The Schwere Maschinengewehr 08 (specification at left) was one of Germany’s most important weapons of World War I, and numbers remained in service up to the outbreak of World War II as there were insufficient MG 34 weapons to replace them. By 1942 the s MG 08 had been retired to second-line duties.
Captured weapons used by the Germans (with their new designations) included the Belgian 7.65mm Mitrailleuse “Maxim” (7.65mm s MG 221), Lithuanian 7.92mm (7.9mm s MG 248[r]), Polish 7.92mm Maxsim 08 (7.9mm s MG 248[r]) and Yugoslav 7.92mm Mitralez 7.9mm M8M (7.9mm s MG 248[j]). The leichte MG 08/15 was a lightened version of the s MG 08 that kept its predecessor’s mechanism and water-cooling, but was fitted with a bipod rather than being installed on a heavy tripod, and had a pistol grip and shoulder stock in place of the s MG 08’s pair of spade grips.
Turning the scales at a hefty 18kg (39.7lb), the le MG 08/15 was still in first-line service in 1939 but had been retired to second-line use by 1941. Captured weapons used by the Germans included the Belgian 7.65mm Mitrailleuse “Maxim” légère (7.65mm le MG 125), Soviet 7.9mm Rutschnoi pulemet “Maksima” obrazets 08/15 (7.9mm le MG 145[r]), and Yugoslav 7.9mm Leki-Mitralez M8/15M (7.9mm le MG 145[j]).
- heavy water-cooled machine gun
- 7.92mm (0.312in)
- 1.175m (46.25in)
- Length of Barrel
- 0.719m (28.3in)
- 62kg (136.7lb) with spares
- Muzzle Velocity
- 900m (2953ft) per second
- 250-round fabric belt (300-450rpm)