1. 88-MM AA/AT GUN (DUG-IN)
The drawings in figure 1 are views of a dug-in but
uncamouflaged German 88-mm dual-purpose gun in
2. NEW MACHINE GUN
The Germans are using a new type of machine gun,
the MG 42 (see fig. 2). It has an unusually high
rate of fire and is very likely to replace the MG 34
as the standard dual-purpose machine gun of the
|Figure 2.—German Machine Gun 42.|
|Weight with bipod|| _ _ _ _ ||28 3/4 lbs|
|Over-all length|| _ _ _ _ ||48 in|
|Length of barrel|| _ _ _ _ ||21 3/4 in|
|Weight of barrel|| _ _ _ _ ||3 lbs 14 1/2 oz|
|Cyclic rate of fire|| _ _ _ _ ||1,050 rpm|
|Mounting|| _ _ _ _ ||bipod and tripod|
|Caliber|| _ _ _ _ ||7.92 mm|
Since stamping, riveting, and spot welding are used
extensively in the manufacture of the MG 42, the new
gun can be turned out much more rapidly than the
MG 34. The barrel, barrel extension, and bolt head
are virtually the only parts of the MG 42 which require
intricate machine-tool work; as a result, the gun does
not have the finished look which characterizes most
The frequent barrel-changing made necessary by
the high rate of fire is accomplished by a new and
very good arrangement. A simple movement allows a
hot barrel to be removed from the gun, and a fresh,
cool barrel inserted with a reverse movement.
There is no provision for semi-automatic fire, as is
the case with the MG 34.
The MG 42 is used as a light machine gun on a
bipod, and as a heavy machine gun on a tripod. An
antiaircraft rear sight is hinged on the leaf sight
base, and a detachable antiaircraft forward ring sight
can be fitted to a base on the barrel casing.
Both the MG 34 and the MG 42 use the same ammunition,
ammunition belt, and drum or belt box, and
are handled and stripped in the same general manner.
3. TANK RECOGNITION
In preparing revised recognition charts of our
armored vehicles, the German Army relies heavily on
the full cooperation of troops in the field. Through the
usual channels, troops report:
a. New types of tanks, or altered models.
b. Organization and strength of our tank units.
c. Unusual tank tactics.
d. Types of tanks, shown in earlier German recognition
charts, which have not been seen for some time.
Efficient German recognition of our tanks and other
armored vehicles, and a thorough knowledge of the
organization of our armored units, is the basis of all
German antitank methods. A German Army document
points out that this information is used in evolving:
a. The principles for attacking heavy armored vehicle. In
other words, the time to open fire, the time to stop the hostile
tank, and the choice of ammunition vary according to the
b. An estimate of the enemy's intentions and, with this in
mind, an appropriate use of our own antitank methods.
German troops learn to distinguish readily between
the models and markings of German armored vehicles
and those of the United Nations. Special attention is
paid to different types of the same tank, and to
captured tanks used by the German Army.
It may be said that measures which thwart successful
German recognition are also likely to hinder German
tactical decisions, especially those pertaining to
4. FLAMETHROWING TANK
The Germans have been known to adapt Pz. Kw. 2's
for use as flame-throwing tanks. Details of the
flame-throwing equipment mounted on these 12-ton tanks
suggest that it is designed to fill an antipersonnel
role at very close range.
Two independent flame throwers are mounted, one
on each track guard. Each weapon traverses 180 degrees
(presumably from front to rear), and is supplied
with 35 gallons of fuel—enough for 80 flame
projections, each lasting from 2 to 3 seconds. Two
high-pressure cylinders of nitrogen propel the oil to
each flame thrower. Refueling the flame throwers
takes from half an hour to an hour. For additional
armament, each tank has a belt-fed machine gun fitted
on a fixed mounting in the revolving turret, and
carries 1,800 rounds of ammunition. There is an optical
sight, adjusted to a range of 219 yards.
The tank has a 165-mile radius of action, and is
capable of a speed of 34 miles per hour.
It is interesting to note that the flame-throwers' rate
of fuel consumption (not more than 0.2 gal. per
second) seriously limits the range of flame projection,
which may be estimated at 30 yards (maximum).
A German manual on tank tactics observes that
flame-throwing tanks should usually advance by
bounds, halt, fire, and then repeat the procedure. The
chief function of the weapon is to reach personnel
among rocks, in cellars, in foxholes and dugouts, in
wooded areas, and generally in places not accessible
to tanks, or where gun fire is of little use.