MG34/42 barrel changing mitt – hvg 44
The Germans where the first to fully implement a general-purpose machine gun or Einheitsmaschinengewehr. This machine gun was meant to be in the centre of every infantry group or Gruppe bringing more firepower to the front.
Whilst other armies still struggled with multiple machine guns for multiple roles the German army was (as so much of the times) way ahead. With the implementation of Blitzkrieg tactics the Germans needed a machine gun that was light, accurate, reliable and had a high rate of fire. The MG 34 was a excellent air-cooled, recoil operated light machine gun that could fire semi- and automatic at 850 rounds per minute. It could be easily adapted to fulfill different roles on the battlefield. As a light machine gun it was light enough to carry around and fast enough to lay down suppressive fire. On a tripod with the addition of a sight it was a anti-aircraft weapon and on the MG 34 Lafette a excellent sustained-fire machine gun. The Germans where the first to fully implement the tactic that every infantry squad or Gruppe worked around a light machine gun. During the war when materials became more scarce and production had to be sped up the Germans developed the MG 42. This new machine gun had a even more devastating rate of fire of 1200 rounds per minute. It was efficiently made of stamped steel and had a different bolt.
With this new machine gun a whole series of accessories was introduced.
The tool pouch was designed to hold the main tools for the MG 34/42 and be small enough to be carried on the belt. It carried various tools and spares to maintain the machine gun in the field. The MG 34’s predecessors had big bulky tool pouches with all sorts of hammers, spanners and big replacement parts. The implementation of the MG 42 also meant that the new spider sight Kreiskorn needed a different internal holder. This meant that the pouches made after the introduction of the MG 42 where designed to hold both types of spider sights; those for MG 34 and MG 42.
Model : Barrel Changing mitt or glove
Markings : hvg 44
Maker : hvg is a unknown maker
Material: Asbestos cloth
Year : 1944
Notes: When firing the MG34 and MG42 continuously the German soldiers where presented with a harsh and difficult task: changing the barrel. The MG34 and MG42 where both made with a quick-change barrel and to help in the changing of the barrel these gloves where invented and issued. These gloves where issued with the accessories of the MG34 and MG42. It is simply used by placing the hand under the strap and using the pad to cover your hand when you grab the hot, sometimes even glowing barrel. The barrel is then placed in the Laufschützer to cool down and a cool new barrel is inserted. According to regulations, the barrel had to be changed after 150 rounds fired continuously.