Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Automatic Weapons of the Russian Army

By Vladimir Glazkov
MMPbooks 2020. Distributed by Casemate
Bruce Sloan, Reviewer

The Imperial Russian Army, during the Great War, used a variety of both standard Russian weapons and imported or captured arms. Weapons of War: Automatic Weapons of the Russian Army provides the history and description of these weapons from inception and design development, through the Great War. It also offers detailed nomenclature and action of each, plus their use in combat, both on the ground & in the air.

Click on Image to Enlarge

In Chapter 1, “Automatic Rifles,” the author discusses the Federov Automatic & Machine Rifles, the Tokarev Automatic Rifle, the Roshchepey Automatic Rifle, the Shchukin Automatic Rifle, the Yasnikov Automatic Rifle and an early design (not manufactured) for a Kalashnikov Automatic Rifle. Succeeding chapters offer both crew-served and individual automatic weapons, including their various mounts, tripods, and carriages. Also discussed are ammunition, transportation, and supply.

Other nations automatic weapons discussed by the author, include:

  • The Maxim machine gun, designed by the American-born British inventor Hiram S. Maxim, an extremely detailed account, including the Vickers-Maxim "light" machine gun
  • The German-Austrian Schwarzlose machine gun
  • The German MG 08, their Maxim machine gun
  • The American Colt machine gun – “The Potato Digger”
  • The American Hotchkiss machine gun—original design by an Austrian
  • The Danish Madson machine gun
  • The French Chauchat machine rifle,
  • The American-designed Lewis Gun
  • The Hotchkiss portative machine rifle

Each chapter presents many full-color photographs and detailed drawings of the weapons, plus numerous black-and-white period photographs of the guns in use.

I found the book to be very informative for the reasonably knowledgeable gun enthusiast. However, it is definitely not for the uninitiated. Much of the discussion of the guns themselves is very technical, and the diagrams are mostly in Russian without English notation or keys.

However, the photographs are great! And the general discussion is easily followed. I learned a lot, but I wish I had more knowledge of the nomenclature, workings, and actions of the weapons.

Bruce Sloan

1 comment:

  1. It is difficult to review technical books. You did well nevertheless. This book is a must to understand that the Russian soldier was better prepared than the stereotypical no bullets, no rifles, no shells. Cheers