World War 2 Stories for Sheffield

Weaponry 

Unknown Sources

Lewis Gun: 

The Lewis Gun, a light machine gun, was developed in the United States in 1911. At 12 kg it was far lighter than the Vickers Machine-Gun and in 1915 the British Army decided to purchase the gun for use on the Western Front. Another advantage of the Lewis is that six of these guns could be made in the time taken to produce one Vickers gun. Although too heavy for efficient portable use, it became the standard support weapon for the British infantry during the First World War.

Vickers Gun

In 1912 the British Army adopted the Vickers as its standard machine gun. Produced by the Vickers Company, it was a modified version of the Maxim Machine-Gun. The Vickers Gun used a 250 round fabric-belt magazine and had the reputation as a highly reliable weapon.

The .303 Vickers Gun could fire over 600 rounds per minute and had a range of 4,500 yards. Being water-cooled, it could fire continuously for long periods. There were usually six men in a Vickers gun team. Number One was leader and fired the gun, while Number Two controlled the entry of ammo belts into the feed-block. Number Three maintained a supply of ammo to Number Two, and Number Four to Six were reserves and carriers, but all the members of the team were fully trained in handling the gun.

When war was declared in August 1914, Vickers were manufacturing 12 machine guns a week. Demand from the British Army was so high that Vickers had to find new ways of increasing production. By 1915 Vickers supplied the British armed forces with 2,405 guns. These increases continued throughout the First World War: 7,429 (1916); 21,782 (1917) and 39,473 (1918). The Vickers Company was accused of profiteering when in the early stages of the war they charged the Home Office £175 per gun. Under pressure from the government, Vickers reduced the price to £80 per gun.

Fitted with interrupter gear, the Vickers was also standard armament on all British and French aircraft after 1916.

When war was declared in August 1914, Vickers were manufacturing 12 machine guns a week. Demand from the British Army was so high that Vickers had to find new ways of increasing production. By 1915 Vickers supplied the British armed forces with 2,405 guns. These increases continued throughout the First World War: 7,429 (1916); 21,782 (1917) and 39,473 (1918). The Vickers Company was accused of profiteering when in the early stages of the war they charged the Home Office £175 per gun. Under pressure from the government, Vickers reduced the price to £80 per gun.

Fitted with interrupter gear, the Vickers was also standard armament on all British and French aircraft after 1916.