Sunday, 20 November 2011


The Mle 1914 Hotchkiss machine gun became the standard machine gun of the French Army during World War I. It was manufactured by the French arms company Hotchkiss et Cie, which had been established in the 1860s by American industrialist Benjamin B. Hotchkiss. The Hotchkiss system, essentially formulated in 1895, clearly is the conceptual precursor to most gas actuated machine gun designs to this day.

The Mle 1914 was the last version of a series of nearly identical Hotchkiss designs : the Mle 1897, Mle 1900 and the Mle 1908. The heavy Mle 1914 Hotchkiss is not to be confused with the lighter Hotchkiss M1909 (the U.S. "Benet-Mercie" or the British Hotchkiss Mark I). At the beginning of World War I, the St. Étienne Mle 1907 was the standard machine gun of French infantry. However, due to inferior field performance by the St. Etienne, the Hotchkiss Mle 1914 became the French infantry standard in late 1917. The American Expeditionary Forces (A.E.F.) in France also used the Mle 1914 Hotchkiss extensively in 1917 and 1918. Hotchkiss heavy machine guns, some being of earlier types, were also used in combat by Japan, Chile, Mexico, Spain, Belgium, Brazil and Poland. Hotchkiss Model 1914 machine gun.
The Hotchkiss machine gun, a sturdy and reliable weapon, remained in active service with the French army until the early 1940s. By the end of 1918, 47,000 Hotchkiss machine guns had been delivered to the French army alone.
 Hotchkiss, who was born in Watertown, Connecticut. He moved to France and set up a factory, first at Viviez near Rodez in 1867,File:St Denis Front.jpg then at Saint-Denis near Paris in 1875. He produced arms used by the French in the Franco-Prussian war and later the US government also bought cannons, deploying them in the 1879 Mill River Campaign against Sitting Bull.The Hotchkiss system, essentially formulated in 1895, clearly is the conceptual precursor to most gas actuated machine gun designs to this day.
The Mle 1914 was the last version of a series of nearly identical Hotchkiss designs : the Mle 1897, Mle 1900 and the Mle 1908. 
The Hotchkiss was based on a design by Captain Baron A. Odkolek von Augeza of Vienna. The patents had been purchased by the firm of Benjamin Hotchkiss, based in Saint-Denis, near Paris. Benjamin Hotchkiss was no longer alive at the time of the purchase, but the Odkolek design was further developed and greatly improved under the direction of American-born Laurence V. Benet (1863–1948) with the assistance of Henri Mercie. After trials that began in 1895, development issues were resolved leading to the initial purchase of the Hotchkiss gun by the French Military in 1897. In 1898 an export model was also offered for international sales by Hotchkiss. With some useful changes, such as the addition of five cooling radiator rings on the barrel, the same basic design led to the M1900, and later to the M1914 (with minor improvements that were added since 1908). In the meantime adoption of the St. Étienne Mle 1907 (a French government arsenal product derived from the Puteaux M1905 machine gun) to equip the infantry went through in 1908, because of internal political pressures. Nevertheless the Hotchkiss machine gun was also purchased by the French military for use in the overseas colonies and by mountain troops in the Alps. By the crucial year of 1916, during World War I, French line infantry, still equipped with the unsatisfactory Saint-Etienne, convinced General Petain that it urgently needed the more reliable Hotchkiss. It got its wish and French infantry divisions became progressively outfitted with the Hotchkiss gun in late 1917 and 1918File:U.S. Hotchkiss Machine Gun.jpg
After the American Civil War, the U.S. government had showed little interest in funding new weapons. In 1867, when Hotchkiss moved to France and set up a munitions factory . At about this time, he developed the revolving barrel machine gun (in French: "canon-revolver") known as the Hotchkiss gun; the gun was made in four sizes from 37 mm to 57 mm, the largest intended for naval use.
After his death, the Hotchkiss company also developed in 1897 and later manufactured in large numbers an air cooled, gas actuated infantry machine gun which was widely used by several countries, particularly France and the United States during World War One.
He was married to Maria Bissell Hotchkiss, who founded the Hotchkiss Library in Sharon in her husband's File:PostcardLakevilleCTHotchkissSchool1901to1907UndividedBack.jpgmemory, as well as the Hotchkiss School at Lakeville, Connecticut.U.S. RIFLE MODEL 1879 HOTCHKISS ARMY .45 SN# 782
Manufactured by Springfield Armory, Springfield, Ma. in 1879 - Standard Model 1879 Hotchkiss Type 1 bolt-action magazine rifle. Army model. 3-groove rifling; RH, concentric. Two-bands. Blued finish. 5-round tubular magazine in butt, with cartridges fed down the throat of the magazine from the chamber. Turn button magazine cut-off on right side above trigger guard. Muzzle velocity 1280 fps. Cartridge: .45-70, rimmed.

This gun was introduced about 1879. It is a bolt gun similar to the Mauser. The slot in the receiver is curved at its junction with the front and rear shoulders. The bolt is hence gently checked just before it is pushed home, preventing shock on the head of the cartridge, and making the operation more continuous than than with square shoulders.
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The front curve also cams the bolt backward in beginning to open, and so starts the shell, which can then be readily drawn out. The action, now used in other bolt guns, was claimed by Hotchkiss as his invention. The magazine, in the butt-stock like the Spencer, runs under instead of over the breech piece, and brings the cartridge into the receiver through an inclined opening in the bottom. A spiral spring is used with with follower.
Centre-fire cartridges are used. To insert them the bolt has to be opened, and they are pushed in through the chamber, endwise, singly, but end first. By a lever at one side the bolt can be locked shut for security, and the hammer held from striking. A lever at the other side shuts off the magazine when necessary for use as a single loader. It is a remarkably simple gun, and it avoids having an extra piece to serve as carrier for transfer of cartridges from the magazine. A peculiar feature is a trigger with hollow or curved stem where it passes round the magazine.
Stops connect with the trigger check and release cartridges in the magazine at the proper time."All actions and buttplates were supplied by the Winchester Repeating Arms Co., while the Springfield Armory supplied the barrels, stocks, sights, and all mountings.
Springfield manufactured 513 of the Model 1879 Army rifles. Hotchkiss, Benjamin Berkley - Born in Watertown, Conn, October 1, 1826, son of Asahel and Althea (Guernsey) Hotchkiss. With his brother Andrew, a projectile was developed and demonstrated at the Washington Navy Yard in 1855. Failing to arouse the government of Mexico with a supply in 1859. In 1860 several hundred were sold to Japan and a small order received from the U.S. With the outbreak of the Civil War, large orders for projectiles and other ordnance were received, and a plant was established in New York. It has been stated that Hotchkiss supplied a large number of projectiles than all other manufacturers.
The Hotchkiss Magazine Rifle, Model 1883, was submitted to the Army Board in 1882 and was recommended for field trials. The five-shot magazine, like the first model, was placed in the butt and was the last of its kind to be used by the U.S. This arm, and improvement of Model 1878, was produced by Winchester, in army models onlHotchkiss contracted with the French government for small-caliber cartridge cases at the out break of the Franco-Prussian War. His attention being directed to the failure of the machine guns then in use, he patented a more efficient weapon in 1872. This arm possessed an opening through the cartridges were fed and a second opening through which the spent cartridges were ejected. This arm immediately was adopted by the French government and subsequently by most of the great powers.
In 1882 Hotchkiss & Company was established, with headquarters in New York at 113 Chambers Street. Branch factories were established in England, Germany, Austria, Russia, and Italy. These produced multi-barrel cannon, single-barrel rapid-fire field and mountain artillery, and ammunition for all.
Hotchkiss died suddenly in Paris, February 14, 1885, while working on a machine gun." - Robert E. Gardner.

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