Machine Guns

Machine Guns

Various war weapons were in use during the 1st World War and machine guns were on the list. The very first origin of the machine gun was the ‘second industrial revolution’ in Germany. The initial development of the machine gun was started by Hiram Maxim; born in America (Cornish, 2014). Major improvements were later made that led to the creation of the machine guns used during the war. By the time World War 1 began, machine guns were primitive devices and they were of a heavy variety. Machine guns are mounted with various devices and back then the guns weighed from 30kg to 60kg minus the carriages, supplies, and mountings (Duffy, 2009). The machine gun could not be operated by one person. The machine gun required about four to six members of the crew to operate and it could fire 400-600 small-caliber pounds per minute (Duffy, 2009). The machine guns, however, had a disadvantage. They could become overheated within a short period of operation, ending up inoperative (Duffy, 2009).  

World War 1 ran from 1914-1918 and a number of the machine guns used can still be found in the Military Factory (Military Factory, 2017). The machine guns had originated from different countries which were involved in the war. According to Military Factory, there were four types of machine guns that originated in the U.S (2017). These were as follows; Browning M1917 (Model 1971) Type: Belt-Fed, Water-Cooled Heavy Machine Gun (HMG), Browning M1918 BAR (Browning automatic rifle) Type: Light Machine Gun (LMG)/ Squad Support Weapon, Colt Browning M1895 (Potato Digger) Type: Air-Cooled Machine Gun, and Lewis Gun, type: Light Machine Gun (LMG) (Military Factory, 2017).

There were other machine guns used during World War 1 and they are also found in the factory. Among them are; Darne Modele 1918, type: Aircraft Machine Gun/ General Purpose Machine Gun, FIAT-Revelli Modello 1914, type: Medium Machine Gun, FIAT-Revelli Modello 1915 (Villar Perosa) type: Light Machine Gun, Fusil- Mitrailleur Modele 1915 CSRG (Chauchat) type: Light Machine Gun (LMG), Hotchkiss Model 1909 (Mle 1909/ Benet-Mercie) type: light machine gun (LMG), Hotchkiss Model 1914 (Mle 1914) type: Medium Machine Gun (MMG) / Heavy Machine Gun (HMG), Maxim MG08 (Maschinengewehr 08) type: Machine Gun, Pulmet Maksima Obrazets Model 1910 (PM Model 1910) type:  Water-cooled heavy machine gun(HMG), Schwarzlose MG, type: Water-cooled machine gun, SIA Modello 1918, type: Aircraft/ Light machine gun (LMG), Skoda MG (series) type: Machine gun, and Vickers Machine Gun (Gun, Machine, Vickers, .303in, Mk 1) type: Medium machine gun (MMG)/ Multirole weapon (Military Factory, 2017). The machine guns mentioned above originated from various countries such as France, Great Britain, and others.

According to Cornish (2014), the machine gun is said to have caused most deaths during the 1st World War. The latter is however disputable as some believe that artillery was the major cause of most of the deaths on the battlefield. It can be seen that the various machine guns used at war originated from the countries that took to the battlefield.



Cornish, P. (2014). ‘Machine Gun.’ Encyclopedia.

Duffy, M. (2009). ‘Weapons of War- Machine Guns.’ Firstworldwar.com.

Military Factory. (2017). ‘World War 1 Machine Guns (1914-1918).’ 



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