Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

Sign in to follow this  
Moonraker

Handheld WWI machine gun

Recommended Posts

John Petitgirard

hey Gang - I have 'March or Die' on tape, so I watched it (again) last night. Yep, Terrance Hill is toting a Lewis at the end, firing from the hip. Also, they have a Hotchkiss and a Spandau machine gun in their Legion unit. (At least that's what they looked like on freeze-frame). They also had a mountain gun or two. I'm not sure how accurate the Spandau would've been - it doesn't sound likely at all to me, but then again, it's a movie, not a documentary....

Fun movie, though and yes, Catherine Deneuve was/is gorgeous.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DCLI
Harry Patch was also a gunner in the DCLI wasn't he?

Which Bn was he in? I think he was No.2.

Steve

I think Harry Patch was 7th Bn, same as my grandfather. But he arrived after mine grandfather had been taken out of the war.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tim Birch

When was the first sub-machine gun invented? I believe it was the Thompson (Tommy) gun, but think it post dated the Great War?

Tim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
max7474

The Germans has a sub machine gun in service in 1918.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bob lembke
The Germans has a sub machine gun in service in 1918.

Yes, the MP (machine pistol) 18, by Bergmann. The Germans planned to issue one to each squad (Gruppe) in the army, the same arraingement that they had in WW II, to bring automatic fire to each squad. It fired the 9 mm Parabellum round, like the WW II machine pistols.

I have seen a great photo of the Kaiser formally inspecting the students at a school for training Landser in this new weapon. Each man has the short weapon shouldered, and his pockets bulging with two snail magazines. Probably the graduation ceremony.

My father's cell leader in the Schwartze Reichswehr had one, and once he brought a small "left" riot to an abrupt termination by firing over the rioters' heads with the weapon.

Bob Lembke

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Owen D

Extract from 1 Wilts war diary.from The Wardrobe website. Last line answers Monnrakers question.

1st Wiltshire Thursday 3rd May 1917 France, Strazeele

During the first half of the morning Coy training was carried out as on the preceding day : there was Battn Drill for the last hour of the morning. Two Rifle Bombing Sections were given instruction in the employment of the No 20 Rifle Grenade, and two Lewis Gun teams were practised in firing from the hip.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Simon R

Why are Lewis gun mags. so rare these days? Bren gun mags. - ten a penny (ish).

Why?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest CAMPYBOB

simon, i would suspect that the differences are due to production numbers and service life of the two weapons, the bren, in its' various mk's, was in service for quite some time.

i put on america's largest machinegun shoot ( www.bulletfest.net ) and i've shot almost all the popular crew-served machineguns from the hip...including a 1919a4 with a 10" barrel (now that one hums right along!). once you get you weight positioned correctly, it's easy to do.

if you download the videos on the websight you can see that cut-down 1919a4 in use from the hip. it throws one hech of a fireball!

regards,

campybob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moonraker
On 22/02/2006 at 03:01, Moonraker said:

... another WWI-era machine-gun featured in "Hannay" on ITV3. In the weakest episode yet of this repeated series set c1913, the British Government seeks to impress Italy with a new belt-fed machine-gun which has been developed over several years in a small workshop run by an inventor-type. There's a throwaway reference to it being a Vickers, though I would have thought this mighty company would have had its own workshops. Because of the need for secrecy, Hannay's Secret Service chum leaves it in our hero's bedroom at his club (!); Hannay is off fishing, only to break off from landing a prize catch to rescue from drowning a British politician's debt-laden wife who just happens to be being blackmailed by his German arch-enemy.

The gun is then taken to the estate where Hannay also just happens to be staying and demonstrated to the Italians (who are suitably impressed). The demo (with pickelhaubed cutouts as targets) takes place with a village in the background, just the sort of setting for testing a secret weapon. Why not use a military range, where the noise of a machine-gun would be unremarkable?

 

Moonraker

I've just watched this episode again, on Talking Pictures, Channel 81. Thirteen years do make a difference, not least that I recall hardly any of the plots. A Top Man in Special Branch leaving the prototype  gun in Hannay's bedroom at his club still struck me as incongruous. And second time around I realise that some of the scenes were almost certainly shot in and  close to Salisbury Cathedral. Indeed the famous spire (that recently so fascinated Russian agents tourists) is visible in the background of the gun's trials; I wondered whether the mound of earth behind the targets was one of the ramparts of Old Sarum.

 

Though Salisbury is not named as such in the episode, I mused that there were far more suitable and secure sites on which to test a machine-gun on the military ranges less than a dozen miles away.

 

Moonraker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gunner Bailey
On 22/02/2006 at 11:02, ian turner said:

Steve,

My grandad was a number 1 on the Lewis - he was only about 5ft 9ins, was fairly strong, but by no means a big-un! I don't remember him complaining about lugging it around.

A work-colleague of mine was in the RF's for national service - he was fairly burly, and said they always chose him to run around with the Bren!

Ian

 

5ft 9ins was quite tall for those days in the BEF. Having read hundreds of attestation forms I think the average height was about 5ft 5ins. One of my grandfathers was 5ft 3in (RFA) and the other about 5ft 6ins (RE).

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tunesmith

Here's a DCM citation for a Wiltshire Regt Lewis gunner:

 

13599 Pte C. C. Penny, 7th Bn Wilts R. (Aldbourne)

 

For marked gallantry and good work during the attack on 4th November 1918, on the Foret de Mormal, especially on one occasion when the company was held up by machine-gun fire, he gallantly advanced towards the enemy firing his Lewis gun from the hip, and succeeded in keeping the enemy gunners down, thereby enabling the company to get forward, capturing the machine gun and sixteen prisoners. He displayed great coolness in the handling of his gun during the whole of the operations, and his example was a great incentive to his comrades.                                   

 

(LG 2/12/19 p. 14874)

 

 

 

 

Edited by Tunesmith
Correction

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gunner Bailey
On 22/02/2006 at 20:57, Robert Dunlop said:

That was my grandfather's comment too. No comparison to the cone of fire produced by the Vickers, which was the weapon he used in WW1. His experience with Brens came in WW2 when he was an instructor. He never used a Bren in anger, at least not on the battlefield.

Robert

 

My father loved the Bren. He said it was always accurate out to 600 yards. The early versions UK up to 1940 - Canadian up to 1941, with the double dovetail used to be able to use a mortar optical sight which almost turned it into a sniper rifle.

 

Super weapon. I have mine in its case with the full AA / Volley fire tripod. Work of art.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...