Illustration for Twisting-Toyz
WWII action figures[link]
Sketch by Davide Fabbri
color by me... (this is one of the first we did...you can tell because there's no background ...there will be other like this)
One of the big mysteries of the Second World War was that the USA armed forces never developed a reliable light machine gun. In almost every other category the American industry was able to produce and build for the armed forces weapons of good quality and over all in the required numbers, but in the L.M.G. (light machine gun) field they never reached an apprezable solution.
The B.A.R. (Browing Automatic Rifle) was the American answer for this role, even though in the operation and design terms was unsuited to the task. For this reason and for his main drawback of the inability of prolonged burst fire, the need of a new and more suitable for the role weapon arose since the first year of the war; the problem was that the gun had to be light enought to be portable for the infantry and to have a greater rate of fire than the BAR, but there was nothing in the US inventory suitable for this role in that time.
The solution emerged in the first half of 1943, as typical example of American wartime improvvisation, with a variant of the 0.30 M1919A4 air-cooled machine gun projected for a multi-role use (the original model was the tipod-mounted belt feeded M1919 gun, the air-cooled version of the famous water-cooled M1917 machine gun).
The M1919A4 gun was the base for what was supposed to be a light machine gun the 0.30 caliber M1919A6. The M1919A6 version was built with a lighter barrel, a carrying handle, a muzzle-flash, a bipod and a metal shoulder stock; at the end the weapon weighted less than 15kg/34lb but it is clear that it is hardly to consider it "light" and the presence of the original belt feed meant that another soldier usually had to assist with loading and carrying ammunition. Another drawback was that only in theory the gun was suited for the change of an overheated barrel but no provision was made to handle it.
At the end the M1919A6 machine gun can be considered quite an unsatisfactory weapon, a stop gap project, yet it proved reliable in action and robust enough to absorb the hardship of the battle, but far from the German counterpart and even from the British one.
Anyway the M1919A6 was wide used in all over the war theatres and the final production total was 43479 units. Many of them also served after 1945 for many years.