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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

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Guest julian putkowski

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Guest julian putkowski

There's been a great deal written about the weight of equipment that soldiers carried into action but not a great deal concerning the 'additional' oddments - including ammunition to feed the lewis guns. What was the weight of the lewis gun pannier and how many panniers did a member of the lewis gun team carry into action? And did the gunner have to carry extra panniers, in addition to the one mountes on the weapon itself?

Julian Putkowski

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Full 47-round drum magazines weighed 4lb 2oz., 97-round 8lb 2oz . I believe the former were more common. Sorry, but I don't have any info on how many were carried.



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I have read references to the load of Lewis Gunners (Nos. 2-6) being one pannier of 5 loaded magazines. You can see one such reference here .

I recall reading other, more detailed, accounts attached to War Diaries, but I cannot find the references just now.

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A Lewis team was supposed to consist of 8 men (circa 17/18).

No 1 carried the gun. (one magazine)

No 2 carried a bucket with four magazines

No. 3 carried a bucket with four magazines

No 4 and 5 no magazines

No 6, 7 and 8 carried Thirtysix magazines between them. Each man carried a vest with four pouches. each holding two magazines and carried a bucket with 4 magazines.

All magazines were of the 47 rnd variety.

Total ammunition carried in 44 (not including the magazine carried by Number 1) amounted to 82.5Kg (182lbs) or 2068 rounds carried and 47 riounds with the gun.

This organization was ideal and very rarely did teams actually reflect this, usually teams consisted of less men in practice. Also, rarely are men photographed wearing the full vest with four pouches.. Most carried only two pouches.

Joe Sweeney

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