The MG-42 ("MachinenGewehr 1942" or "Machine Gun 1942") is a general purpose machine gun developed for the Wehrmacht and the Schutzstaffel of Nazi, Germany during World War 2. The weapon was designed to replace the more hard to make MG-34 and used sheet metal and steel; which made the weapon even more lethal than it's predecessor. The weapon's rate of fire was 1,200 rounds per and with different bolts; it was 900-1,500 rounds per minute. It fires from a 50-250 round belt fed magazine of ammunition; which can be spent in a nick of seconds and whenever the gun needed reloading; the barrel needed to be changed because if not, it would be at risk of breaking via the heat. The weapon's rate of fire was so fast; that Americans and other allied troops were getting ripped to shreds because of this weapon and it would later earn it's nickname "Hitler's Buzzsaw".
The MG 42 and MG 34 could both be mounted on tripods, stans or vehicles. The MG 42 was even more powerful when mounted on a tripod or even a stan. When mounted on a stan, the weapon could fire over higher obstacles.
The machinegunner firing the MG 42 always had to have his assistant carrying extra four drums with 50 rounds each and one box with 300 rounds. In a German infantry squad, there were 10 soldiers: Commander, substitute commander, Machinegunner, Assistant, Carrier and 5 other regular infantrymen. The carrier would be carrying extra two boxes with 300 rounds each.
Saving Private Ryan
German troops on the beach of Normandy utilized the MG-42 against the oncoming American troops. The MG 42 was the weapon the soldier in the bunker fired at the troops exiting the landing craft. It would later be used by other German troops along the way; encountered by Miller's Men.