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World War I's defining weapon for many, Germany's MG 08 machine gun won a formidable reputation on battlefields from Tannenberg to the Somme, while its more mobile successor, the MG 08/15, played a central role in the revolutionary developments in infantry tactics that characterized the last months of the conflict. Even in the 1940s, the two weapons would be pressed into service with German forces fighting in a new world war.
Drawing upon eyewitness battlefield reports, this absorbing study assesses the technical performance and combat record of these redoubtable and influential German machine guns, as well as their strengths and limitations in a variety of battlefield roles.