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.

1939-1975:

The series of Military Training Pamphlets was introduced just prior to the Second World War, with Army Council Instruction 271 of May 1939 announcing the first series of those issued so far. Those identified with an asterisk were used as study materials for the Staff College and promotion examinations.

  • No. 1. Field Drill for Rifle Battalions.
  • No. 2. Notes on Vehicles Maintenance and Inspection for Fighting Units.
  • *No. 3. Notes on the Tactical Handling of the New (1938) Battalion.
  • No. 4. Notes on Mechanized Cavalry Units (cancelled by A.C.I. 100 of 1939).
  • *No. 5. Notes on the New Organization of Field and R.H.A. Regiments and their Tactical Handling.
  • *No. 6. Mechanized Movement by Road.
  • *No. 7. Intercommunications in the Field.
  • *No. 8. Notes on the Tactical Handling of Army Tank Battalions.
  • *No. 9. Supply in the Field.
  • *No. 10. The Field Artillery Regiment.
  • No. 10 (Supplement). Field Artillery (Territorial Army) Batteries.
  • No. 11. Drill for Units Equipped with A.F.Vs.
  • *No. 12. The Organization, Training and Employment of a Mechanized Divisional Cavalry Regiment.
  • *No. 13. Notes on the Tactical Handling of the Carrier Platoon in the Attack.
  • No. 14. 2-inch Mortar.
  • No. 15. Notes on Defence (Provisional).
  • *No. 16. Notes on the Organization and the Tactical Handling of Machine Guns.
  • *No. 17. The Medium Artillery Regiment.
  • No. 18. Drill for Foot Guards and Infantry of the Line.

Pamphlets No. 10, 16 (Medium Machine Guns) and No. 17, were cancelled on 6 March 1940 by Army Council Instruction 206 of 1940.

No. 18 – Drill for Foot Guards and Infantry of the Line

April 1939, United Kingdom and Australia

Covering all of the wartime drill requirements for the British and Commonwealth armies, this is an Australian reprint of the British manual.

 Low-resolution PDF download: 1,285 KB

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

No. 23 OPERATIONS – Part IV – Protection

September, 1939

An early part of the Operations training series that explains the tactical approach to the British Army‘s operations in the Second World War. This part includes protection against air attack, passive protection, protection of road and rail from air attack and protection against gas.

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

No. 37 – The Training of an Infantry Battalion

June 1940, United Kingdom

This pamphlet describes the detail of how an infantry battalion was to be trained and prepared for war. Each of the different components are described and their part in the battalion explained. It sets out training schemes for collective training and provides some example problems to be solved.

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

No. 31 – Notes on the Organization and the Tactical Handling of Medium Machine Guns

February 1940, United Kingdom

This pamphlet sets out the doctrine on how to use the Vickers in action. Different scenarios are included, such as the offensive, the withdrawl and the defence. It replaces a short-lived pamphlet (No. 16) which we have available on our Patreon site.

Low-resolution PDF download: 264 KB

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

No. 23 OPERATIONS – Part VI – Withdrawal

May 1940, United Kingdom

An apt publication for the month is which the British Army made its arguably most famous withdrawal (that from France as part of Operation Dynamo). This pamphlet covers the tactics and conduct of a withdrawal, as well as the roles of the different arms of service, including the infantry and the machine gun battalions.

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

No. 18 – Drill for Foot Guards and Infantry of the Line, Amendment No. 1 (Aust) 1940

October 1940, Australia

An Australian amendment for the drill manual issued in 1939 for the British and Commonwealth armies.

Low-resolution PDF download: 898 KB

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

No. 46 CAMOUFLAGE – Part 1: General Principles: Equipment and Materials (all Arms)

June 1941, United Kingdom

A pamphlet that describes all of the equipment used for camouflaging equipment and vehicles, including a table on which camouflage net sizes should be used for the different vehicles and weapons.

Low-resolution PDF download: 1,527 KB

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

No. 46 CAMOUFLAGE – Part 2: Field Defences

June 1941, United Kingdom

Detail on how field defences, including fortifications, should be camouflaged.

Low-resolution PDF download: 1,690KB

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

No. 23 OPERATIONS – Part III – Appreciations, Orders, Intercommunications and Movements

September 1941 (1939 (Reprinted with Amendments and A.T.Ms.)

An ‘appreciation’ in British Army terminology is an assessment of a situation. This covers how to make those assessments, and how to draft messages and orders that often follow them. There is also an explanation of how signals work and the security of those signals.

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

No. 23 OPERATIONS – Part 1 – General Principles, Fighting Troops and Their Characteristics

March 1942, United Kingdom

A simple pamphlet but a primer on all aspects of the British Army‘s operations in this mid-war period. It includes a table of capabilities across the different divisions, including infantry division and armoured divisions.

Low-resolution PDF download: 1,448KB

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

No. 23 OPERATIONS – Part II – The Infantry Division in the Defence

March 1942, United Kingdom

One of the series of pamphlets determining the doctrine for the infantry division on operations, this time their role in the defence. It includes the machine gun battalion as part of that doctrine.

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

No. 23 OPERATIONS – Part VIII – Infantry and Armoured Divisions in the Opposed Crossing of a Water Obstacle

August 1942, United Kingdom

A detailed manual covering operations for crossing rivers, canals or any other water obstacle when it was being defended by the enemy (ie opposed). It includes the equipment used and how to establish a bridgehead on the other bank, including what to do with the assault troops.

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

No. 35 ROYAL ARMOURED CORPS Weapons – Part 4: Vickers GO Machine-Gun Mark I

July 1943, United Kingdom

This is the only known pamphlet issued by the War Office for the Vickers gas-operated machine gun during the Second World War. It’s a short pamphlet and designed for how the gun would be used in armoured cars by the Royal Armoured Corps, which included the Reconnaissance Corps. It includes an exploded diagram of the parts of the gun.

Low-resolution PDF download: 413 KB

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

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.

Sources

  • The National Archives, WO 293/24, Army Council Instructions 1939.
  • The National Archives, WO 293/25, Army Council Instructions 1940.