S.MG 42 is a German Infantry unit. It a costly but effective Axis machine gun, and can fire up to 800m range, laying down withering fire on enemy soft targets. Usually manned by experienced or even elite crew, the MG 42 is fielded by a wide range of German divisions and is often available in Phase A.
A machine-gun emplacement with the MG 42 general purpose machine gun. In German infantry doctrine, the machine gun was the principal element of a platoon, with other troops protecting the gunner, rather than the usual doctrine where the machine gun supported other troops in Allied armies.
The MG 42 has acquired a legendary reputation as one of the finest general-purpose machine guns ever produced. It could lay down effective suppressive fire like no other machine gun at the time (the Allied contemporaries being the Vickers machine gun and the M1919 Browning) and pin down enemy infantry, which was due to its high rate of fire. The development of the MG42 resulted from experiences with the MG34, which was effective but proved to be too expensive. Its unparalleled rate of fire also came at a cost, however, as ammunition was spent fast and the machine gun had a tendency to overheat when used during a prolonged period of time. The MG 42 was intended to replace the MG 34 when it entered service in 1942, but both machine guns saw extensive service until the end of the war.
Six MG 42 serving in a Heavy Machine Gun Platoon are in Grenadier Battalion's Heavy Company. The Panzer Grenadier Battalion has their four MG 42 in Heavy Machine Gun Section in the each Panzer Grenadier Company.
The MG42 is the best amongst all machine guns fielded by the various divisions, providing devastating supporting fire against enemy infantry. On its own, it is very capable of pinning down and destroying enemy infantry from a respectable range. It can also destroy unarmoured or very lightly armoured vehicles such as the Jeep.
The machine gun is a good addition to any defensive line, though it is slightly more awkward to use in an offensive role as it takes some time to set up the machinery. The MG42 is best supported by an anti-tank gun or a tank, as it cannot effectively engage armoured enemy vehicles on its own.