Scott Walland 1-2

New Weapons (machine guns)

 

 

The Vickers Gun of World War I

           

 

The Vickers gun was adopted as the standard machine gun for the British Army in 1912. This gun was very similar to the Maxim Machine-gun with a few slight modifications. It used a 250 round belt fed magazine and was a very reliable weapon for the time.

 

The Vickers could fire about 600 rounds per minute at a range of 4,500 yards. It was a water-cooled weapon so it could be fired for a very long time without worries of it overheating. The gun usually needed to be operated by a 6-man team. The 6 men were for: 1st man was the shooter; 2nd man was in control of the entry of the ammo belts; 3rd man maintained ammo feed to the 2nd man; and 4th through 6th were reserves and carriers.  It was used on airplanes as well as tanks and set up around the trenches.

 

When war was declared in 1914, the Vickers Co. was manufacturing 12 machine guns a week. By 1915 they supplied the British Army with 2,405 guns. The production continued to increase throughout the war: 7,429 (1916); 21,728 (1917); and 39,473 (1918). Also after 1916 it became standard equipment on all British and French aircraft.