The Vickers Gas-Operated machine gun - the Vickers K

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by Richard Fisher, Jan 16, 2020.

  1. Richard Fisher

    Richard Fisher Machine Gunner

    The Vickers K was used extensively across the British and Commonwealth forces during the Second World War, but as I discuss in the video, it also saw use by the US Rangers. Although mainly associated with Special Forces use, it was originally an aircraft observers gun but also went into service with the Royal Armoured Corps and the Reconnaissance Corps.

    Hopefully the video will be of interest and please subscribe to the channel as we're preparing many more videos based around the Vickers machine gun.

  2. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Great stuff.

    Looking at the way it ejects cases here (for the short bursts they managed), I'm not bloody surprised the deflector & bag was considered handy on a jeep...
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  3. Don Juan

    Don Juan Well-Known Member

    'K' guns also became the favoured weapon in 21 Army Group for dealing with Panzerfaust teams. They were quite a sought after weapon in 1944/45.
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  4. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    The Beaverbug armoured car mounted a pair in its turret. These were used for airfield defence 1940/41 and claimed a number of bombers. The Cockatrice flamethrower lorry also moiunted the gun
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  5. Richard Fisher

    Richard Fisher Machine Gunner

    Which units? Armoured cars etc? Interesting to know as they re-appear with formal adoption at that point.

    That’s probably use direct from their aircraft defence role with the No 2 Mk I gun being used as the ground variant. Readily available through Air Ministry stores at this point.
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  6. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    I believe they were also used on RAF Air Sea Rescue launches mounted in what looked very like a turret from the Avro Anson
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  7. Richard Fisher

    Richard Fisher Machine Gunner

    Yes, alongside the .5-inch Vickers as well. They were very widely used really but often completely though of as a special forces gun.
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  8. Don Juan

    Don Juan Well-Known Member

    From 21 Army Group RAC Liaison Letter No.5, 17th July 1945:

    K vs Pz.jpg
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  9. Richard Fisher

    Richard Fisher Machine Gunner

    That’s brilliant. Thank you so much. A great source. Is it from a National Archives file? Or another source?
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  10. Don Juan

    Don Juan Well-Known Member

    It's from National Archives file WO 32/11035
  11. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    I've seen some images of Vickers K's mounted on the Daimler armored car, but I've never seen it mounted on a tank. I am not doubting the document, just wondering what the visual evidence is.
  12. Don Juan

    Don Juan Well-Known Member

    The document refers to an armoured car regiment, not a tank regiment.

    The thing I'm most interested in is whether the K guns were pintle mounted or on PLM mounts. The PLM mounting always looks a bit cumbersome to me, but as they were designed for AA use, I suppose they could be used for quick reaction shots.
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  13. Juha

    Juha Junior Member

    Humber AC Mk III fitted with twin Vickers K. Also found a couple photos on Daimler AC fitted with a Vickers K or a twin Vickers K, the latter is the famous photo with WC in the turret taken during his tour of the Rhein assault. In both cases mg(s) are pintle mounted.


    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
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  14. Gary Kennedy

    Gary Kennedy Member

  15. Richard Fisher

    Richard Fisher Machine Gunner

    The only information I have on the PLM turret is from MTP No 35 Part IV (Military Training Pamphlets). Whilst it was suitable for AA fire, it seems perfectly suitable for ground-to-ground fire as well, possibly more so. Cumbersome because of the remote-firing mechanism and the need to be a steady platform for the VGO with its high-rate of fire I suppose. If you look at the source Gary's posted, it shows both single VGOs and paired VGOs. The singles are on pintles (on Daimler Armd Cars) and the pairs are on PLMs on Dingos.

    Juha, I'd thought the WC photo was of PLM-mounted guns, as are those mounted in the photo on the PDF you linked.

    Thanks for that document Gary. Great source showing single VGOs mounted on a pintle on the Daimler Armd Car and VGO pairs on PLM mounts on the Dingos. Superb range of photos!

    I'm glad the video has stimulated the debate and teased out some additional information that's new to me.
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  16. Juha

    Juha Junior Member

    Hello Richard
    thanks for the correction, I assumed that the PLM mount was the complicated AA-mount used by the British in the desert in 1942.
    Indeed, thanks for the correction of my misunderstanding. One always learn more.

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