The German heavy tank, the King Tiger, or the Panzerkampfwagen VI- Ausfuhrung B, entered service in
1944. Yet in its turret
and hull, there were
MG-34s installed, although its successor, the MG-42, was cheaper, easier to produce, and one of the best machine guns ever
developed, which is also reflected by its continuous use in several armies up to this day,
although in a slightly updated variant. So why was the MG-34 used instead of the MG-42?
Well, let me show you...
So now, I will show you how to change the barrel in the MG-42.
You pull it out, you get a new barrel, put it in—
you shove it in here,
and, then, of course,
since I'm not trained in the Wehrmacht,
this doesn't work out that nice, and now is the important thing: as you saw, we changed the barrel from the side.
And as you can see, if you change from the side,
this is a major problem, because if you hit the tank hull here,
it doesn't work this way. And let's now look at the MG-34.
Ok now let's look at the MG-34 and how to change the barrel here.
now, in this way, we open it to the side.
we pull out the barrel here.
And now, as you can see, you can pull it through the back, and if the tank hull is around here,
it's no problem, you can just change the barrel.
So, and also, the early tanks and everything was produced with this
machine gun and the round side, and as you remember, the MG-42 was way broader
So everything was in place, and you could also way easier change the barrel. This is the reason why the MG-34
was still used as a hull machine gun to the very end of the Second World War by the Wehrmacht.
There were other reasons as well. First off, the various parts used in a MG-34 inside a Panzer
were already designed and worked in many other tanks, whereas for the MG-42 these would have to be newly designed, tested,
produced, and put into mass production.
Additionally, the MG-34,
although more expensive,
was also more durable than the MG-42. Thus, it didn't have to be replaced as frequently.
Generally, the MG-42 design had more leeway, which made it less error-prone when it came to dirt than the MG-34.
But inside a tank, that was less of an issue than out there in a foxhole.
Thus, the MG-42 was ideally suited for infantry combat, and although slightly changed, it still is in service today.
Well, I hope you liked this hands-on approach.
A big thank you to Philip for providing the MGs and a lot of support, and for those of you who like this content,
consider supporting me on Patreon; Remember, every dollar helps and will be spent in creating more and better content.
If you're interested in a similar video, check out this video about hip firing the MG-34,
or this video about infantry tactics on the Eastern Front. As always, sources are in the description.
Thank you for watching, and see you next time.