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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 90.djvu/683

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Popular Science Monthly


��casing that looked like the barrel of a can- non. The infantry rifle cartridges used were arranged in an iron plate with thirty- seven holes in it, and which formed the breech end of the barrels. The plate carr>'ing the thirty - se\en car- tridges, was slipped in grooves in the movable breech block, the block was shoved up until the cartridges entered the barrels and the plate fitted snugly at the breech-end of the barrels, and then the thirty-seven shots were fired by the turn of a crank, which re- leased one after the other the little ham mers in the block op- posite each cartridge. By giving the crank an en- tire and swift turn, the thirty-seven shots were ^a cndeT^d. n-.y fired in one second, a slower turn of the crank of course fired the car- tridges at a correspondingly slower rate. Because of this peculiar firing rate, the gun had a menacing, growling report, a sort of "Gr-r-rr-ump," that the Prussians quickly learned to identify. After firing, the breech was opened, the plate carrying the thir- ty-seven empty shells was taken out, and a fresh, filled plate was slipped in the block.

This was the first use of a ma- chine gun in war, and because of the French Army's faulty use of it, little harm was done. It was never so effective as the Gatling.

These guns were not really auto- matic machine guns; they were operated by hand power, the\' were heavy, and they were mounted on wheels and exposed to return fire.

���Army men practicing with a Colt machine gun found in a Sulu store

���© ii.t. f;i

��The Maxim is undoubtedly the best known machine gun. It is water-cooled and heavier than others

��The Gardner and the Nordenfelt were more so-called machine guns of hand oper- ated type. Not until the coming of the Maxim did the machine gun become the frightful weapon that it is now.

Following is a list of the modern machine guns:

Maxim, used by England and Germany and Russia — Ameri- can.

Hotchkiss, used by France nd Japan — American.

Benet-Mercie, modifica- tion of Hotchkiss — Ameri- can and French.

Colt, used by Russia and other nations — Browning, an American. Lewis, used by Eng- land and France, an American army officer. Schwarzlose, used by Austria — German.

Those most commonly used and most efficient are of American design from start to finish. The celebrated "Pom-Pom," used by the Boers against the British, and re-chris- tened because of its peculiar rhythmic pounding noise, was a Maxim-Nordenfelt, firing cartridges six inches long, twenty-five to the belt, and using a one-pound high ex- plosive shell. It was merely a larger

machine gun.

The British had little use for the machine gun, save in the navy, where it was used with large caliber bullets of steel to repel torpedo boat attacks prior to the days of modern quick- firing navy guns. But when Kitch- ener took com- mand in South Africa he carried with him plenty of machine guns — Maxims. At Omdurman, the greatest and most one-sided slaughter of modern times, where spears and courage were pitted against modern arms — the chattering Maxims proved by the piles of savage dead, to be

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