December, 1944. A machinegun crew from the 398th Infantry Regiment fires from a position atop a ridge near Lambach, France.

The crew of an M1917A1 watercooled .30-caliber heavy machinegun provides supporting fire to the 3d Battalion, 398th Infantry on the Glassenberg, near the village of Lambach, France, in December 1944. The heavy machinegun platoons of the Heavy Weapons Companies of each infantry battalion were usually broken into two-gun sections and attached out to the rifle companies to provide mutually supportive, sustained, long-range direct fire support. Here, while the gunner engages the target on an enemy-held ridgeline, his squad leader observes the effects with a pair of binoculars. With accurate observation, a good gunner could establish a "beaten zone" on targets 2,000 yards away.

Back