See also:SKETCH Machine-guns of a
See also:primitive kind are found in the early
See also:history of
See also:artillery, in the
See also:form of a grouping or binding of several small-calibre guns for purposes of a volley or a rapid succession of shots . The earliest
See also:field artillery (q.v.) was indeed chiefly designed to serve the purpose of a
See also:modern machine-
See also:gun; i.e. for a
See also:mechanical concentration of musketry .
See also:fire (till the development of the
See also:Spanish arquebus, about s ao) was almost ineffective, and the disintegration of the masses of pikes, preparatory to the decisive
See also:charge, had to he effected by guns of one sort or another (see also INFANTRY) . Hence the " cart with gonnes," although the prototype of the field gun of to-
See also:day was actually a primitive mitrailleuse . Weapons of this sort were freely employed by the
See also:Hussites, who fought in
See also:laager formation (Wagenburg), but the fatting of two or more
See also:hand-guns or small culverins to a two-wheeled
See also:carriage garnished with spikes and
See also:blades (like the
See also:ancient war-chariots) was somewhat older, for in 1382 the men of
See also:Ghent put into the field 200 " chars de
See also:canon " and in 1411 the Burgundian army is said to have had 2000 " ribaudequins "(meaning probably the weapons, not the carts, in this case) . These were of course hardly more than carts with hand-gun men; in fact most armies in those days moved about in a hollow square or
See also:lozenge of wagons, and it was natural to fill the carts with the available gunners or archers . The method of breaking the enemy's " battles " with these carts was at first, in the, ancient manner, to drive into and disorder the hostile ranks with the
See also:Maude- scythes . But they contained at least the germ of gams . the modern machine-gun, for the tubes (
See also:cannes, canons) were connected by a
See also:train of powder and fired in volleys . As however field artillery improved (latter
See also:half of 15th century), and a
See also:ball could be fired from a
See also:mobile carriage, the ribaudequin ceased to exist, its name being transferred to heavy hand-guns used as rampart pieces . The idea of the machine- gun reappeared however in the 16th century . The weapons were now called "
See also:organs" (orgues), from the number of pipes or tubes that they contained .
At first used (defensively) in the same way as the ribaudequins, i.e. as an effective addition to the military equipment of a war-cart, they were
See also:developed, in the early
See also:part of the 16th century, into a really formidable weapon for breaking the masses of the enemy, not by scythes and spikes but by fire . Fleurange's
See also:memoirs assign the
See also:credit of this .to the famous
See also:gunner and engineer Pedro
See also:Navarro, who made two
See also:hundred weapons of a design of his own for
See also:Louis XII . These " were not more than two feet long, and fired fifty shots at a
See also:round," but nevertheless " organs " were relatively rare in the armies of the 16th century, for the field artillery, though it
See also:grew in
See also:size and lost in mobility, had discovered the efficacy of case shot (then called " perdreaux ") against uncovered animate targets, and for
See also:work that was not sufficiently serious for the guns heavy arquebuses were employed . Infantry fire, too, was growing in power and importance . In 1551 a French army contained 21 guns and 150 arquebuses d croc and one piece faon d'orgue . By about 1570 it had been found that when an "
See also:organ " "Organs „ was needed all that was necessary was to
See also:mount some • heavy arquebuses on a cart; and the organ, ' as a
See also:separate weapon, disappeared from the field, although tinder the name of " mantelet " (from the
See also:shield which protected the gunners), it was still used for the defence of breaches in
See also:siege war-fare . Diego Ufano,who wrote in the early years of the 17th century, describes it as a weapon consisting of five or six barrels fired simultaneously by a
See also:lock, and mentions as a celebrated example the " Triquetraque of Rome” which had five barrels . Another writer; Hanzelet, describes amongst other devices a mitrailleuse of four barrels which was fired from the back of an ass or
See also:pony . But such weapons as these were more curious than useful . For work in the open field the musket came more and more to the front, its bullet became at least as formidable as that of an " organ," and when it was necessary to obtain a concentrated fire on a narrow front arquebuses a croc were mounted for the nonce in groups of four to six . The " organ " maintained a
See also:precarious existence, and is described by Montecucculi a century later, and one of twelve barrels figures in the
See also:list of military stores at Hesdin in 1689 . But its fatal defect was that it was neither powerful enough to engage nor mobile enough to evade the hostile artillery .
Enthusiastic inventors, of course, produced many
See also:models of machine-gun in the strict sense of the word—i.e. a gun firing many charges, in volleys or in rapid succession, by a mechanical arrangement of the lock . Wilhelm Calthoff, a German employed by Louis XITL, produced arquebuses and muskets that fired six to eight shots per round, but his invention was a secret, and it seems to have been more of a
See also:magazine small
See also:arm than a machine-gun (1646) . In 170I a Lorrainer,
See also:Beaufort de Mire-
See also:court, proposed a machine-gun which had as its purpose the
See also:augmentation of infantry-fire power, so as to place an inferior army on an equality with a
See also:superior . At this
See also:time inventors were so numerous and so embarrassing that the French
See also:master of artillery, St Hilaire, in 1703 wrote that he would be glad to have done with "
See also:ces sorter de gens a secrets," some of whom demanded a
See also:grant of compensation even when their experiments had failed . The machine-gun of the 17th and 18th centuries in fact possessed no
See also:advantage over contemporary field artillery, and the
See also:battalion gun in particular, which possessed the long ranging and battering power that its
See also:rival lacked, and was, moreover more efficacious against living targets with its case-shot or
See also:grape . As compared with infantry fire, too, it was less effective and slower than the muskets of a well-drilled
See also:company . Rapid fire was easily arranged, but the rapid loading which would have compensated for other defects was unobtainable in the then existing state of gun-making . Thus a . satisfactory machine-gun was not forthcoming until breech-loading had been, so to speak, rediscovered, that is until about 1860 . At that time the
See also:tactical conditions of armament were
See also:peculiar . As regards artillery, the new (muzzle-loading) long-range,
See also:rifle sufficed, in the hand of determined infantry, to keep guns out of case-shot range . This made the
See also:Napoleonic artillery attack an impossibility . At the same time the infantry rifle was a slow loader, and the augmentation of the
See also:volume of infantry fire attracted the
See also:attention of several inventors .
The French, with their artillery traditions, regarded the machine-gun there-fore as a method of restoring the lost superiority of the gunner, while the Americans, equally in accordance with traditions and
See also:local circumstances, regarded it as a musketry machine . The representative weapons evolved by each were the canon a balles, more commonly called mitrailleuse, and the
See also:Gatling gun . The declared purpose of the canon d balles was to replace the old artillery case-shot attack . Shrapnel, owing to the defects of the time-fuzes then available, had proved disappointing in the
See also:Italian War of 1859, and the gun itself, of the existing
See also:model, was not considered satisfactory .
See also:Napoleon III., a keen student of artillery, maintained a private
See also:arsenal and workshop at the chateau of
See also:Meudon' and in 1866, in the alarm following upon Meudon Chateau had long been used for military experiments . The peasantry credited it with mysterious and terrible secrets, asserting even that it contained a tannery of human skins, this tradition perhaps
See also:relating to the war
See also:balloon constructed there before the
See also:battle of
See also:Fleurus (1794) . Reffye had also many nonthilitary tasks, such as the
See also:reproduction of a famous set of bas-reliefs, construction of aeroplanes, and the reconstruction of triremes and balistas .
See also:Koniggratz, he ordered Commandant Reffye (1821-188o), the artillery officer he had placed in charge of it, to produce a machine-gun . Reffye held that the work of a mitrailleuse should only begin where that of the infantry rifle ceased . The handbook to his gun issued to the French army in 187o stated that it was " to carry balls to distances that the infantry, and the a The Canon artillery firing case, could not reach." The most Banes, 1866-1870. suitable range was given as 1500-2000 yards against infantry in close
See also:order, 2000-2700 against artillery . As the French shrapnel (obus d balles) of these days was only used to give its peculiar case-shot effect between 550 and 1350 yards, and even so sparingly and without much confidence in its efficacy, it is clear that the canon a balles was intended to do the field-gun's work, except at (what were then) extreme field artillery ranges (2800 and above), in which case the ordinary gun with common
See also:shell (time or percussion) alone was used . Constructed to meet these conditions, the Reffye machine-gun in its final form resembled outwardly an ordinary field gun, with wheeled carriage,
See also:limber and four-
See also:horse team .
See also:barrel was in reality a casing for 25 rifle barrels disposed around a common
See also:axis (the idea of obtaining sweeping effect by disposing the barrels slightly
See also:fan-wise had been tried and abandoned) . The barrels were held together at intervals by wrought-iron plates . They were entirely open at the breech, a removable false breech containing the firing mechanism (the cartridge cases were of brass, solid-
See also:drawn, like those of the
See also:American and unlike those of the
See also:British Gatlings) . This false breech, held in the firing position by a strong screw—resembling roughly those of contemporary B.L.
See also:ordnance such as the
See also:Armstrong R . B . L.—consisted of a
See also:plate with 25 holes, which allowed the points of the strikers to pass through and reach the cartridges . The plate was turned by hand so that one striker was admitted at a time, the
See also:metal of the plate. holding back the
See also:rest . To avoid any deflection of the bullet by the gases at an adjoining muzzle the barrels were fired in an irregular order . Each gun was provided with four
See also:chambers, which were loaded with their 25 cartridges apiece by a charger, and fixed to the breech one after the other as quickly as the manipulation of the powerful retaining
See also:screw permitted . The rates of fire were " slow," 3 rounds or 75 shots a minute, and " rapid," 5 rounds or 125 shots per minute . One advantage as against artillery that was claimed for the new weapon was rapidity of ranging . Any ordinary target, such as a hostile gun, would, it was expected, be accurately ranged by the mitrailleuse before it was ready to open fire for effect .
The ordinary rifle bullet was employed, but to enhance the case-shot effect a heavy bullet made up in three parts, whichbroke asunder on
See also:discharge, was introduced in 187o in the proportion of one round in nine . The weapon was sighted to 3000 metres (3300 yds.) . The initial. velocity was 1558 f.s.; and the
See also:weight of the gun 350 kg . (6.45 cwt.), of the carriage 371 kg . (6.86 cwt.);
See also:total behind the team, 1,485 kg . (27.1 cwt.) . For an artillery effect, dispersion had to be combined with accuracy . The rifle-barrels when carefully set gave a very close grouping of shots on the target, and dispersion was obtained by traversing the gun during the firing of a round . When this was skilfully performed a front of 18 metres (about 20 yds.) at I,000 metres range was thoroughly swept by the
See also:cone of bullets . The design and manufacture of these mitrailleuses under the
See also:personal orders and at the expense of the emperor enabled the French authorities to keep their new weapon most secret . Even though, after a time, mitrailleuses were constructed by scores, and could therefore no longer be charged to a " sundry " or "
See also:cash " account in the
See also:budget, secrecy was still maintained . The pieces were taken about, muffled in tarpaulins, by by-ways and footpaths .
In 1869, two years after the definitiveadoption of the weapon, only a few artillery captains were instructed in its mechanism; the non-commissioned
See also:officers who had to handle the gun in war were called up for practice in
See also:July 187o, when Major Reffye's energies were too much absorbed in turning out the material so urgently demanded to allow him to devote himself to their instruction . The natural consequence was that the mitrailleuses were taken into battle by officers and men of whom nine-tenths had never seen them fire one round of live cartridges . The purpose of this fatal secrecy was the
See also:maintenance of
See also:prestige . No details were given, but it was confidently announced that war would be revolutionized . One
See also:foreign officer only, Major Fosbery, R.A . (see R.U.S.I . Journal, v. xiii.), penetrated the secret, and he
See also:felt himself bound in
See also:honour to keep it to himself, not even communicating it to the War
See also:Office . But public attention was only too fully aroused by these mysterious prophecies . " The mitrailleuse paid dearlyfor its fame." The Prussians, who had examined mitrailleuses of the Gatling or infantry type, were well aware that the artillery machine-gun was at the least a most formidable opponent . They therefore ostentatiously rejected the Gatling gun, taught their troops that the new weapons were in the nature of scientific toys, and secretly made up their minds to turn the whole weight of their guns on to the mitrailleuse whenever and wherever it appeared on the field, and so to Overwhelm it at once . This policy they carried into effect in the War of 187o; and although on occasions the new weapon rendered excellent service, in general it cruelly disappointed the over-high hopes of its admirers . And thus; although the Gatling and similar types of gun were employed to a slight extent by both sides in the later stage of the war, machine-guns, as a class of armament for civilized warfare, practically disappeared .
See also:deal of criticism—after the event—has been levelled at the French for their " improper use of the machine-gun as a substitute for artillery," it is necessary to give some
See also:summary of the ideas and rules which were inspired by the inventor or dictated by the authorities as to its tactical employment . The first principle laid down was that the gun should not be employed within the zone of the infantry fight . Officers commanding batteries were explicitly warned against infantry divisional generals who would certainly attempt to put the batteries, by sections, amongst the infantry . The second principle was that the mitrailleuses were to
See also:share the work of the guns, the latter battering obstacles with common shell, and the former being employed against troops in the open, and especially to cover and support the infantry advance . This tendency to classify the roles of the artillery and to tell off the batteries each in its
See also:special task has reappeared in the French, and to a more limited extent in the British, field artillery of to-day (the Germans alone resolutely opposing the idea of subdivision) . The mitrailleuse of 1870 was, in fact, intended to do what the perfected Shrapnel of 1910 does, to transfer the case-shot attack to longer ranges . But, as we have seen, secrecy had prevented any general spread of know-ledge as to the uses to which the canon el balles was to be put, and consequently, after a few
See also:weeks of the war, we find Reffye complaining that the machine-guns were being used by their battery commanders " in a perfectly idiotic fashion . They are only good at a
See also:great distance and when used in masses, and they are being employed at close quarters like a rifle." The officers in the field, however, held that it was foolish to
See also:pit the mitrailleuse against the gun; which had a longer range, and exerted themselves to use it as an infantry weapon, a concentrated company, for which, unlike the Gatlings of 1870 and the machine-guns of to-day, it was never designed . As to which was right in the controversy it is impossible to• dogmatize and needless to argue . Very different was the Gatling gun, the invention of
See also:Jordan Gatling (1818-1903), which came into existence and was to a slight extent used in the field in the latter years of the American
See also:Civil War,' and also to a still slighter extent by the Bavarians and the French in the latter part of the war of 187o . This was distinctively an infantry type weapon, a sort of revolving rifle, the ten barrels of which were set around an axis, and fired in turn when brought into position by oathag the revolving mechanism . This weapon had a. long aua. reign, and was used side by side with the latest automatic machine gun in the Spanish-American War of 1898 .
The following account of the old British service Gatling (fig . I), as used in the
See also:Egyptian and Sudanese
See also:campaigns, is condensed from that in the article " Gun-making," Ency . Brit . 9th ed . A
See also:block of ten barrels is secured round an axis, which is fixed in a
See also:frame a a . On turning the handle h (fig . 2) the spindle g g causes the
See also:worm f to
See also:act on the pinion to, making the axis and barrels revolve . A
See also:drum T (
See also:figs . 1 and 4) is placed on the top at the breech end of the barrels over a hopper, through a slot in which the cart-ridges drop into the carrier (fig . 3) . The construction of the lock is shown in fig . 4 .
A A A A is a
See also:cam, sloping as in the
See also:drawing, which, it must be understood, represents the circular construction opened out and laid
See also:flat . As the barrels, carrier and locks revolve the slope of the cam forces the locks forward and backward alternately . At position I. the cartridge has just fallen into the carrier, the lock and
See also:bolt are completely withdrawn . At positions II., III., IV., the cam is forcing them forward, so that the bolt pushes the cart-
See also:ridge into the barrel . At IV. the cocking cam R begins to compress the
See also:spring, releasing it at V . Position VI. shows the cartridge just after firing; the extractor is clutching the
See also:base of the cartridge ' A machine-gun of the artillery or volley type, called tiie " Requa battery," which had its barrels disposed fan-wise, was also used in the Civil War . case, which is withdrawn as the locks retreat down the slope of the cam, till at X it falls through an aperture to the ground . The drum consists of a number of vertical channels radiating from the centre . The cartridges are arranged horizontally, one above the other, in these channels, bullet ends inwards . The drum revolves on the
See also:pivot b (fig . 3), and the cartridges fall through the aperture B . When all the channels are emptied, a full drum is brought from the limber, and substituted for the empty one .
Each barrel fires in turn as it comes to a certain position, so that by turning the handle quickly an almost continuous stream of bullets can be ejected . Experimental Gatlings were constructed which could be made to fire nearly moo shots a minute, and an automatic traversing arrangement was also fitted . As has been said, this weapon had a long reign . It was used with great effect in the Zulu War at
See also:Ulundi and in the Sudan . But a
See also:grave disadvantage of the
See also:pattern was that it had to be used with the Boxer coiled cartridge supplied for the Martini-
See also:Henry rifle, and until this was replaced by a solid-drawn cartridge case it was impossible to avoid frequent " jams." The modern, fully automatic, machine gun suffers from this to a considerable extent, and it was an even more serious defect with a hand-operated weapon, as the British troops found in their campaigns against the Mandtsts . But the Gatling had many advantages over its newer rivals as regards simplicity and strength .
See also:Roosevelt, who commanded sections of both types in the Spanish-American War, speaks with
See also:enthusiasm of the old-fashioned weapon' while somewhat disparaging the
See also:Colt automatic . The Gardner was another type which had a certain vogue2 and was used by ,the British in savage warfare . But, next to In this weapon the barrels are placed horizontally, and have no
See also:movement . A box containing the locks, bolts, strikers and spiral springs, one of each corresponding to each barrel, moves Nordenkldt straight backwards and forwards when worked by the aim . handle of the
See also:lever on the right . When the box is drawn back the cartridges fall from the holder on the top into the
See also:carriers simultaneously .
When the box is pushed forward the bolts push the cartridges into the barrel, cocking-catches compress the spiral springs, the lever releases the catches one after the other at very minute intervals of time, and the cartridges are fired in rapid Alb_ ,^11o . AR . is 15-18, 23-31, Lock and trigger parts; 41-44, Parts of hand-lever; 19-22, Locking
See also:action; 45-49, Traversing action; 32-35, Loading action; 50-55, Elevating and trailing action; 36-39, Cartridge
See also:receiver; 56, 57, Hopper and slide .
HISTOLOGY OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM
HISTORICAL ACCOUNT OF GREEK
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