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M1909 Benet Mercie – American’s First LMG

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The first light machine gun adopted by the United States was the M1909 Benet-Mercie, made by the Hotchkiss company in France. The gun was adopted when the US military realized that machine gun doctrine reuqired different guns for the light and heavy roles, and the M1904 Maxim gun was only suitable for use in the heavy role. Less than 2,000 of the M1909 guns were acquired, virtually all of them being made under license by Springfield Arsenal and the Colt company. They were used as training guns by US forces mobilizing for World War One, but did not see combat in that war. Indeed, the only action of note the Benet-Mercie saw was in Pancho Villa’s 1916 raid on the town of Columbus, New Mexico. Want to know more about the Columbus raid? Check out the InRangeTV video on that battle:

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