“These machine gun mounted motorcycles swiftly move around the battlefield and eliminate enemy defending troops.”
General Information Edit
Historical Description Edit
At the outbreak of World War I, the British were looking for new ways to exploit the machine gun as a mobile, offensive weapon. A new technology, the motorcycle, proved to be the perfect solution and in 1914, the British War Office approved the formation of the Motor Machine Gun Service (MMGS).
Optimizing the motorcycles for the battlefield included making modifications to their sidecars. An armor plate was added, protecting the gunner from enemy fire, in addition to a specially designed mount for the Vickers machine gun. The mount could be detached and refitted, while the motorcycle was in motion, in two different positions: forward for charging the enemy’s positions, and backward to allow a safe escape. The third position, upward, required the gunner to lie underneath the motorcycle and turned the machine gun into an anti-aircraft weapon.
A battery of the MMGS was attached to almost every division of the Army, staffed by a unique and colorful combination of recruits who weren’t just soldiers but also motorcycles enthusiasts, mechanics, and even famous motorcycle racers. By 1916, their battlefield role had been taken over by tanks, and many early crews for that experimental program were drawn from the ranks of the MMGS.
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