The More Things Change, Maschinengewehr Edition

Check out these two circa 1917 images of Austro-Hungarian Imperial and Royal Army (kaiserlich und königliche Armee or k.u.k.) troops fielding a Schwarzlose M.7 water-cooled general-purpose machine gun from carefully constructed trenches, “somewhere in Eastern Europe.”

Maschinengewehr in Gefechtsstellung, 11.1917. Via Bildarchivaustria

Maschinengewehr in Feuerstellung, 25.09.1917 Via Bildarchivaustria

Now contrast them with these three of a modern MG 74 maschinengewehr emplacement of the Austrian Bundesheer taken earlier this month.

Sure, the uniforms are different, and the MG 74 is much more effective– the Steyr-made MG 42/59 variant has a cyclic rate of fire is 850 rounds per minute while only weighing 23.5-pounds instead of the M.7’s 450rpm rate and 90-pounds– the general concept is remarkably the same, even 104 years apart.

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