MG3's in a German squad


Evil Monkey
November 9, 2007, 01:25 PM
Before the germans replaced the MG3 with the HK MG4 LMG, how many MG3 machine guns were in a squad and were they crew served or individual weapons?

Also, are the HK MG4 LMG's crew served or are they individual weapons like the M249 used by US forces?

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November 9, 2007, 01:42 PM
I'm not sure how many were issued in a squad (maybe 1 or 2?) but I do know that they were usually served by a crew of 2 men (gunner + assistant, usually a rifleman) just like the MG42 that came before. The MG4 is issued as an individual weapon because it is small and light enough for one man.

P.S. The MG3 hasn't been completely replaced. It has been superceded by the MG4 in the infantry role. Many vehicles still use the MG3 as well as some (more specialised) infantry teams. It's the same as with the FN MAG (M240) in the US Army, it was replaced for the most part by the M249 but you still see it around in combat zones.

November 9, 2007, 02:42 PM
I'll bet if you sent a note to Marko Kloos he could answer you. Fromer German army guy.

Marko Kloos
November 10, 2007, 11:58 AM
The number of MG3s in a German squad or company varies from branch to branch. In a true infantry platoon (Panzergrenadiere etc.), the standard was one MG3 per squad. The MG3 is always operated by a gunner and a loader. The loader carries a spare barrel and MG ammo. It was never used in the automatic rifle role like the M249 SAW, as the gun itself doesn't lend itself to that use. It's too heavy, too cumbersome to shoot well from any position but prone and off the bipod, and requires too many bits that come with it.

The German Army uses their MG3 much in the same way as the US Army uses the M240 GPMG.

The MG3 will not be replaced by the MG4, by the way. It'll still be used in its customary squad, and platoon-level GPMG role, as well as in the vehicle-mounted role. The MG4 is just filling the requirement to have a 5.56x45 squad automatic weapon that uses the same ammo as the new G36s. There'll be two MG4s per infantry squad, but they won't replace the MG3 because the MG3 was never used in the SAW role.

Evil Monkey
November 10, 2007, 12:07 PM
So what you're saying is, while there are 2 MG4 SAW's in each squad now, they still have a MG3 team to go with them? So it's basically 2 saws and 1 gpmg per squad, if I'm understanding this correctly.

November 10, 2007, 03:07 PM
I spent a week with our sister Bundeswehr unit, 2/PzGrenBtl 362 training at Bonnland in the Hammelburg training area back in 1981. As the platoon I was assigned to was short of NCOs, I was given a squad to lead during the training exercises. We had one MG3 per squad in our platoon and they were employed as crew served weapons. Pretty much like we in the US Army employed the M-60.
That week I spent with the panzergrenadiers was one of the most enjoyable of my four years in the service. Those guys were very good soldiers.

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