These low-resolution 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 know 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.

By supporting the Association through Patreon, you are supporting the website fees that will enable us to have high-resolution versions online. Even $1 per month is valuable to the Association.

These low-resolution 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 know 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.

If you want a high-resolution of a document, they are available to purchase for a nominal fee that includes UK VAT and PayPal’s fee. The donation’s profits from these (around £2.50 per £3.50 download) and all donations are reinvested in the management of the website or the expansion of the collection and dissemination of information.

The best value option for multiple manuals is to purchase the DVDs available on the sales page.

1908 to 1919:

Manual of Field Engineering, 1911 (Reprinted)

1914, United Kingdom

Covering many aspects of field engineering works, including trench systems, in the run up to the Great War. This manual covers what the British Army was trained to do for trench works and emplacements in that important period. It includes machine gun fortifications as well as other artillery positions and the more routine engineering requirements of an army, such as bridging and water supplies.

10,531 KB – low resolution PDF download

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

Field Service Manual – Infantry Battalion (Expeditionary Force)

1914, United Kingdom

This short manual includes the requirement of the British Expeditionary Force as they left for France in 1914, including lists of the equipment each soldier carried, varied depending on their branch of service and rank.

2,711 KB – low resolution PDF download

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

SS106: Notes on the Tactical Employment of Machine Guns and Lewis Guns

1916, United Kingdom

One of the earliest official doctrine pamphlets on tactical use of machine guns and Lewis guns.

1,903 KB – low resolution PDF download

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Some Notes on Lewis Guns and Machine Guns

1916, United Kingdom

An early pamphlet published by the Stationery Service (SS 122) on the British Army doctrine of using the Lewis Guns and the Vickers Machine guns. It was noted to be read in conjuction with SS 106 (also available to download).

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

SS106: Notes on the Tactical Employment of Machine Guns and Lewis Guns, 1916, Amendments

1917, United Kingdom

Updates to the 1916 manual on machine gun doctrine, including tactical considerations for direct and indirect fire, ever changing as the Great War progressed.

492 KB – low resolution PDF download

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La Mitrailleuse anglaise “Vickers” (9th edition)

1917, France

The 9th edition of a French-language handbook on the Vickers machine gun. The French were quipped with the Vickers in both the ground and aircraft variants.

6,357 KB – low-resolution PDF download

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Machine Gunners’ Pocket Book

1917, United Kingdom

This pocket book was provided to officers who had attended the Machine Gun School of the Machine Gun Corps. It contains all the relevant information for officers of a Machine Gun Company. As well as information on machine gunnery, it includes trench routine, gas warfare, construction of emplacements as well as drill and equipment stores. The pages are removable and updates would be sent to the officer from the Machine Gun School so they remained current.

12,819 KB – low-resolution PDF download

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

Notes on the Use of Machine Guns in Trench Warfare

1917, United States of America

This booklet contains lessons learnt from the preceding years of the Great War and enables the US Army to learn from them for their own machine gun use. The range of machine guns covered includes the Vickers, Maxim, Colt, Hotchkiss portable and the Lewis. It compares them against the Benet-Mercie Machine Rifle being used by the US Army at the time.

10,198 KB – low-resolution PDF download

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

Machine-Gun Drill Regulations (Provisional)

1917, United States of America

This manual includes all of the drill of a machine gun unit in the US Army of 1917 – when they entered the Great War. It covers the training schedules for the different roles and the different branches that used machine guns. These included the Browning M1917 alongside the Vickers M1915.

11,856 KB – low-resolution PDF download

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

Provisional Machine-Gun Firing Manual

1917, United States of America

More technical information on how the US Army used machine guns in the Great War. This manual covers the M1915 Vickers as well as the Benet-Mercie Automatic Rifle, the Lewis gun and the Maxim gun.

13,818 KB – low-resolution PDF download

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

Text Book of Aerial Gunnery

1917,  United Kingdom

This pamphlet covers how to fire machine guns from aircraft during the Great War. This period saw the Royal Flying Corps using the Vickers Mk I* as well as the Lewis gun.

2,568 KB – low-resolution PDF download

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Army Order 319 of October 1917 announced the publication of the Field Service Manual, Machine Gun Company.

SS192: The Employment of Machine Guns – Part I – Tactical

1918, United Kingdom

This is written by the General Staff and details how the Vickers was to be used by the machine gun companies of the Machine Gun Corps. It describes the use of forward and rear guns and how they work in the attack and the defence. There are sections on orders and emplacements and the use of Machine Gun Corps (Cavalry) Squadrons.

4,727 KB – low-resolution PDF download

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SS192: The Employment of Machine Guns – Part II – Organization and Direction of Fire

1918, United Kingdom

The second part of the machine gun doctrine of the British Army in the Great War, this pamphlet covers the indirect fire elements of machine gunnery, as well as organisation of barrage fire, which was the culmination of the learning during the war. A key document for the Machine Gun Corps.

5,118 KB – low-resolution PDF download

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

Machine Gunners’ Pocket Book

July 1918, United Kingdom

An updated edition of the book that was provided to officers who had attended the Machine Gun School of the Machine Gun Corps. It contains all the relevant information for officers of a Machine Gun Company. As well as information on machine gunnery, it includes trench routine, gas warfare, construction of emplacements as well as drill and equipment stores. The pages are removable and updates would be sent to the officer from the Machine Gun School so they remained current.

12,825 KB – low-resolution PDF download

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

Machine Gunners’ Pocket Book

September 1918, United Kingdom

A further update of the book that was provided to officers who had attended the Machine Gun School of the Machine Gun Corps. It contains all the relevant information for officers of a Machine Gun Company. As well as information on machine gunnery, it includes trench routine, gas warfare, construction of emplacements as well as drill and equipment stores. The pages are removable and updates would be sent to the officer from the Machine Gun School so they remained current.

9,100 KB – low-resolution PDF download

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

The Machine Gunner’s Hand Book

1918, United States of America

An American version of the Machine Gunner’s Pocket Book (available above), this is an aide memoire for machine gun officers and covers all aspects of how machine guns were used by the US Army at the end of the Great War. It appears to have been developed by the 13th Division which didn’t see combat as the war ended before it could be sent overseas.

13,855 KB – low-resolution PDF download

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

Machine Gun Notes

1918, United States of America

A comprehensive document on all aspects of machine gunnery at the end of the Great War. It includes mechanical and elementary aspects as well as tactical application.

11,216 KB – low-resolution PDF download

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

Supplement to Machine Gun Drill Regulations (Provisional) 1917 and Provisional Machine Gun Firing Manual 1917

1918, United States of America

Further information on how the US Army used the Vickers machine gun, as well as the Browning and the Hotchkiss. The parts also cover drill, tactical use of the machine guns and organization and direction of fire. There is a lot of technical information in the appendices.

23,455 KB – low-resolution PDF download

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

1920 to 1938:

Armament Training Manual, Part I – Chapter 1, Vickers Guns (Air and Ground)

1927, United Kingdom

A comprehensive manual on the Vickers machine guns in use with the Royal Air Force in the inter-war period. This included the Mark I ground gun, alongside the Mark I* and Mark II guns.

4,888 KB – low-resolution PDF download

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

Rifle, Lewis Gun and Machine Gun Programme

1929, United Kingdom

This is the programme for a competition shoot for the 6th (Rifle) Battalion of the King’s Regiment (Liverpool).  It contains information on the competitions and cups involved in the battalion and how they were conducted in 1929.

896 KB – low-resolution PDF download

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Manual of Elementary Drill (All Arms)

1935, United Kingdom

Not weapons related, but all machine gunners in the British Army would have known drill as one of their first military lessons. This is the drill manual that existed from 1935 and throughout the Second World War.

4,688 KB – low-resolution PDF download

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

Manual of Field Engineering, Volume II (Royal Engineers)

1936, United Kingdom

This is the manual that describes the works that only the Royal Engineers were trained to complete, in contrast to the All Arms training described in Volume I. It’s much more technical construction with more information on all aspects.

95.1 MB – Low resolution PDF download

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

Manual of Field Engineering, Volume I (All Arms), 1933

1937, United Kingdom

Covering all aspects of engineering in the British Army, including machine gun emplacements, rafting, bridging, excavation and construction.

Due to the size of the file, it has been split into two low-resolution PDF downloads: Part 1 – all text – 22,440 KB; Part 2 – plates – 6,990 KB.

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

1939 to 1975:

Carriers, Machine Gun, No. 1, Mark I, and No. 2, Mark I; Bren, No. 1, Mark I and No. 2, Marks 1 and II; Cavalry, Mark I; and Scout, Mark I – Instruction Book

1939, United Kingdom

This instruction book covers the early machine gun carriers as well as the Bren carrier, cavalry carrier and scout carrier. These were eventually replaced by the Universal carrier. It includes mechanical and operational instructions.

6,788 KB – low resolution PDF download

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

Armament, Chapter I – Section “G”, Historical Introduction to Gunnery

1939, Union of South Africa

This is the Air Force manual on the weapons in use at the time, including synchronised Mk V guns and the Gas-Operated .303-inch No 1 Mk I as well as the Browning .303-inch for fitting into aircraft.

9,976 KB – low-resolution PDF download

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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

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Precis G 5, Vickers G.O. Gun, Observer, No 1 Mark I

c1940, Canada

A short technical document on the Vickers Gas-Operated No 1 Mark I machine gun, as used by observers in the Royal Canadian Air Force.

668 KB – low-resolution PDF download

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Armament, Students’ Notes

c1941, United Kingdom

Covering all aspects of the use of the Vickers Gas-Operated No 1 Mark I by the Royal Air Force in the early years of the Second World War.

4,437 KB – low-resolution PDF download

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

Regulations for the Home Guard, Volume 1

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

Battle School

1942, United Kingdom

This manual doesn’t discuss the Vickers machine gun specifically but outlines how the Battle Schools of the Second World War were established, why they existed and what training was carried out there. It’s an insight into the extensive training the British Infantry Divisions received outside of the Small Arms Schools at Hythe and Netheravon.

9.63 MB – low-resolution PDF download

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

Regulations for the Equipment of the Army, Part 1 – General Regulations

1942, United Kingdom

This is an essential reference for all aspects of equipment in the British Army during the Second World War.  It includes listings of the contents of bags, satchels, cases and most other containers that you see referred to from the Vocabulary of Army Ordnance Stores and other parts lists.  It also includes information on weapons markings and stamps.

Due to the size of the file, it has been split into two low-resolution PDF downloads: Segment 1 – Main text – 13.1 MB; Segment 2 – Appendices – 21.2 MB

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

Soldier’s Guide to Sicily

1943, United Kingdom

Although not a manual about the Vickers Machine Gun, the Divisional (Machine Gun) and Divisional (Support) Battalions that landed in Sicily, such as 1st Battalion Kensington Regiment, 2nd and 7th Battalions Cheshire Regiment, and 1st/7th Battalion Middlesex Regiment would have received this pamphlet before their embarkation so they were familiar with the island.

1.62 MB – low-resolution PDF download

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

Armament, Free Gun Air Firing – Notes for Students

1943, Canada

Another Royal Canadian Air Force manual on using the Vickers Gas-Operated No 1 Mark I in aircraft. It includes the Mark III reflector sight.

3,457 KB – low-resolution PDF download

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

Kaasutoimintainen tahystajakonekivaari Vickers Kal. 7,70 mm. (.303′) [Vickers GO Gun]

1943, Finland

A Finnish language version of the Vickers GO handbook, covering the use of the No 1 Mk I, No 2 Mk I and No 3 Mk I guns by air forces in the air and ground roles.

7,654 KB – low-resolution PDF download

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

Air Publication 2453, Volume I, Section 2: Personal Paratroop Equipment

c1943, United Kingdom

The Royal Air Force manual on how to parachute troops and equipment. It includes parachuting the Vickers MG as well as other personal equipment used by Parachute Battalions of the Second World War.

991 KB – low-resolution PDF download

Carriers, Manpack, G.S.

c1945, United Kingdom

A short instructional pamphlet on the manpack carrier (General Service) that was load carrying equipment also used with the Vickers MG and issued in the same series at the 1944 Pattern Web Equipment.

479 KB – low-resolution PDF download

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

Notes for Officers and NCOs on Methods of Instruction

1946, United Kingdom

This pamphlet from the School of Infantry includes notes on teaching methods and learning styles from the immediate post-Second World War period. As would have been used by Small Arms School Corps and other machine gun instructors.

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

The Principles and Practice of Good Instruction, Part 1

1947, United Kingdom

A really detailed manual on how Officers and Non-Commissioned-Officers should instruct their men.  There was a surprising amount of science behind it and some great tips and tricks on the trade included in this manual.  A lot was learnt from the Second World War and this is how National Servicemen would have been trained.

5.88 MB – low-resolution PDF download

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

The Principles and Practice of Good Instruction, Part 2

1947, United Kingdom

Building on the practical instruction requirements of Part 1, this helps Officers organise and plan the training and ensure that programmes and training exercises are best suited to the men and the subject.  Again, it gives a very interesting insight into the professionalism with which subjects were taught.

10.33 MB – low-resolution PDF download

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

The Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya

1954, United Kingdom

Whilst not specifically and immediately about the Vickers MG, the campaign in Malaya did employ the Vickers and this manual helps understand the context in which it was being used. There is plenty of useful information on the patrols, the tactics and the weapons that were being employed, including the Owen Machine Carbine and the ‘Patchett’.

642 KB – low-resolution PDF download

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

Guide to Battle Procedure, Verbal Orders

July 1956, United Kingdom

Machine Gun Platoon and Section Commanders guide to Battle Procedure, Verbal Orders and general notes on Fire Control, Safety (including fixed lines) and indirect fire. An aide-memoire issued on the Medium Machine Gun course at the Support Weapons Wing of the School of Infantry at Netheravon.

642 KB – low resolution PDF download

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

Guide to Battle Procedure, Verbal Orders

October 1959, United Kingdom

A late edition of the Machine Gun Platoon and Section Commanders guide to Battle Procedure, Verbal Orders and general notes on Fire Control, Safety (including fixed lines) and indirect fire. An aide-memoire issued on the Medium Machine Gun course at the Support Weapons Wing of the School of Infantry at Netheravon.

762 KB – low resolution PDF download

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

Sources

  • The National Archives, WO 123/59, Army Orders 1917.

These low-resolution 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 know 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.

By supporting the Association through Patreon, you are supporting the website fees that will enable us to have high-resolution versions online. Even $1 per month is valuable to the Association.