The bullet jackets were generally made of an alloy of cupro-nickel, and gilding metal. The design is clearly derived from the iconic Vickers machine gun, but is also clearly the product of significant effort to make it a viable light machine gun. Ian V. Hogg, in Weapons & War Machines, describes an action that took place in August 1916, during which the British 100th Company of the Machine Gun Corps fired their ten Vickers guns continuously for twelve hours. The VB, like the Bren light machine gun, used a tilting locking breechblock. One of the weapons considered was the British Vickers machine gun. [9] The only major advantage the weapon had over the Bren was the far simpler design; it could be produced more efficiently. A white disc would be set up on a pole near the MMG, and the gunner would aim at a mark on it, knowing that this corresponded to aiming at the distant target. We had the opportunity to handle a pair of them (an early MkI and a later Mk3) at Cornet & Co in Belgium. The result was the M1922, a water-cooled gun that was the ancestor of the M2 (ground) and M3 (aircraft) air-cooled “Fifties” of WW2. Jan. 01, 1968 - The Passing of a Gun/: The passing of the.303 inch Vickers medium machine gun after 55 years with the British Army is being marked by a ceremony this evening in the Vickers Ltd. headquarters at Millbank Tower. The heavy plain bullet weighed 1.3 oz (37 g) and was good for 1,500 yd (1,400 m) range. Before the Second World War, there were plans to replace the Vickers gun; one of the contenders was the 7.92×57mm Mauser Besa machine gun (a Czech design), which eventually became the British Army's standard tank-mounted machine gun. [13] Not to be confused with the Maxim machine gun, it was in service from before the First World War until the 1960s, with air-cooled versions of it on many Allied World War I fighter aircraft. [36] The muzzle velocity was 2,440 ft/s (744 m/s) ±40 ft/s (12 m/s) with Mark VII(z) ammunition and 2,525 ft/s (770 m/s) with Mark VIIIz ammunition. [28] Six were withdrawn from storage and reused by a South African liaison team operating with UNITA during the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale, after which the weapons were finally retired. It was adopted by the British Indian Army and saw combat during World War II. Fed from a top mounted box magazine and ejecting out the bottom of the receiver. The weapon would draw in the belt from right to left, pull the next round out of the belt and into the chamber, fire it, then send the fired brass cartridge down and out of the receiver while the cloth belt would continue out the left side. The Vickers K was a development of the Vickers-Berthier (VB) light machine gun, adopted in 1932 by the Indian Army. There was also a 0.5 in calibre version used as an anti-aircraft weapon and various other calibres produced for foreign buyers. During the Second World War, the naval 0.5 in (12.7 mm) version was also mounted on power-operated turrets in smaller watercraft, such as Motor Gun Boats and Motor Torpedo Boats. By August 1918, thirteen U.S. divisions were armed with the Colt–Vickers machine gun. The Vickers machine gun or Vickers gun is a name primarily used to refer to the water-cooled .303 British (7.7 mm) machine gun produced by Vickers Limited, originally for the British Army. 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[10] Mark 1 was introduced in 1928, Mark 2 in 1931 and Mark 3 in 1933. A muzzle booster was also added. The high rate of fire was needed for the small period of time when the gunner would be able to fire at an attacking aircraft. Not to be confused with Vickers light machine gun. For example: The Union of South Africa retained a large inventory of surplus Vickers machine guns after World War II. [37] It was sometimes claimed that crews would fire off a few rounds simply to heat their gun's cooling water to make tea, despite the resulting brew tasting of machine-oil. They were fitted from the 1920s onwards, but in practical terms, proved of little use. Apart from India, it was only sold to a few Baltic and South American states. One hundred twenty-five guns were ordered from Colt's Manufacturing Company in 1915, with an additional 4,000 ordered the next year, all chambered for .30-06. No need to register, buy now! The Vickers machine gun was based on the successful Maxim gun of the late 19th century. The British Army formally adopted the Vickers gun as its standard machine gun on 26 November 1912, using it alongside their Maxims. The famous Sopwith Camel and the SPAD XIII types used twin synchronized Vickers, as did most British and French fighters between 1918 and the mid-1930s. 7,653 guns were issued during the war out of 12,125 produced in total. The tripod would be set up to make a firm base, often dug into the ground a little and perhaps with the feet weighted down with sandbags. The Vickers K machine gun, known as the Vickers Gas Operated in British service, was a rapid-firing machine gun developed and manufactured for use in aircraft by Vickers-Armstrongs. It was an alternative to the water-cooled Vickers machine gun made by the same company. Its successor in UK service is the L7 GPMG. Vickers Machine Gun Course at Hythe. BTW, water-cooled.50s were quite common as “light” AA guns throughout WW2. Seven makes of automatic machine guns were considered and tried out. [8], The Vickers–Berthier Light Machine Gun has a 30-round box magazine and a bipod stand, and is sometimes mistaken for the Bren as both used a similar curved magazine to accommodate the rimmed .303 British cartridge. The Vickers machine gun or Vickers gun is a name primarily used to refer to the water-cooled.303 British (7.7 mm) machine gun produced by Vickers Limited, originally for … at targets not in sight of the gunner and/or not using a … . Isn’t that just the neatest thing? A British, World War 2, Vickers medium machine gun platoon typically had one officer in command of four guns, in two sections of two, each with a crew and a small team of riflemen whose job was to protect the gun and keep it supplied with ammunition. Maximum rate of fire for the Mark III was about 700 rpm from a 200-round belt carried in a drum. This problem was addressed using an insulating water jacket cover, introduced in 1918 but still in use during the Korean War. The Vickers–Berthier was based on a French design of just before World War I. http://www.patreon.com/ForgottenWeaponsCool Forgotten Weapons Merch! The Vickers was used for indirect fire against enemy positions at ranges up to 4,500 yards (4,115 m) with Mark VIIIz ammunition. The Inter-War Period. The belt feed was enclosed right up to the gun's feed-way to inhibit effects from wind. During sustained fire, the barrel would heat up which heated the water in the jacket until hot enough for the water to evaporate or boil thereby cooling the barrel releasing the heat through steam. [30], After World War I, the Colt–Vickers machine guns were kept in reserve until World War II. [38] In extremely cold weather, the cooling water could freeze and damage the gun. In the 1920s, Berthier sold the design to the Vickers company in England, which wanted a light machine gun to market alongside its Vickers heavy machine gun. Colonel Johnson of the Tank Design Department derived such a type from the Medium Mark D. In competition Vickers built the Vickers Light Tank. The Vickers-Berthier was a British light machine gun design originally introduced by a Frenchman, passed on by the Americans and adopted into service with the Indian Army. The Gun, Machine, Vickers, .5-inch, Mk. VICKERS .303 MACHINE GUN ENGAGED IN COMBAT WITH THE CHINESE ON ONE ...", "British Empire/ Colonies and Protectorates", "Other machineguns: 7,62 mm and 7,70 mm Vickers Machineguns", "RaRe & Klasik – Anggota Tentera dari Regimen Askar Melayu di Singapura – 1941", Handbook of the Vickers machine gun, model of 1915, with pack outfits and accessories ... 19 March 1917, British Vickers Gun tactics during the Great War, Spartacus Educational - Vickers machine gun, YouTube animation showing mechanism of Vickers machine gun, SMLE No.1 Mk III* & Lee-Enfield No.4 Mk.I, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Vickers_machine_gun&oldid=994530049, World War I infantry weapons of the United States, World War II infantry weapons of the United Kingdom, Articles with Polish-language sources (pl), Articles lacking in-text citations from March 2008, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with unsourced statements from October 2020, Articles with unsourced statements from October 2018, Articles with unsourced statements from May 2020, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, 4,500 yd (4,115 m) indirect fire (.303 Mk. Machine gun units would expand in scope during the war, eventually leading to the creation of the Canadian Machine Gun Corps; new uses and new weapons were developed, including Light Machine Guns, a separate category of weapon, and the use of machine guns for indirect machine gun fire (i.e. Some crews added vehicle antifreeze, others drained the water jacket, or simply fired a few rounds periodically to keep the water from freezing.[39]. The weapon had a reputation for great solidity and reliability. However, the Vickers remained in service with the British Army until 30 March 1968. There was a fully revolving turret and the suspension was sprung by vertical helical springs, while the Medium Mark C still had a fixed turret a… Lastly, explosive ammunition was marked with an orange annulus before the Second World War and was changed to black. The Lewis gun during the endurance test had 206 jams and malfunctions, 35 broken parts, 15 parts not broken but requiring replacement as against respectively 23, 0, 0, for the Vickers gun and 59, 7, 0 for the Automatic Machine Rifle .30, Model of 1909, Benét–Mercié. In the air, the weighty water cooling system was rendered redundant by the chilly temperatures at high altitude and the constant stream of air passing over the gun as the plane flew; but because the weapon relied on barrel recoil, the (empty) water-holding barrel jacket or casing needed to be retained. After the end of the war, the British had enough domestic Vickers guns to retire the M1915 from the Home Guard, after which they were disposed of.[30]. Firing either single shot or automatic it had a pistol type trigger grip rather than the spades of the 0.303 in (7.7 mm) weapon. Steel disintegrating-link ammunition belts were perfected in the UK by William de Courcy Prideaux in mid-war and became standard for aircraft guns thereafter. Its last operational use was in the Radfan during the Aden Emergency. It was in service from before the First World War until the 1960s,… The Machine Gun Corps grouped the infantry’s Vickers Guns into companies of 10 guns apiece and attached a company to each brigade. [11], Apart from India, it was only sold to Latvia and Bolivia[12], but the design was modified into the Vickers K machine gun, called the Vickers Gas Operated (VGO). The Board of Ordnance & Fortifications held a meeting on March 15, 1913 to consider the adoption of a new type of machine gun… The Board convened for the competitive test of automatic machine guns at Springfield Armory on September 15, 1913. Berthier 1908-1922: II. If the water jacket needed to be emptied, a plug under the jacket could be unscrewed to drain the entire jacket. When the Lewis Gun was adopted as a light machine gun and issued to infantry units, the Vickers guns were redefined as heavy machine guns, withdrawn from infantry units, and grouped in the hands of the new Machine Gun Corps (when heavier 0.5 in/12.7 mm calibre machine guns appeared, the tripod-mounted, rifle-calibre machine guns like the Vickers became medium machine guns). [25] This variation was typically four guns mounted on a 360° rotating and (+80° to −10°) elevating housing. The water jacket would be filled with about 4 litres (1.1 US gal) of water from a small hole at the rear end, sealed by a cap. There were still great … There was a special back-sight with a tall extension on it for this purpose. against targets not in a direct line of sight). A muzzle booster was also added. However, unlike the Bren, the VB locked its breech only at the last moment of forward travel and this enabled the development of the Vickers K also known as the "Vickers Gas Operated" (VGO) or "Vickers GO" . The weapon was also adopted for land use during World War II. Design complexities, design modifications, and focus on producing previously ordered weapons meant that when the U.S. entered World War I in April 1917, Colt had not manufactured a single M1915. Huge collection, amazing choice, 100+ million high quality, affordable RF and RM images. telegrams 239 and 240 (M.T. Not to be confused with Vickers light machine gun. [5] The weapon used a similar gas and tipping bolt mechanism to the Bren gun, and also had a removable barrel, and was air-cooled like the Bren. The larger calibre (half-inch) version of the Vickers was used on armoured fighting vehicles and naval vessels. The Vickers machine gun was based on the successful Maxim gun of the late 19th century. After purchasing the Maxim company outright in 1896, Vickers took the design of the Maxim gun and improved it, reducing its weight by lightening and simplifying the action and substituting components made with high strength alloys. It was also modified for each country and served as a base for many other weapons. World War I Vickers Machine Gun Crew from the Machine Gun Corps with PHtype antigas helmets during the Battle of the Somme near Ovillers July 1916 TOPSHOT Reenactors dressed as British army soldiers from the Suffolk Regiment man a Vickers machine gun … The Gloster Gladiator was the last RAF fighter to be armed with the Vickers, although they were later replaced by Brownings. A production line for the Vickers–Berthier Light Machine-Gun Mk 3 (later the Mk3*) was established by Vickers at the British Army Rifle Factory, Ishapore. More detailed information is not available at this time, but rest assured that we will be revisiting this weapon in the future, and will post a great many detailed photographs when we do. The Vickers–Berthier Light Machine Gun has a 30-round box magazine and a bipod stand, and is sometimes mistaken for the Bren as both used a similar curved magazine to accommodate the rimmed .303 British cartridge. [7], It existed in five versions : Mk I, Mk II, Mk II light, Mk III and Mk IIIB. View of the breech of a Vickers gun showing brass feed ramp. III was used as an anti-aircraft gun on British ships. A production line for the Vickers-Berthier Light Machine-Gun Mk 3 was established at the Ishapore Rifle Factory.The reasons for its failure were simple; it was heavier, at 24 pounds than the lighter Bren at 22 pounds. [citation needed] As a result, the price was slashed. Extremely Rare Old Spec WW1 British Vickers Machine Gun On 1916 Tripod – UK DEAC ... Russian RPD Light Machine Gun – UK DEAC Find the perfect vickers guns stock photo. [3] It was also proposed in 1918 to US Army which finally refused it. Intended for British light tanks, some were used during the war on mounts on trucks by the Long Range Desert Group in the North Africa Campaign. In 1920 the Infantry had plans to acquire a Light Infantry Tank. Before the can got too full, it would be emptied back into the jacket to replenish the water level which would have fallen as the water evaporated and boiled away. In addition, it required about 7.5 imperial pints (4.3 l) of water in its evaporative cooling system to prevent overheating. The Board is of the opinion that, with the exception of the Vickers gun, none of the other guns submitted showed sufficiently marked superiority for the military service, in comparison with the service Automatic Machine Rifle to warrant further consideration of them in the field test. [8], In Indian service, it was replaced from 1942 by Brens[13] but continued to serve with reserve units of the Indian Army into the 1980s. The British Army formally adopted the Vickers gun as its standard machine gun under the name Gun, Machine, Mark I, Vickers, .303-inch on 26 November 1912. In practice, it was expected that 10,000 rounds would be fired per hour, and that the barrel would be changed every hour—a two-minute job for a trained team. [8], It was slightly heavier, at 24 pounds, than the Bren at 22 pounds. L'arme de guerre", "Rifle-Machine Gun Increases Efficiency of Infantry", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Vickers–Berthier&oldid=981687164, World War II infantry weapons of the United Kingdom, Short description is different from Wikidata, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Using 100 barrels, they fired a million rounds without a failure. The machine gun typically required a six to eight-man team to operate: one fired, one fed the ammunition, the rest helped to carry the weapon, tripod, its ammunition, and spare parts. The Vickers gun could sustain fire for long durations of time exceeding the recommended 10,000 rounds an hour due to the water-cooled barrel and hourly barrel swaps. The German equivalent was the MG 08 Maxim, crewed by five soldiers. In 1913, a Vickers machine gun was mounted on the experimental Vickers E.F.B.1 biplane, which was probably the world's first purpose-built combat aeroplane. The Vickers-Berthier Light Machine Gun has a 30-round box magazine and a bipod stand, and is sometimes mistaken for the Bren for their recognisable standard curved magazine. By Jove, it’s a Vickers light machine gun! [40] This plunging fire was used to great effect against road junctions, trench systems, forming up points, and other locations that might be observed by a forward observer, or zeroed in at one time for future attacks, or guessed at by men using maps and experience. [1], "Le F.M. The resulting steam was taken off by a flexible tube to a condenser container—this had the dual benefits of avoiding giving away the gun's location, and also enabling re-use of the water, which was very important in arid environments. [25] The steam would reach the top of the jacket and enter a steam tube which led to a port that was situated under the jacket near the muzzle. Several British bombers and attack aircraft of the Second World War mounted the Vickers K machine gun or VGO, a completely different design, resembling the Lewis gun in external appearance. [25], The Vickers machine gun was produced, between the wars, as the vz.09 machine gun. The Vickers–Berthier (VB) is a light machine gun that was produced by the British company Vickers-Armstrong. [1], In 1925 Vickers in Britain purchased licence rights of the Berthier Model 1922[1] for production in their Crayford factory, and as a replacement for the Lewis Gun. During the British Army trials of several light machine guns which began in 1932, the Vickers–Berthier was in direct competition with the ZB vz. The original design did not anticipate it being carried up jungle-covered mountains on men's backs, but such was the weapon's popularity that men were generally content to pack it to all manner of difficult locations. The first twelve divisions to reach France were given French Hotchkiss M1914 machine guns, and the next ten had M1915s. Berthier's patents for twin machine guns : This page was last edited on 3 October 2020, at 20:55. With lighter moving parts and the VB locking design, the Vickers K had an adjustable rate of fire between 95… Vickers machine gun from Polish Army Museum's collection. 1951-02. The machine gun typically required a six- to eight-man team to operate: one fired, one fed the ammunition, the rest helped to carry the weapon, its ammunition, and spare parts. Formed in April 1922 from the amalgamation of the 5th Dragoon Guards (two squadrons) and The Inniskillings (one squadron) resulting in a two squadron Cavalry Regiment.. The Second World War. A better performance could not be desired. [15] There were still great shortages when the First World War began, and the British Expeditionary Force was still equipped with Maxims when sent to France in 1914. [citation needed]. London: Osprey Publishing. Dorsal view of a Vickers gun showing fluted water-cooling tank. After purchasing the Maxim company outright in 1896, Vickers took the design of the Maxim gun and improved it, inverting the mechanism as well as reducing its weight by lightening and simplifying the action and using high strength alloys for certain components. Imperial War Museums, "11x59R: 11mm Gras Machine Gun & 11mm Vickers", "Le mitragliatrici italiane della Grande Guerra", "CHIPYONG-NI, KOREA. New Zealand units were especially fond of this use. So while this piece clearly uses a Vickers lock, it is definitely a distinct weapons, not a modification of the Vickers HMG. [7] A production line for the Vickers–Berthier Light Machine-Gun Mk 3 was established at the Rifle Factory Ishapore. Because the M1915 Colt–Vickers was not chambered for the standard British .303, it was painted to differentiate it and relegated to Home Guard use. Men-at Arms 312. Tracer ammunition was marked with a red annulus; armouring-piercing ammunition a green annulus, and incendiary ammunition was marked with a blue annulus. The Vickers was a 250-round, water-cooled gun with a range of 4,500 yards (4,100m) which was adopted by the British Army as its standard machine gun in … After purchasing the Maxim company outright in 1896, Vickers took the design of the Maxim gun and improved it, inverting the mechanism as well as reducing its weight by lightening and simplifying the action and using high strength alloys for certain components. [28] Small quantities re-chambered for 7.62mm NATO ammunition remained in active service with the South African Defence Force until the mid 1980s, when they were all relegated to reserve storage. As the machine gun armament of fighter aircraft moved from the fuselage to the wings in the years before the Second World War, the Vickers was generally replaced by the faster-firing and more reliable[21] Browning Model 1919 using metal-linked cartridges. The evaporative cooling system, though heavy, was very effective and enabled the gun to keep firing far longer than its air-cooled rival weapons. Vickers gun set up for anti-aircraft purposes during the First World War. The belts were rolled into a spiral and placed in hoppers beside each gun. Nor was there a jam worthy of the name during the entire series of tests. [17], During World War I, the Vickers gun became a standard weapon on British and French military aircraft, especially after 1916. In the 1920s, Berthier sold the design to the Vickers company in England, which wanted a light machine gun to market alongside its Vickers heavy machine gun. Not a single part was broken nor replaced. Seven thousand guns were sent to Britain under Lend-Lease to re-equip their forces after the Dunkirk evacuation, which depleted the weapon from the U.S. inventory before their entry into the war. The Mk.VI\'s protection was unchanged, still capable of stopping small shrapnel fragments, light machine-gun, rifle and small arms fire. When the British military decided to replace its Lewis and Hotchkiss light machine guns, the Vickers-Berthier was one of the leading contenders, although in the endurance trials it was edged out by the Czech ZB-33, which … As to the merits of the Vickers gun there is no question – it stood in a class by itself. The Vickers-Berthier was adopted by the British Indian Army in 1929 who had total independence from the British Army in procurement. The Vickers was employed often as a form of light artillery - at times being fired indirectly (i.e. The heat of the barrel boiled the water in the jacket surrounding it. 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