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Machine Guns

Military Handbooks: The Plattsburg Manual

Before the present European War, machine guns were classified as

emergency weapons. It was not believed that they could remain long in

action, because they would soon be silenced by hostile fire (artillery

and infantry). It was recommended, therefore, that a favorable

opportunity be awaited before opening fire which was to be delivered

with their utmost effectiveness. They were believed to possess very

limited possibil
ties in an attacking line, hut as being most valuable

in defensive works where protection and concealment could be found.

During this war they have lost, as a defensive weapon, no prestige. They

have also proved of great value to the attacking side. They are being

made light and portable to accompany the firing line in an attack. The

supply of ammunition alone limits the number that can be used.

Each side in the present war has used them by the thousands with

effectiveness. Machine guns are more worthy of consideration to-day than