I know we honor our Veterans for their sacrifices and for fighting for our freedom. I also know we try and imagine how hard it was for them. Those of us who were in the service know to a point what is involved. But unless you have ever been in actual combat (thankfully I was not) it’s all pretty abstract. Watching “Saving Private Ryan” is as close to Omaha Beach as most of us will ever get, thank God.
I came across this video and I thought it was worth sharing. Watch this on full screen. When I saw it, sitting in my comfortable house in my comfortable chair, it sent chills up my spine. The German MG-42 was the deadliest machine gun of World War II and in my opinion ever made. It is a weapon that strikes abject terror into the heart of anyone who is crazy enough to oppose it. There were dozens? hundreds? of these waiting for our troops when they landed on June 6th, 1944. Those soldiers knew what they were up against in the MG-42, yet they went anyway. What ballz. Frankly I don’t know how anyone escaped those beaches alive.
I fired the American M-60 machine gun while I was in the service. It’s essentially an MG-42 with the rate of fire slowed down. It’s an awesome weapon in its own right. But it’s no MG-42. The MG-42 was so well designed that all we could do was slow it down a bit and copy it. It’s simply a devastating weapon. Note the ease of barrel change in the video.
The sound and rate of fire of the MG-42 had the power to make the strongest soldier cower in fear. Yet our Vets charged ahead. We will never know their innermost feelings from those dark days. Quite frankly I don’t want to know because I am quite sure they are stark feelings of dread and human terror. Somehow they suppressed those feelings and did their duty. Thank God they did.