Often we watch movies detailing the battles of the Wehrmacht during ww2. Many of these movies and documentaries involved action involving machine gun groups in the heat of battle. German machine gun tactics during WW2 are still used today in modern warfare, as they were absolutely devastating as Allied & Soviet discovered.
However one thing is often incorrectly shown in movies and documentaries and that is the actual machine gun that the Germans used prior to 1942. It was not the MG42, it was the MG34. A much more revolutionary firearm in warfare.
The MG34 was the first belt fed machine gun that could easily be transported and used by one man. This was used to amazing effect during the initial phases of Barbarossa as individual machine gun operators were able to kill dozens if not hundreds of Soviet troops. Additionally, the MG34 was the primary machine gun used on virtually all German armored vehicles through the entire war. Additionally the MG42 did not replace the MG34, but served as a cheaper-to-produce supplement to the Wehrmacht’s automatic weapon requirements during the war.