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MG42 rounds from Falaise..?


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#1 Martin Bull

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 06:42 PM

During our Falaise battlefield walk this week, Jagdpanther44 and I came across a piece of field between Chambois and Moissy which was strewn with 7.92mm cartridge cases. We couldn't miss them in the sunshine......

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...and we picked up several each. Unfired casings can be easily found in the Falaise Gap - the German troops discarded so much materiel. But these were unusual - they had all been fired, and were all from the same, 1938-dated batch.

It wasn't until I cleaned them up that evening that I realised there was something else.....

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..the mouths of the casings all have a 'half-moon' look, characteristic of having been fired from an MG42. Due to the very high cyclic rate-of-fire of the weapon, the ejector marked the casings in this way ( unlike the MG34, for instance ).

Later in the war, MG42s were most often firing steel-cased ammo which by now will have long since rusted to nothing. These older cartridges are brass and have survived - quite a rare sight.

And it's reasonable to assume that the Germans down near Moissy Ford were fighting back - these bullets were probably aimed at the US/Polish forces in Chambois, just 400/500 yards from where we found the cartridges.

Anyhow, that's my theory.....;)
"Stand by to pull me out of the seat if I get hit" - Guy Gibson

#2 Owen

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 07:39 PM

Wonder if they were fired at a Tiffie come to strafe them?

#3 Martin Bull

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 07:56 PM

Certainly a possibility and one we discussed on the spot.....however, and despite Frank Wootton's legendary painting, 2nd TAF didin't do most of the damage at Moissy ( 'friendly' troops were too close ). Artillery and mortar-fire was the main problem there for the Germans.
"Stand by to pull me out of the seat if I get hit" - Guy Gibson

#4 Owen

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 08:01 PM

I dunno , Martin, don't forget Art Bridge refers to a shot down Tiffie when he was there.
http://www.ashofc.ca...aiseArticle.pdf

#5 JBaum

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 03:01 AM

The mouth of the shell isn't damaged by the ejector... it's damaged from hitting the trigger guard. The MG42 ejects the shell with such force, that it spins as it ejects, and the mouth of the case hits the front of the trigger guard.

I made a bumper from a piece of rubber hose and mounted it on my MG42 so that I could reload brass shells. It keeps the mouth of the cartridge from being deformed by the impact - works perfectly.

#6 Martin Bull

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 06:55 AM

Thanks for that information, John...I shall take your word for it, having never seen an MG42 fired 'live'.;)

The 'ejector theory' has been raised in various books and I guess it's easy to believe. At least, the shells are still definitely from that weapon....:cool:
"Stand by to pull me out of the seat if I get hit" - Guy Gibson

#7 krieg

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 08:08 AM

thankyou for showing us your outing in photo great stuff there martin
best mark
for thow . will be ours someday.we shall have it all
.:ww1ace:.. und mear...:snoopy:....




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