Lewis Gun -French Army service post 1920?

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
I hope this is not a stupid question or cadet rambling.

Having searched the web and found this Lewis gun101 basic starter for ten

First World War.com - Encyclopedia - Lewis Gun

- does anyone here know if and when the French Army adopted the Lewis gun?

Question relates to the final scene in Gene Hackman fillum
<<Marchez ou crevez>>

March or Die - Internet Movie Firearms Database - Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games





And a collateral question....I am sure the Small Arms collection at Warminster has a perfectly serviceable Lewis. Anybody here fired one?
 

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer

ugly

LE
Moderator
I wasn't aware they were general issue to the French and I have watched one recently. I'll put up footage shortly.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
Thnks for that Ugly. Good response to an idle enquiry. Did you also bang off 47 rds of .303?

Someone on the web just flatly said:
Never issued to French Army.'

I suspect that with the millions of weapons floating around Europe in 1919, if some enterprising FFL genie decided to ,um, redeploy a few hundred " Pre-loved " Lewis guns,nobody was going to be too sniffy about it.

I can imagine some poor RAOC Sgt being tasked with disposing of shedfuls of unwanted kit - and making a quick phonecall ... :-D
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
I could find out, HBSA would be the place to ask, the French purchased all sorts of small arms in WW1 from Japanese rifles to Spanish pistols, Winchester supplied lots of model 1894 rifles and carbines which eventually ended back in the US via the Belgian Congo and the Spanish Civil War.
 
The Frogs replaced the Chauchat with the FM24/29 early enough to use it towards the end of the Rif War. A few Lewis guns were fitted to Renault FT17 light tanks but I can't find any reference to their use by infantry (but I've been wrong before....).
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
Wiki records it in French use after WW1 in Indochina and there is a German designation for captured French built Lewis guns chambered in 6.5 x 55 and 8x 50R,
There was also a Fremdgerät number for a Leichte MG 107(f), with the original name given as "Fusil-mitrailleur «Lewis» mle 1924", chambered in either 8×50mmR Lebel or in 6.5×55mm Mauser and manufactured by Societe d'Armes Lewis at Saint-Denis; the firing rate given was 450-rounds per minute.[47] One book lists this "Fusil-mitrailleur «Lewis» mle 1924" as a French Lewis gun without further details,[48] but the mechanism appears rather different.[49][unreliable source?]

The Lewis gun was produced in Czechoslovakia, between the wars, as the vz.15 machine gun.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
Every day a college day on Arrse - small arms expertise at the drop of a pixel, thanks.

Given that the French state arsenal at St Denis made the weapon in 1924, it is perfectly reasonable to suppose it was used by the FFL during the Rif war, as portrayed. And using the same round as les legionnaires.

See Comments below the clip here




reivax58
Never Lewis in French Army too....

Waste him Ugly :-D


Not sure about the firing from the hip style thobut!

Footnote from Imperial War Museum...

Fusil-Mitrailleur Lewis M1924 (FIR 8122)

Label
The Lewis Gun had achieved fame in British hands during the First World War. This weapon is the product of an attempt to re-establish the Lewis name as a manufacturer of automatic weapons in interwar France. Entrepreneur Henry Willis Rudd, who had been involved in arranging the manufacture of the original gun, licensed the production of newer Lewis firearms from their designer, Colonel Isaac Newton Lewis. Rudd established an office in Paris, from which he arranged for production of this prototype weapon: the Model 1924 Lewis Machine Rifle. It was offered for sale as a military weapon, but no army placed a contract.

History note
An exceedingly rare weapon, built in very small quantities for demonstration purposes, but not adopted by any army.
 
Last edited:

ugly

LE
Moderator
Enough were built for Ze Chermans to give it a captured weapon reference and that's good enough for me.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
Out of interest,which range is it in your video?
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
Butts zero, its by the 900 yard point on stickledown, its used for practical shotgun usually but as we were selling the sound recording of the mg fire it seemed a sensible spot to do this. We fired quite a lot and it happens every September.
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
ExREME..TECH REME 2
Fang_Farrier Military History and Militaria 30
clanker Shooting, Hunting and Fishing 4

Latest Threads

Top