A machine gun crew of three soldiers taking it easy in the sun. Their weapon is an MG 13, a light machine gun that was adopted in 1930 and the standard LMG of the Reichswehr until 1935, when the MG 34 superseded it. It was based on the MG 18, and the designation “MG 13” was chosen as to make it appear to be an older design in the eyes of the Versailles Treaty Control Commission. When the MG 34 became the standard MG, the MG 13s were sold off to Spain and Portugal, and those that didn’t find buyers were put in storage. When the war began, second line units were equipped with it, and it saw use until the end of the war. It was also used in some aircraft and the PzKpfw I tank.
It weighed 10.9 kilos in the bipod configuration, and used 25-round box magazines, or 75-round saddle magazines. The small magazine capacity and the rate of fire of 500-600 rounds a minute meant that a magazine was emptied in 2.5 – 3 seconds. The magazines made it easy to use, though, and there were other comparable MGs that had similar magazine capacity, like the British Bren gun (30 rounds). In the photo, it’s seen with the long flash suppressor, but it was common to see the MG without it.
In the clip below, you can see how to fire it properly in short, controlled bursts. Still, it wasn’t able to supply the volume of fire that the MG 34 and later MG 42 could, which was the reason why it was replaced as a front line weapon.