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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

SMG


rksimpson
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Hi

Were there any SMG's used in WW1?.

Obviously they would have been of benefit in clearing trenches.

I know the Thompson was developed later for that purpose

regards

Robert

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This is my VillarPerosa magazine. It definitely saw action, as it contained only 7 rounds on a capacity of 25, and those where a mix of two different brands. In the place where I found it the VillarPerosa was used as a light MG, but I could not find if it was with one or two barrels at that specific spot. On the other hand, it is reported the use of a "heavy" Fiat MG without tripod during a succesful assault to a nearby mountain in summer 1917. The machinegunner brought it up climbing the rocky slope and opened fired holding the MG in his arms, a few decades before John Rambo...

As far as I know, a single barrel version was not issued during the war, but it was a common unofficial field adaption.

The main drawback with the VillarPerosa design was it's excessive rate of fire. It's advantage was the simple but effective build and it's very light weight (without tripod and shield.

Legal note:all the seven cartridges in my possession show a crack at the collar (caused by ice) and have been emptied of the powder by a person holding a firearm licence. The cartridges cannot be reused in any way. The magazine is distorted and it could not fit into any firearm

post-50322-1257284056.jpg

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I have seen references to a special harness to allow the twin VP to be carried and fired on the move. No pictures but it seems that the unfortunate wielder looked rather like a deadly cinema ice cream seller. I gather the twin version was not used much in this role.

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Kaiser Wilhelm II and General Oskar von Hutier reviewing an honor guard composed of men from several different units armed with Bergmann MP18/1. Interestingly, the man second from left is a flamethrower pioneer. It could be that this unit is strictly ceremonial, as there are no records of flamethrower pioneers using the Bergmann in combat.

post-7020-1257298409.jpg

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Hi

Were there any SMG's used in WW1?.

Obviously they would have been of benefit in clearing trenches.

I know the Thompson was developed later for that purpose

regards

Robert

US Army was starting mass production of a unique item - the Pedersen Device. The Pedersen Device was

designed to be inserted in chamber of Springfield '03 rifle after removing bolt. It fire a special .30 pistol round

from a 40 round magazines converting the rifle into a rather heavy and clumsy, but effective SMG. The

Springfield required one modification - a cutout in the bolt area to allow ejection of Pedersen rounds.

Production of the Pedersen devices and modified Springfields was starting up when war ended - Army continued to

produce and store Pedersen devices until 1920 .

Pedersen devices were ordered destroyed in 1930's - are now rare (with their ammunition) collectors items

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedersen_device

http://www.remingtonsociety.com/questions/Pedersen.htm

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I believe there was also a modification to the SMLE to allow it to be turned into an automatic rifle but this was not proceded with

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The late WWI conversion of the SMLE to automatic was the Howell rifle. In WW2 there were two similar conversions, the Reider in South Africa and the Charlton in New Zealand and Australia.

Essentially they were all the same. A gas tube was added to the SMLE with a piston connected to a cam that opened and closed the bolt. I will dig out a picture of the Howell later.

Regards

TonyE

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Hi

thanks for the info

Looks like the British were a bit slow in doing something!

regards

Robert

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Hi

Were there any SMG's used in WW1?.

Obviously they would have been of benefit in clearing trenches.

I know the Thompson was developed later for that purpose

regards

Robert

There is an active thread on the Bergmann MP 18 going on, for some reason, in the "miscellaneous" section of this sub-thread. They were just coming into service at the end of the war, but they were intended to be distributed thruout the German Army, perhaps one in every infantry squad or section. This weapon is very often described as the "first SMG", but I agree that the Italian gun has a claim here.

Bob Lembke

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In fact the Berreta M1918 SMG based on VP components was issued to the Italian Ardite regiments a few weeks before the first Bergman issues to the German army. I'd say though that the Germans had a better grasp of the tactical deployment of the SMG. Incidentally the first models of the Thompson SMG were built in 1918 - the original intent being to use it as a trench clearing weapon, however these were belt fed and by the time they'd settled on the classic drum the war was over. Another problem was slowing down the rate of fire so that the drum wasn't emptied before the Tommy gunner had made his mind up what he was shooting at.

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Berreta M1918 SMG... was issued to the Italian Ardite regiments... I'd say though that the Germans had a better grasp of the tactical deployment of the SMG.
centurion, are you saying that the Germans had a better grasp than the Arditi?

Robert

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centurion, are you saying that the Germans had a better grasp than the Arditi?

Robert

At first

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