The Maschinengewehr 34, or MG 34, is a German recoil-operated air-cooled machine gun, first tested in 1929, introduced in 1934, and issued to units in 1936.
It introduced an entirely new concept in automatic firepower – the Einheitsmaschinengewehr (Universal machine gun) – and is generally considered the world’s first general-purpose machine gun (GPMG).
The versatile MG 34 was chambered for the full-power 7.92×57mm Mauser rifle cartridge, and was arguably the most advanced machine gun in the world at the time of its deployment. Its combination of exceptional mobility – being light enough to be carried by one man – and high rate of fire (of up to 900 rounds per minute) was unmatched.
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