Hotchkiss Light Portable Machine Gun Mk I .303" BEF use

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by James K, Feb 2, 2020.

  1. James K

    James K Active Member

    I've been reading a lot on the BEF recently and its thrown up some unexpected facts. The use of the Enfield No3 MK I Rifle by support troops in the LoC area being one example. Now I've found they used Hotchkiss Mk I Light Portable Machine Gun by Royal Artillery LAA regiments to supplement the Lewis Guns, themselves used because there were too few Bofors Guns. Inevitably all these were used in the ground combat role as the front lines disintegrated.
    Below is an image of the weapon being used in the LAA role at that approximate time, I've seen the same image with different captions so its difficult to tell who the user is on this case.

    File:Jewish Buffs (חיילים עברים בשירות רג'ימנט מזרח קנט, "באפס")-ZKlugerPhotos-00132hd-090717068512410a.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
    Dave55 likes this.
  2. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    I believe that these guns may have come from stocks originally intended for the Mk VIII tanks in the planned 1919 offensive. The cancellation of the Mk VIII after the Armistice left hefty stocks of Hotchkiss Mgs and short 6 pounder tank guns. Some of the 6 pounders were mounted on somewhat agricultural carriages and issued to the HG as AT guns and others were mounted on armoured trains as were some Hotchkiss. There was an AA mounting for the Lewis that looks rather like that used on the Hotchkiss in the photo and there was a similar mounting on the armoured trains
    ceolredmonger likes this.
  3. ceolredmonger

    ceolredmonger Member

    They stayed in the ToE of British horsed cavalry units until mechanisation. No doubt still used until Brens became available. (Yorkshire Dragoons in Syria? There's a research tangent I cant afford to follow!)
    As Cavalry units were converted to mechanised armour they would be stockpiled. In 1940 there would still be manuals, trained personnel and lines of supply still in place. The post Dunkirk emergency saw them pop-up all over the place - airfield defence, Home Guard, etc. Rationalisation would see them relegated to the Fishing fleet and similar.
    Those intended for Tank use often have a 'bronze' lug mounting.

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