Team Work Wins!

Here we see “Teamwork Wins!” by Roy Hull Still, from the 1918 U.S. War Department urging production on the Home Front.

Photo via National Association of Manufacturers photographs and audiovisual materials (Accession 1973.418), in Hagley’s Audiovisual collections. NY Hist Soc

The gun shown is the water-cooled belt-fed M1917 Browning machine gun, Uncle Sam’s 47-pound answer to the heavier British Vickers and German Maxim guns of similar layout. John Browing had worked on the design off and on for two decades before it went int production after a test at Springfield Armory the month after Wilson and Congress declared war on “The Hun.” Very reliable, Browning’s sustained fire machine gun chugged through 21,000-rounds of 30.06 M1906 Government ammo in 48 minutes without a stoppage.

A group of American soldiers poses with an M1917 Browning machine gun, c. 1917 notice holstered M1917 .45 revolvers, Brodie helmets and gas masks

While Colt, Remington, and Westinghouse all rushed the gun into production on large contracts, only something like 1,200 made it to the Western Front by Armistice Day, and most of those only in the last part of the war.

While largely replaced by the M1918 BAR and M1919 LMG in various forms (both also a Browning design), the old M1917 remained in a niche heavy machine gun role particularly in defensive operations (while Colt sold commercial models abroad) through WWII and Korea. For an example of just what they could do if used properly, see Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone.

As a result, the M1917, in turn, appeared on Victory Bond posters in WWII as well

In all, over 128,000 were produced for the U.S. alone.

As an example of the old beast still at work, see the below 1953 Army Big Picture film, “Soldier in Berlin” where at the 22:00~ mark the Berlin Brigade is shown on manoeuvres in the Grunewald forest with, among other things, a beautiful heavy machine gun platoon with a loadout of M1917A1’s on the line. Had the balloon gone up on WWIII, you can be sure they would have chattered until overrun or out of ammo.

The hefty water-cooled Browning remained in the arsenal until finally replaced by the M60.

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as Guns.com, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms Talk.com, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at Amazon.com as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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