1. Very Rare photo,
    But yes most Chinese soldiers was armed neather with ZB30 or Lewis machine gun,appearantly Chinese cant manufacture their own weapons during that time but Japanese does…

  2. The weapon in the photo is probably a ZB26 chambered in the original 7.92 x 57mm Mauser caliber. Large quantities were supplied to the Nationalist Chinese Army in the 1930’s during the Sino-Japanese conflict, and numbers were captured by the Japanese, who were both surprised and not a little chagrined to discover that it was far superior to any LMG or MMG they had in service.

    An interesting thread to this factor is that the Japanese built a very close copy — with some minor modifications — of the ZB26 as the Type 97 tank MG as a replacement for the existing Type 91 tank MG. The Type 97 was designed to fire the 7.7mm rimless round, but could also accept the 7.7mm semi-rimmed cartridge. The internal politics of the wartime Japanese military-industrial-government complex, coupled with lack of manufacturing capacity, ensured that the Type 97 was never produced in sufficient quantities to replace the Type 91. Some were eventually fitted with a bipod for use as infantry guns, which must have been an eye-opener for troops used to the peculiarities of the existing Hotchkiss-Nambu weapons. Here at last was a truly sturdy, reliable, accurate and reasonably light MG that was easy to maintain and use under the harshest battlefield conditions, and which did not require special ammunition or cartridge oiling.

    Unfortunately for the Japanese Army ( and fortunately for the Allies ), the former were never quite able to establish complete mass-standardization for their infantry MG and ammunition inventory, a distinct tactical handicap on the battlefield.

  3. The Imperial Japanese Navy had captured 50,000+ new Vz24 and ZB26 plus ammo and parts, order by the Chinese army and en-route on cargo ships from Europe to China. In fact, the IJA had equipped couple of their divisions with those captured Czech guns. The year was in 1937 and after the Battle of Shanghai.

  4. Thanks for the additional information, Timothy! Your e-mail has definitely added a lot to the clarification of the overall historical perspective and timeline concerning the ZB26 and its use by Japanese forces in combat.

    Any other related information would be greatly appreciated if you are willing to share it.

    In this way. we can all not only learn from one another, but are also able to collectively keep the living history of firearms, and their implications for humanity, alive for future generations.

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