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The MG34 machine gun, also known as the Maschinengewehr 34, was developed by the German military in the mid-1930s. It is a belt-fed, air-cooled weapon that fires 7.92×57mm Mauser cartridges at a rate of between 800 to 900 rounds per minute.

The development of the MG34 machine gun began in the early 1930s, as Germany started to rearm after World War I. The German military wanted a weapon that could be used in a variety of roles, including infantry support, anti-aircraft, and anti-tank duties. They also wanted a weapon that was highly reliable, accurate, and easy to use.

The design of the MG34 was revolutionary for its time. It had a quick-change barrel, the first of it’s type, which meant that the gunner could replace a hot barrel with a cool one, allowing for sustained automatic fire without overheating the weapon. The gun was also designed for rapid fire, with a cyclic rate of fire of between 800 to 900 rounds per minute.

Because it was so effective it meant that it could be used in both an infantry support and anti-aircraft role. The gun could be mounted on a tripod for infantry use or on a tripod with an anti-aircraft sight for use against aircraft.

The MG34 was first fielded by the German army in 1936, and by the time World War II began in 1939, it was the standard machine gun for the German infantry. The MG34 was used extensively in all theaters of the war, and it was highly respected by both German and Allied troops. It was also used by a number of other countries, including Romania, Spain, and Yugoslavia.

The MG34 was revolutionary in its design and capabilities, but it did have some drawbacks. One of the main issues was cost. The gun was expensive to produce and had complex manufacturing processes, which made it difficult to mass-produce. Another issue was its weight. The MG34 was a heavy weapon, weighing in at around 26 pounds, which made it cumbersome for infantry units on the move. By the end of the war over 370,000 MG34s were produced, comparatively little when you compare that to over a million Thompson machine guns for instance.

However, the MG34 machine gun was a game-changer in its design and capabilities, and it played a significant role in World War II. Its quick-change barrel and rapid fire capabilities made it a formidable weapon on the battlefield, but its weight and cost also presented challenges. Despite these drawbacks, the MG34 was a highly respected weapon, and its legacy lives on today in the many machine guns that followed its innovations.

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