It was common practice for German and Ottoman Armies in Palestine to use the captured Lewis guns.
Enclosed is a Orbat mention by the 3rd (Ottoman) Cavalry Div around Oct 1917
shown Oct 1917 Allied reports 6th Cav Regt (500 men 8 MG's) 8th Cav Regt (500 men 8 MG's) (7th Cav Regt + Bty 4xguns T/det to Arabia)
att 125th Regt (16th Div) 650 men? 12 MGs including 8x Lewis guns)
Also captured German/Ottoman Documents record the issue of an AR (Auto Rifle) into units during 1918, most I believe could be a Bergman LMG as these started to arrive late 1918 with the German Asia Corps, but also could be captured Lewis guns?
A further British Intell report dated 28 Aug 1918
Gives these details on the latest Turkish Army reforms to their MG units.
The MG strength per Infantry Regt
Regt MG Company - 8 Mgs
Bn MG Company - 6 Mgs and 3 AR (automatic Rifles)
each Infantry Company - 3 AR (automatic Rifles)
Another document records;
Shown June 1918 British reports;
4th Army has 75 Auto Rifles and 231 Mgs
7th Army 86 Auto Rifles and 321 MGs
8th Army 154 Auto rifles and 332 Mgs
Many thanks for the interesting description and comparison about MG´s on the theatre of war from `next-door´.
In my opinion, the original American Lewis Gun was the most effective one-man-weapon during the Great War and have had
the biggest long term influence in the military doctrine of all involved parties. The introduction of this first Light Machine Gun
have consequences up today and was the birth-hour of the tactical `walking-fire´ strategy on a classical, symmetric battlefield.
Your mentioned Bergmann MG 15 n.A. would be an equivalent alternative if it had been produced in sufficient quantity. Like
the Lewis Gun, the weight was also only 13 kg, but the belt-supply or the vertical magazine of the Bergmann MG 15 made a
better ammunition supply possible. The advantage of the weight of light MG´s with, at about 13 kg against a fully equipped
heavy water-cooled MG with 70 kg becomes immediately apparent. This is particularly important in the case of a mobile bush
war in East Africa.
It is also impressive when I compare your numbers to the relation number of fighters with the number of heavy and light MGs
between the forces of the Central Powers in the Middle East and East Africa. For example:
Middle East = 500 fighters : 8 MG = 62,5 / 1
East Africa = 1323 fighters : 42 MG = 32 / 1
The Schutztruppe in GEA disposed in the relation about the double number of heavy and light Machine Guns at the end.
A Bergmann Machine Gun n.A. of the Asia Korps
Original Source: »Kampf in der Wüste«, von Clemens Laar, Verlag Bertelsmann, Gütersloh 1936, Seiten 112/113
I am convinced, the following photo show the same scene from a different perspective. (Palestine, Sommer 1918!?!)
Original Source: http://www.billkilgore.de/forum/bergmannmg15na_2.jpg