“Everything will be as we want.
In case of misfortune,
We have a machine gun "Maxim",
They have no Maxim "
(Hilary Belloc "New Traveler")
In case of misfortune,
We have a machine gun "Maxim",
They have no Maxim "
(Hilary Belloc "New Traveler")
Two materials published in a row about machine guns of the first and second world wars aroused great interest in the IN audience. Someone even said that it is better, they say, "maxim" no. And is it possible to argue here, when after the battle of Omdurman they calculated the approximate number of killed dervishes, and it turned out that from 20000, at least 15000 were killed by fire from "maxims". Naturally, the British, and after them, the armies of other countries immediately began to take this machine gun into service. And here it is interesting, as it were, as national approaches to this new arms embodied in the metal and as a result of this happened. And, for the time being we will take only Europe, because in America the machine-gun business was somewhat different from the European one.
Machine gun "Vikkers" Mk I, during the First World War. Museum of horse and field artillery. Australia.
Here it should be noted that the only country where the “maxim” was able to really improve and improve its performance characteristics was, again, Great Britain. So in the British armed forces the main heavy machine gun was the Vickers Mk I. The classic machine gun, which can still be found in the most remote corners of the globe. "Vickers", in essence, was the same machine gun "Maxim", produced for the British army earlier. But he had some differences. For example, the engineers of the company Vikkers reduced its weight. Having examined the "Maxim", they found that some of its parts have an unreasonably large weight. In addition, they decided to turn the lever mechanism so that it opens up, not down. Due to this, it was possible to significantly reduce the weight of the shutter. Well, the reloading system remained “maximovskaya” - reliable and durable, it was based on the recoil principle of the trunk. The middle hinge bar, in the straightened state, locked the barrel at the moment of the shot. However, when fired into the muzzle device, part of the gases was retracted, pushing back the barrel, which was engaged with the bolt. She pushed him back and the sleeve, and the joint movement of the barrel and bolt back continued until the rear shoulder of the hinge plate hit the shaped ledge on the box and did not fold up. Then the bolt disengaged with the barrel, and then went the usual cycle: removing and removing the liner, cocking and reloading.
"Maxim" of the British army, who participated in Italy under Omdurman.
Marking tripod machine gun "Vikkers" Mk I.
The weight of the Vickers machine gun Mk I reached 18 kg without water. It was usually mounted on a tripod weighing 22 kg. Like on the machine for the Hotchkiss machine gun, the vertical positioning of the machine gun was carried out by a screw mechanism. Aim devices allowed to conduct indirect fire and shoot at night. The 7,7-mm cartridges were fed from a cloth tape on 250 cartridges.
Mk 7 - .303 inch 7.7-mm standard cartridge of the British army during the Second World War. The cartridge has a border - a welt and this is his dignity and disadvantage. Rant chucks are less sensitive to machine calibration, they can also be produced on second-rate equipment. But they require more non-ferrous metal. They also create problems for the shop weapons. Shops for them have to bend so that they do not cling to the edges. But for tape-powered machine guns, this is the perfect ammo.
The machine gun could shoot at a speed of 450 – 500 shots per minute until it was poured into the casing. Continuous fire was often practiced during the first period of the war, although streams of steam that were knocked out of the casing unmasked the position. The casing contained four liters of water, which boiled after three minutes of firing at a speed of 200 rds / min. The problem was solved by using a condenser where the steam was drained, which turned into water there, and the water was returned back to the casing.
Side view of the Vickers machine gun Mk I.
Machine guns were produced with both smooth and ribbed casing. The vapor tube and the condenser tank are clearly visible.
At the beginning of the war, machine guns were distributed in two copies per infantry battalion. However, the need for this weapon was so great that special machine-gun troops were formed to satisfy it.
The emblem of the British machine-gun troops.
These were well-trained units able to quickly eliminate delays in shooting, which were attached to infantry battalions. Another useful skill of machine-gun soldiers was the ability to quickly replace the barrel. After all, even with a constant gravy of water, the barrel had to be changed every 10 000 shots. And since in the battle such a number of shots were sometimes made in an hour, a quick change of the trunk became vital. A trained calculation could replace the barrel in two minutes, almost without water loss.
The back of the Vickers machine gun.
The presence of its own troops, trained crews and servants also caused growing tactical requirements for the use of machine guns in a positional war. It is not surprising that the Vickers machine gun was then regarded as a model of light artillery. This view can be illustrated by the role of heavy machine guns in World War I, in an operation carried out by an 100 machine-gun company in the Battle of High Wood during the Somme battle in the summer of 1916. On August 24, it was decided that the infantry attack would be supported by the 10 machine-gun fire of the 100 machine-gun company, covertly housed in the trenches. Two infantry companies gave their ammunition to the machine-gunners. And during the attack, the 100 fighters of the company were shooting continuously for 12 hours! Naturally, the fire was carried out with carefully positioned positions on the adjusted terrain. The trunks changed every hour. The first and second numbers of the calculations were replaced at short intervals, so that the company could conduct continuous hurricane fire to support infantry attacks and prevent German counterattacks. On that day, 12 machine guns of the 10 machine gun company spent about one million rounds for the 100 hours of battle!
The machine gun tape recorder was bronze ...
... as well as many details of his tripod, considered one of the best in its class.
Russia, which fought on the side of the Allies, also had its own modification of the Maxim machine gun, which received the official name “Maxim machine gun of the 1910 type of the year”. It was similar to the 1905 model machine gun of the year, only distinguished by the presence of a steel rather than a bronze casing. Heavy and expensive machine gun Maxim arr. 1910, nevertheless, was an excellent weapon suitable for the Russian requirements for simplicity and reliability. This fact confirms that the Maxim machine gun in Russia was produced before 1943, it is a kind of record for the production of Maxim machine guns. The machine gun weighed 23,8 kg, and it is interesting to compare it with the Vickers 18 kg. The Russian machine gun was mounted on a small wheel machine, which together with the shield weighed 45,2 kg. The caliber of the machine gun was 7,62 mm, the supply of cartridges was also carried out from a cloth tape and also on 250 cartridges. The rate of fire was 520 - 600 shots per minute, that is, higher than the Vickers machine gun. The fact that the lever mechanism in the Russian Maxim machine gun was not changed explains the increased size of the receiver below the level of the barrel.
"Vikkers" with an improved muzzle.
To ensure the efficiency of the automation it was necessary to ensure reliable recoil of the barrel. For this purpose, the British screwed on the muzzle of the cup, which, together with the barrel was inside a spherical muzzle. When firing, the gases coming out of the barrel with force gave into this cup, which increased the recoil of the barrel. The spring of the bolt (in the photo it is removed from the box), as well as on the “maxim”, is on the left. For confident firing, the force of its tension should be regularly measured and, according to a special table, loosen, then, on the contrary, pull it up. For example, if it was planned to shoot at planes, the spring had to be tightened, and if it was necessary to fire from top to bottom, then somewhat loosen. It also depended on the season!
View of the machine gun on the right. On the trunk of a heat-insulating cover that protects the calculation from burns.
The German machine gun model 1908 of the Year (MG08) was also a Maxim machine gun. As in the Russian version, it used the mechanism without any changes, as a result the receiver was high. The machine gun was produced under the standard German caliber 7,92-mm, the supply of cartridges was carried out from the tape on the 250 cartridges. The rate of 300 — 450 per minute shots was lowered, as the Germans believed that it was not the speed of shooting and massive fire that was important, but accuracy and efficiency.
Such an approach made it possible to alleviate problems with ammunition and changing the barrel. The machine gun was known under the name "Spandau" by the name of the plant where it was produced. The weight of the machine gun reached 62 kg with machine-tripod and spare parts. The Germans installed a machine gun on a sled machine to increase mobility. German machine-gunners were selected very carefully, the command, taking into account the events of the end of 1914, believed that the machine gun had become the sovereign of the battlefield. The machine-gunners were distinguished by an excellent level of training and skillful skills, which is confirmed by the losses of the French and the British in the battles of Chem-de-Dame, Lohse, Niu Chapelle and in Champagne.
Details of the standard cup muzzle.
Muzzle on the end of the barrel.
All of these machine guns: Vickers, MG08 and Maxim's machine gun of the 1910 model of the year were created on the basis of a single design. However, the Vickers machine gun had an initial 744 bullet speed m / s with a barrel length of 0,721 m. The German bullet speed was 820 m / s with a barrel length of 0,72 m., But our machine gun had a 720 m / s with a barrel of 0,719 m. Austro The Hungarian Schwarzlose machine gun, which had already been discussed at the VO, worked satisfactorily, but the 0,52 barrel M was too short for the 8-mm cartridge. As a result, the Schwarzlose machine gun was often identified by a powerful flash of a muzzle flame when fired. The power supply was carried out from the tape on 250 cartridges, the initial speed of the bullet was small - 620 m / s. 400 rate of fire per minute.
Vickers, used during the Second World War.
Calculation machine gun "Vikkers" in the Libyan desert.
... And a set of figures for bonding, made from this photo!
As for the "Vikkers", this machine gun is still in service in some countries of the world. For its time, it was a good and reliable weapon, capable of shooting for hours and conducting indirect fire. The French of that time rightfully enjoyed the fame of avid creators of all kinds of modifications. Puto, Sant'Etienne and Benet-Mercier machine guns appeared as varieties of the Hotchkiss machine gun. Only all of them were unsuccessful copies, mainly due to unreasonable changes in the design. Hotchkiss's best machine gun was the “Model 1914”, in which all the improvements of previous models were used to create a really successful machine gun with a relatively small weight.
Machine gun Perino 1901
Now Italy somehow does not seem to us a "great machine-gun power." But at the dawn of their creation it was in Italy that one of the most brilliant examples of all time appeared - the Perino 1901 machine gun of the year. The Italians were very pleased with the new machine gun, but preferred to keep its creation secret for a long time. The purchase of a large batch of Maxim's machine guns, in order to only conceal the fact of having a new weapon, shows what kind of mystery the Italian machine gun was surrounded by. In this machine gun with air or water cooling, an original power supply system was made using 25 holders each, which were fed in turn from the cartridge box installed on the left, and on the right came out packed in the same holder! Since the cartridges in such a power supply system were aligned, there were practically no delays in their supply. Any delay was quickly eliminated by pressing the button that removed the problematic cartridge. The weapon also demonstrated many other remarkable qualities, but the Italians lingered on its production, which forced them to use Maxim's machine guns and Revelli's 6,5-mm machine guns, a mediocre weapon whose work was carried out by recoil of the barrel and a semi-free gate. The shutter, of course, could be called locking, but it would be said loudly.
Device machine gun Perino.
Machine gun Perino, altered under the tape power.
At that time there were other samples of machine guns. But the types of weapons described above dominated the battlefields of the First World War. It was a grand fight, in which, during positional battles, the superiority of this type of weapon was finally proved, which led to the characteristic methods of warfare.
Vickers and Schwarzlose (in the background).