The MG 42 is a 7.92×57mm Mauser general-purpose machine gun designed in Germany and used extensively by the Wehrmacht and the Waffen-SS during the second half of World War II.
It was intended to replace the earlier MG 34, which was more expensive and took much longer to produce, but both weapons were produced until the end of World War II.
Designed to be low-cost and easy to build, the MG 42 proved to be highly reliable and easy to operate. It is most notable for its very high cyclic rate for a gun using full power service cartridges, averaging about 1,200 rounds per minute compared to around 850 for the MG 34, and perhaps 450 to 600 for other common machine guns like the M1919 Browning or Bren. This ability made it extremely effective in providing suppressive fire, and its unique sound led to it being nicknamed "Hitler's buzzsaw".