H016281 MG34 GUNNER'S BELT POUCH. (Werkzeugtasche 34)

BACKGROUND: Among other restrictions, the Treaty of Versailles banned Germany from developing any type of general purpose machine gun. To circumvent this, German development of an all purpose machine gun was secretly being done in Switzerland in the early 1930's. By 1934 designer Louis Stange of the Rheinmetall armaments factory had made improvements to the secret machine gun developed in Switzerland and the MG34 was introduced as an all purpose selective fire weapon. In spite of the relatively high production cost the MG34 was accepted by the Wehrmacht Ordnance department and deliveries of the MG34 began in 1936. In 1937 due to the high cost and manufacturing time of the MG34 development began on another general purpose machine gun which utilized stamped and pressed components making it cheaper and quicker to produce. Further developments resulted in the introduction of the MG42 general purpose machine gun in late 1941. The MG34 was manned by a three person crew with one individual being designated the "#1 gunner". The gunner was equipped with a specific gunners belt pouch which carried special tools and accessories for the weapon. Of Note: The MG42 Gunners pouch was almost identical but had a different internal configuration to accommodate the different tools used.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Roughly, 18cm tall, 15cm wide, 5.5cm deep, smooth, molded, blackened leather construction MG34 gunners pouch with steel and alloy fittings. The pouch has a fold over top flap with a stitched on, vertical, leather closure strap with single cut-out stud eyelet to the obverse. The closure strap affixes to a steel stud situated on the bottom of the pouch. The 8 rivets to the front of the pouch are now missing as are the internal clips they use to hold in place. The reverse of the pouch has two stitched on vertical leather belt loops. D-ring strap has been removed. Nicely maker marked and dated for 1939.

GRADE *** 1/2                             PRICE $369.00

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