Saturday, 5 January 2013

MG 42


When you read about WW2, watch youtube films and today see stuff from WW2 it is often the case that equipment used by German forces was of superior quality and function.
Like here, I have two WW2 water Bottles my dad gave me, just some of a load of WW2 stuff he recently gave me...

The  British issue water bottle (right)  is pressed steel, it is heavy, has sharp edges, and a cork,
While the German water bottle (left) is aluminium so lighter, rounded with no sharp edges, and has a Bakelite screw on cap, it should also have an aluminium cup that is strapped over it, like here...


My dad brought this bottle home from Germany in 1957 while there during his 2 year National Service...

There was also a machine gun which is still today regarded as years ahead of its time when it was brought into service with German troops during WW2...

The German WW2 MG42 is still considered today as one of the most devastating machine guns of all time.
Christened `Hitlers Buzz saw` or Hitlers Zipper` it had a rate of fire between 1200 and 1500 rounds per minute. Think about that... that's at least 20 to 25 rounds a second...
It was a weapon that's noise spread fear through those Allied troops that faced it in combat.

It was so devastating that Allied troops were trained prior to the D Day landings of June 6th 1944 to distinguish its unique noise of fire which sounded like cloth being ripped as it fired.
Allied troops were trained on how to charge a pill box manned by a MG 42 by its one weakness - when it had to have its overheating barrel changed. It took 7 seconds...
The thing is at Omaha beach in June 1944 there was 5 MG42`s and they did not all need their barrels changed at the same time....

If you have watched `Saving Private Ryan` you will remember the scenes with  MG42s...

Imagine being on a landing craft, and hearing bullets drumming on your Landing craft door that is about to drop...



This documentary describes the gun that was so ahead of its time...




And here our old pal R Lee Ermey (Full Metal Jacket) has a wee shot of one...




Now you can imagine why those firing those machine guns were spared no mercy at the receiving end of flame thrower infantry as they slowly advanced under a slaughter...

The gun was used mounted on a tripod as a heavy machine gun as at the top picture or here as a lightweight infantry gun...

East Fortune World War Day 2011...



It`s one draw back was ground infantry on the move could not carry enough ammunition to feed it when used to its full potential...


But it was and still is an amazing piece of human engineering, sadly famous for its power to kill other humans...

I found this 3 part youtube film on an owners MG42 today which shows everything about this devastating  weapon...









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