In 1892, the Berlin company "Ludwig Loewe & Co." licenses "Maxim Nordenfeld" started production of Maxim machine guns. In 1894, these guns have a jig machines were purchased by the Navy of Germany. On the basis of the office, "Ludwig Loewe" in 1896, the company was formed "Deutsche Waffen und Munishenfabriken» (DWM). In 1899, the German Reichswehr purchased from this company guns for testing. The German "Maxim" also bought Austro-Hungary, Russia and Spain. In 1901, "Maxim" the designation MG.01byl adopted Kaiser's army for service. Machine guns were fitted with skid machines Shlitten 01 or 03. During the battle, payments, or moved the gun portage, or endured the machine. Lasted edition guns for the Navy, which differed from the army mounted on the unit.
In 1908 she was accepted modification MG.08 (Maschinen Gewehr 1908) which was used in 7.92-mm rifle cartridge spiky "Mauser." The substitution of certain parts of cast steel and bronze at the details of alloyed steel is allowed to reduce the weight of the gun by 30% (from 26 kg to 18.35 kg MG.01 MG.08). Create MG.08 was organized at the DWM, a since 1911 and the municipal arsenal in Spandau which has become a major producer of these guns.
Gun MG.08 had a few differences from a machine gun "Maxim" standard in 1910: a push in the muzzle gases are not perceived thickening of the trunk and mounted on a shaft sleeve, and he himself passed into the conical muzzle flash suppressor, typically having a protective disc, the front attachment point to the machine were two trunnion housing, box springs had revertible pointer tension (scale 0 to 70); recoil pad boxes reclined on a hinge. The castle was different: integrally keyhole levers, pins on the frame of the castle were the axes of the lift arms, upper and lower slopes of different shape, and the lower slope and ankle had tubular axis and the axis of the tube was attached action spring, lock levers had a tail with a notch instead of the tube, do not have the ability to adjusting the clearance between the trunk and stump combat larva; military larva done without serving chimes chambered. In general, the configuration made design simplifies the assembly and debugging machine gun. Weight of the barrel was 1,885 pounds, the length of bolt recoil — 97.0 mm bore — 15.0 mm. Folding rack sight had notches from 400 to 2000 meters, the length of the sighting strip was 895 mm. Barrel housing had a volume of 4 liters. Machine gun consisted of 258 items.
Sled machine Schlitten 08 consisted of a bulky base-slide with the rear legs, front legs, lifting mechanism with the switch clear and gross interference. Machine gun seated in the socket swivel. The height of the fire lane defined angle legs. Fire could be carried out from a sitting or lying down. To fix interferences were clips of horizontal and vertical lay. Four circuit often did not allow even machine, that, coupled with the design of the swivel could lead to the toppling of a machine gun. The massiveness of the machine provide good accuracy, but made it difficult to travel.
With the machine gun was used telescopic sight multiplicity of 2.2-2.5 x or panoramic sight magnification 2.5x, which was mounted on the left wall of the box. That is not to fire point-blank range with the introduction of panoramic sight slightly modified machine.
The company DWM produced supply of Maxim machine guns in Brazil, Belgium, Persia, China, Peru, Serbia, Romania, Turkey, Switzerland, Chile. As a result, before the First World War, "Maxims" made in Germany were in service with the warring armies on both sides.
In many machine guns in 1915 was reinforced muzzle, accelerating the mobile system — it was not so much to increase the rate of fire, how to improve the system power and automation in the criteria of pollution and dust. Calculations from the use broneschitov refuses, but began to protect the front of the casing bronekolpakami because the penetration of the casing infuriated gun down.
LMG.08 — aircraft machine guns — were distinguished by cooling air and perforated cover, reduce the weight to 15.5 pounds, and the modified butt pad. On the aircraft machine guns were usually mounted motionless.
In 1915, Colonel Friedrich von Merkats, a member of the Test armory commission in Berlin-Spandau, became the head of a small design team whose goal was to develop a "lite" version of MG.08, develop the same intensity of the fire itself, but managed and carried by one person. Soon has been adopted machine gun MG.08/15. Manual modification of the machine gun was the smallest diameter of the casing (89 mm instead of 109), and its capacity was 2.8 litas (instead of 4). The weight of the barrel — 1.8 lbs. Have been changed and muzzle form a box, with wall thickness of the box was 3 instead of 4 mm, excluded under-barrel tube. Wood butt was attached to the back plate, and the bottom box was placed pistol grip and trigger. Installed on the pistol handle safety lever that closes the trigger. Gun was a fly triangular section and sector sight. Length of the sighting strip of 800 mm. Machine gun consisted of 197 items. Was attached to the box on the right round box with ribbon placed in it by 100 rounds of ammunition, (the troops box immediately earned the nickname "drum"). Tape wound around the drum inside the coil, the weight of the empty drum — 1.85 kg. Together with the drum with a standard tape in a box of 250 rounds of ammunition. In this case, box transferred separately. At the rear of the housing was fixed powerful triangular cog around which gun rotated in the horizontal plane. The machine gun was equipped with a rifle strap.
Reichswehr ordered guns MG.08/15 in a ratio of 5 to 2 light machine guns easel, creating engaged in Erfurt arsenal, the company "Zimens und Halske", "Rheinmetall", "Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nurnberg." By the end of the war, German soldiers, like the French, tried to use the glowing fluorescent marks on the sights.
With the introduction of MG.08/15 appeared his "aviation" modification, designated LMG.08/15, and has air cooling, the stock (for the mobile unit) and without stock (for motionless). This modification was advantageous LMG.08 and
soon changed it into production in Spandau. This aircraft machine gun was equipped with a mechanical counter shots.
The "universal" machine gun MG.16 developed based MG.08 running Merkatsa could lead not only fire on ground and the air targets with the tripod machine, also with bipod. But this gun is not ranked on arms, as observed complexity of the transition to production modifications having a lot. Limited to the assembly of an experimental batch of Erfurt. But light tripod machine Dreifuss has telescopic legs 16 was adopted for the machine gun MG.08. Total weight of the tripod and MG.08 was 58.4 kg. The same machine is used with a captured Russian and Belgian guns. Anti-aircraft machine gun adopted officially were not adopted, but found a limited application.
Machine gun MG.08/18, having air cooling, was used as the first air, but then he was more lucky contender — "Parabellum". Closer to the end of the war machine gun MG.08/18 was adopted for the cavalry, cyclists and mountain infantry. Its release was carried out in the arsenal at Erfurt. Trunk MG.08/18 gun was put in a perforated cover diameter of 37 mm. On the shell was attached carrying handle. Instead there was a muzzle guide bushing barrel, screw-in cover, fly settled on the highest rack in the housing by means of couplings were attached bipod. With the introduction of the infantry gun MG.08/18 revealed that the shooting may be limited because of the small bursts of tenure of the barrel. Design solutions used in MG.08/18, were later used in the Russian light machine gun MT.
All the years of the First World War, Germany had produced about 260 thousand machine guns models MG.08, 08/15 and 08/18, of which the easel was released only 72 thousand
For vacuum machine gun MG.08 needed: Twice file handle forward and let it go. Push the trigger. Pull out the tape from the receiver by pressing the lower finger receiver. Push the sleeve or cartridge from the exit tube suitable rod.
The assembly and disassembly of unloading machine guns and MG.08/15 MG.08/18 generally the same as that of the Maxim machine gun.
Based on: S. Fedoseyev — Guns in the First World War