Hotchkiss 13.2mm Mle 1930

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The Edge
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Re: Hotchkiss 13.2mm Mle 1930

Post by The Edge » 06 Nov 2009 09:19

There is one „confusing“ issue about the French naval 13.2mm Hotchkiss HMG. You will found numerous statements that all guns were in either twin- or quadruple installations (including this renowned one http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNFR_13mm_aamg.htm - “Single mounts were also contemplated, but apparently not put into production”). As seen from above list, single mounts both existed and were numerous. There could be some true in this, however, since all single installations I saw on drawings (still haven’t found a decent photo of French naval single Hotchkiss) looks different than the commonly seen twins & quads – it seems that “singles” were put on simple fixed pedestal “naval mounts” (affut sous-marin a une mitrailleuses) without fancy Le Prieur equipment (just a simple annular grid sight). Single variant of elaborate R-series existed (affut type R2 a une mitrailleuses), but apparently only as an export model – if French Navy didn’t adopted it, this is probably the rationale behind “no single mount” claims.

Almost every article about 13.2mm Hotchkiss HMG tells a story about French ships that joined Allied cause – how they dispensed with the inefficient French AA guns for standard Allied 20/40mm guns – but the fact you would not find is that reverse procedure also happened: surplus Hotchkiss guns were retrofitted to some obtained Allied ships! Best example was Aconit Class vessels (ex-Flowers), fitted with two Hotchkiss "singles" on each side of ship, for general duty use.
(Heavy caliber MG is actually valuable asset on any ship – many modern warships carry a few .50 Cal machineguns for various “utility” purposes.)

Guns dismounted from French ships found another use with Force Françaises Libres in North Africa 1942/43 – they field-modified numerous twin or quad mountings into self-propelled AA vehicles (using various truck chassis, mostly 15cwt Chevrolets). First such recorded use was during the battle of Bir Hakeim in 1942 (guns taken from the French Alexandria squadron, disarmed July 1940, manned mostly by their own sailor crews).
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Re: Hotchkiss 13.2mm Mle 1930

Post by The Edge » 06 Nov 2009 16:21

My try to defend the famous site failed - just found a good enough sub photo - with the very R2 single mount! :D
In continuance, enjoy more Hotchkiss photos from croiseur Lamotte-Picquet!
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Re: Hotchkiss 13.2mm Mle 1930

Post by The Edge » 06 Nov 2009 16:25

Photos are from this splendid site http://www.croiseur-lamotte-picquet.fr/index.php
(One of mine best-ever "colateral gains" ! :D )
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Re: Hotchkiss 13.2mm Mle 1930

Post by The Edge » 12 Nov 2009 10:22

Belgium was an interesting user of 13.2mm Hotchkiss HMG. Most famous application was as main armament of Char léger Vickers T15 (AB/Mi)
Ce véhicule, fabriqué en Angleterre sous l'appellation Vickers-Carden-Loyd M1934, fut livré à la Belgique en 42 exemplaires. Ils furent uniquement utilisés par la Cavalerie (six à l'Escadron AB de chaque régiment) et par les Chasseurs Ardennais (trois à la 10e Compagnie de chaque régiment de la 1e Division de Chasseurs Ardennais).
Officiellement désigné «AB/Mi» (Auto-Blindée/Mitrailleuse), ce véhicule était en fait un véritable char léger de reconnaissance.
This was a special Belgian variant (most noticeable is distinctive turret) of Vickers Light Tank Model 1934. Belgium placed order in Great Britain twice, for a total of 42 vehicles. The first 18 specimens were ordered in 1934 (March 10), and were delivered by groups of 9, between 15 to 22, February 1935. The 24 other specimens were ordered 1935 (April 16), and were delivered between November 15, 1935 and December 15 of the same year.
Tanks came to Belgium without guns, ordered separately in France. Photo below shows all 18 vehicles of 1st series, somewhere in 1935, still awaiting their guns. There is some confusion regarding the purchase of these guns – I found the story that they are originally ordered for Belgian Army Air Force, later to be reassigned as tank guns. However, this info is quite dubious – first, the design of T15 turret leave no doubt what was the intended weapon; second, it is not simple task to alternate AA version into a tank gun (aperture settings, different sights, etc.); third and final, our “Belgian agent” Daveh haven’t found the confirmation about Belgian Air Force any use of Hotchkiss HMG.
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Re: Hotchkiss 13.2mm Mle 1930

Post by The Edge » 12 Nov 2009 10:25

Photo evidence shows some T-15s with their Hotchkiss gun without flash-hidders (very similar to one used by Poland) and some with them fitted, so machine guns were probably ordered in two groups too (second turn was with flash-hidders, similarly as current AMR-35s)
Late delivery of T15 machineguns had one unexpected consequence – they were chambered for new Mle 1935 round (13.2x96mm), not the Mle 1930 round (13.2x99mm), common to all other user-states! (So Belgium, beside France, was the only country that operated that cartridge variant.) To complicate the things further, FN Herstal already possessed the manufacturing rights for old 13.2x99mm round! (Mainly for the export purposes - along 13.2mm variant of heavy Browning aircraft gun.) How the Belgians dealt with this mess is not known to me.
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Re: Hotchkiss 13.2mm Mle 1930

Post by The Edge » 12 Nov 2009 10:28

Other notorious Belgian application of 13.2mm Hotchkiss HMG was as armament of Tricar-based SPAAG. Introduced in 1939, the FN (Fabrique Nationale) Tricar T3 three-wheeled vehicle was derived from the successful FN M12 motorcycle/sidecar combination. 331 units were ordered and partially delivered before May 1940. Basically the Tricar could carry a load of 550kg or five troopers including the driver. Various versions existed, including an armored one. The self-propelled prototype AA platform was tested in winter 1939/40 (snow could be seen on factory photos), fitted with the FN company water-cooled Browning HMG (itself a production prototype from 1920s). 88 such air defense Tricars were ordered from FN in February 1940 for delivery in July that year. These were to mount a heavy Hotchkiss 13.2 mm HMG, ordered from France, since FN at that time were making only an aircraft version of Browning HMG (yes, in 13.2x99mm! :D ) and its production capacities were overstretched anyway. Unfortunately they could not be delivered before the German invasion, so AA-Tricar project remained just another of Allied “missed opportunities”.
More about Tricar: http://www.network54.com/Forum/330333/m ... FN+Tricars
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Re: Hotchkiss 13.2mm Mle 1930

Post by The Edge » 13 Nov 2009 12:09

According to its designation “Ametralladora Hotchkiss L13mm-2 Modelo De 1928”, Spain was one of first countries that used the Hotchkiss HMG model. As usual, it seems the Navy was the main user of these ametralladoras antiaéreas:
España Class battleships – 2 machine guns (number increased 1936/37)
Méndez Núñez cruiser – 4 machine guns
Churruca Class destroyers – 4 machine guns
Alsedo Class destroyers – 4 machine guns
(Ceuta & Melilla destroyers, bought by Nationalists from Italy /ex- Falco & Aquila/ had Breda machineguns in the same caliber)
Extra guns, installed promptly in 1936 at both Republican/Nationalist battleships suggest that Spanish Navy might use some number also for AA defense of its bases. (Or these were at stock, bought for ships still in construction phase.)

Spanish Army also used the 13.2mm Hotchkiss HMG.

Precisamente en este tipo de arma, existían en número aceptable las danesas M-33 de 20 mm y las ametralladoras francesas Hotchkiss de 13.2 mm.
http://www.belliludi.com/ejercito1936.html
Army had two "Grupos de Defensa contra Aeronaves" (D.C.A)
nº 1 Campamento
nº 2 Zaragoza
According to its men-strength (13 officers, 22 NCOs, 237 soldiers) these Grupos were battalion-sized units of two AAA batteries and one AAMG company.

Dos grupos de Defensa contra Aeronaves (D.C.A), compuesto cada uno por dos baterías de cañones antiaéreos y una compañía de ametralladoras de infantería.
These “ametralladoras de infantería” confused me for a bit – they could be rifle-caliber ones – until I checked the armament of these Grupos: 8 AA guns (i.e. two batteries 4 guns each), 6 HMGs, 111 rifles. Six machine guns for one company is a number too law for 7mm weapons, so these must be either 13.2mm Hotchkiss guns or “danesas M-33 de 20 mm” (Madsen? 8O )
Whatever was the case, the number of Army 13.2mm Hotchkiss HMGs was a negligible one (12 max), so it’s no surprise that not a single article about Civil War mentions them. Photographic evidence is accordingly a non-existing one, so I have to submit just another “workshop photo”. :oops:

Needless to say, if anybody has something extra about the “Spanish Hotchkiss” subject (both info & photos), I’ll be delighted to know more. :D
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Re: Hotchkiss 13.2mm Mle 1930

Post by carius » 19 Nov 2009 11:59

Here Hotchkiss in romanian use
(sorry,can't remember the source!)

Best regards
George
I.
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Last edited by carius on 19 Nov 2009 13:54, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Hotchkiss 13.2mm Mle 1930

Post by carius » 19 Nov 2009 12:00

II.
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Re: Hotchkiss 13.2mm Mle 1930

Post by carius » 19 Nov 2009 12:13

More...
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Re: Hotchkiss 13.2mm Mle 1930

Post by The Edge » 19 Nov 2009 13:36

Very much obliged, Carius! :D

Unfortunately I have very little about the use of captured 13.2mm Hotchkiss HMG by Germans, beside above two photos and the one below), plus the info I got from jopaerya that “Some of the 13,2 mm 271 (f) were used in naval coast batteries in the Südwall”.
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Last edited by The Edge on 20 Nov 2009 10:44, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hotchkiss 13.2mm Mle 1930

Post by The Edge » 20 Nov 2009 09:38

So far I found three South American Hotchkiss 13.2mm HMG user-states: Brazil, Mexico & Chile. What is common to all of them is primary use in the Navy. Other common feature is difficulty to determine which ships used them, since few sources bother to mention guns with caliber lesser than 20mm and small Hotchkisses are next to impossible to spot on the warship photographs. There is much more info from 1943-45 period, but by that time most of the ships replaced them with the USA-supplied 20mm Oerlikons.

As noted, one of user states was Brazil. Only visual evidence I found is the twin-gun example from the Forte de Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro (ubiquitous R4 naval mount) – see photo below. As for the ships, the confirmed one is Tênder de Submarinos Ceará (“2 metralhadoras Hotchkiss de 13.2mm”) http://www.naval.com.br/ngb/C/C066/C066.htm . Other certain user is submarine Humaytá (da classe italiana "Balilla" - Italian made, commissioned 1929), again with two 13.2mm HMGs (probably one twin-mount, maybe even one preserved in museum).
Brazil certainly hasn’t bought many Hotchkisses, since by mid-1930s 20mm Madsens come into the use, both by Army & Navy. However, rather ironic, Brazil’s connection with 13.2mm weapons continued, when Italy became supplied its own Breda guns (along submarines & tankettes).
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Re: Hotchkiss 13.2mm Mle 1930

Post by The Edge » 20 Nov 2009 10:12

Mexico was another South American user, with Guardacostas “Tipo 20” (10-ship class) as the prime example. Armament of these ships was rather unique one, but well suited to the purpose of these small ships – single 37mm gun, 25mm twin-gun and finalmente, un montaje cuádruple de 13’2 mm. para misiones policiales completaba su amplia panoplia – i.e. all Hotckisses stage! (That made Mexico the only country that used the whole Hotchkiss line – 7mm MMG, 13.2mm HMG, 25mm & 37mm automatic guns – and probably some LMGs too)
As usual with South American ships, Type 20 coastal patrol ships were rearmed in 1940s with armament supplied from USA
(Las modificaciones incluyeron la sustitución del montaje cuádruple de 13’2 mm. por dos dobles de 12’7 mm. y la adición de 3 Oerlikon de 20 mm. en montajes simples y dos varaderos para cargas de profundidad) http://base.mforos.com/770682/4228830-u ... -historia/ , Hotchkisses were dismounted for other purposes (mostly for training), but some also went to Army; with naval mounts unsuitable for infantry use, Mexicans utilized them in the same way as Free French – for AA protection of mobile troops, by putting them onto some North American-made truck chassis. (Note that this is twin-gun mount, not the quadruple one from some “Tipo 20” vessel, so more Mexican classes used the Hotchkisses.)
Talking about the Hotchkiss guns and Mexico, the second attachment is the “Field Artillery Journal” August 1941 announcement for the booklet what is now very high on my “most desirable” list!
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Re: Hotchkiss 13.2mm Mle 1930

Post by The Edge » 20 Nov 2009 10:16

Chile has a long history of Hotchkiss products use, starting with XIX century naval guns, over Hotchkiss MMG in 7mm caliber (First “Model 1896”! 8O, later “Model 1920”). Chile was also a very early purchaser of 13.2mm HMG design, both for Navy and Army use, labeling it “AMETRALLADORA HOTCHKISS CAL. 13’2 MM. MODELLO DE 1928”
So far I have positively identified only one ship that used these AAMGs – and this is the biggest one in inventory, Acorazado "Almirante Latorre" BB-01 (Chile’s only dreadnought-type battleship got them during the 1929-30 major refit). Again, story found is a much seen issue, re-armament with 20mm Oerlikon guns during WWII:

Con el comienzo de la Segunda Guerra Mundial,y la llegada a Chile de las primeras ametralladoras Oerlikon,se le montaron a bordo 18 ametralladoras de 20mm. Ademas se le instalaron ametralladoras Hotchkiss en los techos de las torres de 14" (2 ametralladoras por torre). Donde iba la base de la ex catapulta,tambien se instalo un montaje con 4 ametralladoras Hochkiss.
http://base.mforos.com/1716033/4465384- ... rre-bb-01/
Other possible “suspects” in Chilean Navy are:
- Destructores Tipo “SERRANO” (1926-28)
- Buque Madre de Submarinos “Araucano” (1929)
- Submarions Tipo "O" (1929-30).
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Re: Hotchkiss 13.2mm Mle 1930

Post by The Edge » 20 Nov 2009 10:19

Photos of R4 twin-mount of Chilean Navy:
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