Information courtesy of the Saving Private Ryan wiki


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 then 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".

In the mini-series, the MG42 is seen multiple times, being fired from window openings in towns, and in stand-offs with the German armoured vehicles in the advance into France.

Most notably, the mini-series did not fail to demonstrate or imply the demoralizing effect of the gun on U.S. troops, and this is a notable achievement for the film-makers, who added this realistic view, which before, had never been seen in such vivid detail in any previous war-film, barring of course, documentaries with actual war-time footage.


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