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Machine Gunner Training

Preliminary Training:

The Vickers Machine Gunner was a specialist in his occupation. The gun he would have to use was one of the most complicated pieces of weaponry on the battlefield, he would have to know, off by heart, how to work, fire and maintain the gun in the some of the most adverse conditions in the world. The Vickers was a weapon that would take lives but save lives and to save lives it had to work at all times and in all conditions.

Having succesfully passed his Machine-Gunner training, he would be awarded the Skill at Arms insignia.

Machine Gunner MG Skill-At-Arms

The table below shows the preliminary training that a Machine Gunner would have to have undertaken in 1951. This four week course was what every gunner undertook before he would serve in action with the Vickers MG. A further course, the Fire Controllers' Course was an extension to this for those selected as possible Fire Controllers to co-ordinate the Vickers MGs lethal fire.

To decode the lesson numbers please go to the lesson list:

A Vickers MG team in training: Firing from behind cover

Subject 1st Stage 2nd Stage 3rd stage 4th Stage
Lessons Periods Lessons Periods Lessons Periods Lessons Periods
The Gun and Tripod 1 & 2 3
Stripping 3, 4, 5 & 6 5 7 & 8 3
General Maintenance 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 & 15 9
Spare parts and repairs 17 2 18 1
Immediate Action 19, 20, 21 & 22 11 23 2 Revision 5
Mechanism 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 & 29 10
Causes of Stoppages 30, 31, 32, 33 & 34 6
Instruments and Aiming 35 2 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41 & 42 11 Revision 3
Gun Drill 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55. 15 56, 57, 58, 59. 11 60 (TOET) 6
Advanced Machine Gun Handling 61, 62, 63, 64, 65 10
Visual Training 66, 67 3
Section Drill 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74 12
Indirect Fire Drill 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82 16
Part I MMG Course Practices 1 to 3 3 Practice 4 3 Practice 5 2
Part II MMG Course Practices 1 to 3 2
TOTAL 39 TOTAL 39 TOTAL 39 TOTAL 39


Sources

  • War Office, 1951a
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