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Old 29th Mar 2013, 10:00   #41 (permalink)
 
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Warning, aviation content!

In ‘Somme Mud’, Edward Lynch describes, from the attacking infantryman’s perspective, the very first combat aerial delivery sorties flown delivering ammunition, (particularly machine gun ammunition), rations and drinking water to troops who had broken through the German front line.

Until this innovation, almost without exception, troops who had broken through were almost always overrun or forced to retreat after running out of ammunition. (Aerial delivery to attacking troops on the very front line – in 1918 – who’d have thought it?) Lynch, who describes in some detail the travails and horrors of carrying rations and ammunition to the front through thick, deep, clinging mud – and concentrated artillery fire – thought this innovation was absolutely wonderful.

The man who first thought of – or, maybe more importantly, was the first to implement – this novel idea was an Australian Flying Corps pilot, Lawrence Wackett, who convinced the Australian commander, General John Monash, to employ it, which the Australians did in the latter months of the war to great effect. Some of the pilots involved in these (*** dangerous) operations went on to achieve great fame after the war, including Bert Hinkler and Charles Kingsford-Smith.

Wackett describes these first combat aerial delivery flights from the pilot’s perspective in his excellent book ‘Aircraft Pioneer’ (ISBN: 0207123780 / 0-207-12378-0). Wackett, (later Sir Lawrence Wackett), went on to establish the Australian aircraft industry (Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation) just prior to WW2. One of his many feats during that war was to design and build the Boomerang, the first Australian single seat fighter aircraft, from drawing board to first flight – in two months! (Based on, and using many parts of the Wirraway, the Australian version of the Havard, it wasn’t much of a fighter, but it served widely in the Pacific theatre with the RAAF as a ground attack, forward air controller and artillery spotter aircraft.)

‘Aircraft Pioneer’ is another highly recommended read, but, I see on Abe Books, the few copies available are considerably more expensive than $1.00!!
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Old 29th Mar 2013, 10:42   #42 (permalink)
 
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Ze war!

My late father-in-law was very badly wounded somewhere in Russia, losing an eye and an ear to a sniper. This affected the quality of his life, and he died at age 59.

Now my wife is totally anti-war, anti-gun, anti-military... yet she sometimes will describe something as "08/15; null-acht-fünfzen," meaning "unoriginal, mundane, boring, the sort of thing seen everywhere...."

She was surprised to learn that this was the designation for a particular sort of machine gun that was widely issued to the German army, the Maschinengewehr08 (introduced in 1908)/15 (modified model from 1915).

The other everyday reminder of the Great War is that we often say "Nichts neues im Westen," as a joke on the tiny village of Westen which lies near my home. That is a play on the German title of All Quiet on the Western Front, Im Westen Nichts Neues, since that can also mean "There's nothing going on in Westen."

One of the greatest modern German artists, Otto Dix, served in a machine gun unit in the First World War. He did some very powerful paintings on the subject of war that got him into a certain amount of trouble with the Nazis.

I visited Ypres, its Menin Gate, Tyne Cot, and the museum at Passchendaele, not long ago. They ran out of space for names on the huge Menin Gate, and those were only the names of the missing, not the names of all the dead, so that they had to continue with listing the names at Tyne Cot.

The scale of the killing there is indescribable; you have to see the Gate and Tyne Cot to begin to understand it.

The Machine Gun Corps Memorial in Hyde Park is worth a visit as well. It manages to incorporate a classical nude with two Vickers machine guns in an aesthetically pleasing way. Of course, there is little there to suggest the reality of the mud and the death on the Western Front.

Last edited by chuks; 29th Mar 2013 at 10:43.
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Old 29th Mar 2013, 11:42   #43 (permalink)
 
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Airborne wrote:

Quote:
Too heavy... Nice gat if you're vehicle borne but infantry or Airborne can't move it, the tripod and a decent amount of ammo
Too heavy? A .50 cal? Pussy. If you can't carry a .50 cal with your teeth then I don't know what else to tell you.

See, even Sgt. Rock here carries one easily.

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Old 29th Mar 2013, 12:29   #44 (permalink)
 
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Between our teeth... Ohhh... I thought you meant carry it on our backs... Between the teeth is easy but it scares the enemy too much and has been banned by the Geneva and Hague Conventions. You really need to keep up...
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Old 29th Mar 2013, 12:31   #45 (permalink)
 
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what the hell happened to my picture of Sgt. Rock? It was there a minute ago but has been replaced with some BS banner.

Sgt. Rock? Where are you? Sgt. Rock........
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Old 29th Mar 2013, 13:43   #46 (permalink)
 
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How much spread was obtained with the four 0.303s in the rear turret of a Lancaster?
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Old 29th Mar 2013, 14:15   #47 (permalink)
 
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John Basilone was a Machine Gunner...won the Medal of Honor at Guadalcanal. The Mini-Series "Pacific" looked to his actions there for a lot of their material.

This is the segment dealing with the Battle of the Tenaru River where the Machine Gun turned the tide against the Japanese Night Attack.

Watched on a Full Screen....it is pretty impressive!







Radeng,

Usually with multiple machine-guns....one tries to focus them at some distance so as to concentrate the rounds into a very small area so when "On Target"....the concentrated fire can be very devastating.

Imagine Six .50 Cal or Four 20mm in a one or two foot diameter circle and how that would ruin your day if you were the target!

Last edited by SASless; 29th Mar 2013 at 14:18.
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Old 29th Mar 2013, 17:46   #48 (permalink)
 
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I found this quote in 'Tommy' by Richard Holmes which highlights just how much ammunition was available to even one unit. 'On 24th July 1916 Graham Seton-Hutchison's guns of the 100th Company Machine Gun Corps fired just twenty-five rounds short of one million: one gun fired 120,000 rounds'.

That's one day in one unit! Certainly shows the advantage of machine guns in a fixed position.
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Old 29th Mar 2013, 18:53   #49 (permalink)
 
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Reading a military history book.

One of the reasons individual soldiers weren't given automatic weapons until the introduction of the SA80 in the late 1980's early 1990's was that, the thinking at the time was if you gave a soldier a weapon that fired 300 rounds per minute. Then the supply chain would have to be robust enough to supply 300 rounds per minute for each soldier.
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Old 29th Mar 2013, 19:11   #50 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
One of the reasons individual soldiers weren't given automatic weapons until the introduction of the SA80 in the late 1980's early 1990's was that, the thinking at the time was if you gave a soldier a weapon that fired 300 rounds per minute. Then the supply chain would have to be robust enough to supply 300 rounds per minute for each soldier.
What? That's odd because as a US Infantryman in the early to mid-80's I was given an automatic weapon which fired, cyclic, ~700 rounds per minute. And that weapon was the M16A1. Which was standard issue for each and every soldier from the squad-level on up.
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Old 29th Mar 2013, 19:22   #51 (permalink)
 
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rgb

Can you explain what cyclic rate means ? I have always wondered about these astonishing/unachievable numbers with regard to magazine-fed weapons.
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Old 29th Mar 2013, 19:30   #52 (permalink)
 
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Cyclic rate? It is the mechanical rate of fire of a weapon. It is used to define how a weapon loads, locks, fires, unlocks and ejects a cartridge.

So, theoretically the M16A1 I used as an example above has a cyclic rate of fire of 650-750 rounds per minute. However, its sustained or effective rate of fire is less than its cyclic rate.

Having said all that, going through a 20 or 30-round mag with an M16A1 in full auto "rock-n-roll" mode takes a matter of seconds.
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Old 29th Mar 2013, 19:33   #53 (permalink)
 
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So in reality the cyclic rate means "if" the weapon were belt-fed, allowing the mechanism to cycle at its max capacity ?
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Old 29th Mar 2013, 20:15   #54 (permalink)
 
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If a gun takes half a second to cycle through one lot of 'ready-fire-eject-ready again' then its cyclic rate is 120 r/min.

Clearly if it only has a 20round mag, youy'll never get close to 120 per min though.
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Old 29th Mar 2013, 21:32   #55 (permalink)
 
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AtomKraft

Where in my post has 120 rounds per minute become the gold standard against anything else is measured ?

Last edited by AlpineSkier; 29th Mar 2013 at 21:33.
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Old 29th Mar 2013, 23:04   #56 (permalink)
 
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Nowhere Alpine?

Just an example.
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Old 29th Mar 2013, 23:15   #57 (permalink)
 
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So your posts have added nothing worth while at all but simply added complication ?

Last edited by AlpineSkier; 29th Mar 2013 at 23:16.
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Old 30th Mar 2013, 02:35   #58 (permalink)
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My cyclic orgasm rate is 240/day.

I've slowed down some.

Last edited by BenThere; 30th Mar 2013 at 02:36.
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Old 30th Mar 2013, 05:57   #59 (permalink)
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My old faithful M60 had 3 rates of fire:

Sustained– 100 per min (done in short bursts of course)
Rapid –200
Cyclic –550 (trigger held open)

That was tied into recommended barrel changes:
Sustained rate of fire- every 10 minutes
Rapid rate of fire- every 2 minutes
Cyclic-every minute

Best I did was 600 rounds in 2 minutes - my kind of fun!!! And no barrel change because we weren't carrying one. Just that warm glowing barrel feeling
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Old 30th Mar 2013, 07:41   #60 (permalink)
 
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We were issued rifles capable of full auto fire, although apart from one day on the range to demonstrate what a waste of time it was, we never used the facility. Aimed shots at an identified target was the rule, and it was stressed with more than enough PT if we got it wrong.
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