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NFT: German weapons of the Viet Cong ...

Manny in CA : 6/9/2019 12:32 am
On the occasion of the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of D-Day, a friend of mine and I were discussing the fearsome German weapons that our invading force faced on Omaha Beach.

I mentioned to him that I had recently learned how effective (and brutal) the German machine guns were that day (especially the M42).

To my surprise, he agreed with me and said that he personally saw the weapon in the hands of the Viet Cong, 15-20 years later.(He did three Viet Nam tours, as a member of the 101st Airbourne Division).

Our troops were so impressed with this weapon; they preferred it to their own M60 machine gun.

The following article discusses these weapons (especially the M34, the predecessor to the M42). I guess the Soviets had all these weapons stockpiled, and it didn't cost them anything to pass them over to North Vietnam. oq=101st+division+viet+nam& aqs=chrome..69i57j0.24642j0j8& sourceid=chrome& ie=UTF-8

An iconic weapon  
Coach Red Beaulieu : 6/9/2019 11:17 am : link
With a ludicrous speed ROF, good for keep in enemies head down, but nowadays LMGs fire at a more "reasonable" around 600 RPM.
How often would they need to change the barrel?  
GiantsUA : 6/9/2019 11:56 am : link
It was the MG34 and MG42 that did the most damage at Normandy.  
Klaatu : 6/9/2019 1:21 pm : link
AKA "Hitler's Typewriter" or "Hitler's Buzzsaw.

Manny, what your friend most likely saw in Viet Nam was a variant of the MG34. Both machine guns were captured in quantity by the Allies, but the Soviets had the MG34 mass-produced in Czech factories, which they then supplied to insurgents around the world, including the NVA regulars and the Viet Cong. The Chinese Nationalists and Communists both used them.

There actually was an "M42" submachine gun used in WWII and the Chinese Civil War. Made initially by High Standard, it was intended as a replacement for the Thompson and the Sten because it was considerably lighter than the former, and had a higher rate of fire than the latter. It never really found favor with American troops (but it was used with great success by Filipino and Yugoslavian partisans, among others). The U.S. Army eventually replaced it with the iconic M3 "Grease Gun."
The MG42 was a classic  
sb from NYT Forum : 6/9/2019 1:28 pm : link
...probably 20 to 30 years ahead of its time. Pressed steel made it easy and cheap to produce, plus it had superior accuracy and rate of fire. It's barrel could be changed in 20 seconds.
National World War II Museum - The MG42 - ( New Window )
RE: How often would they need to change the barrel?  
Greg from LI : 6/9/2019 1:29 pm : link
In comment 14467408 GiantsUA said:

Very frequently if the gunner didn't keep his bursts short. The barrel would overheat after 150 rounds of sustained fire. In a weapon capable of 1200+ rounds per minute, that doesn't take long at all. German machingunners were trained to fire no more than 10 rounds in a burst to prolong the effective use of each barrel.
Also saw a piece that the  
section125 : 6/9/2019 1:36 pm : link
Browning .30 only required a two man crew while the MG42 required 6 men - ammunition, barrels etc. So it was really not a good squad weapon. I was a bit surprised.
Thanks Klaatu . ...  
Manny in CA : 6/9/2019 5:48 pm : link

And sb, for finding that article.

My friend, he's an amazing man. He went from an enlisted to Marine Officer Candidate School, to eventually full Marine Colonel.
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