The Maschinengewehr 34, or MG34, was a German machine gun that was first produced and accepted for service in 1934, and first issued to units in 1935. It was an air-cooled machine gun firing 7.92x57mm Mauser rounds and had similar performance to other medium machine guns.
However, it was also designed to perform both as a light machine gun and also in heavier roles, in an early example of a general purpose machine gun. In the light role, it was intended to be equipped with a bipod and 50-round belt contained in a drum-shaped ammo basket, which attached to the receiver. In the heavier role it was mounted on a larger tripod and was belt-fed. In practice the infantry usually just belt-fed the bipod version, resulting in it functioning as a classic medium support weapon.