The thing was that Germany had a rather bad time getting an effective semi-auto rifle in bulk (the G43 would be -if I remember correctly- was the first time that Germany 'cracked' semi-auto rifles), add that to the fact that the concept of the Assault Rifle hadn't been even conceived yet (let alone the context and circumstances that caused it to become prominent in the first place), that German tactics focused on avoiding urban environs unless absolutely necessary...Indeed they did, though i would say they put too much emphasis on it and neglected the other elements for too long. They fixed it in the end with more smg and MP44s for example to give the rest of the squad some ability beside bullet mules for the MG, but British and US squads already had that set up before the war started. If we look at modern squads you see that they take the best of both, a decent MG and solid fast firing infantry rifles.
The Lee Enfield is an anomaly of Bolt-Actions, outside of the Soviets -and maybe the Japanese- the rest of the world used a variation of the Mauser system. :\ Then again, most actions won't allow you to get as crude as the late-war Mausers got and still function properly...As the Lee Enfield shows you don't need a semi auto to fire fast, you just need to be creative with your bolt mechanism It's an area which should have been an easy fix, you don't need new tech or development, just to copy an existing bit of kit which has been proven in battle to work very nicely. A true semi auto would be better of course, but good enough would be cheaper, faster and get the job done better than the rifle your guys are stuck with for another decade.
Not that I know of. From what I can understand MG-42 gunners were trained to simply pull the trigger for a second or two, as usually a second or two of fire tends to kill whatever group of infantrymen the MG team targeted. Hell, even then the average barrel change in combat conditions was something like 7 seconds (form what I can understand). From what I can understand simply pulling down the trigger wasn't used unless of extreme circumstances.Isn't MG42's issue with overheating and the constant need for barrel change is so bad that the actual practical fire rate in the field is equal to the Bren?
Given that rumor has it that it was sabotaged because the project that birthed the M60 had the goal of 'making an American MG-42' in mind and anyone that can do that would be set for life...Probably some of the finest LMGs ever made are the improved copies of the M60 made by US Ordnance, the M60E4 and M60E6. They took an unremarkable machine gun with a history of failure in 'Nam and made it so reliable that the only way to kill it is to dump well over a thousand rounds through it without pause: