The German army relied heavily on machine guns. They entered the war with a superb multi-purpose machine gun--the MG34. This finely crafted gun was a true work of art and a testament to German manufacturing precision. It was made from milled and turned steel parts. The gun could be used on a bipod as a light machine gun by infantry units, it could be mounted on a Lafette tripod for use as a heavy machine gun, and it could be mounted on an anti-aircraft tripod for use against enemy airpower. Furthermore, it was ideally suited to vehicle applications because of the way the barrel was changed from the rear of the shroud. This gun was capable of firing 8mm Mauser ammunition at a rate of 900 rounds per minute. 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.