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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Lewis Guns in the MGC


Jacobite
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Hi

I was wondering if Lewis Guns where used by the MGC?

Cheers

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Not an expert but I always thought the LG was used mostly by the infantry with gun teams a part of every platoon. The MGC used mostly VICKERS & HOTCHKISS guns. I do know that the LG was used by arty units for AA defense of gun sites along with the other types of guns too. I'm sure some HGC experts will be able to answer this more clearly.

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No, the MGC did not generally use Lewis Guns. Vickers were used by the MGC (Infantry) and Hotchkiss by the MGC (Cavalry). MGC (Motors), which manned armoured cars, may have had some Lewis Guns.

Charles M

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Whizzer,

I've heard mention of an MG company using one Lewis Gun for a specific task where they couldn't use another MG. The case was reported by Graham Seton Hutchison but he is not the most reliable writer.

I would agree that the MGC Infantry would not usually use them though. Would the Heavy Branch have used them with more regularity?

Kind regards

Colin

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The whole point of the introduction of the Lewis Gun was to release the Vickers from battalions and allow their concentration within the MGC and as Brigade (in Brigade Machine Gun Companies), later Divisional (as Machine Gun Battalions), level assets. Haig was adamant that he would not release Vickers from his command in 1915 unless/until they were replaced with an equivalent means of fire support. The MGC did run courses to train Lewis Gun officers at the GHQ Machine Gun School.

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The Germans liked the Lewis Guns and formed several MG battalions

armed with the Lewis Gun, as the "light" MG 15/08 was an air-cooled

version of the 140 lb MG 08 and was hardly "light". My father's flame

unit used the French Chauchault, which, although basically a

miserable design, if carefully selected and maintained did actually

fire. At about 20 lbs it could actually be fired from the waist at

the walk. The Chauchault, when re-chambered for the American 30-06

rifle round, was utterly useless.

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