Hotchkiss (13.2 mm)

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Description

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Vehicles equipped with this weapon

General info

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Available ammunition

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Comparison with analogues

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Usage in battles

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Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Short reload time of 2 seconds

Cons:

  • Small magazines of only 30 rounds
  • Mediocre rate of fire of 450 rpm

History

The Hotchkiss et Cie company began producing their lineage of air-cooled, gas-operated machine guns in 1894-1895 when they bought the rights to a design from an Austrian Baron. The Hotchkiss M1897 was sold on export but they would develop the gun into what was planned to be designed for the Armee de Terre (French Army). The Hotchkiss Male. 1900 was not initially adopted by the French Army who instead decided to choose the competing Puteaux Mle. 1905 which was upgraded to the Saint-Eintinne Mle. 1907 as their main machine gun. However, when World War I broke out in 1914, Manufacture d’armes d'Saint-Eintinne couldn’t keep up with the desired production, so the Armée de Terre decided to revisit the Hotchkiss and adopted it in 1914 as the Hotchkiss Mle. 1914. The design was distinct from the machine guns of the other world powers by its air-cooled design, but it was no less reliable and served as the French machine gun of choice into World War II.

Hotchkiss would continue developing the design after World War I and seeing the reliably of the action and the increasing provenance of aircraft in warfare, they proposed in the late 1920s a series in calibers ranging from 13.2 mm to 25 mm and finally 37 mm to serve in the needed role of short-range air-defense. The 13.2 mm design became the Hotchkiss Mle. 1929. The Armée de Terre did not initially adopt this Hotchkiss design either, but it was successfully exported to Japan and Italy produced the design under license as the Type 93 and Breda Model 31 respectively. While it wasn't accepted by the army as an anti-aircraft weapon due to concerns about friendly fire, the design was strictly used as an anti-tank weapon and as a vehicle machine gun for the Calvary units. The gun got used in the intended anti-aircraft role by Marine Nationale (French Navy) on their ships for close-range air defense on their most notably their battleship Richelieu and their destroyer Le Terrible which were used by Forces Navales Françaises Libres (Free France Naval Forces) though the guns would be replaced in a 1943 refit with the 20 mm/70 Oerlikon cannon as heavy machine guns were found to be ineffective anti-aircraft weapons. The guns came in both dual and quad mount variants. Some of the old navy guns were used in self-propelled mounts by the Free French Forces.

The recoil-operated design had an effective rate of 450 rounds per minute, but the practical rate of fire was closer to 250 rounds per minute due to the fact it was fed by 30-round box magazines. When France fell in June 1940, the Germans captured a number of French military equipment including the Mle. 1929 Hotchkiss which was designated the MG 271(f).

Media

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See also

External links

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Naval machine guns
USA 
12.7 mm  AN-M2
Germany 
7.62 mm  MG-3
7.92 mm  GM08 pattern 1908 · MG15 · MG34
13.2 mm  Hotchkiss
15 mm  MG M38(t)
USSR 
7.62 mm  Maxim
12.7 mm  DShK
14.5 mm  KPVT
Britain 
7.7 mm  Lewis 1916 · Vickers GO No.5
7.92 mm  FN MAG
12.7 mm  Vickers Mk.V
Japan 
6.5 mm  Maxim · Type 38 pattern 1907
7.7 mm  Type 89 · Type 92
13.2 mm  Type 93
Italy 
6.5 mm  Breda Mod.30 · Fiat Model 26
12.7 mm  Breda-SAFAT
13.2 mm  Breda Model 31