1951: Introduction

Scope of the pamphlet

1. This pamphlet contains material which will enable the officer or NCO instructor to train the soldier in the technical handling of the machine gun, both as an individual and as a member of a direct or indirect fire unit. The pamphlet also contains the material required to teach the officer or NCO the principles and practice of machine gun fire control.

The detailed battle procedure of the machine gun is contained in Chapter 15. The basic tactical handling of the platoon is contained in Infantry Training, Volume IV. – Tactics, The Infantry Battalion in Battle.

Layout of the pamphlet

2. The pamphlet is divided into three parts:-

Part I. – Mechanical Subjects. – This part contains the whole of the mechanical aspect of the Vickers machine gun. It also contains the lessons dealing with the various instruments that are used with the machine gun. As far as possible, the lessons are arranged in the order in which they are taught. The lessons of Chapter 8 can, however, be interposed among the lessons of the previous chapters.

Part II. – Drills and Training. – This part is designed to teach the soldier the whole of the handling of the weapon. Starting from individual handling, it takes the soldier progressively through his duties as a member of a gun team and advanced machine gun handling to his duties as a member of a Section in direct fire and of a Group in indirect fire. The lessons in this part should be taught together with the lessons in Part I.

Part III. – Fire Control. – This part should only be taught to officers and NCOs or potential NCOs. It covers the whole of the fire control required for the machine gun. The lessons are generally in the order in which they should be taught, but Lessons 102 and 103 and the lessons in Chapter 19 should be taught after Chapter 17. Lesson 104 should be taught after Chapter 21.

3. Each lesson is divided into two parts. Part A, – Instructors’ Notes contains the information required by the instructor to enable to prepare for the lesson. Part B, – Conduct of Lesson gives the matter to be taught in what has found to be the best sequence.

Organization of MMGs in the Infantry Battalion



Organisation of training in technical handling

5. The table shown overleaf gives the subjects which must be taught in preliminary training. As a guide for organizing such training, the course is shown divided into four stages. A suggested number of periods for each lesson or group of lessons is also given.

A suggested course in fire control, designed for junior officers and NCOs, with an allotment of periods to cover about three weeks is set out overleaf.

Safety precautions

6. On all occasions when the gun and drill cartridges are used for instructional purposes, the instructor will carry out the following safety precautions:-

(a) Inspect all locks to ensure that the striker does not protrude through the firing pin hole.

(b) Inspect all ammunition to ensure that all cartridges are drill.

7. When service stores are used, (a) above does not apply.

8. Whenever possible as many pieces of equipment as are available should be used to ensure maximum squad practice.

Manual Index Chapter 1 –>