[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department Technical Manual, TM-E 30-451: Handbook on German Military Forces published in March 1945. — Figures and illustrations are not reproduced, see source details. — As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. — Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]
CHAPTER VII. WEAPONS
Section IX. OTHER WEAPONS
3. Aircraft Armament
a. GENERAL. The aircraft armament described in this section is limited to weapons such as machine guns and cannon which form an integral part of aircraft. The numerous types of bombs and mines which are carried in and dropped from aircraft do not form part of the standard attached armament and are not included here. There has been an increasing tendency to use aircraft machine guns on ground mounts, as illustrated by the use of the M.G.15 as a light machine gun and the M.G.151/15 and M.G.151/20 as triple, self-propelled, antiaircraft weapons. (See Section II, Small Arms, for details on use of aircraft machine guns in ground roles.)
b. 7.92-MM MACHINE GUN (M.G.15). (1) General description. This was the standard, rifle-caliber, free gun until superseded by the M.G.81. It also is used by the infantry, with bipod and shoulder rest. The design is Solothurn. The gun fires only automatically.
c. 7.92-MM MACHINE GUN (M.G.17). (1) General description. This is the fixed gun version of the M.G.15. It fires only automatically. Non-disintegrating, sectionally disintegrating, and full-disintegrating ammunition belts are used with the gun.
d. 7.92-MM MACHINE GUN (M.G.81). (1) General description. This gun has superseded the M.G.15 as the standard, rifle caliber, free gun. The high rate of fire of this gun, which is automatic only, precludes its use as a ground weapon.
e. 13-MM MACHINE GUN (M.G.131). (1) General description. This gun is compact and very light. Since it is electrically fired, there is no firing pin, and fire interruption or synchronization are facilitated greatly. The gun fires only automatically.
(3) Ammunition. The gun fires tracer, high explosive tracer, high explosive incendiary tracer, and armor-piercing tracer projectiles.
f. 15-MM MACHINE GUN (M.G.151/15). (1) General description. This Mauser-designed gun is percussion fired by solenoid control and is cocked electrically. It is basically identical in design with the M.G.151/20. This gun, which fires only automatically, has been triple mounted on a half-tracked vehicle and employed in a self-propelled antiaircraft role.
(3) Ammunition. This gun fires tracer, armor-piercing tracer, and high explosive incendiary tracer.
g. 20-MM MACHINE GUN (M.G.151/20). (1) General description. This is
(3) Ammunition. Projectiles fired in this gun include high explosive, incendiary tracer, armor-piercing incendiary, armor-piercing high explosive, and high explosive incendiary.
h. 20-MM MACHINE GUN (Oerlikon F.F. and F.F.M.). (1) General
description. This is the German air force version of the
standard Oerlikon design. It is
chambered to fit the short German
(3) Ammunition. Ball tracer, high explosive, high explosive tracer, high explosive incendiary tracer, and armor piercing projectiles are fired from this gun.
i. 30-MM MACHINE GUN (Mk.101). (1) General description. This
heavy machine gun is of Rheinmetall Börsig design. It may be fired
single shot or automatically. Two heavy coiled springs around the barrel
are necessary to check recoil. This
j. 30-MM MACHINE GUN (Mk. 108). (1) General description. The Model 108
is the latest
(3) Ammunition. The high explosive tracer projectile fired from this gun weighs 11.22 ounces. Incendiary tracer projectiles are also fired.
k. 21-CM ROCKET. Single engine German fighters carry two of these rockets, while twin engined fighters carry four. The projectiles, 42.44 inches long and weighing 248 pounds, are projected from open end tubes 50.31 inches long. The rockets are fired by electricity. The launching tubes may be jettisoned by electrical detonator charges.
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