first published on March 13, 2018 by Josh
A heavy machine gun is the worst direct fire weapon system that you can find yourself on the receiving end of in infantry based combat. Weapon systems like the Browning M2 .50 cal, the MK19, and the DShK 1938 are heavy machine guns that can put out a terrifying volume of accurate suppressing fire. When you find yourself on the receiving end, the best thing you can do is quickly identify the location of the threat, and get as much return fire on it as possible to get the crew to stop firing. Killing the crew is obviously the best option, as a well disciplined machine gun team will stay on their weapon system and continue to suppress even while taking accurate direct fire themselves.
What is important to remember is that in most cases, a machine gun team’s objective is to keep your head down while their friendly troops close with your position. The machine gunners are attempting to fix your location so their buddies can take your position by force while you are unable to get your head up and into the fight. Well trained machine gunners operating heavy machine guns are only outclassed by armored vehicles with coaxial machine guns and large main guns, and extremely proficient forward observers backed by artillerymen who know that they are the real King’s of Battle.
Fortunately enough for the Soldiers of 3D IBCT, 1st AD at CCOP Kherwar in the Logar Province of Afghanistan, these Taliban fighters are far from well trained on the DShK machine gun they are using in an attempt to suppress their position. Also, those Taliban fighters aren’t backed by a maneuver element, nor do they have the discipline to stay on their weapon system when accurate rounds start coming back towards their hastily set up ambush position. In fact, it only takes a few seconds of semi-accurate return fire to completely scare them out of their position and into a full retreat away from contact. In short, these machine gunners suck, and the Soldiers receiving fire from them are lucky that they do.
According to the source, by the time the react patrol got to the machine gun team’s previously occupied position, the only sign of the machine gun crew was the brass casing left behind. Several months later they would catch up with the machine gun team again, and capture them with the weapon system in hand. Removing this DShK from their area of operations was probably a huge sigh of relief for everyone in the area, because getting shot at by one of these things is terrifying. Even if the crew operating the weapon system is fully incompetent, the weapon system itself still puts out an extreme rate of high caliber fire in a very short period of time.