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Machine Gunner Training

Hutchison (1937) identifies the Machine Gunner as being a special type of soldier that has

Unusual strength of body and suppleness of muscles; the keen eye and cunning hand; speed of foot, steel nerves, a stout heart - these are the physical requirements. The machine gunner must be possessed, also, of intelligence above the average: his mind must be swift as a bullet in flight: he must be resourceful, audacious, possessed of initiative, capable of endurance to the uttermost.

The training of the Machine Gunner was very extensive and intially covered the elementary subjects of machine gunnery but there were also specialisms in Fire Control and Range-Taking.

Training was carried out at specialist establishments. These were initially the Machine Gun Schools which later became the Small Arms School Corps establishments. However, during the Second World war, the numbers of trainees exceeded what the SASC could deal with so they only trained MG Instructors and senior ranks and other ranks were training using Machine Gun Training Centres.

Training the Machine Gunner

Training the Fire Controller

Training the Range-taker

The Machine Gun School

The Machine Gun Training Centre

The Small Arms School Corps


  • AWM, 1940b
  • AWM, 1941d
  • Hutchison, 1937
  • Johnston, 1944
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