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The M1919 Browning is a .30 caliber medium machine gun that was widely used during the 20th century. It was used as a light infantry, coaxial, mounted, aircraft, and anti-aircraft machine gun by the U.S. and many other countries, especially during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.
As a company or battalion support weapon, the M1919 required at least a two-man machine gun team. But in practice, four men were normally involved: the gunner (who fired the gun and when advancing carried the tripod and box of ammo), the assistant gunner (who helped feed the gun and carried the gun, and box of spare parts and tools), and two ammunition carriers. The original idea was to allow the gun to be more easily packed for transport, and featured a light barrel and bipod when first introduced as the M1919A1. Unfortunately, it quickly became clear that the gun was too heavy to be easily moved, while at the same time too light for sustained fire. This led to the M1919A2, which included a heavier barrel and tripod, and could be continuously fired for longer durations.
The M1919A4 weighed about 14 kg, and was ordinarily mounted on a lightweight, low-slung tripod for infantry use. Fixed vehicle mounts were also employed. It saw wide use in World War II mounted on jeeps, armored personnel carriers, tanks, and amphibious vehicles. The M1919A4 played a key role in the firepower of the World War II US Army. Each infantry company normally had a weapons platoon in addition to its other organic units. The presence of M1919A4 weapons in the weapons platoon gave company commanders additional automatic fire support at the company level, whether in the assault or on defense.
However, by and large the most common variant of the series was the M1919A4. The M1919A4 was used in both fixed and flexible mounts, by infantry and on vehicles. It was also widely exported after World War II and continues to be used in small numbers around the world. Two variants were developed specifically for vehicular use, the M1919A5, with an extended charging handle, and the M1919A4E1, a sub-variant of the M1919A4 refitted with an extended charging handle.
With assistance from firearms engineers at Fabrique Nationale de Herstal, Belgium, the Model 1919 was completely re-engineered into the .30 caliber M2 AN (Army-Navy) aircraft machine gun (see #AN/M2). The .30 in M2 AN Browning was widely adopted as both a fixed (offensive) and flexible (defensive) weapon on aircraft. Aircraft machine guns required light weight, firepower, and reliability, and achieving all three goals proved a difficult challenge, with the mandate for a closed bolt firing cycle to enable the gun to be safely and properly synchronized for fixed-mount, forward-aimed guns firing through a spinning propeller, a necessity on many single-engined fighter aircraft designs through to nearly the end of World War II. The receiver walls and operating components of the M2 were made thinner and lighter, and with air cooling provided by the speed of the aircraft, designers were able to reduce the barrel's weight and profile. As a result, the M2 weighed two-thirds that of the 1919A4, and the lightened mechanism gave it a rate of fire approaching 1,200 rpm (some variants could achieve 1,500 rpm), a necessity for engaging fast-moving aircraft. The M2's feed mechanism had to lift its own loaded belt out of the ammunition box and feed it into the gun, equivalent to a weight of 5 kg. In Ordnance circles, the .30 M2 AN Browning had the reputation of being the most difficult-to-repair weapon in the entire US small arms inventory.
The M2 also appeared in a twin-mount version which paired two M2 guns with opposing feed chutes in one unit for operation by a single gunner, with a combined rate of fire of 2,400 rpm. All of the various M2 models saw service in the early stages of World War II, but were phased out beginning in 1943, as hand-trained defensive machine guns became obsolete for air warfare (the .50 in/12.7 mm M2 Browning and 20 mm automatic cannon had replaced the .30 in as offensive air armament as well). The .30 in M2 aircraft gun was widely distributed to other US allies during and after World War II, and in British and Commonwealth service saw limited use as a vehicle-mounted anti-aircraft or anti-personnel machine gun.
In Forgotten Hope Secret Weapon, the machinegun can be used via a pick-up kit aswel on vehicles. The pick-up kit contains a machinegun, a knife, a Colt pistol and 3 mines. The machinegun in the pick-up kit have three different setups. All three use the tripod. You can lie with the machinegun (When you have no cover or you want to hide in bushes. This possition can only be used against ground targets and low flying aircrafts), you can crouch with your machinegun (When you have a cover, like walls. This possition can only be used against ground targets and low flying aircrafts) or you can use the machinegun as Anti-Aircraft gun (Then you stand with your machinegun and you can used against both ground and air targets). The machinegun in FHSW have a magazine of 200 rounds, in pick-up kit, or another number of rounds when used on vehicles (consult the General Ingame Information of the vehicles). The gun is used on most American ground vehicles. Mostly in the hull. On light vehicles, it can sometimes be found on the turret.