Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 90.djvu/685

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Popular Science Monthly


��out come Hans and Fritz, dragging their Maxims, and then the rest of the crew from their dugout shelters — and the machine guns operated by a little handful of men are likely to win the battle against hundreds of infantrymen.

The machine gun is equivalent to the fire of from fifty to one hundred men, but as the gun is usually mounted on a stationar\- foundation, especially in the German service, and holds its position, not being affected by nerves or fear, and being worked by cool, desperate, picked men, it is really equal to far more than that num- ber, because of the greater effect of its fire.

The German Maxim is mounted on a combined tri- pod and sledge, and with mount and gun com- plete weighs s e \' e n t y - f i V e pounds. It is steadier than the light guns of the French service, and still when it is turned over on the sledge-shaped part of the mount, the crew can haul it speed- ily out of harm's way or to a new field of activity as fast as the French can move their lighter but clumsier-to-carry Hotch- kiss gun.

Just at present the Germans are the machine gun artists of the civilized world, and the guns play the most important part

���A machine gun knocked dowTi, ready for transportation. It weighs about seventy-five pounds with its mount

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German soldiers transporting one of their machine gims and mount to a new field of activity

��in holding their line on the west front. The other day an American chief of ord- nance of our army, asked for funds to build seventeen thousand machine guns — there being about one thousand on hand!

One of the marked features of the ma- chine gun is the encouraging effect on the troops on its own side, and the terrifying effect on savage peoples. Not long after the Spanish War. the American Army au- thorities found a job on hand on the island of Sulu, subduing a band of a thousand or more men, wom- en and children of the bandit variety, who had ensconced themselves in the crater of Mount Dajo, a high and precipitous iso- lated peak that had been an ex- tinct volcano.

Lieu tenan t Leigh ton Powell, who was with "Machine Gun Parker" at Santiago and had caught the fever from the famous American believer in that sort of weapon, found, neglected and hidden in dust and cosmoline, a Colt machine gun in the warehouse at Sulu. He asked and received permission from the scoffing infantr>- officers to form a machine gun section and to take the gun up the mountain with the attacking force. He gathered together a group of infantr\-men, made gunners out of them, drilled them faithfully and hard — only to be left behind by the main body of troops when the columns departed for the attack. That evening, how- ever, there came a messenger for Lieutenant Powell to bring on his blamed machine gun — the army had found the mountain a tough-looking nut to crack. So joyfully they packed up the Colt and trekked for the big mountain.

That night two columns crept up the mountainside. Powell made a Moro sandwich, with a Moro carr>'ing

J I ammunition or machine-gun part, then an American gunner, then a ' Moro, then an American, and so on, to keep the natives from sneaking off in the dark. Every now and then the

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