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Original British Vickers-Berthier MkI Demilitarized Receiver

Item Description

Original Item: Experience in WW 1 taught all the major powers that infantry needed a light machine gun. In Britain, this led to the adoption of the famous Bren LMG. In the trials that led to the adoption of the Bren, an LMG developed by the Vickers company from a Berthier design was a close competitor to the Bren.

The British army in India, though an integral part of the army of Great Britain, traditionally exercised considerable independence in regard to arms and in this case decided to adopt the Vickers-Berthier LMG rather than wait for the Bren. The Bren would not be available until the requirements of the home army had been filled, and the Indian army did not want to delay their rearmament with a modern light machine gun. Large numbers of Vickers-Berthier Mk III LMGs were used in WW 2, but, since they resembled the Bren so closely, they are often mistaken for Brens in period photographs.

IMA has obtained a few demilitarized Mk I Vickers-Berthier receivers. The MkI was the earliest revision of the Vickers-Berthier, before the rotating "quick change" barrel system was introduced with the later revisions. These are rarely seen in the West. The set includes three torch-cut sections, which are wired together.

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