Vickers-Berthier LMG

Dec 16, 2013

Vickers-Berthier LMG. Developed from the French Berthier design, which was purchased by Vickers in 1925. Vickers expected the UK WD to adopt her as the new LMG but they were beaten by the Czechoslovak ZB design that was adopted instead in 1933. The Vickers Berthier was adopted by the Indian army and eventually manufactory at their Ishapore factory. 

After the Vickers-Berthier failed to be adopted by the WD, Vickers produced a specially modified version know as the VGO (Vickers Gas Operated) or Class K (the Vickers designation). This was a fast firing (950 rpm) drum fed gun that saw use with RAF although eventually she was passed over in favour of the belt fed Browning for aircraft use. Subsequently the Vickers K earned fame when the LRDG (Long Range Desert Group) and SAS (Special Air Service) fitted these “redundant” guns to their vehicles where their large mag capacity and high rate of fire made them great performers. 

If this “rare girl” could talk I wonder if she could tell us tales of crossing the mighty Irrawaddy river, riding on the back of mules, of Chindits and Indian and British troops in Burma. 


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