The Vickers machine gun is a water-cooled .303 British (7.7 mm) machine gun produced by Vickers Limited, originally for the British Army. The gun was operated by a three-man crew but typically required more men to move and operate it: one fired, one fed the ammunition, the others helped to carry the weapon, its ammunition, and spare parts. It was in service from before the First World War until the 1960s, with air-cooled versions of it on many Allied World War I fighter aircraft.
Capable of firing out to a maximum range of four kilometres, the Vickers medium machine-gun was an important support weapon for the Australian infantry battalions in Korea. Each battalion was equipped with six Vickers guns. The Vickers gun was fired by a crew of two, one man to fire the weapon and another to ensure the smooth feeding of its 250-round belts of .303 ammunition. It took four men, however, to move the gun, its tripod, ammunition, spare parts and tools, sights, and water.
The Vickers’ high rates of fire, up to 250 rounds per minute, made the gun’s barrel very hot, so it was encased in a water jacket to keep it cool and stop it from overheating and jamming. In Korea, anti-freeze had to be added to the water supply to prevent it from freezing and splitting the jacket open.
The Australian Air Defence Artillery Association is a not for profit organisation founded to foster a brotherhood of comradely for serving and ex-serving members of the military that are, or have served, in an Air Defence Artillery Unit.
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