RO2 Machine Gunner

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Overview

The Machine Gunner is equipped with the German MG 34 LMG or Russian DP-28 LMG light machine guns, with pistols as side arms for CQC. Veteran status gives access to the enemies light machine gun.

History

At the time of the Battle for Stalingrad, one of the major differences between the Wehrmacht and Red Armies was their use of the light machine gun. The whole German squad tactic was built around a revolutionary LMG, the MG34 and the very high number of rounds it could put “down range”. The roll of the infantryman was to support the LMG, carrying ammunition, spotting for the machine gunner, and covering his flanks. Russian tactics relied on riflemen or sub-machine gun infantry, with the light machine gun supporting these troops, offering covering fire.

Both light machine guns utilised the same ammunition as the standard rifles issued to the German and Russian troops, so were easily resupplied, but differed in many ways. The MG34 was light, effective at long ranges and could sustain long periods of fire at an unparalleled 900 rounds per minute. Barrel changing was routine at this rate of fire and was a simple operation. The major drawback of the MG34 was it’s reliance on precision engineered parts, which made it’s manufacture expensive and time consuming, and the weapon occasionally temperamental performance in adverse conditions, but were more than made up for by it’s ability to dominate the battlefield

If the MG34 typified the Wehrmacht in it’s efficiency and advanced technology, the DP-28 was similarly a very Russian weapon – tough, rugged, tolerant of abuse and cheap and simple to manufacture. If the DP-28 had any vices, they were that it’s magazines were heavy and cumbersome to carry, and (given the ruggedness of the weapons general construction) it's fragile bipod.

Gameplay

The Machine Gunner is able to sustain a high rate of fire, and that is his role – to get as many accurate rounds down the battlefield as possible, either to suppress the enemy, or kill him.

Tactics

Whilst the Machine Gunner is capable of firing unsupported, the LMG is most effective and accurate firing supported. Choosing positions in cover with overview of choke points, or with a wide arc of fire are preferable, however the tendency to settle in one spot and remain there will allow enemy troops to home in on the unique report of the LMG so relocating at intervals is highly advisable. Due to the very nature of the LMG, it’s easy to burn through ammunition quickly (particularly with the MG34), but other troops can resupply the Machine Gunner, so it is possible to avoid returning to ammo dumps by requesting resupply.

Due to the unique magazine of the DP-28, an estimate of the rounds remaining can be made by watching the storage ring on the top of the magazine, and due to it’s relatively low cyclic rate, barrel overheating is very unlikely. The high cyclic rate of the MG 34 conversely means that barrel changes should be made whenever possible – ideally before the barrel starts to smoke.

Although there is a tendency to seek any suitable supported position to fire the LMG from, wherever possible avoid window sills as the muzzle flash and silhouette make for an easily identified target - try using other flat surfaces set back from openings to avoid giving your position away or, if all else fails, fire accurate bursts, before ducking behind cover before you are located.

Equipment

Axis

Allies