Vickers Machine Gun Jacob Schilling

The Vickers Machine Gun was an improved Maxim gun and was adopted by the British Army in 1912. The VIckers was developed in 1897 alongside Hiram Maxim, the creator of the first machine gun, the Maxim Gun. The Vickers was the main Heavy support weapon of the British Army in World War 1. The Vickers used a water jacket and condenser can to alleviate steam and heat from the barrel while also collecting the steam. The gun wasn't easy to move around and often needed a team of up to six men for upkeep.

The Vickers Machine Gun used .303in rounds and could fire 450 rounds per minute at an approved range of 2,190 yards in 250 round belts. This was a daunting opponent at defense, shown in a battle on High Wood in 1916 where 10 Vickers were set up on the Savoy Trench and fired nearly 1 million rounds without stop over 12 hours. While the death tolls the Vickers acquired are unknown it was still a formidable weapon and changed the way we fought wars.

The Vickers and the Machine gun in general changed World War 1 and the way we fought wars after that. The Machine gun was invented by Hiram Maxim using new technology no one had seen. The design was revamped by Vickers and were mass produced by Germany. Early 1914 only 12,000 guns were made, but by 1917 there were over 100,000 guns. Germany also reported that 90% of it's small arms ammunition went to their machine guns. These guns also lead to advances in troops. Germany and Britain created special forces that utilized these weapons and formations that shaped the way the war was fought. Such as the German Sharpshooters and the British Barrage. Other variants of the weapon were used as mounts on armed vehicles and naval vessels.

The Vickers and variations of it were used all the way through the 60s and 70s. The first encounter after World War 1 was in it's use again in World War 2. It's use continued on through the cold war until it was phased out in the 60s. However through the 70s the British Royal Marines still used them.

These innovations over 100 years ago led to more innovations today. Such as in 2015 when the CT LMG was announced by the United States LSAT program. The CT LMG weighs 14.5 pounds, over 150 pounds lighter than the Maxim gun. The LSAT program works to reduce ammunition and weapon weight to reduce fatigue.


Created with images by Great War Observer - "Vickers machine gun, Musée Somme 1916, pic-025" • BiblioArchives / LibraryArchives - "Soldiers of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry firing a Vickers machine gun during a training exercise, Eastbourne... / Des soldats du Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry s’entraînent au tir à la mitrailleuse Vickers à Eastbourne..." • Biblioteca Rector Machado y Nuñez - ""Espingarda-metralhadora Maxim"."

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