The Maxim gun was a weapon invented by American-born British inventor Hiram Stevens Maxim in 1884: it was the first recoil-operated machine gun in production. It has been called "the weapon most associated with the British imperial conquest", was used in colonial wars by other countries between 1886 and 1914; the mechanism of the Maxim gun employed one of the earliest recoil-operated firing systems in history. The idea is that the energy from recoil acting on the breech block is used to eject each spent cartridge and insert the next one, instead of a hand-operated mechanism. Maxim's earliest designs used a 360-degree rotating cam to reverse the movement of the block, but this was simplified to a toggle lock; this made it vastly more efficient and less labor-intensive than previous rapid-firing guns, such as the Mitrailleuse, Gardner, or Nordenfelt, that relied on actual mechanical cranking. The Maxim gun design was provided with water cooling, giving it the ability to maintain its rate of fire for far longer than air-cooled guns.
The disadvantage of this was that it made the gun less flexible in attack than the lighter air-cooled weapons, being heavier and more complex, requiring a supply of water. Trials demonstrated. Compared to modern machine guns, the Maxim was heavy and awkward. A lone soldier could fire the weapon, but it was operated by a team of men 4 to 6. Apart from the gunner, other crew were needed to speed reload, spot targets, carry and ready ammunition and water. Several men were needed to mount the heavy weapon. Maxim established the Maxim Gun Company with financing from Albert Vickers, son of steel entrepreneur Edward Vickers. A blue plaque on the Factory where Maxim invented and produced the gun is to be found in Hatton Garden at the junction with Clerkenwell Road in London. Albert Vickers became the company's chairman, it joined hands with a Swedish competitor, Nordenfelt, to become Maxim Nordenfelt Guns and Ammunition Company; the Post Office Directory of trades in London of 1895 lists its office at 32 Victoria Street SW on page 1579.
The company was absorbed into the mother Vickers company, leading first to the Maxim-Vickers gun and after Vickers' redesign, the Vickers machine gun. Maxim's first patents related to the development of the Maxim were registered in June and July 1883; the first prototype was demonstrated to invited guests in October 1884. A prototype of the Maxim gun was given by Hiram Maxim to the Emin Pasha Relief Expedition in 1886–1890, under the leadership of Henry Morton Stanley. More a publicity stunt than a serious military contribution, in view of the main financier of the expedition, William Mackinnon, "merely exhibiting" the gun was to "prove a great peace-preserver". In fact the gun was used on several occasions during the expedition's retreat from central Africa, not because of its devastating effects, but as an effective means to scare off native attackers; the same prototype was brought back to central Africa by Frederick Lugard, where it played an instrumental role in the establishment of a British protectorate over present-day Uganda, a strong testament to the sturdiness and reliability of the weapon and its prototype.
The first unit in the world to receive the Maxim was the Singapore Volunteer Corps in 1889. This was a civilian volunteer defence unit on the then-British island; the Maxim gun was first used by Britain's colonial forces in 1893–1894 First Matabele War in Rhodesia. During the Battle of the Shangani, 700 soldiers fought off 5,000 warriors with just five Maxim guns, it played an important role in the swift European colonization of Africa in the late 19th century. The extreme lethality was employed to devastating effect against obsolete charging tactics, when native opponents could be lured into pitched battles in open terrain; as it was put by Hilaire Belloc, in the words of the figure "Blood" in his poem "The Modern Traveller": However, the destructive power of the Maxim gun in colonial warfare has been embellished by popular myth. Modern historical accounts suggest that, while it was effective in pitched battles, as in the Matabele war or the 1898 Battle of Omdurman, its significance owed much to its psychological impact.
A larger-calibre version of the Maxim, firing a one-pound shell, was built by Maxim-Nordenfeldt. This was used on both sides; the Maxim gun was used in the Anglo-Aro War of 1901–1902. National and military authorities were reluctant to adopt the weapon, Maxim's company had some trouble convincing European governments of the weapon's efficiency. Soldiers held a great mistrust of machine guns due to their tendency to jam. In the 1906 version of his book Small Wars, Charles Callwell says of machine guns: "The older forms are not suitable as a rule... they jammed at Ulundi, they jammed at Dogali, they jammed at Abu Klea and Tofrek, in some cases with unfortunate results." However, the Maxim was far more reliable than its contemporaries. A more immediate problem was that its position was given away by the clouds of smoke that the gun produced; the advent of smokeless powder, helped to change this. The weapon was adopted by the British Army under the guidance of Sir Garnet Wolseley, appointed Commander-in-Chief of the British Army in 1888.
In October that year, he placed an order of 1
Armored car (military)
A military armored car is a lightweight wheeled armored fighting vehicle employed for reconnaissance, internal security, armed escort, other subordinate battlefield tasks. With the gradual decline of mounted cavalry, armored cars were developed for carrying out duties assigned to horsemen. Following the invention of the tank, the armored car remained popular due to its comparatively simplified maintenance and low production cost, it found favor with several colonial armies as a cheaper weapon for use in underdeveloped regions. During World War II, most armored cars were engineered for reconnaissance and passive observation, while others were devoted to communications tasks; some equipped with heavier armament could substitute for tracked combat vehicles in favorable conditions—such as pursuit or flanking maneuvers during the North African Campaign. Since World War II the traditional functions of the armored car have been combined with that of the armored personnel carrier, resulting in such multipurpose designs as the BTR-40 or the Cadillac Gage Commando.
Postwar advances in recoil control technology have made it possible for a few armored cars, including the B1 Centauro, the AMX-10RC and EE-9 Cascavel, to carry a large cannon capable of threatening many tanks. During the Middle Ages, war wagons covered with steel plate, crewed by men armed with primitive hand cannon and muskets, were used by the Hussite rebels in Bohemia; these were deployed in formations where the horses and oxen were at the centre, the surrounding wagons were chained together as protection from enemy cavalry. Similar wagons were used by the English army of Henry VIII, by the Chinese Empire. With the invention of the steam engine, Victorian inventors designed prototype self-propelled armored vehicles for use in sieges, although none were deployed in combat. H. G. Wells' short story The Land Ironclads provides a fictionalised account of their use; the Motor Scout was designed and built by British inventor F. R. Simms in 1898, it was the first armed petrol engine-powered vehicle built.
The vehicle was a De Dion-Bouton quadricycle with a mounted Maxim machine gun on the front bar. An iron shield in front of the car protected the driver. Another early armed car was invented by Royal Page Davidson at Northwestern Military and Naval Academy in 1898 with the Davidson-Duryea gun carriage and the Davidson Automobile Battery armored car. However, these were not'armored cars' as the term is understood today, as they provided little or no protection for their crews from enemy fire, they were by virtue of their small capacity engines, less efficient than the cavalry and horse-drawn guns that they were intended to complement. At the beginning of the 20th century, the first military armored vehicles were manufactured, by adding armor and weapons to existing vehicles; the first armored car was the Simms' Motor War Car, designed by F. R. Simms and built by Vickers, Sons & Maxim of Barrow on a special Coventry-built Daimler chassis with a German-built Daimler motor in 1899. and a single prototype was ordered in April 1899 The prototype was finished in 1902, too late to be used during the Boer War.
The vehicle had Vickers armour 6 mm thick and was powered by a four-cylinder 3.3-litre 16-hp Cannstatt Daimler engine, giving it a maximum speed around 9 miles per hour. The armament, consisting of two Maxim guns, was carried in two turrets with 360° traverse, it had a crew of four. Simms' Motor War Car was presented at the Crystal Palace, London, in April 1902. Another early armored car of the period was the French Charron, Girardot et Voigt 1902, presented at the Salon de l'Automobile et du cycle in Brussels, on 8 March 1902; the vehicle was equipped with a Hotchkiss machine gun, with 7 mm armour for the gunner. One of the first operational armoured cars with four wheel drive and enclosed rotating turret, was the Austro-Daimler Panzerwagen built by Austro-Daimler in 1904, it was armoured with 3-3.5 mm thick curved plates over the body and had a 4mm thick dome-shaped rotating turret that housed one or two machine-guns. It had a 4-cylinder 35 hp 4.4 litre engine giving it average cross country performance.
Of note, both the driver and co-driver had adjustable seats enabling them to raise them to see out of the roof of the drive compartment as needed. The Italians used armored cars during the Italo-Turkish War. A great variety of armored cars appeared on both sides during World War I and these were used in various ways. Armored cars were used by more or less independent car commanders. However, sometimes they were used in larger units up to squadron size; the cars were armed with light machine guns, but larger units employed a few cars with heavier guns. As air power became a factor, armored cars offered a mobile platform for antiaircraft guns; the first effective use of an armored vehicle in combat was achieved by the Belgian Army in August–September 1914. They had placed a Hotchkiss machine gun on Minerva touring cars, their successes in the early days of the war convinced the Belgian GHQ to create a Corps of Armoured Cars, who would be sent to fight on the Eastern front once the western front immobilized after the Battle of the Yser.
The British Royal Naval Air Service dispatched aircraft to Dunkirk to defend the UK from Zeppelins. The officers' cars followed them and these began to be used to rescue downed reconnaissance pilots in the battle areas, they mounted machine guns on them and as these excursions became dangerous, they improvised boiler plate armoring on the vehicles provided by a local shipbuilder. In London Murray Sueter ordered "fighting cars" based on Rolls-Royce and Wolseley chassis
Frederick Richard Simms
Frederick Richard Simms was a British mechanical engineer, prolific inventor and motor industry pioneer. Simms coined the words "petrol" and "motorcar", he founded the Royal Automobile Club, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. Simms was born in Hamburg Germany "of an old Warwickshire family", the son of Frederick Louis Simms and his wife Antonia née Hermans, his Birmingham-born grandfather had established a trading company there to support the Newfoundland fishing fleet. Frederick Richard Simms' first wife was Austrian, his second, married 1910, was Mabel Louise, daughter of cotton merchant Joseph Worsley and they had two daughters, one of, Rosemary Mabel who married the Artist Dennis Ramsay, he was educated in Germany and London and at the Polytechnischer Verein in Berlin after completing an apprenticeship with AG fur Automatischen Verkauf in Hamburg and Berlin. In a 1907 trip to the Alps, Simms discovered a waterfall near the village of Holzgau, now called the Simmswasserfall. Simms may have spread his talents a little thinly to be able to show a single outstanding achievement.
His lasting significance is in his role as a catalyst and intermediary between Britain and Europe and to a lesser extent USA. He died in his 81st year, at Stoke Poges, while living at Storth Oaks, Kent, his wife predeceased him. In 1889, the 26-year-old Simms met and became firm friends with Gottlieb Daimler, from whom in 1890 he purchased the rights for the use and manufacture of Daimler's high-speed petrol engine and other patents, in the British Empire –'England and the colonies', they were first used in motor launches but soon paved the way for the start-up of the British motor industry. In May 1890 his mechanic Johann van Toll was sent ahead to look after their borrowed launch at Putney and van Toll obtained premises in the new Billiter Buildings at 49 Leadenhall Street, London for Simms & Co Consulting Engineers. There had been no purpose in Simms bringing a car with him because of the restrictions in Britain. In May 1891, Simms demonstrated the motor launch on the Thames, in May 1893 formed The Daimler Motor Syndicate Limited to fit petrol engines into boats becoming the UK's first motor company.
This work was performed under Putney Bridge. Following the signal success of Daimler-powered Peugeots and Panhards at the 1894 Paris-Rouen Trials, Simms decided to open a motor car factory. In June 1895, Simms and Evelyn Ellis bought in France and brought to England one of the first petrol–powered cars into the UK. In early 1896, Lawson's British Motor Syndicate Limited, bought The Daimler Motor Syndicate Limited. In early 1896, Simms was appointed a director of Stuttgart's Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft which became Daimler-Benz, he remained consulting engineer to Lawson's The Daimler Motor Company Limited but wisely, did not join its board of directors. On 14 November 1896, Simms and Daimler took part in The Motor Car Club's Emancipation Day procession from London to Brighton, co-organised with H J Lawson, celebrating the lifting of the speed limit under the Locomotive Act which had required vehicles to travel no faster than 4 mph; this Emancipation Day drive is still commemorated by the London to Brighton run.
Simms founded the Automobile Club of Great Britain in 1897. He assisted with the foundation of what became the Royal Aero Club. Simms' Motor War Car was the first armoured car built, it was designed and ordered in April 1899 and a single prototype was built by Vickers, Sons & Maxim on a special Coventry-built Daimler chassis with a German-built Daimler motor. Due to various mishaps Vickers was unable to complete it until early 1902 after the end of the Boer War. In 1902 he founded, was elected the first president of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. In conjunction with Robert Bosch he invented developed and patented the Simms-Bosch ignition magneto, it enabled engine designers to time the ignition of fuel because it was tied to the rotation of the engine. Their initial low-tension system was not an unqualified success but they became the first to develop a practical high-tension magneto. In 1899 they established the jointly owned Compagnie des Magnetos Simms-Bosch but it foundered in 1906 on personal differences between the partners.
In 1907 Simms established the Simms Magneto Company Ltd to manufacture magnetos under licence from Robert Bosch but he was unable to compete with European prices and it closed in 1913. He had however contributed to Bosch's business by his stimulus to their further product development and in opening up the French market for Bosch. In 1913 Simms started Simms Motor Units Ltd, at first to sell and repair components, in particular dynamos and magnetos. In World War I it became the principal supplier of magnetos to the armed forces from his Simms Magneto Company Limited of New Jersey which he had established in 1910. Another subsidiary was set up in Standard Insulator Company Limited. In 1920, following the virtual destruction of the Kilburn works by fire, the company took over a former piano factory in East Finchley, north London. A separate subsidiary to manufacture Simms-Vernier couplings was set up in France. During the 1930s the factory developed in conjunction with Leyland Motors a range of diesel fuel injectors, in particular the Uniflow injection pump of 1937.
In World War II the company again became the principal supplier of magnetos for aircraft and tanks supplying dynamos, starter motors, pumps, spark plugs and coils. Experimentation with compou
Motor War Car
The Simms Motor War Car was the first armoured car built, designed by F. R. Simms. A single prototype was ordered by the British Army in April 1899, a few months before the Second Boer War broke out, it was built by Vickers, Sons & Maxim of Barrow on a special Coventry-built Daimler chassis and had a German-built Daimler engine. Because of difficulties that arose, including a gearbox destroyed by a road accident, Vickers did not deliver the prototype until 1902, by the South African wars were over; the vehicle was an improvement over Simms's earlier design, known as the Motor Scout, the first armed vehicle powered by a petrol engine. The vehicle had Vickers armour 6 mm thick and was powered by a four-cylinder 3.3-litre 16 Horsepower Cannstatt Daimler engine, giving it a maximum speed of around 9 miles per hour. The armament, consisting of two Maxim guns, was carried in two turrets with 360° traverse; some sources mention a single QF 1 pounder pom-pom. Equipped, the vehicle had a length of 28 feet overall, with a beam of 8 feet, a ram at each end, two turrets, two guns.
It was "capable of running on rough surfaces". It was designed to be operated by a crew of four men; the Simms Motor War Car was presented at the Crystal Palace, London, in April 1902. Another armoured car of the period was the French Charron, Girardot et Voigt 1902, presented a few weeks before at the Salon de l'Automobile et du cycle in Brussels, on 8 March 1902. Crow, Duncan. AFV's of World War One. ISBN 978-1-899695-02-7. "Armoured cars" "Armored cars" Tanques y Blindados: Historia del carro de combate