Vickers-Berthier

Vickers-Berthier

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The Vickers-Berthier light machine gun
Light machine gun
A light machine gun is a machine gun designed to be employed by an individual soldier, with or without an assistant, as an infantry support weapon. Light machine guns are often used as squad automatic weapons.-Characteristics:...

 manufactured by Vickers-Armstrong was based on a French design of just before World War I. In 1925 Vickers in Britain purchased licence rights for production in their Crayford factory, and as a replacement for the Lewis Gun
Lewis Gun
The Lewis Gun is a World War I–era light machine gun of American design that was perfected and widely used by the British Empire. It was first used in combat in World War I, and continued in service with a number of armed forces through to the end of the Korean War...

.

History


During the 1932 British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 trials of several Light machine guns, the Vickers-Berthier was in direct competition with the Bren
Bren
The Bren, usually called the Bren Gun, was a series of light machine guns adopted by Britain in the 1930s and used in various roles until 1991...

 gun. The British army adopted the Bren, and the Vickers-Berthier was adopted instead by the British Indian Army. A production line for the Vickers-Berthier Light Machine-Gun Mk 3 was established at the Ishapore Rifle Factory
Ishapore Rifle Factory
The Ishapore Rifle Factory is an Arms manufacturing plant located at Ishapore, in the Indian sub-division of Barrackpore, outside Calcutta in West Bengal....

.
The reasons for its failure were simple; it was heavier, at 24 pounds than the lighter Bren at 22 pounds. It was also longer, and hard to stow away. The Bren also had a faster firing rate and far better portability. The only advantage the weapon had over the Bren was the far simpler design. It could be produced more efficiently. In the end however, that didn't matter.

Appearance and Design


The Vickers-Berthier Light Machine Gun has a 30-round box magazine and a bipod stand, and is sometimes mistaken for the Bren as both used a distinctive standard curved magazine to accommodate the rimmed .303 British cartridge. Apart from India, it was only sold to a few Baltic and South American states, but the design was modified into the Vickers K machine gun
Vickers K machine gun
Not to be confused with the Vickers light machine gunThe Vickers K machine gun, known as the Vickers Gas Operated in British service, was a rapid-firing machine gun developed and manufactured for use in aircraft by Vickers-Armstrongs...

, called the Vickers Gas Operated (VGO).

Modern usage


The weapon is fairly rare to see nowardays, but it remains in reserve with the modern Indian Army
Indian Army
The Indian Army is the land based branch and the largest component of the Indian Armed Forces. With about 1,100,000 soldiers in active service and about 1,150,000 reserve troops, the Indian Army is the world's largest standing volunteer army...

with very little service.

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