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"Remote-Controlled Machine Gun" from Intelligence Bulletin

[Intelligence Bulletin Cover]   A short article from the May 1945 issue of the Intelligence Bulletin on the German remote-controlled machine gun for close-defense of assault guns and tank destroyers.

[Editor's Note: The following article is wartime information on enemy equipment published for Allied soldiers. More accurate data on German weapons and equipment is available in postwar publications.]


[Drawing, Jagdpanzer 38t, Hetzer]

The Germans are equipping tank destroyers and assault guns with an indirect-laying and indirect-aiming device so that the personnel of these heavy armored vehicles can put up an improved defense against close-in attacks without exposing themselves. The new device consists of a standard light machine gun, the M.G. 34, mounted on a hollow-column base on top of the armored fighting compartment. Controls are fitted so that the gunner can aim, elevate, and traverse the gun from his seat inside the vehicle. The gun's shield is so designed that a standard 50-round drum may be attached to the left of the gun's receiver.

[An armored shield protects the mechanism of the gun and also the mount.]
An armored shield protects the mechanism of the gun and also the mount.

[The gunner remains inside the armored fighting compartment.]
The gunner remains inside the armored fighting compartment. With one hand he controls the traverse; with the other, the elevation. He aims by means of a periscope. To reload, he must open a hatch.

This remote-controlled gun differs from previous forms of superstructure-mounted machine guns in that each of the conventional types must be operated by a man standing with his head and shoulders exposed above an open hatch.

Although some protection is afforded by a folding shield which faces forward, the conventional mounts permit forward fire only. The new type of mount is designed to give protection against attack from sides and rear, as well, and to supplement the fire of the bow gun now fitted on the latest German tank destroyers.  

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