Watch: Heavy Machine Guns of the Great War
Russ Chastain 03.09.17
In this video, Ian takes a look at three main machine guns of Big Rumble One (as my late father used to call it), also known as World War One or The Great War: the German MG08, French Hotchkiss Model of 1914, and a British Vickers gun.
Two of the three–and the majority of machineguns used in WWI–were invented by the American technical genius Hiram Maxim.
Ian takes a peek at Maxim’s history and details on the guns, including the fact that Maxim invented the belt feed in order to keep his guns running. And you’ll also get to find out where “the whole nine yards” phrase comes from.
The Vickers was proven reliable when it was kept firing without pause for more than a week! If only humans were as reliable.
The French Hotchkiss stands alone in this lineup as an air-cooled model, eliminating the need for a water jacket to prevent the barrel from overheating. And instead of using a belt feed, this model used metallic strips, which has both advantages and shortcomings as compared with the belt feed.
We further learn that, although these guns had been around for decades, the countries involved in the war didn’t truly have a good understanding of how to effectively use the guns in combat, nor of how devastating they could be.
They soon found out.