The MG08/15, or the lMG08/15 (leichter Maschinengewehr 08/15), was the lighter version of the Maschinengewehr 08 and appeared in 1915. It was tested as a prototype in 1915 by a team of weapon designers, under the direction of a Colonel Friedrich von Merkatz, and in 1916 it went to production. About 130,000 machineguns had to be manufactured during World War I. Most of them by the Spandau and Erfurt government arsenals. This was a portable version equipped with a drum (Gurttrommel) and two legs so that the drum was easy to remove. It still contains a water jacket filled with 3 litres water (and not 4 litres like the Maschinengewehr 08).
It was first introduced in battle during the French Chemin des Dames offensive in April 1917 where it contributed to the very high casualty count among the French assailants. Its deployment in increasingly large numbers with all front line infantry regiments continued in 1917 and during the German spring offensives of 1918. The MG 08/15 became, by far, the most common German machine gun deployed in World War I since it reached a full allocation of six guns per company or 72 guns per regiment in 1918. By that time, there were four times as many MG 08/15 light machine guns than heavy MG 08 machine guns in each infantry regiment.
After the war, the machineguns saw service in country's like Belgium and The Netherlands.