Hotchkiss M1914 machine gun

Hotchkiss M1914 Machine Gun

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Hotchkiss M1914 machine gun

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The Mle 1914 Hotchkiss machine gun became the standard machine gun of the French Army during World War I. It was manufactured by the French arms company Hotchkiss et Cie, which had been established in the 1860s by American industrialist Benjamin B. Hotchkiss. The Hotchkiss system, essentially formulated in 1895, clearly is the conceptual precursor to most gas actuated machine gun designs to this day.

The Mle 1914 was the last version of a series of nearly identical Hotchkiss designs : the Mle 1897, Mle 1900 and the Mle 1908. The heavy Mle 1914 Hotchkiss is not to be confused with the lighter Hotchkiss M1909 (the U.S. "Benet-Mercie" or the British Hotchkiss Mark I). At the beginning of World War I, the St. √Čtienne Mle 1907 was the standard machine gun of French infantry. However, due to inferior field performance by the St. Etienne, the Hotchkiss Mle 1914 became the French infantry standard in late 1917. The American Expeditionary Forces (A.E.F.) in France also used the Mle 1914 Hotchkiss extensively in 1917 and 1918. Hotchkiss heavy machine guns, some being of earlier types, were also used in combat by Japan, Chile, Mexico, Spain, Belgium, Brazil and Poland.

The Hotchkiss machine gun, a sturdy and reliable weapon, remained in active service with the French army until the early 1940s. By the end of 1918, 47,000 Hotchkiss machine guns had been delivered to the French army alone.

History & Design

The Hotchkiss was based on a design by Captain Baron A. Odkolek...
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