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Remembered Today:

5 Motor Machine Gun Battery research


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good evening,

 

here is a toothbrush that belonged to:

HUTTING William
No.9849: 2nd East Yorkshire 
No.8855: South Lancashire Regt.

No.176806: Machine Gun Corps (Motor Branch)

assigned at first sight in india

I had opened a subject about this soldier.

 

regards

 

michel

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  • 4 weeks later...

More than a month ago I missed an interesting photograph on Delcampe, due to a problem with my sniper. I contacted the seller, but obviously there was nothing he could do, the picture was sold. But last week I was contacted by the seller, the buyer had not paid yet, if I was still interested? Of course I was! This is how I have become the custodian of this picture after all!

 

I've done a 600DPI scan (that's all my scanner can do), here are two details. The bike and the Minerva.

 

Regards,

Jan

Schermafbeelding 2020-12-16 om 12.56.33.png

Schermafbeelding 2020-12-16 om 12.56.06.png

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If you compare the picture above with the picture below, it is easy to see how the side car was modified. But unfortunately it is impossible to work out if this motorcycle has a stirrup front brake or a dummy rim front brake (in other words, if this may have been one of the outfits from the mysterious second batch)...

 

 

Schermafbeelding 2020-12-16 om 18.39.08.png

Edited by rewdco
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"First World War: 

During the first days of the war, the Belgian Army had put in service 20 prototypes (5 in 7.65×53mm and 15 in .303) for the defense of Namur.
The United Kingdom officially adopted the Lewis gun in .303 British calibre for land and aircraft use in October 1915. The weapon was generally issued to the British Army's infantry battalions on the Western Front in early 1916 as a replacement for the heavier and less mobile Vickers machine gun.
" (source: wikipedia)
 
And on a Dutch WW1 forum (http://www.forumeerstewereldoorlog.nl/viewtopic.php?t=18901&sid=0bb59dbaa5888874f5f7c075cfe7e71a) I found out that the Lewis Gun was first produced in Belgium, from 1913 onwards.
 
The 5MMGB was disbanded in November 1916. According to the War Diaries "All motor cycles with side cars and Vickers machine guns returned to Rouen.” 
 
I can't prove it (yet), but I'm inclined to think that the second batch of Royal Enfield motorcycle combinations (according to the factory ledgers, 14 outfits were delivered to the “War Office” in June - July 1915) may have had the Belgian Army as a final destination... The fact that the outfit in my photograph was fitted with a Lewis Gun, and that it was parked close to a Minerva Armoured Car, and the fact that the Belgian Army had bought several contracts of 3HP Royal Enfields all make me think so... Any ideas anybody...?
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1 hour ago, rewdco said:

"First World War: 

During the first days of the war, the Belgian Army had put in service 20 prototypes (5 in 7.65×53mm and 15 in .303) for the defense of Namur.
The United Kingdom officially adopted the Lewis gun in .303 British calibre for land and aircraft use in October 1915. The weapon was generally issued to the British Army's infantry battalions on the Western Front in early 1916 as a replacement for the heavier and less mobile Vickers machine gun.
" (source: wikipedia)
 
And on a Dutch WW1 forum (http://www.forumeerstewereldoorlog.nl/viewtopic.php?t=18901&sid=0bb59dbaa5888874f5f7c075cfe7e71a) I found out that the Lewis Gun was first produced in Belgium, from 1913 onwards.
 
The 5MMGB was disbanded in November 1916. According to the War Diaries "All motor cycles with side cars and Vickers machine guns returned to Rouen.” 
 
I can't prove it (yet), but I'm inclined to think that the second batch of Royal Enfield motorcycle combinations (according to the factory ledgers, 14 outfits were delivered to the “War Office” in June - July 1915) may have had the Belgian Army as a final destination... The fact that the outfit in my photograph was fitted with a Lewis Gun, and that it was parked close to a Minerva Armoured Car, and the fact that the Belgian Army had bought several contracts of 3HP Royal Enfields all make me think so... Any ideas anybody...?

Probably right. Certainly the MMGS rapidly standardised on Clynos by mid 1915 and only the first few batteries had other makes (Enfields, Scotts ect.) Pretty sure  these the other batteries all converted to Clynos. Not sure if the Enfields of 5th MMG lasted until November 1916

Edited by david murdoch
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10 hours ago, rewdco said:

I've done a 600DPI scan (that's all my scanner can do), here are two details. The bike and the Minerva.

 

Thanks for sharing.

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There is no E-number on the petrol tank, so unless the bike has been repainted, this is not one of the 18 outfits from the first contract. 

 

And I had another look at the factory ledgers. All the motorcycles for the first contract (December 1914) have "War Office - London" filled in as "purchaser's name" and "address". But the 14 entries for the second contract (June - July 1915) only have "War Office" filled in... No address... So not necessarily the British War Office! 

 

I know that this is not conclusive, but I think that this could be more evidence for my theory that the second contract went to the Belgian Army...

 

Schermafbeelding 2020-12-17 om 19.13.23.png

Schermafbeelding 2020-12-17 om 19.09.37.png

Edited by rewdco
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Eureka! My eagle-eyed friend Richard Payne has just given me the information that I was looking for... Does this motorcycle have stirrup brakes, or dummy rim brakes? In other words: first contract or second contract? Well, although we can't see either the stirrup system or the dummy rim, we can clearly see the cable that actuates the dummy rim brake on the left hand side of the forks! So this is a second contract bike, and as there is no proof at all that these second contract bikes were ever used by a British Motor Machine Gun Battery, I consider this as more evidence for my Belgian Army theory. Thanks again Rich!

 

Schermafbeelding 2020-12-17 om 19.43.18.png

Edited by rewdco
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I have found more "proof" for my Belgian contract theory:

This article ("Les Motocyclettes à la Guerre", or "Motorcycles at War") was published in the June 6th 1915 issue of "Le Quotidien", a Belgian (censored) WW1 newspaper:

 

691082793_19150606LeQuotidien_1.png.8d421deae2781ccab66c074957cba45b.png

2083732175_19150606LeQuotidien_2.png.fd90809c975bdb00e4731c567da2800c.png

 

"... You don't have to be a tactician to understand what great service the motorcycle can do for the outposts. Motorcyclists can be armed with revolvers, rifles and also light machine guns. Each army has at present on the battlefield motorcycles with machine guns, thus following the example of the Netherlands which in 1912 had already studied the issue and created motorcycle-machine guns. We perfected the idea and had the machine guns placed on a sidecar, adapted to the motorcycle. It goes without saying that this system prevails over that of the machine gun placed directly on the motorcycle. First of all, it doesn’t hinder the rider. When the machine gun needs to be put into action, there is no longer any need to stop and waste precious time carefully parking the motorcycle. 

 

As soon as the motorcycle stops, the shooting can begin and it still allows the retreat to be covered without danger, the machine gun being placed on a pivot. Fortunately, a sudden attack would be carried out by a company of motorcyclists rushing towards the enemy, surprised and frightened by the suddenness of the attack.
 
The rapid movements of a troop of motorcyclists make it possible to confuse the plans of the enemy and to open fire at different points, at short intervals, which gives the illusion of forces far superior to reality. As the fire of war today takes place at great distances, and these movements take place in covered terrain, it does not matter how loud, the engines will not be heard by the enemy.

 

In other cases, motorcyclists will carry out rapid and deadly fire from a ambush, in an attempt to stop the advance of the enemy; but if the enemy would outnumber them, they will return at full speed to the basis. ..."

 

The author (Marcel Gourmont) talks about the example of the Netherlands which in 1912 had already studied the issue and created motorcycle-machine guns. The pictures below show this attempt, based on a Motosacoche 6HP motorcycle. The Motosacoche by the way was using a Royal Enfield 6HP frame, fitted with their own M.A.G. 6HP engine.

 

1442762815_MotosacochewithDutchsoldiersKNIL2.jpg.7f794a2b59a3d77d8b7360102857fa2b.jpg1116667943_MotosacochewithDutchsoldiersKNIL1.jpg.1ad1a9d503560073c3c4261af00233d8.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

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