by: Stephen T. Lawson [ ]
HistoryThe world’s first self-powered machine gun, the Maxim gun became a potent symbol of Victorian colonialism in the closing years of the 19th century. It was the brainchild of Sir Hiram Maxim, the American-born firearms inventor who founded the company bearing his name with financing from Albert Vickers, who became the company’s chairman; Maxim’s company was absorbed by Vickers, Sons and Company. After purchasing the Maxim company outright in 1896, Vickers took the design of the Maxim gun and improved it, reducing its weight by lightening and simplifying the action and substituting components made with high strength alloys. A muzzle booster was also added. Subsequent variants in British, German and Russian service – the .303in Vickers (1912), 7.92mm MG 08 (1908) and 7.62mm PM M1910, respectively – dominated both the Eastern and Western Fronts during World War I and soldiered on into World War II, while the Vickers remained in front-line British service essentially unchanged until 1968.
ContentsFeaturing specially commissioned full-colour artwork and written by a noted authority Peter Dennis. This is the engaging story of the Maxim and its descendants, the innovative rapid-fire weapons that saw combat with British, German, Russian and other forces in the late Victorian era and throughout the world wars up through Korea 1951 and into 1968.
Author: Martin Pegler
Illustrator: Peter Dennis
Published May 2013
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