Your Newest Best Friend: DP Light MG subject logo: MILGAM
Posted by: badanov

In this blog we regular extoll the virtues of the Maxim machine gun, the water cooled crew served machine gun used by the Soviets/Russians since the late 1890s.

But the virtues are sentimental since the Maxim came with its own baggage in Combat Mission: speed, a humongous sized crew and a terrible jamming problem.

Plus in infantry tactics, the speed of the Maxim crew slows an advance down considerably. In addition to hauling the Maxim, the wheels of its carriage notwithstanding, there is a 60 second delay in setting the gun up for firing its support mission. Which may be okay during daylight hours and under long range ( 600-1200 meters ) conditions, but in close in knife fights, you need another solution.

In close fights, espcially night fights, an advancing infantry unit may as well bring along water pistols for all the good a Maxim will do. With visual range down to around 30 meters, by the time the Maxim gets set up, half the crew ( CM says its six, but we don't believe that; likely closer to three or four max ) is out of action, the other half searching deperately for "a better firing position".

Machine guns provide counterfire in infantry advances against enemy machine guns but they also provide an effective means of cover fire for advancing units. Taking 60 seconds to set up a crew served weapon with a gun prone to jam is unacceptable.

Meet your newest best friend, the States Industries DP/DPM machine gun. Same 7.62mmx54(r) cartridge used since the Czar, plus an add on module for firing ammo belts. The DP/DPM also comes with pan magazines with around a 61 round capacity, although experience with jamming restricts the magazine to 55 rounds. The normal Soviet DP/DPM crew member can easily carry up to four of those, the shooter two. Belts came in length of 250 to 300 rounds.

In Combat Mission, the DP has two crewmen, one shooter and one spotter/feeder/porter. Some references say the gun was developed to be deployed at the company level, but in our mind, the gun is best deployed at the squad level, which, by the way, the modern Russian Army does now.

In the game the DP/DPM is considered a support weapon and in most tables of equipment and organiation, the first choice is the Maxim, the DP/DPM being a lower cost solution, costing only eight points, not embedded in Russian rifle units.

Helluva bargain, iffin you ask us. The Maxim is 21 points. Do the math: 21 points for a sure target the enemy can easily drill and one machine gun versus 24 points for three DP/DPMs. No contest, and frankly in CM we fail to see the value of the Maxim under that calculus.

Under night conditions we like to have at least two of these gems per platon They are especially valuable in submachine gun units, where the DP/DPM provide additional target acquisition and range the PPSh and PPD burp gunners don't have. And using the powerful 7.62mmx54(r) cartridge gives the DP/DPM much needed addiitonal firepower.

In the advance, with one DP/DPM on overwatch and another advancing quickly forward of the main line, target acquisition is not such a chore as waiting on the lumbering Maxim to be brought up. Your infantry maneuvers are not so beholden to a WWI relic.

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