Blitzkrieg German LMG teams (1939-42)

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The physical weapon used by the German army in the light machine gun and medium machine gun role was actually the same – most commonly the MG34 (augmented by captured foreign weapons) or later, the MG42. To utilise these weapons in the medium machine gun role and take full advantage of their sustained fire capabilities and accuracy, a sturdy Schweres Machinengewehr tripod was required. However, for many squads these tripods were too cumbersome and so machine guns were used with a simple bipod, operated by small teams. Machine guns could also be used in the anti-aircraft role with the addition of a simple tripod stand made of three poles, allowing the weapon to be elevated high enough. The example given here is as used by Infanteriepanzerabwehrkompanien – machine guns used to defend anti-tank gun platoons.

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