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Moving on from submachine guns , let us take a look at the light machine guns available from the armory. We will begin with the fearsome MG 34.

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[image caption=”Nice weather for an ambush.”][/image]

Feuer Frei!

[dropcap2]T[/dropcap2]he Maschinengewehr 34 was developed in 1934 by Heinrich Vollmer of Mauser Industries and adopted by the Wehrmacht as a main support weapon in 1936, when Hitler decided it was a good time to stop pretending to respect the Versailles Treaty (which specifically forbade Germans to sit on a huge pile of machine guns). It first proved its deadly efficiency in the Spanish Civil War, where German volunteers of the Condor Legion lended support to Franco’s Nationalists. At the time of its introduction, the MG 34 was widely seen as the best machine gun in existence, but its costly precision engineering and slow production rate could not keep up with the demands of the rapidly expanding German forces and as a result it was eventually replaced by the cheaper MG 42, which used less time and less materials.

One of the first truly portable machine guns, it had both a very high rate of fire and a fairly long range. It may be called a “light” machine gun, but at 12 kg it is much heavier than a MP 40 (4 kg). This results in the aim being much more affected by sway: when you turn around while wielding the MG 34, your soldier will need a certain time to re-stabilize the weapon. In hip-fire mode, you will see your crosshairs spread wide apart when you swivel, representing the loss of precision.

[dropcap2]I[/dropcap2]t is also impossible to fire the MG 34 while running; however when walking (by holding down the ALT key), you will retain enough control to fire from the hip. This doesn’t mean the MG 34 is not precise enough to be used over distances greater than 100 m — on the contrary: if fired in short bursts from a prone position, this machine gun will decimate the opposition. Why short bursts? Simply because the MG 34 fires 7.92 mm rifle cartridges, which means a high muzzle velocity and consequently, a high recoil. If you empty your magazine all at once, chances are you’ll be firing your final bullet into the ceiling.

All in all, the MG 34 is great to defend positions and provide suppressing fire, but not so great in close combat, where its lack of maneuverability (and long reload time) become a handicap.

Stay tuned for more!