Goldsmith, Dolf L.


Collector Grade Publications, Ontario, 1st ed., 1994. 568 pp., numerous photo-ills., + ills. D.j., 28 x 22cm. FINE. After some nineteenth-century background on the influential and powerful Vickers family, this book opens in 1908, the year Maxim’s own patents expired, when in a stroke of genius the Maxim action was turned "upside down" to become the "Light Pattern" Vickers machinegun. Extensively tested and cannily modified in an exemplary round of no-nonsense War Department trials, this "Gun, Machine Vickers, .303 Inch Mark I", was adopted for British Service in 1912. It became the "machinegun of choice" for the British Army of World War I and this book closely examines its problems and successes. The Vickers served with British and Allied forces, on the ground and in the air, in two World Wars and in Korea, until being officially obsolete in British Service on March 7, 1968. The various military models produced, the training of the men who fired them, and the remarkable range of accessories developed are all expertly discussed, amid a profusion of archival-quality photographs and illustrations from the world’s finest collections and arms museums. In addition, wherever possible, original serial numbers from Vickers Ltd Register of Guns are provided, thus making it possible to trace, almost to the very day, where, when (and in some cases, for whom) a particular First World War-era Service or interwar commercial Vickers was manufactured. The SCARCE and definitive book on the subject.

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