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Machine Gun of British Forces in Africa?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by HGM22, Jun 15, 2012.

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  1. HGM22

    HGM22 Member

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    Anyone know what machine gun would have been carried by a British soldier in Africa probably sometime between 1930 and 1950 (probably closest to WWII)? All I know is it had a bipod. I'm guessing a Bren or a BAR (if Lend-Lease was in effect), or possibly an older Maxim. Soldier I believe did not fight in North Africa.
     
  2. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Almost certainly a Bren. When I lived in Egypt ('54-'56) I found a Bren at Siwa. I shot it quite a bit, but my Dad wouldn't let me bring it back to the states.
     
  3. dprice3844444

    dprice3844444 member

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    se fla i love claymores 01/sot
  4. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    I think the Bren Gun was adopted sometime in the late 1930s so the time frame would be correct for it. It was in service for nearly 30 years.
     
  5. Ian

    Ian Member

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    Almost certainly a Bren. If it was really early, maybe a Hotchkiss Portative.
     
  6. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    The OP said:
    The Bren was the standard bipot-mounted British machinegun in WWII.
     
  7. HGM22

    HGM22 Member

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    Hey, thanks for the replies already. I've learned it was probably the early 1940s in Kenya.

    Is it possible an older gun was used given the arms needed on other more pressing fronts (North Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Home Front)?
     
  8. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    The only other bipod mounted "older gun" in British service was the Lewis gun. If you have a picture of it, you can identify the Lewis instantly -- it had a barrel shroud about the size of a stove pipe.
     
  9. RCArms.com

    RCArms.com Member

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    The Lewis also used distinctive 49 rd and 96?rd flat pan type magazines.
     
  10. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Just the magazines alone would tell the difference between a Bren and a Lewis. Or, to tell the truth, between a Bren or Lewis and anything else, just about.

    Magazine sticking out the top like a crazy punk-rocker's mowhawk?
    Magazine that looks like a big flat cookie tin balanced precariously on top of the receiver?

    Or was this thing belt fed? Belt feed was common to many designs.
     
  11. 303tom

    303tom member

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    Probably one of four different Machine Guns, & that would be the.........

    Bren light machine gun.
    Lewis gun.
    Vickers-Berthier.
    Vickers machine gun
     
  12. exbrit49

    exbrit49 Member

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    GOod answers! As one respondant noted, the magazine shape will tell all! if it had a magazine sticking out the top and it was curved forward, for sure its a Bren. As a teenager in the UK I was in the Army Cadets and was lucky enough to use the Bren, With its small magazine (In my memory I seem to remember the magaziine held 29 .303 rounds, With a good magazine changer as an assistant it was possible to get off over 500 rounds a minute.
    On field maneuvers, we used to use blanks but they were not really blanks! They were real rounds loaded with a wooden bullet that was shot through a device attached to the front of the barrel that sliced the wood bullet in to matchwood. The reason for this was the wood bullet was needed so that the gas return would function.
    I remember well being on maneuvers one afternoon when we were attacked by the other side and we heard real rounds coming over our heads, After what seemed like an eternity, everything got shut down. the Bren ammo was the same .303 used in the Lee Enfiields, It turned out that a bunch of guys had found an ammo can full of BREN blanks and decided they would work just fine in the Enfields, they had no idea they were shooting potential killing rounds.
    I think back and have to wonder how many other times this happened?
    Yes lots of fond memories of the Bren and it sure was a reliable piece!! I loved it but sure hated carrying it on forced march.
    Also makes me wonder why the smallers guy in a platoon always gets to carry the heaviest weapon! was that true in the US forces too?
     
  13. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Yep. In the US Army, the counterpart to the Bren was the M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle, a lovely weapon.
     
  14. 303tom

    303tom member

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    Both the Bren & the Berthier had the curved forward magazine sticking out the top............
     
  15. DougW

    DougW Member

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    Bren

    Bren:D

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Belongs to a good friend. Demilled kit, rebuilt with bondo and a lot of patience. Really nice!
     
  16. Quiet

    Quiet Member

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    1930s-1950s UK military...
    LMG = Bren
    HMG = Vickers

    Both of which were replaced by the L-7A1 (FN MAG) in the late-1950s.
     
  17. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    My father carried the BAR as squad automatic rifleman in WWII and fought in New Guinea and Philipines, including the Battle of Lone Tree Hill and the landings at Lingayen Gulf. Before the war he worked on the family farm and saw mill, and was a mere six foot tall and 200 lbs solid muscle when he was issued his first BAR. :) BTW BAR was his weapon of choice throughout the Pacific War. He would carry the M1 Garand if a BAR was not available, but he had no use for the carbine or the submachinegun.
     
  18. hang fire

    hang fire Member

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    The Lewis was a very successful WW-1, forced air cooled machine gun of American design with improvements made by the British. The barrel was set back into the open ended shroud. When fired, the high pressure gases venting from the muzzle and out the front of shroud ,introduced a partial vacuum effect causing fresh air to flow from rear of shroud and around the barrel, cooling it.
     
  19. JR47

    JR47 Member

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    The conventional wisdom involving small people and the BAR, or the BREN, was that the platoon, or squad, would remain near the auto-capable fire-base,and not leave the little guys behind. In the 1950's, that was considered gospel.

    That said, most of the BAR gunners that I've known from WWII and Korea never seemed to be small. Nor were the M60 gunners of Vietnam. :)
     
  20. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    Almost 100% NOT a BAR. That I know of, it was NEVER standard issue to ANY British unit (other than the Home Guard, and very little of what they had was "standard"), although the Brits scheduled to invade Japan were supposedly going to be American equipped, down to the uniforms.

    1930 is WAY too early for the Bren. There is another gun that LOOKS like the Bren, the Vickers-Berthier, which was issued to the Indian Army. I don't have my Hogg book on machine guns handy, so I'm not quite sure when that gun was first issued.

    The British did issue the Hotchkiss "Portative" to cavalry in WWI. It was the British version of the U.S. Army's Benet-Mercier "Machine Rifle", used against Pancho Villa's troops in Columbus, New Mexico. It was bipod (and or small tripod) mounted. Rather than the magazine of the Bren and Vickers-Berthier, it used metal feed strips like the Hotchkiss and Japanese Type 92 machine guns.
     
  21. Robert

    Robert Moderator Staff Member

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    The Bren Gun in #15 is a MkII I believe.
     
  22. Ian

    Ian Member

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    Yep, the MkI Bren used a dial-type rear sight, while the MkII has the ladder type. The buttstocks are also different, and the MkI barrel has a big stainless section at the front.
     
  23. 303tom

    303tom member

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    Just thought it was a cool picture.........
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2013
  24. Wanderling

    Wanderling Member

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    :D

    The early riding mower, eh ?
     
  25. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

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    Cool! Personal tank! I want one for when idjits cut me off in traffic!!!!.....................:rolleyes::neener::D:evil::evil::evil::evil::evil:
     
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