Machine Guns--MG08 and MG08/15

The German army relied heavily on machine guns. They entered the war with a superb multi-purpose machine gun--the MG34 and quickly added the outstanding MG42 but the German arsenal was also heavily loaded with obsolete machine guns from the first world war--the MG08 and MG08/15.  These venerable workhorses were relegated to second and third-line duty and were heavily used in training. The German also employed Maxim guns captured from the Russians but they preferred the German model due to its matching caliber. Many of these photographs come from the Reichswehr and pre-war years when these guns made up the bulk of the German arsenal. 

The machine gun was the cornerstone of every infantry squad. Each squad was built around the Machine gun. The purpose of most members of the infantry squad was to carry ammunition and to support the Machine gun. The MG was intended to do most of the heavy lifting in combat. 

These photographs were taken from a number of online sources and auction sites.  They are presented here for educational purposes.