An insight into the development, manufacture and operation of the Vickers-Maxim medium machine guns.
The Maxim gun was the first fully automated machine gun to be introduced into military service at the end of the 19th century. Gradually refined to become the Vickers 0.303in medium machine-gun, it was used widely by British and Commonwealth forces in both world wars. Operated by a three-man crew, it was popularly known as ‘the Vickers’. Firearms expert and acclaimed author Martin Pegler, a former Senior Curator of Firearms at the Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds, describes the concept of an automated machine-gun and its potential use for land forces; its genesis, design, development and early trials; and the introduction by the UK military of the Vickers machine gun and its adoption for infantry, aircraft and armoured vehicles in the world wars of the 20th century.
Author: Martin Pegler was for many years the Senior Curator of Firearms at the Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds. He now lives in France where he has established The Somme Historical Centre (www.martinpegler.com), where visitors can witness the technology used in the trench war of 1914–18. He is the author of several books including The Military Sniper since 1914 (Osprey, 2001), Firearms in the American West 1700–1900 (The Crowood Press, 2002), and the highly acclaimed Out of Nowhere: A History of the Military Sniper (Osprey, 2004).