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  • #16507
    Admin Test Account
    Participant

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    – Mike.

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    #16525
    John D Salt
    Participant

    Well it just so hapens that lying on my office bookshelf within arm’s reach is my copy of Infantry Training Volume I: Infantry Platoon Weapons: Provisional Pamphlet for the General Purpose Machine Gun, prepared under the direction of the Chief of the Imperial General Staff, Crown Copyright Reserved, published by The War Office, November 1962.

    The pamphlet distinguishes between defensive fire tasks intended to harrass the enemy, for which clicking left and right will be done to cover the target in the normal way, and fire on fixed lines to protect friendly FDLs (Forward Defended Localities, just like the “Chief of the Imperial Defence Staff” and “War Office”, they still stuck to WW2 terms in 1962) when the gun will be fixed in traverse. The term “fixed lines” is used, but “fire lanes” appears nowhere.

    The following are verbatim extracts from the pamphlet:

    “The closer the fixed line is laid to the locality to be protected, the more protection will be afforded, but under no circumstances will the fixed line be closer to our own troops than 60 mils (30 clicks).”

    “The ideal range at which a fixed line should be laid is 600 metres, but it will seldom be possible to get a level and uninterrupted piece of ground at that range. The range limit should be 700 metres, since at ranges beyond this the bullet rises so much above the line fo sight that its effectiveness as a barrier is negative.”

    “Guns on fixed lines should be defiladed from the front and protected by a forward section.”

    “To be effective fire must be produced immediately it is required. A sentry must always be posted near the gun and gun teams must know :-
    a. The signal for defensive fire.
    b. The rate of fire to be employed.”

    Elsewhere, it is stated that fixed fire tasks at night should be fired at the rapid rate.

    In the SF role, GPMG ammunition is carried in boxes each holding a 200-round disintegrating link belt, loaded 4B1T. The deliberate rate for SF is half a belt a minute (100 rounds), the rapid rate is a whole belt a minute (200 rounds). Burst length is usually 20 rounds, but may be reduced to 10 if the target can be observed. The barrel should be changed every four belts, and the loader should say “fourth belt” when the fourth belt is loaded.

    Hope that answers the main questions.

    All the best,

    John.

    #16535
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Tim,

    Yes, near and dear to my heart! But it has to wait until later, I have to get back to work…

    John’s answe looks to hit a lot of it; I’m a little confused, probably just terminology issues: Fire lane seems to me to be describing our FPF (final protective fire), but then discusses it as our PDF (principal direction of fire).

    I’ll be back later, I promise!

    Jack

    #16550
    John D Salt
    Participant

    I think the British idea of “fire on fixed lines” corresponds to the US “Final Protective Line”. The US “Principal Direction of Fire” does not, as far as I know, have a British equivalent in MG usage. The nearest analogous British term I know, which applies to mortars and arty, would be FDF, Final Defensive Fire, which is defined as the DF task weapons are laid on while not otherwise employed, and which task takes priority over all other tasks except close defence of the gun position. In former times these were called DF(SOS).

    Further reading that may prove illuminating is available at

    http://www.vickersmachinegun.org.uk/manual-1951-c19.htm

    http://www.usmcofficer.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Machine-Gun-Employment.pdf

    The source on the Vickers is interesting because it suggests a method of prolonging grazing fire beyond the limit mentioned in the GPMG pamphlet by employing several guns firing on the same line but with different range settings. By this method it is easy to see that one can have bullets arriving within whatever height defines grazing fire (one metre is the current STANAG height, but older definitions allowed for a man on a horse) over as long a distance as one likes, provided there are enough guns.

    The USMC source, while I think generally very useful and informative, is interesting in that it specifies support states for MGs (just like arty), and also because it gives a specific answer to the “width of the beaten zone” question, which it says is 2 mils (for the M240G, which is the FN MAG, the same gun as the British L7A1 GPMG, and a very fine gun it is). It does not give a definition of the beaten zone, but the British GPMG pamphlet defines it as the 90% zone.

    All the best,

    John.

    #16569
    Just Jack
    Participant

    tlemen,

    Pull up a chair 😉 Just kidding, I’m no genius, just a former machine gunner, and I’ll do the best I can.

    “First are firing “on fixed lines” or “fire lanes’ the same thing?”
    Short answer is, I dunno. As John pointed out, it sounds like Fixed Lines are Final Protective Lines (FPL) for us. In my mind, a fire lane is nothing more than a field of fire. What does that mean? Well, there’s a shifting scale, but in a perfect world you place the gun in a spot with cover and concealment that you can easily get out of (to the rear), and you lay the gun on an enemy avenue of approach that allows you to kill infantry from about 300 to 700m, which is grazing fire. I’ve got the gun locked into the T&E and I’m firing (at that range) with little or no manipulation, and mowing them down (which cracks me up, the other day I read on one of the forums where someone said the point of MGs is to suppress, not kill. BS; suppression is what happens to you when everyone around you is dying).

    Also, I’ve never seen that officer’s MG cheat sheet, but it’s pretty good overall. But stuff like the sketch on page 6 is why so many people fundamentally misunderstand MG employment; the real way we use MGs (inasmuch as you can, terrain dictating) is the sketch on page 7. You place your MG in a spot to kill bad guys with the cone of fire, not the beaten zone. In movies they put MGs in upstairs and fire down on the enemy, which limits how many bad guys you can hit. In real life we use a basement window, or mousehole the ground floor to employ grazing fire. If you have to use plunging fire (i.e., killing with the beaten zone), you want to engage the enemy at long range (500 to 700m) to maximize the size of the beaten path with limited manipulation of the T&E. Sometimes it can’t be helped, but if you can, you use grazing fire.

    “And, if you understand what I’m talking about I’m interested in how wide such lanes might be…”
    So, back to fields of fire. I’m not sure how to answer this, or even if I understand properly. Now, a lot of you are probably thinking, “how the hell does a machine gunner not know about fields of fire?” That’s not what I mean; fields of fire are so elementary to what we’re doing that I don’t know how to answer. I.e., you don’t put an MG in a closet; the CO picks a piece of ground he wants to hold, you go through your prep of the defense (Key Terrain, Observation and Fields of Fire, Cover and Concealment, Obstacles, Avenues of Approach), then pick out a spot to place the gun which covers the likely avenue(s) of approach. Then you lay the gun (sight in on where you expect the enemy to show up, more to come on that).

    Here is where you get to fire lanes I guess? Once we’ve identified where to put the gun, and where the gun will be firing, you may have to clear your field of fire a bit. Now, if you’ve got to do a bunch of work, you put the gun in the wrong spot. And you don’t want to do too much, i.e., so much that the enemy can see what you’ve cleared, and it leads them straight to your position. And for folks thinking you’re out there chopping down trees and stuff, that’s not the case; again, this is where grazing fire comes in. My gun is on the ground, not up high, so the trees don’t really affect me, I may just need to clear a bit of underbrush. The Japanese and Vietnamese were particularly skilled at this sort of work.

    How wide would it be? Not wide at all. These are not rifle platoon fighting positions (and event that’s a little unfair, as even they practice fire discipline; but they have true fields of fire (in terms I think most people would think of), and MGs are much smaller. The reason MG fields of fire are so small is because we are not looking to engage the enemy (along our Principle Direction of Fire, which I’ll get to in a minute, and secondaries) at close range, we are looking at getting him from about 200m out to 700m. So you can have a pretty tight window, AKA field of fire, when you’re firing out to that distance. Now, the rifle platoon protecting the guns has much wider fields of fire because they are engaging the enemy from at much closer range, if that makes sense. Don’t misunderstand, they still have a PDF as well, but they’re a lot more flexible.

    But for those folks thinking we free-gun like in the movies, swinging it back and forth through 180 degrees, that’s not how it works…

    “…were there multiple lanes set up…”
    Yes. So you identify your main target, and this is the point (as far away as possible that you can engage the enemy) where you expect the enemy to show up (i.e., avenue of approach). Then you look around for alternate enemy avenues of approach, and places he’ll try to go if he gets past your PDF. So you will have your PDF (main target), and then maybe three or four alternates closer in. Each of those has/is a field of fire.

    “…how the lanes were defined (small stakes on the ground in front of the MG sort of thing, maybe),…”
    The rifles use aiming stakes, not us. We draw up a Range Card (lots of examples if you Google it, though none of them that I’ve seen are filled out correctly; actually, over on TMP I posted one and explained the whole thing, if anyone is interested in looking that up, and sorry, http://theminiaturespage.com/boards/msg.mv?id=319113). You make a sketch of your position, identifying your targets, then you shoot an azimuth and record the T&E setting to each, and record on the Range Card. So, we don’t need aiming stakes, we’re laying the gun via the T&E, so when we need to get the gun on target you simply reference the T&E and manipulate it. Then you dig in, with primary, alternate (place to fall back to that still covers your PDF), and supplementary (another position to one of your flanks, in case the enemy pops up there unexpectedly).

    Along those lines, regarding the “Fixed Lines,” AKA “Final Protective Line,” this impacts how you lay the gun as well. Typically your gun is set at the juncture of two rifle platoons, and guns are employed in squads of two guns. So, you’ve got a rifle platoon, two guns, a rifle platoon, two guns, and so on. Each gun has a PDF about 500 yards away, then some secondary targets (areas you’re going to fire at) that are successively closer to the gun, to engage the enemy as he gets closer (the gun crew commander directs fire, decides when to change targets). We usually had our closest gun lay at about 200, maybe 150 yards. There’s a bit of dead ground, but when the enemy gets to about 75 yards (usually, closer depending on terrain), that’s when all hell breaks loose.

    So far, all the guns and the infantry fighting holes have been engaging targets in front of them, mostly at a ‘comfortable’ rate of fire (more on that in a minute). In our Company/Platoon fire plan sketch, we’ve decided that when the enemy reaches a certain proximity to our positions, called the Final Protective Line, we need to go berserk to brush the enemy off of us, which is called the Final Protective Fire (FPF). There is a signal to let everyone know when to bust out the can of whoop-ass, different by unit, but usually something like a green starcluster. When that green pop-up goes off, essentially everyone, turns either left or right as far as they can (they’re left or right lateral limit, and the mortars spin the wheel, point the tubes practically straight up) and just begin pouring out fire until the we’re dead or the enemy’s dead.

    So the way you lay the gun is, you use the T&E to engage your PDF and ‘normal’ targets, but when you fire the FPF you unlock the gun (the T&E), and, if you set your tripod up correctly, you simply swing the gun all the way to the left or right (whichever way you were designated in the company fireplan), and you lay down a wall of lead in front of the rifle platoon on that side (they’re supposed to be doing the same for you with their SAWs).

    “…how intense is the firing versus firing on a defined target in line of sight.”
    Intensity of firing is (roughly) such: the sustained rate, the rapid, and the cyclic. Now, I suppose I could look them up, but I don’t feel like it, so I don’t remember technically, but each unit had its own little ditty. Sustained was like “One chugga-chugga (firing, about five rounds), two chuggn-chugga (not firing), one chugga-chugga (firing), two chugga chugga (not firing). ” Rapid is “one chugga-chugga (firing), yut (not firing), two chugga-chugga (firing), yut (not firing), three chugga-chugga (firing), yut (not firing).” It is key to count the yuts as, after so many (I don’t recall) you have to change the barrel. Cyclic is easy: burn it down or we’re gonna die.

    Regarding the ‘constant stream of fire,’ the guns work as a squad, “talking guns,” meaning one is firing while the other is paused, and the rapid rate means there are always rounds in the cone of fire. You mention having a defined target and wondering what the rate of fire is. This is not done by target type, it’s left to the gun commander. So, if we’ve got a sparse target that we’re hitting with sustained rate, and it becomes a dense target (let’s say an enemy platoon entered the kill zone, gets pinned down, and another enemy platoon attempts to pass through them, or the pinned platoon decides to get to its feet and try to double-time out of the kill zone), the gun crew commander will tell the gunner to step it up to the rapid, and once the target is gone, step back down to sustained.

    “It’s a huge topic I know and it would be unfair to ask someone to take the time to write all this stuff out.”
    Indeed, but I enjoy talking about this stuff 😉

    “We are primarily interested in WWII, but I imagine post war and modern techniques would be pretty similar.”
    That is my understanding.

    I’m sure I’m forgetting something I intended to address, or said I’d get to in a moment, but hopefully there’s enough there to chew on for a bit 😉

    V/R,
    Jack

    #16583
    willz
    Participant

    Thank you all, that was a very interesting and informative read.

    #16594
    Just Jack
    Participant

    “…I was the guy with the black Canadian maple leaf…”
    Oh, we know who you are Tim, we’ve been watching you.  Just kidding of course, but yes, I recall we had discussed MG stuff on TMP.

    “My first question is this – in the USMC hand out John presents, is the range card arsed up?”
    Sorry, didn’t address that yesterday.  So, to be fair, it’s kinda fuzzy looking, so hard to be sure, but yeah, it looks kinda screwy.  First, it’s very strange to me that all the plotted targets are on the right side; it’s not that that couldn’t happen, and I haven’t seen the actual terrain they based this card on, but from my experience I’d have to say you’ve got your gun in the wrong place if all your expected lays are on the right side, right next to your FPL.  If your targets are next to your FPL, that means you’re not firing to your front, your firing across someone else’s front (probably a rifle platoon’s), which isn’t really how it’s done.

    The second issue I have, and again, this is not a hard and fast rule, but pretty much SOP: 1 is the PDF, two and three are secondaries, and the PDF is where you expect to engage the enemy the farthest out, but here the PDF is at 600m while target 2 (the lone tree) is at 900.  Just kind of strange.  In the defense, you pick the enemy up at the PDF, and your secondaries are pretty much where you expect him to take cover, or break cover, on his way to your positions, i.e., getting closer to you.  As an example, you’re in your fighting hole looking out: you expect the enemy to show up to your front, specifically you’ve got a forest in front of you with a road that pops through 700m out.  That’s the point you first expect to see the enemy, so you lock that in as your PDF.  So, getting closer to you, there’s a knoll at 550m; you figure that, if your guns don’t break up their formation and force them back, they’re going to get through your PDF and run to the knoll, so that’s target number 2.  At 350 yards there’s a barn, which makes sense as the next likely stop for the enemy on their way to you, so that’s target number 3.  If the enemy gets on top of you, you fire the FPF, which is going to be all the way to the right or left (as designated by the company fireplan), firing across the front of friendly units to keep the bad guys out.

    At least that’s how we did it.

    “I don’t understand the deflection values in the range card compared to what is circled on the diagram as 1, 2, and 3.   Those circled targets are all to the right of the top of the page.”
    Indeed, these are all jacked up.  Now, there’s two ways of doing it: first is, the T&E has a ‘zero’ (gun straight ahead and level), and you mark all targets  (PDF, 2, and 3, in this case) from zero.  Or, and this is how I always did it: you mark the PDF from zero (also taking into account your FPL, which I’ll address in a minute), then you mark targets 2 and 3 from you PDF, not from zero (we’d actually put both, the ‘true’ T&E set and the manipulation from the previous target).  Some guys would try to set their PDF to zero (on traverse, didn’t usually work for elevation); I never did this because of the FPL (again, just a minute).

    “In fact, I would submit that a principal direction of fire is the same as recording a fixed line that is NOT a protective fire fixed line.”
    I dunno, maybe I just look and think about it differently, or maybe I’m misunderstanding.  The concept for MG employment is the same for PDF, secondary targets, and the FPL.  I think folks see MGs in movies (and I know you’re former military, so not you, but just folks in general) and they think you’re pretty free-wheeling, that you’re constantly changing your aiming point, swinging the gun around: “there’s a bad guy (bup-bup-bup) got him!  There’s another one (swing 90 degrees, bup-bup-bup), got him!  Hey, how’d he get over there (swing another 90 degrees, bup-bup-bup), got him!”

    It’s not like that at all.  The gun doesn’t move a whole lot, and the prime reason is because you’re engaging at pretty decent distances (in some cases, 800m away, beaten zone firing), and you’re not tracking individuals, you’re firing at formations.  A lot of people think being a gunner is cool; it’s actually pretty mundane: you set the gun on the PDF, the gun crew commander calls out instructions (PDF, fire at the sustained) and you start shooting.  You can’t see anything, you’re just focusing on your bursts.  The enemy starts breaking through and he says “search and traverse” and now you still can’t see anything, you’re focusing on manipulating the T&E (right 2 down 2 -burst, right 2 down 2 – burst), then ammo’s out and you open the feed tray cover, A-gunner slaps a new belt in, or commander calls for rapid and now you’re thinking about barrel change (even though that’s the A-gunner’s responsibility).  But you don’t really see a whole lot as the gunner, not at 700m; humans are about a millimeter tall 😉

    Regarding FPL: “the Vickers link seems very exact in calculation of where the protective fire fixed line/final protective line is located with respect to the platoon’s front.”  If you’re talking about the “no rounds should impact within 3 degrees of friendly troops,” I don’t recall any hard and fast rules in our field manual, though I know battalions had their own SOPs for how close they wanted you firing to friendlies, regardless of situation.  But with the FPL it was largely dependent on terrain, and it generally corresponded with grenade range.

    “Above, Jack mentions just disengaging T&E mechanism and swinging as far left and right as you can go.  Does this mean not bothering about the sort of measurement calculations in the Vickers link or does it mean the max left/right has been calculated to be as careful about not hitting your guys as possible?”
    Above I talked about your PDF being target #1, and how some guys would lay the gun on the T&E at zero on PDF.  What I always did (because you figure if you’re firing the FPF things have gone pretty bad and you’re going to be in a hurry) was (if our FPL was to the right) I’d put the gun on the tripod, swing it all the way to the right, and lay it on the FPL.  Then you conduct the lays for the PDF and secondary targets.  In general, you keep the gun in the T&E on the PDF, because that’s where you expect the enemy to show up.  The bad guys get closer, switch to target 2, closer = switch to target 3, etc…, then “fire the FPF!”  Now you unlock the gun and swing it all the way to the right, lock it back down, and fire ’til your barrel melts.

    So, the calculations for the gun lay on the FPL were done (and FPLs are inspected by Squad Leader’s, Plt Sgts, and Plt Commanders to make sure you’re not lighting up friendlies), but mostly we just ‘eye-balled’ it.

    “I’m also thinking that, except for final protective line (FPL)/protective fire fixed line, PDF/fixed lines are really beyond the range at which Crossfire is assumed to take place.”
    Yeah, I’ve given plenty of thought on how to model MGs in wargames, and nothing ever works out to my satisfaction.  It quickly gets way to complicated for a game.  I dunno; it depends on the scale of game, but if we’re talking about platoon-sized and smaller, I’ve told people that MGs don’t really belong on the table then. at least not on a tripod.  If you’re fighting in from 150m, excluding the FPL, that’s what the rifle platoons are for (with their LMGs), to keep the enemy off the guns, which are stacking bodies at 600m.

    Okay, now I get why you were asking how wide a ‘fire lane’ would be.  If you’re going to try it on a Crossfire table, how wide should it be?  I’d say a couple inches, and anyone moving through there gets five or six dice of fire.  But the MG can’t fire anywhere else (the PDF is locked in), or maybe you have a PDF and two secondaries, and each turn you place a marker showing which target they’re firing on (which literally will just be a ‘road’ from the MG all the way to the opposite table edge) that turn.  I’ve tried this, and the real effect is simply area denial; the opposing player just won’t move any troops down that road or through that field.  The FPL would be nothing more than another field of fire, this one crossing the front of your other units (though I’d only allow it in the defense, not something you do on the fly).

    “What do you think of what I’ve written here? ”
    I think you’ve got it; it’s not rocket science, or I wouldn’t have been able to do it 😉
    Hopefully I addressed all your questions; if there are more, just let me know.

    V/R,
    Jack

    #16788
    John D Salt
    Participant

    A couple of final snippets, and then some maundering about the organisational peculiarities of the British Army…

    Rapid and sustained (UK “deliberate”) rates for the M60 and M240 according to ArmyGuide are 100 and 200 rounds per minute, same as the British rates for the GPMG. While the USMC often does things its own way, I doubt they do things differently from the USA on this.

    The Vickers MMG seems also to have used a normal (old name for “deliberate”) rate of half a belt per minute and a whole belt for rapid, but as the belts were 250 rounds instead of 200 that’s 25% more bullets per minute than the GPMG(SF).

    Just Jack mentioned firing at the cyclic rate, something not advised in British doctrine. I did discover, though, from a translation of piece by Comrade Tokarev, that the Russians have a term for extremely intense close-range MG fire. The Russian term for this is “kinzhalniy”, кинжалный, which comes from the Russian word for a dagger, and so I suppose might be translated as the “knife-fight” rate of fire.

    Aiming posts (stakes) I always associate with mortars more than anything else, but the GPMG pamphlet and Vickers manual both list them as required stores — they don’t seem to get much use in the exercises suggested other than for setting up DFs at night or when the target is obscured. I have never heard of rifle sections using aiming posts. When I used to play at soldiers in my spare time, we were supposed to make out range cards, same as everyone else, and indeed the carboard compo ration packs had range card blanks printed on them.

    The British Army has always organised its machine guns (the tripod-mounted kind, at any rate) in a rather bizarre way. During WW2, almost every army in the world organised their ordinary infantry battalions as three rifle companies and an MG (or heavy weapons) company, and I believe some Indian Army battalions were still organised like this at the start of the war. The British, having abolished the specialist Machine Gun Corps in 1922, instead had whole infantry battalions roled as MG battalions, equipped with Vickers MMGs (and, later in the war, 4.2-in mortars). Typically one MG battalion would be provided for each infantry division, or an independent MG company for a lorried infantry brigade in an armoured division. This means the British had a lower proportion of tripod MGs in their infantry armament than almost any other army in WW2. 48 guns (36 once the 4.2-in mortars came in) for the division means only five-and-a-bit (later four) guns per infantry battalion, which looks a bit slim compared to the American, German or Russian scales of tripod MG provision.

    When the GPMG came in, specialist MG organisations vanished almost completely; the usual thing was to issue 3 SF kits to each rifle company, and leave them to it. This is obviously not a great way of maintaining SF-role machine-gunning skills, but in those days everyone was interested in armoured warfare where this wasn’t seen as vastly important. If my memory fails me correctly, of the four types of infantry battlion organizations when I was in (Infantry, Internal Security, Parachute and Nuclear Escort), only the Para battalion had an MG platoon.

    Nowadays, interest in massed armoured combat has faded, dismounted combat is much more the thing, and MG platoons are to be found in light and mech infantry battalions. They are big platoons, too, and have 0.5″ HMGs (whose previously neglected virtues were rediscovered when the Argentines used them against us in 1982) and GMGs (Grenade Machine Guns, or automatc grenade launchers) as well as the good old GPMG(SF).

    All the best,

    John.

    #16805
    Just Jack
    Participant

    John,

    “While the USMC often does things its own way, I doubt they do things differently from the USA on this.”
    I really don’t recall, but I’m sure it’s on the web somewhere.

    “…the Russians have a term for extremely intense close-range MG fire.”
    Sounds like it fits the bill for firing the FPF.

    “I have never heard of rifle sections using aiming posts.”
    Sorry, I probably wasn’t clear.  Riflemen don’t use aiming posts, they used engineer stakes, or, more commonly, they used tent pegs to delineate their fields of fire (left and right lateral limits) in their fighting holes.  They fill out a range card for the whole, which is given to the squad leader, who puts together all three in a squad fire-plan sketch for inclusion in the platoon’s fire-plan sketch.  To fill out the range card the riflemen mark their left and right lateral limits and shoot an azimuth off them for the range card.  But, being that their rifles and SAWs are not on a tripod, the engineer stakes/tent pegs are very useful for keeping them in their field of fire, particularly at night (the stakes are put in on t he forward lip of the fighting hole, so you take your firing position and turn left or right until your rifle hits the stake).

    Interesting about the Brit organization; as a former machine gunner, I must say they got it all wrong 😉

    “Nowadays, interest in massed armoured combat has faded, dismounted combat is much more the thing, and MG platoons are to be found in light and mech infantry battalions.”
    Sure, MGs are everywhere now, but all this insurgency fighting stuff was a bit frustrating from my standpoint, with regard to MG employment.  In Afghanistan and Iraq guys weren’t even carrying the tripods, which meant the MG was really just a larger caliber, belt-fed rifle…  Now, fighting a non-traditional enemy largely in the streets, at very close range, and pretty much always on offense, or fighting a non-traditional enemy at either very, very long range, or very, very short range, can have that affect I suppose.  My personal feeling was that, a lot of times, the MG teams may as well have had SAWs…

    Gotta love the M2 and Mk19, both unmistakable sounds that were ‘heartwarming.’  For us they were battalion-level weapons, i.e, Weapons Company assets (just like 81mm mortars and Javelins), not company level (60mm mortars and SMAWs).

    V/R,
    Jack

    #16813
    Gaz045
    Participant

    Great discussion and info, jogs the old memory, one of the last things I did in the Service was an SF (sustained fire) course with lots of range time…..burned thousands and thousands of rounds!( The downside was humping all the crates off of the truck….)

    My grandfather was on a Vickers crew with the Hampshire’s in Palestine ( pre-ww2) and told how they had their gun on the roof of the army post ( in support of the police ) with all the known and suspected ‘sniper’ points marked out on the parapet. When they were fired on they replied with ‘lots’ of rounds until the reaction force cleared the position…….they also accompanied convoys to provide a similar role if ambushed, most ambush positions being known or suspected and quickly engaged by the Vickers team after de-bussing…….

     

     

     

    "Even dry tree bark is not bitter to the hungry squirrel"

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