.92×57mm Mauser cartridge was one of the world’s most popular military cartridges. In the 21st century it is still a popular sport and hunting cartridge, factory-produced in Europe and the United States; the parent cartridge, upon which the 7.92×57mm Mauser is based, was adopted by Germany in 1888 as the Patrone 88 or M/88. It was a first-generation smokeless propellant cartridge designed by the German Gewehr-Prüfungskommission, as the new smokeless propellant introduced as Poudre B in the 1886 pattern 8mm Lebel had started a military rifle ammunition revolution; the M/88 cartridge was loaded with 2.75 g of single-base smokeless powder and a heavy, 14.7 grams, round-nosed ball bullet with a diameter of 8.08 mm. The M/88 bore had 7.90 mm lands diameter and 8.10 mm grooves diameter. The M/88 barrel bore specification was changed by 1894–1895 to 7.90 mm lands diameter and 8.20 mm grooves diameter to improve accuracy and reduce barrel wear in M/88 chambered arms.
German government driven efforts to further improve on the performance of the military M/88 ammunition and the service arms in which the M/88 was used after several development steps resulted in the official adoption on 3 April 1903 by the Gewehr-Prüfungskommission of the dimensionally redesigned 7.92×57mm Mauser chambering. Besides the chambering, the bore was dimensionally redesigned; the 1903 pattern 7.92×57mm Mauser S Patrone was loaded with a lighter 9.9 grams, pointed Spitzgeschoß of 8.2 mm diameter and more powerful double-base smokeless powder. With the improved ballistic coefficient of the new bullet, the 1903 pattern cartridge had an improved maximum effective range and a flatter trajectory, was therefore less critical of range estimation compared to the M/88 cartridge. In German military service the Patrone 88 was replaced in 1905 by the S Patrone; as the bolt thrust of the 7.92×57mm Mauser is low compared to many other service rounds used in the early 20th century, many arms chambered for the Patrone 88 could be and were adapted for chambering the S Patrone by reaming out metal from the chamber as it required a wider chamber throat to take the differently shaped and thicker brass of the new S Patrone.
The rimless cartridge cases have been used as parent case for several other necked down and necked up cartridges and a rimmed variant. Due to restrictions imposed by the Treaty of Versailles, the Germans were not able to develop or sell any military equipment after World War I. In the post-war years, 7.92×57mm Mauser chambered Gewehr 98 pattern rifles were produced in Belgium, Poland, Mexico and China. This, the cartridge's high performance and versatility, led to the 7.92×57mm Mauser being adopted by the armed forces of various governments. These included: Spain, Czechoslovakia, Iran, China, Yugoslavia, former German African colonies; this made the round the most used military rifle cartridge in the world during the inter-war years. During World War II it was one of the few cartridges used by both the Axis and Allied powers, a distinction it shared with the 9×19mm Parabellum pistol round. Apart from being the standard rifle cartridge of the German and Polish armed forces, it was used by the armed forces of Great Britain in the Besa machine gun, mounted in some of their tanks and other armoured vehicles, as well as being extensively used by the Chinese early in the war.
After World War II it was used by the early Bundeswehr of West Germany. When Egypt decided to manufacture the Hakim rifle, a licensed copy of the Swedish Ag m/42, they redesigned the breech to accept the 7.92×57mm Mauser cartridge rather than use the original 6.5×55mm Ag m/42 cartridge. Its military use continues today in the former Yugoslavia in the Zastava M76 sniper rifle and the license-built copy of the MG 42, the M53 Šarac machine gun. Rifles manufactured for the Wehrmacht, captured by the Allies and acquired by Israel were important in the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. Israel did not have a domestic arms industry and could not manufacture rifles but it could produce replacement parts and refurbish weapons. Israel only used its Mauser rifles in their original configuration for a short period, when NATO countries adopted a standard rifle cartridge, the 7.62×51mm NATO, Israel replaced all of the 7.92×57mm Mauser barrels on its Mauser rifles with barrels chambered for the new 7.62×51mm NATO cartridge.
After World War I the Treaty of Versailles imposed comprehensive and complex restrictions upon the post-war German armed forces. According to the treaty the Reichswehr could on a limited scale continue using the 7.92×57mm Mauser as their service cartridge. The Treaty of Versailles however nixed the civilian use of 7.92×57mm Mauser chambered rifles by German hunters and sport shooters. During the mid 1930s Germany stopped obeying the restrictions imposed by the Treaty of Versailles and the civilian use of 7.92×57mm Mauser chambered rifles by German hunters and sport shooters was resumed. In 1939 the Normalisierungsverordnung prohibited the production of non S-bore/7.92×57mm Mauser cham
The.30-06 Springfield cartridge, 7.62×63mm in metric notation and called ".30 Gov't'06" by Winchester, was introduced to the United States Army in 1906 and standardized. The ".30" refers to the caliber of the bullet in inches. The "06" refers to the year the cartridge was adopted—1906, it replaced 6 mm Lee Navy, and.30-40 Krag cartridges. The.30-06 remained the U. S. Army's primary rifle and machine gun cartridge for nearly 50 years before being replaced by the 7.62×51mm NATO and 5.56×45mm NATO, both of which remain in current U. S. and NATO service. It remains a popular sporting round, with ammunition produced by all major manufacturers. In the early 1890s, the U. S. military adopted the smokeless powder.30-40 Krag rimmed cartridge. The 1894 version of that cartridge used a 220-grain round-nose bullet. Around 1901, the U. S. started developing an experimental rimless cartridge for a Mauser action with box magazine. That led to the 1903.30-03 rimless service round that used the same 220-grain round-nose bullet as the Krag.
The.30-03 achieved a muzzle velocity of 2,300 ft/s. Many European militaries at the beginning of the 20th century were adopting lighter-weight, higher velocity, service rounds with pointed bullets: France in 1898, Germany in 1903, Russia in 1908, Britain in 1910; the round-nosed U. S..30-03 service cartridge was falling behind. For these reasons, the U. S. military developed a new, lighter cartridge in 1906, the.30-06 Springfield, "cartridge, caliber.30, Model of 1906", or just M1906. The.30-03 case was modified to have a shorter neck to fire a spitzer flat-based 150-grain bullet that had a ballistic coefficient of 0.405, a muzzle velocity of 2,700 ft/s, a muzzle energy of 2,429 ft⋅lbf. The cartridge was loaded with military rifle 21 propellant, its maximum range was claimed to be 4,700 yd; the M1903 Springfield rifle, introduced alongside the.30-03 cartridge, was modified to accept the new.30-06 Springfield cartridge. Modifications to the rifle included shortening the barrel at its breech and resizing the chamber, so that the more tapered bullet would not have to jump too far to reach the rifling.
Other changes to the rifle included elimination of the troublesome "rod bayonet" of the earlier Springfield rifles. The M1906 maximum range was overstated; when the M1906 cartridge was developed, the range tests had been done to only 1,800 yards. The range discrepancy became evident during World War I. Before the widespread employment of light mortars and artillery, long-range machine gun "barrage" or indirect fires were considered important in U. S. infantry tactics. When the U. S. entered World War I, it did not have many machine guns, so it acquired British and French machine guns. When those weapons were replaced with U. S. machine guns firing the M1906 round, the effective range of the barrage was 50 percent less. Firing tests performed around 1918 at Borden Brook Reservoir and Daytona Beach showed the actual maximum range of the M1906 cartridge to be 3,300 to 3,400 yards. Germany, using the S Patrone loaded with a similar 153-grain flat-based bullet in its rifles, had confronted and solved the same problem by developing an aerodynamically more refined bullet for long range machine gun use.
The s. S. Patrone was introduced in 1914 and used a 197.5-grain s. S. - schweres Spitzgeschoß boat-tail bullet which had a maximum range of 4,700 m. For these reasons, in 1926, the ordnance corps, after extensive testing of 7.5×55mm Swiss GP11 projectiles provided by the Swiss developed the.30 M1 Ball cartridge loaded with a new improved military rifle 1185 propellant and 174-grain bullet with a 9° boat-tail and an ogive of 7 calibers nose cone that had a higher ballistic coefficient of 0.494, that achieved a muzzle velocity of 2,647 ft/s and muzzle energy of 2,675 ft⋅lbf. This bullet further reduced air resistance in flight, resulting in less rapid downrange deceleration, less lateral drift caused by crosswinds, greater supersonic and maximum effective range from machine guns and rifles alike, its maximum range was 5,500 yd. Additionally, a gilding metal jacket was developed that all but eliminated the metal fouling that plagued the earlier M1906 cartridge. Wartime surplus totaled over 2 billion rounds of ammunition.
Army regulations called for training use of the oldest ammunition first. As a result, the older.30-06 ammunition was expended for training. By 1936, it was discovered that the maximum range of the.30 M1 ball ammunition with its boat-tailed spitzer bullets was beyond the safety limitations of many military firing ranges. An emergency order was made to manufacture quantities of ammunition that matched the external ballistics of the earlier M1906 cartridge as soon as possible. A new cartridge was developed in 1938, a duplicate of the old M1906 round, but loaded with IMR 4895 propellant and a new flat-based b