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Maxims in the Skies: the German LMG 08/15

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As soon as the MG08/15 “light” machine gun was adopted by Germany, it was recognized as an ideal basis for an aircraft gun. Weight was of the essence for WW1 aircraft, and a lightened Maxim was just the thing to use. So the Spandau Arsenal began producing the LMG08/15 (the “L” in which might stand for either air-cooled or lightweight; we really don’t know which) in May 1916. In addition to cutting a ton of lightening slots in the water jacket, the guns also had mechanisms added to allow a pilot to cycle both the bolt and the feed system from behind the gun (something not possible with a standard ground model). The example we are looking at today has a great example of an early style of such device completely intact…

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