1. One of the more interesting aspects of any conflict is the reuse of captured weapons. Rechambered or remounted and reissued – back to the fight against its original owners.

    • It was more than a kick… if they relly were overwhelmed, there would not be a Finland. Instead, they had to give up Karelia, Salla, Kalastajansaarento, and few other things. That’s not good, but its far from losing. Soviet losses were crippling. Finland was about exhausted by the end, but that war still needs to go down as one of the most epic “big guy hits little guy and looses” fights of all time.

      One of the things that kept Finland in the war was the constant raiding of Soviet gear and ammo, like iluustrated today. They didn’t make a single DP, for example, but they fielded 9000 of the things, largely fed with Soviet ammo, I bet. Their native DP equivilent barely cleared a third of that number.

      On the flip side, had the Soviets not attacked Finland, their army would not only have been badly led since the purges, but they’d have not a lick of experience except for the few who went to Spain in the 30s. This MIGHT have created a bad enough army that the Germans could have overcome it in its entirety.

  2. PV-1s were also used on the ground during the Spanish Civil War – at the captured weapons show in San Sebastian, 1938-39, the Frankists were displaying at least two PV-1s mounted on Sokolov mounts. Anyway, a Maxim’s a Maxim – even if cranked up to 900 rpm (before synchronisation cut it down to 450 in order to save the prop). I’d love to witness a ground shooting with a PV-1 at full speed. Must have been fun – if you secured an ample amount of disintegrating links, as these were fed from these, not a cloth belt.
    Anyway, the Finns were using the Maxims of their own, and also chambered in 7.62x54R – so why allowing good machineguns to waste?

      • The article in Russian wikipedia
        states that A-2 prototype with receiver and other parts made from duralumin was build but it fails to pass through trials.

        Note that there was also infantry air-cooled derivation of Maxim machine gun with rifle style wooden stock and bipod – the Maxim-Tokarev abbreviated MT.

        • Per your last paragraph, the Germans during World War one did something similar with the air-cooled Parabellum aircraft MG. Once the air arm’s needs had been satisfied, extra Parabellum aircraft MG’s were fitted with a spike-footed bipod on the underside of the very front of the receiver and issued to storm troop units.

          Prior to this development, the German Army had also tried out the MG08/15, essentially a water-cooled MG08 Maxim with a small-diameter water jacket that reduced the weight of the cooling water by 2-3 lbs, and which was fitted with a massive formed sheet-metal bipod. While it was much more mobile and easier to carry on the battlefield than the original tripod-equipped MG08, it was still very heavy by modern standards and a handful to quickly deploy on the ground, weighing in at 41 lbs ( versus the MG08’s 58 lbs sans tripod ).

          One very successful attempt at providing German front-line troops with a light, portable but hard-hitting MG during World War One that was still capable of a reasonable level of sustained fire was the Bergmann MG15nA, a lightened version of the well-known Bergmann M1910. The MG15nA had a slotted jacket with carrying handle over the air-cooled barrel, pistol grip, a true lightweight tripod, removable ammunition drum and a shoulder pad/buttstock that was integral with the rear of the receiver. All in all, it was quite modern looking even by today’s standards and the features described above are often seen on today’s MG’s. There were never enough MG15nA’s to go around due to the exigencies of the war, even though the gun was immensely popular with the troops. The gun complete with tripod only weighed 35 lbs, which still compares favorably with many modern GPMG’s in the same configuration. It had a cyclic rate of fire of 550 rds./min., and had a reputation for excellent reliability.

          I would dearly love to see a technical review and field test of the MG15nA on FW.

    • Nowhere good, that’s for sure.
      All right, I’ll be serious.
      There are four people in the cockpit area. One is in the rear seat slumped at the controls. I assume that his is the pilot. The next is in the front seat but facing backwards. This does not seem like something a crewman would do AND his hat looks like the same kind as seen on the other troops. I’m guessing he’s a Finn. There’s also a guy beside each side of the cockpit, and I think they are both certainly Finns.

      • I don’t think that’s the pilot or a Russian crewman slumped at the controls. It appears to be a Finnish soldier leaning over and working with something close to the floor of the cockpit, while the other Finnish soldier in the cockpit forward of him appears to be the doing the same on the other side — in other words, they are coordinating their efforts at doing something.

        The aircraft seems to be reasonably intact with few signs of major structural damage, so it may have been successfully crash-landed and the Russian aircrew were probably either able to escape, or they might have been captured alive and taken away.

  3. “Nice flying, Ivan. Now we don’t have to spend much more on weapons production more so than weapons procurement.”

  4. Combined with Stalin’s previous slaughter of his own officer corps and the Red Army’s pathetic performance in Finland, Hitler was convinced that Barbarossa would be a walkover… which it initially was. Fortunately, Hitler didn’t account for Stalin’s eventual ability to learn from (but not admit) his own mistakes, something Hitler never managed to do.

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