Machine guns (Maxims) of the Schutztruppe

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Re: Machine guns (Maxims) of the Schutztruppe

Postby Tanzania » 23 Jul 2017 09:22

stevebecker wrote:Mates,

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

Cheers
S.B



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
Scan0001.jpg
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!?!)
bergmannmg15na_2.jpg
Original Source: http://www.billkilgore.de/forum/bergmannmg15na_2.jpg


Cheers Holger
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Re: Machine guns (Maxims) of the Schutztruppe

Postby stevebecker » 25 Jul 2017 01:21

Holger,

Thank you for that interesting comparision. I should add that the ORbat was a Cavalry Div where its Regts were smaller then an Infantry unit.

These are some Infantry units at that time;

1st Div - shown June 1918 Allied reports (2100 men 100 Cav 61 Mgs) in Palestine

2nd Div - shown Sept 1918 Allied reports (2460 men 50 MGs) in Mespotania

3rd Div - shown Jan 1918 Allied reports total strength (2700 men 44 Mgs 100 cav) with - 31st Regt (800 men 14 Mgs) 138th Regt (900 men 14 Mgs) 161st Regt (900 men 12 Mgs) 150 cav (div Cav Sqn) in Palestine

By late 1918 there were around 18 to 24 MGs per Infantry Regt in each Infantry Division ( but most Orbats don't different between LMG & HMG)

Late in the war the Ottoman Army had gone from 4 MG's each MG Company per Regt (1914/16) to 6 MG's each MG Company per Regt (1917) to 8 MG's each MG Company per Regt (1918). There had been no MG's in any Infantry Co or Bn until late 1917 (in some Bn's the reforms started but few had any), and 1918 when the reforms had almost been completed with the arrival of MG's of all types from Germany.

Cheers

S.B

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Re: Machine guns (Maxims) of the Schutztruppe

Postby Tanzania » 25 Jul 2017 14:49

Your installation show the much bigger growing importance and growing number of Automatic weapons during the War.

In the course of the war more and more the doctrine asserted itself: Not the number of combatants, but the number
of MGs is decisive. This was especially true for the Central Powers, which were increasingly on the defensive in the
second half of the war.

For sample: The Austro-Hungarian army started 1914 with about two MG´s for 1.000 men (infantry battalion). [500 / 1]
When the War ended some German storm-trooper forces were equipped with five MG´s per 100 fighters. [20 / 1]
This means an increase in the number of MG´s by 250% within four Years.



Here I come again to a fact that always amazes me; the large, seemingly prevalent number of the MGs of
the Schutztruppe in GEA, which were equipped with protective shields. Below two further rare photos with MG´s.

Photo title: Schutztruppe / DOA / A k c 62 / Am M.G., Gefechtsschiessen / - D.O.A.
3317_2014_0965_0073.jpg
Original Source: CD/3317/2014/0965/3317_2014_0965_0081
http://www.ub.bildarchiv-dkg.uni-frankf ... frame.html



Photo title: Schutztruppe / DOA / A k c 85 / Askaris i. d. Gefechtslinie - / D.O.A.
(The photo show also the MG Porters / Ruga-Ruga, clear visible by the different uniform and headgear.
Because of the pictured British Lee-Enfield rifles of the Askaris, which were captured for the first time
after the Battle of Tanga, November 1914, the photo was certainly taken during the war, probably 1915.)
3317_2014_0965_0081.jpg
Original Source: CD/3317/2014/0965/3317_2014_0965_0081
http://www.ub.bildarchiv-dkg.uni-frankf ... frame.html


Do you know other samples for MG´s in the first line with protective shields in Middle East or Africa?

Cheers Holger
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Re: Machine guns (Maxims) of the Schutztruppe

Postby stevebecker » 26 Jul 2017 02:32

Holger,

No there were no shields for their MGs in the Ottoman Army.

There were possibly those still on the Russian MGs captured in the Caucasus 1914-18 and the fighting in the Balkans/Galicia/Romania in 1916/17.

Cheers

S.B

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Re: Machine guns (Maxims) of the Schutztruppe

Postby Tanzania » 26 Jul 2017 21:24

Chris,

Thank you for your search.

I also didn´t find pictures from captured Russian PM 1910 MG and shields, which were used in the Ottoman Army.
Only German photos: http://www.allworldwars.com/image/085/G ... tos099.jpg


Also the well-known, regular, small protective shield with armor for the cooling jacket of the German MG 08:
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... Museum.JPG
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... r_08_1.jpg
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... play_2.JPG


Here rare examples of rare self-constructions for the MG 08 and 08/15 for the European theater of war.
http://www.premium-militaria.de/images/aus8.jpg
http://www.oocities.org/bunker1914/Infa ... erdun6.jpg
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/73 ... ar-one.jpg

Cheers Holger
“Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. . . . All History was a
palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary” – G. ORWELL 1984

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Re: Machine guns (Maxims) of the Schutztruppe

Postby stevebecker » 27 Jul 2017 00:20

Holger,

German reports say that they gave these weapons to the 15th (Ottoman) Corps while fighting in Galicia;

On August 1916, German Army gave 18 artillery pieces with different sizes and 2 flame throwers.In September 1916, 30 Russian machine guns were given to 15th Army Corps.In December 1916, 15th Army Corps was equipped with 72 German(1915 model) light machine guns.

This was interesting as the Ottoman Divisions (19th & 20th Infantry Div) had only 8 MG's in each Division (two MG companies per Division) when sent to Galicia.

Likewise their Artillery had only 16 guns (75mm Krupp L/30 QF in two Artillery Bn's per Division) in each Division.

So the Germans doubled the Ottomans guns and quadrupled their MGs.

Cheers

S.B

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Re: Machine guns (Maxims) of the Schutztruppe

Postby Tanzania » 28 Jul 2017 08:30

Steve,

Again many thanks for your interesting information. This give us a good comparison about Automatic-Guns on other theatres of war.

If we would come back to the original theme and questions, we will find in Chris Dale´s homepage further articles:

Schutztruppe Machine Gun Crew
http://s400910952.websitehome.co.uk/ger ... 20crew.htm

Naval Machine Gunners in German East Africa
http://s400910952.websitehome.co.uk/ger ... l%20mg.htm

The Battle of Lugalu - 17th August 1891 "Von Zelewski's Last Stand" (. . . and the usage of first MG´s in GEA)
http://s400910952.websitehome.co.uk/ger ... lugalu.htm

Cheers Holger
“Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. . . . All History was a
palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary” – G. ORWELL 1984

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Re: Machine guns (Maxims) of the Schutztruppe

Postby stevebecker » 29 Jul 2017 00:53

Holger,

Interesting photos.

The mention of boots, I don't see on these MG' crews (if such), as they appear to wear leggings (much like our Light Horse) here in Australia, rather then boots.

I also notice they have spurs, which makes them all mounted men, and with the horse or mule furniture around the camp makes these possibly a mounted MG unit, if such was around at that time?

Leggings would make sence as bush work tends to play on the lower legs, with long grass and such.

Great article on the The Battle of Lugalu .

Cheers

S.B

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Re: Machine guns (Maxims) of the Schutztruppe

Postby Tanzania » 07 Aug 2017 09:00

Another Photo with a Schutztruppen MG 08 in GEA. Unequivocal not recorded on site, but in the Photo studio.

To this two questions:

• To the uniform; What means the black and white (?) mark on the epaulette(s)?
• To the MG; What is the purpose of the textile cover on the water cooling jacket?

Bundesarchiv; Bild 105-DOA6744 Dobbertin, Walter, 1914-1918.jpg
Source: Bundesarchiv; Bild 105-DOA6744 / Dobbertin, Walter, 1914-1918

Cheers Holger
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Re: Machine guns (Maxims) of the Schutztruppe

Postby danebrog » 07 Aug 2017 12:15

These canvas water jacket covers were used to protect from burns. At sustained Rates of fire the water jackets became so hot the water vaporised!

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Re: Machine guns (Maxims) of the Schutztruppe

Postby Tanzania » 08 Aug 2017 09:17

These canvas water jacket covers were used to protect from burns.

Thanks; - The argument is new to me, but sounds logical and makes sense.

I suspected that a canvas mantle, moistened with water from outside, could produce additional cooling.

Furthermore, this light reflexes prevent from the smooth metal surface and thus camouflage the MG better.

Cheers Holger
“Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. . . . All History was a
palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary” – G. ORWELL 1984

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Re: Machine guns (Maxims) of the Schutztruppe

Postby stevebecker » 09 Aug 2017 01:15

Mate,

Even the British Vickers MGs had a canvass cover when in hot weather areas. later models also had dents in the water cooler to allow better cooling, but a canvas cover was always around.

So a Maxim would also allow these to be fitted and yes this would help to camouflage the guns in the field, but was always to allow the crew to move the gun after firing where the guns gets very hot.

I read some where were the said the guns would glow red at night after a lot of firing, giving there position away (weather that's true, I never saw that in later modals of the Vickers gun & modern MGs, but I did see they often smoke after a lot of firing, when the water level needs topping up.

S.B

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Re: Machine guns (Maxims) of the Schutztruppe

Postby Tanzania » 09 Aug 2017 18:58

That’s true, the British and Russian Maxim MG had additional cooling ribs, which increased the surface area of the
metal jacket. This improved cooling was particularly important in hot areas such as Africa and the Middle East. But
the textile cover around the water tank is only known to me from British Vickers and German 08 MG's.


It is amazing what kind of heat these very slow shooting MGs developed. An impressive example of how heat can
evolve a machine's weapon is shown in the video below on YouTube. It is a Russian assault rifle from today. In this
case, however, there is mass, against water cooling of the barrel. But the firing speed will probably not have a big
difference to machine guns at 600 shot / min at that time. The temperature of several hundred degrees makes the
wood hand protection even during this demonstration to the burning.

Burning assault rifle .png
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtFhfwrsWy4


Whether the textile cover of the old Schutztruppen MG's ever burned? Theoretically this should not have been hotter than
100 degrees by the water.

Cheers Holger
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Re: Machine guns (Maxims) of the Schutztruppe

Postby Tanzania » 10 Aug 2017 16:55

Two further photos with MG´s; - This time from the defence of German Cameroun during the Great War

Title: `Position at Ntem´ (?)
01_Kamerun-Stellung bei Ntem.jpg


02_Kamerun MG.jpg


Cheers Holger
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Re: Machine guns (Maxims) of the Schutztruppe

Postby Tanzania » 11 Aug 2017 18:04

Ten years ago, I took both following photos in the South African Naval Museum in Simonstown / RSA:
http://www.simonstown.com/museum/index.html

On the sign was noted: » Maxim Spandau Gun Made in 1908. Taken from East Africa by Georg Murray during WW 1«
(Georg Murray!? A well-known Name in South Africa; – Like Thomas Müller in Germany, or Jack Smith in UK)

If this information is correct, this would be the first MG 08 which is known to me from photos,
which was used with the classic `Slide Carriage´ in GEA. Maybe it is just a souvenir from Europe?!

01_MG 08 from East Africa.jpg


02_MG 08 from East Africa.jpg


There was an obvious possibilities that eight MG 08 with these `Slide Carriages´, or also called `Rifle Sledges´,
reached German East Africa. On 14. April 1915, the blockade runner `RUBENS´, and on 16. March 1916 the
`MARIE´ arrived with a load of weapons, ammunition and other equipment in the colony. Both ships had each
four Machine Guns type 08 on board. Of the second auxiliary ship `Marie', there is even a detailed cargo list:

4 – 8,8 mm Machine-Guns with Telescope-sight and each 4 spare rifle-barrels
4 – 8 mm Landing-Carriages for Machine-Guns Modell 1914
(no Tripod?!?)

Strangely even several (!) Sources, clearly spoke about 8.8 mm machine guns. (Not 7.9 mm!!!)
03_MG 08 on Marie.jpg
Source:
Die Kämpfe zur See 1914-1918, Die Kämpfe der Kaiserlichen Marine in den Deutschen Kolonien,
Zweiter Teil Deutsch-Ostafrika, Hilfsschiff „Marie“ Berlin 1935, Kurt Aßmann, Mittler & Sohn, Seite 199.



To that my questions:
– Was there really the MG 08 caliber of 8.8 millimeters?
– Is to somebody known, whether this type of `Slide Carriage´ was used in GEA?

Cheers Holger
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