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  #1  
Old February 25th, 2016, 09:23 PM
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Question MG 34 - MMG/HMG what's the difference

Hi
Well obviously the values are the difference but why do they differ at all?
I only know the "light" version that has the bipod and was used within infantry squads, and the "heavy" version that was used on a tripod.
Was it a design decision to make an MMG version or is that based on technicals aspects of the MG and/or its tactical use n the field?
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  #2  
Old February 25th, 2016, 10:17 PM
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Default Re: MG 34 - MMG/HMG what's the difference

because the MMG is mounted on a bipod and is prone to shaking when firing, reducing accuracy.

Meanwhile the HMG version is mounted on a 15 or 50 lb tripod. The 50 lb tripod had a lot of cool features:

The larger tripod, the MG 34 Lafette, included a number of features, such as a telescopic sight and special sighting equipment for indirect fire. The legs could be extended to allow it to be used in the anti-aircraft role, and when lowered, it could be placed to allow the gun to be fired "remotely" while it swept an arc in front of the mounting with fire, or aimed through a periscope attached to the tripod. Mounted to the Lafette the effective range of the MG 34 could be extended out to 3,500 meters when fired indirectly.[8]

Another unique feature of German World War II machine guns (which continued to be used by the German Bundeswehr after the war) was the Tiefenfeuerautomat. If selected, this feature walked the fire in wave like motions up and down the range in a predefined area. E.g., being unsure whether the real distance was 2000 meters or 2300 meters, the gunner could make the mount do an automatic sweep between the elevations for 1900 to 2400 meters and back. This sweeping of a given range (Tiefenfeuer) continued as long as the gun fired.


EDIT: Tiefenfeuer may sound liek it's over complicating the tripod/gun design; but there's a very good reason for it. It makes the movement of the machine gun mechanical, instead of depending on the operator.

An inexperienced machine gun operator who doesn't have the training or experience necessary for the job will tend to focus his machine gun fire on groups of infantry.

It's counter-intuitive, but to be effective, a heavy machine gun can't afford to concentrate on individual groups of soldiers. What you have to do is to create a 'beaten zone' by raking fire back and forth that ensues that nobody moving there can move without risking a 50% or more chance of injury; so this means that you have to counter intuitively move the machine gun away from groups of soldiers to complete a sweep of the beaten zone, before swinging back across them.

Last edited by MarkSheppard; February 25th, 2016 at 10:32 PM..
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Old February 25th, 2016, 10:42 PM
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Default Re: MG 34 - MMG/HMG what's the difference

LMG - the bipod version as used in the rifle section
MMG - on a tripod for the sustained fire role, with a heavy barrel
HMG - represents the MMG, with added telescopic sight

(Vague recollections from German OOB discussions in the past)
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Old February 26th, 2016, 09:45 AM
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Default Re: MG 34 - MMG/HMG what's the difference

It is admittedly a misnomer to refer to it as LMG/MMG/HMG since the Germans regarded it as a general purpose machinegun that could take on different roles, and did not have a purely dedicated one. The same is true for the MG 42.

However, for game terms and convenience, it makes a lot more sense to just list it as an MG34 MMG or MG34 HMG rather than trying to force the game to display "MG 34 mit Lafette"
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Old February 26th, 2016, 11:55 AM
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Default Re: MG 34 - MMG/HMG what's the difference

Marks description is the most detailed why we added a HMG version to the game along with the MMG and Andy's is the basic answer. There were a number of reason to create a HMG version with the scope being the tipping point but the points Mark brought up weighed into decision as well........ and YES....from a "real world" standpoint the weapon staddles both MMG and HMG....but this is not the "real world" ....it's a game and things like this have to work within the games framework and in this case adding a HMG version.......for all the reason Mark presented.....made sense

Don
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Old February 27th, 2016, 08:29 PM
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Default Re: MG 34 - MMG/HMG what's the difference

From German Infantry Weapons of World War 2 by A.J. Barker Arms and Armour Press 1969 :- "Because the Treaty of Versailles prohibited the Germans from manufacturing "heavy" machine guns (which in a modern context may be interpreted as medium guns), their designers set out to develop an all-purpose weapon which could be called a light machine gun but which could be adapted as a heavy weapon."

Regards, Warwick
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Old February 28th, 2016, 04:12 PM

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Default Re: MG 34 - MMG/HMG what's the difference

Game-wise, it might be worth noticing that the MG34/42 MMG units have three men per gun, while the HMG equivalents have four - making them slightly more survivable.

Rather off-topic: while the classification of a gun as LMG, MMG or HMG in SP games does not really affect the performance of the gun (which is defined by the actual stats), in the miniature wargaming environment there are sometimes strange debates about the classification of weapons into various categories - usually as a result of game designers who want to simplify game design by having only a few generic weapon categories, rather than individual statistics for each gun.
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Old February 29th, 2016, 05:33 AM
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Default Re: MG 34 - MMG/HMG what's the difference

MMG, LMG, SFMG, HMG. You say potayto and I say potato. The meaning of these acronyms depends on particular armies, eras, wargame rules or other flavours of the month.

Same goes with things like "what's a howitzer" - that used to be a simple question of a short barrel, uses bagged charges for variable zones, and 45 degrees or more elevation. Now you have "gun-howitzers", L50 barrelled "howitzers" as some armies dont use a gun-howitzer designator and so on. What exactly is a howitzer these days tends to be defined by the use of variable charge increments, guns (if an army still use them) will have fixed charges, whether bagged or in a cartridge case, though some guns might have a "supercharge" additional increment.
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Old February 29th, 2016, 11:07 AM
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Default Re: MG 34 - MMG/HMG what's the difference

Regardless of what one army or another calls it, I think for general wargaming and Steel Panthers purposes we can just call them LMG/MMG/HMG and get on with our lives...for those of us who want to be neurotic there's always MOBHACK
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Old November 30th, 2016, 04:58 AM

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Default Re: MG 34 - MMG/HMG what's the difference

Hi I Just read my book Mg34-MG42 by folke myrvang and I think there are some misconceptions in this thread.
MG34 or 42 do not have a heavy barrel.
The La fette tripod was always issued with a telescopic sight.
So the MMG and MMG tripod don't exist! You can remove it and put in the puppchen instead. But I guess this isnt possible because of the scenario issue.

various HMGs, 30 cal for example have been given bipods, but the 34 was the first HMG to be light enough for that to make sense.
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