Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email.

The Vault

37mm Gun, Bethlehem, Semi-Automatic (Video)

The 37mm gun was found in many guises during World War One – that caliber was the smallest allowed to use exploding projectiles by the 1899 Hague accords. Every nation in the world, it seems, used 37mm guns of one type or another. Well, one particular version I had the chance to look at was [...]

Book Review: The Yanks Are Coming!

Most of the books I look at are primarily text-based, and today I figured we should do something a little bit different. Armor Plate Press, run by Tom Laemlein, specializes in photographic studies of various weapons (and vehicular) topics. Today’s book is The Yanks Are Coming! Firepower of the American Doughboy in World War One [...]

Chain Mail for Machine Gunners

Chain mail appeared in a couple different forms during World War I – the most well-known is probably the mail facemasks developed for tank crews. These were intended to protect crew members from steel shards that would fragment off the interior of the tank’s armor plate when taking machine gun fire. There were also metal-lined [...]

Vintage Saturday: Far From Home II

Congratulations on your status as French colony, Senegal! Now we’re going to take you to a freezing European forest to fight Germans.

Senegalese Free French soldiers at the Battle of the Bulge in 1944, armed with a British Bren and an American 1903 Springfield. The helmets are American ones, emblazoned with the anchor emblem [...]

L’Arbalete la Sauterelle Type A D’Imphy

This post started as just a quickie, because I happened to find a vintage photo of a couple French WWI soldiers using a crossbow/ballista type device to throw grenades. I realized, looking at the photo, that I’d actually seen one of them in person, as the Paris Musée de l’Armée. The plan was to post [...]

Ammunition Documents

Courtesy of reader Robert, we have a couple documents for you today. First up is a British 1918 manual on identifying different types of ammunition by projectile, case, and packaging markings. Given the variety of artillery in Commonwealth use by that time, I’m sure this manual was a welcome source of information for new ordnance [...]

Vintage Saturday: On Maneuvers

Looks a bit verdant for North Africa…

Zouaves on maneuvers with M1886 Lebel rifles, in 1909.

Vintage Saturday: A Long Way From Home

The Lebel with that epee bayonet was a really long weapon.

Malagasy soldier from the French army, World War I. Armed with a M1886/93 Lebel rifle and early style bayonet with hooked quillion.

Book Review: Allied Rifle Contracts in America

One of the characteristics that often leads me to be particularly interested in a given gun is a long and convoluted history. I really enjoy finding firearms that have found their way across the world and back. One entire category of rifles that did just that were the hundreds of thousands of rifles made in [...]

Vintage Saturday: Three or Five?

Definitely not observing proper sniping technique hanging out the window like that…

Members of the French resistance in Paris, August 1944. Interesting to see that the shooter has an M-16 Berthier with a 5-round magazines, but the window sill has a pile of three-round clips. Also interesting that the two guys are both left-handed [...]