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Maschinengewehr 34, MG 34, (machine gun 34)

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Uploaded on Aug 22, 2011

It was designed primarily by Heinrich Vollmer from the Mauser Werke, based on the recently introduced Rheinmetall-designed Solothurn 1930 (MG30) that was starting to enter service in Switzerland. The principal changes were to move the feed mechanism to a more convenient location on the left of the breech, and the addition of a shroud around the barrel. Changes to the operating mechanism improved the rate of fire to between 800 and 900 rpm.

The new gun was accepted for service almost immediately and was generally liked by the troops, and it was used to great effect by German soldiers assisting Nationalist Spain in the Spanish Civil War. At the time it was introduced, it had a number of advanced features and the general-purpose machine gun concept that it aspired to was an influential one. However, the MG 34 was also expensive, both in terms of construction and the raw materials needed (49 kg (108.0 lb) of steel),[citation needed] and its manufacture was too time-consuming to be built in the numbers required for the ever-expanding German armed forces. It was the standard machine gun of the Kriegsmarine (German navy). It also proved to be rather temperamental, jamming easily when dirty.

Imported units of MG34s, as well as indigenous copies of the weapon were adopted by Chinese Nationalist forces[2] during both World War II and the Chinese Civil War. Some models captured from the Germans by the Soviets or French were supplied to the People's Liberation Army/People's Volunteer Army, Korean People's Army, PAVN and the Viet Cong over the Cold War.

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