1. That’s a great picture.

    Pre-war Greek weapons are virtually unknown to the average firearms enthusiast in the U.S.

  2. This photograph was probably taken in the middle of the Hellenic summer, when temperatures can reach uncomfortably high levels. Note how withered and dry-looking the surrounding grass looks, typical of a Mediterranean summer.

  3. Ok, boys
    I agree with Earl (very observant).
    The photo was shot in Corfu in July 1939.
    The men depicted were students of the School of N/C Officers witch operated in Corfu.
    One year later would fight with Italian and German invaders.
    Glad you liked the photo. I will try to send you some

    • I’ll bet I don’t know a single person who’s even heard of the Hotchkiss LMGs. I’d have never heard of them were it not for Hogg’s book on machine guns.

      • Yes, Ian Hogg’s book on the world’s machine guns and their history is still an excellent general reference in spite of a few inaccuracies. It should also be kept in mind that these inaccuracies may have stemmed from less than complete detailed information at the time he compiled the book versus what we know now via more intensive in-depth research. Writing a book on such a wide spectrum of weapons and getting everything 100% right within the pre-set constraints imposed by one’s budget and by the publisher’s deadlines is almost impossible, even for an expert as knowledgeable as Hogg.

        • What are some of the inaccuracies in Hogg’s book?

          I don’t doubt that there are some, I was just wondering what you consider inaccurate.

          By the way, Hogg mentions a Japanese water cooled heavy machine gun developed for the Kwantung Army. Supposedly it was a really monstrous hunk of iron, produced in very small quantities and never seen outside of Manchukuo. I’ve never seen another reference to it anywhere else. Know anything about it?

          • Hi, Chris — Good to hear from you, as always!

            One example of the few inaccuracies Ian Hogg’s book contains is the discussion on the Montigny Mitrailleuse multi-barreled battery gun on Pages 15-19 of the book ( this is the 2002 edition published by Krause Publications in the United States ). Hogg states that 156 examples of a 25-barreled version of the Montigny Mitrailleuse were manufactured at the Meudon Arsenal and adopted for French Army service in 1869 in time for the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. In actuality, the gun that was built at Meudon and then saw service in this conflict was the Reffye 25-barreled Mitrailleuse, which was itself an all-French gun similar to the Montigny design — a small but telling difference in detail. To confuse things further, a 37-barreled Montigny gun was not only purchased by the British Army in 1869 but was also put into service by the Austrian Army chambered for the 11mm Werndl cartridge after the Austrians had had time to evaluate its performance in the context of actual battle.

            It is easy to see how even someone as knowledgeable and thorough as Hogg could have made a small mistake under the circumstances. It is also entirely possible that he originally wrote correctly about the subject, but that the book’s editors inadvertantly turned it around during the course of proof-reading and editing.

            You will also find multiple errors in the Appendices in the back of the book covering the sizing and performance values for machine gun and automatic cannon cartridges. Again, this appears to be a problem associated with editing QA/QC and typesetting issues more than the author.

            Another example of an inaccuracy in the book is the assumption that the brilliant but ill-fated Brazilian 7.62mm Uirapuru GPMG was adopted into general service by the Brazilian Army. In truth, it did not get beyond the pre-production and trials stage, eventually falling by the wayside, a victim of politics and marketing issues. To be fair, Hogg probably relied at the time on otherwise reputable and accurate sources for his information concerning this subject, so it was hardly his fault in retrospect.

            For the benefit of other readers on this site, the overweight ( Japanese ) Kwangtung Army HMG that Chris is referring to was the Type 96 7.7mm water-cooled heavy-barreled gun specifically designed for use in enclosed, fixed fortifications beginning in November 1938. It was actually the existing Type 89 fixed aircraft MG ( that was itself almost a carbon copy of the Vickers air-cooled aircraft gun ) fitted with a heavy barrel and water jacket, which in effect restored the weapon as a facsimile of the Vickers 0.303″ water-cooled MMG. The only problem was that this apparent retro-fit somehow resulted in a weapon that weighed in at 115 lbs. ( 52 kg ), which, as Ian Hogg rightly puts it, was ” a ridiculous figure for a field army machine gun, even if it was to be fixed in pillboxes”.

            Chris, I honestly don’t know any more about this gun other than what Hogg has provided in his book. However, now that you have brought it up, I’m going to start looking into trying to find more information about it, as I’m sure you will too. If anyone else knows something about it, please feel free to share it on FW. This may be the beginning of a very interesting new thread and discussion on a truly rare and “forgotten weapon”.

    • Dimitris, those extra photos would be greatly appreciated if they do not impose too much on your time and resources. Thanks for everything :).

  4. Amazing picture! Thanks for making it available for all of us, Dimitris! Interestingly, the helmets worn by the men are still of the Adrian type, and not the M 34/39 Italian-made ones (actually a lighter derivative of the Italian M 33 model, with a more “open” design). I suppose the Adrian helmets were still used for training purposes by 1939.

    • LOTS of interwar armies used the Adrian helmet at one point or another. From memory:
      Red Army
      Belgian Army
      Italian Army
      Romanian Army
      Polish Army
      Spanish Army (Republicans, anyway)

      I have kind of a vague recollection of Japanese troops wearing Adrian style helmets (not the Japanese kabuto style) as well.

      • I am well aware of that fact, Chris. What I noticed about the photo sent by Dimitris was the late use of the Adrian, especially when most photographic evidence from the time of the Italian invasion of Greece, from October 1940 onwards, shows most Greek soldiers equipped with the new M34/39 helmet.

        The Spanish case is interesting because despite having one of the most advanced helmet designs available in the world by the late 20s/early 30s, the output manufactured at the Trubia artillery factory was deemed insufficient when the Civil War started (notwithstanding the fact that a sizeable chunk of the helmets was still kept warehoused, unused due to a mix of reasons).

    • Perhaps the best way is to send them to Ian again — Ian, is it acceptable for you to publish Dimitris’ additional photos as a follow-up to this article? I’m reasonably sure there will be a lot of interest.

      Thanks to the both of you in advance!

  5. OK, Earl
    i will send the photos to Ian.
    Any way, keep in mind that in the Hellenic Army up to the eve of the Grecoitalian War (1923-1940) there was 2 types of Hotchkiss
    a- 1752 pieces of 7,92 mm MG, with 30,5 million cartridges ( special made for MG )
    b- 6000 pieces of 6,5 mm LMG, with 35,6 million cartridges ( special made for LMG )

    • Once again, many thanks, Dimitris! Hopefully, Ian will see fit to present them in a follow-on article. Your comments about the Hotchkiss 7.92mm and 6.5mm MG’s in Greek pre-war service had me curious, so I looked them up and found a couple of interesting forums / threads discussing them in detail. If you haven’t already done so, you can read these under the following headers :

      1. http://www.gunrightsmedia.com/showthread.php?414382-Hotchkiss-Model-1922-light-machine-gun

      2. forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?=12&t=196545

      There are probably more informative articles on the same topic if one takes the time to research them, but these would a good starting point nevertheless. As far as I can tell, the 7.92mm cartridge referred to was the 7.92mm x 57 Mauser, and the 6.5mm cartridge was the 6.5mm x 54 Mannlicher-Schoenauer. When you write, “special made”, does this mean that there was a particular loading or bullet weight / type specifically made for Greek Army service in both cases?

        • Thanks, Ian, for giving Dimitris and the photos due consideration. In my previous reply to him ( May 21, 2013 @ 7:05 p.m.), I included a couple of links on the subject that I found on-line within the limited amount of time I had available ( “so many guns, so little time”, etc. 🙂 — you know how it goes ). The first one ( Oleg Volk’s “gunrightsmedia” )is pretty interesting as the thread started with a posting by “Combat Diver” who had apparently served in Afghanistan and was sharing information on one of the vintage weapons he had discovered there, a Hotchkiss Mle 1922. Max Popenker’s worldguns.ru website is also given credit in that thread.

          • Thanks for the links, Earl! The story of that Hotchkiss Mle 1922 found in Afghanistan is very interesting. Probably the gun was part of an order placed by the Afghan government in the early Thirties.

        • The later Hotchkiss guns are interesting, but relatively little known, along with others from the period, like the Vickers-Berthier.

      • Sory, boys for the late, but we have a nice time gap.
        The Greek machine-gun has a strip feed of 30r. with c/r 250-300r/m.In the MG configuration, 7,92mm, it was fire an sS type bullet inverted by the Greek col. G. Soliotis ((Γεώργιος Σολιότης )with jacket made of 90%copper-10%zinc.
        Also the Afgani M.1922 it is intedical to the Turkish M.1922 ( carying and support handle ).Must be a gift part of an order for 4 French FT17 tanks by the Afgan goverment..

  6. And something more..the 1940 Firing Regulation for the sS 7,92mm Hotchkiss,
    talking about two types according to the length of the barrel
    – barrel lenght 72cm, bullet weight 12,85gr, Vo 785m/s
    – 55cm, 12,85gr, 744m/s

  7. Hello, Dimitris :

    Thanks so much for the additional information in answer to my query about the “special” 7.92mm and 6.5mm cartridges. It explains a lot and fills in yet another little-known niche of historical detail that would otherwise be lost or forgotten.

    I am looking forward to the additional photographs you sent to Ian and the write-up that goes with it.

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