These downloads are provided free-of-charge for the benefit of anyone that wants to know more about the use of the Vickers Machine Gun and read what the Machine Gunners would have known. Many are rare items not readily available so, if you find them useful, please support the development of this resource. The archive now includes a wider range of associated documents so indirectly related to machine gunner. We hope you find it interesting.

By supporting the Association through Patreon, you are supporting the website fees that will enable us to have high-resolution versions online. All donations are truly appreciated.

If you’d prefer to only give on a one-off basis, then go to PayPal or BuyMeACoffee and make a donation there.

All of the manuals are sorted in date order, with some exceptions where it is appropriate to group similar manuals, such as the Small Arms Training series.

Home Guard Instruction No. 14, Winter Training

1940, United Kingdom

A small pamphlet on the winter training activities for the Home Guard, including training on the Vickers machine gun – they were using the US M1915 under lend-lease arrangements.

589 KB – low-resolution PDF download

High-resolution available on archive.org thanks to support through Patreon

A Home Guard Drill Book & Field Service Manual

August 1941 (November 1940 reprinted), United Kingdom

Another commercially-sold manual for the Home Guard to use. This version covers the drill and marching of men as well as field operations, map reading and small arms: The American Pattern 1917 rifle and the Browning Automatic Rifle.

High-resolution available on archive.org thanks to support through Patreon

Home Guard – A Handbook

October 1941 (1940 reprinted), United Kingdom

A commercially-sold handbook for men and officers of the Home Guard to use in addition to the ‘dry’ official training manual. This includes how to identify and fight parachute troops and tanks, as well as instruction on the rifle, Bren gun, Lewis gun, Thompson sub-machine gun, and using grenades and ‘molotoffs’.

High-resolution available on archive.org thanks to support through Patreon

Home Guard Instruction No. 51 – Battlecraft and Battle Drill for the Home Guard. Part I – Introduction and Battlecraft

September 1942, United Kingdom

The introduction to the start of a detailed series on how the Home Guard were trained in small unit tactics, fieldcraft and battle craft. It discusses the equipment carried, specific tactics to be used in different environments (albeit all in the UK) and what they would expect from their enemy.

High-resolution available on archive.org thanks to support through Patreon

Advanced Training for the Home Guard

September 1942 (5th Edition reprinted), United Kingdom

One of a series of commercially sold manuals for men and officers of the Home Guard to purchase and use in their own training schemes and plans. It is more easily read than the official manuals of the period and includes specific problems and interpretation of the official teaching. This includes battle drill, assault courses and tactical resources.

High-resolution available on archive.org thanks to support through Patreon

The Home Guard Fieldcraft Manual

September 1942 (2nd edition, April 1942 reprinted), United Kingdom

A very detailed manual, including plates and diagrams, covering many aspects of personal fieldcraft expected from a Home Guard soldier in the Second World War. The contents include the Home Guard job and fieldcraft, concealment from the air, preparing a reception for airborne troops, how to move, how to use natural cover, personal camouflage and concealment.

High-resolution available soon on archive.org thanks to support through Patreon

Regulations for the Home Guard, Volume I

October 1942, United Kingdom

This book sets out the Regulations controlling the Home Guard in the middle of the Second World War. Although the threat of invasion was subsiding at this time, the Home Guard was becoming its most potent with weaponry and training.

2,889 KB – low-resolution PDF download

High-resolution available on archive.org thanks to support through Patreon

The Home Guard Training Manual

October 1942 (Sixth edition), United Kingdom

A comprehensive handbook for the Home Guard soldier that covered the object of the Home Guard, organisation, fieldcraft basics, observation and messages, obstruction and demolition, rifles and rifle shooting, automatic weapons, hand grenades, village defence and street-fighting, anti-tank, night training, anti-aircraft, gas, discipline and drill.

High-resolution available on archive.org thanks to support through Patreon

Home Guard Instruction No. 51 – Battlecraft and Battle Drill for the Home Guard. Part III – Patrolling

January 1943, United Kingdom

This manual in the series covers the patrol, up to platoon size, that the Home Guard would be expected to mount as part of their duties. The were reconnoitring, fighting and standing patrols and the manual includes what equipment to carry and fighting against airborne troops (parachutists), in built up areas, and what the different roles in the patrol had to do.

High-resolution available on archive.org thanks to support through Patreon

Home Guard Instruction No. 51 – Battlecraft and Battle Drill for the Home Guard. Part IV – The Organization of Home Guard Defence

November 1943, United Kingdom

Specifically focussed on defending villages, towns, roads and other areas that the Home Guard were responsible for in the event of an invasion. Many of these small unit tactics would become the normal ‘opposing force’ elements when on exercise against the British Army and other units based in the UK ahead of the Normandy landings.

High-resolution available on archive.org thanks to support through Patreon

Home Guard Instruction No. 54 – Drill

December 1942, United Kingdom

The official manual on what drill was expected to be taught and known by Home Guard units. It includes a range of diagrams and information on marching and other drill movements. It is an abridged variant of the British Army drill of the day.

Images provided by Ramsey Green.

Available on archive.org.

These downloads are provided free-of-charge for the benefit of anyone that wants to know more about the use of the Vickers Machine Gun and read what the Machine Gunners would have known. Many are rare items not readily available so, if you find them useful, please support the development of this resource. The archive now includes a wider range of associated documents so indirectly related to machine gunner. We hope you find it interesting.

By supporting the Association through Patreon, you are supporting the website fees that will enable us to have high-resolution versions online. All donations are truly appreciated.

If you’d prefer to only give on a one-off basis, then go to PayPal or BuyMeACoffee and make a donation there.

All of the manuals are sorted in date order, with some exceptions where it is appropriate to group similar manuals, such as the Small Arms Training series.