I have been really enjoying The Great War series on YouTube (a rolling weekly account of what happened in WWI this week 100 years ago), so I figured I ought to take advantage of an opportunity to look at several WWI heavy machine guns side by side. This is a video to give some historical context to the guns, and not a technical breakdown of exactly how they work (that will come later). These really were the epitome of industrialized warfare, and they wrought horrendous destruction on armies of the Great War.
The guns covered here are the German MG08, British Vickers, and French Hotchkiss 1914. If you would like to own one of these yourself, they are coming up for auction at RIA on the weekend of September 11th, 2015 and you can see the specific catalog pages for these three guns here:
Other heavies used in the war include the Austrian Schwarzlose 1907/12, the Russian 1905 and 1910 Maxims, the Italian Fiat-Revelli, and the American Browning 1895. The book I was quoting from towards the end was Dolf Goldsmith’s unmatched work on the Maxim, The Devil’s Paintbrush.