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DISCLAIMER: Military Antiques Museum has no sympathies with any past or present parties or military regimes....except the United States of America! Our items are offered for historical, educational, reference, or collecting value only.

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GXD-0001, WWI German Maxim MG 08/15 Machine Gun (demilled/ non-firing)

This item is listed for historical interest only. It is not for sale.
Item #18108

This is one of the only true MG 08/15 display guns we have ever owned. This fine example of the legendary MG is nicely marked Spandau and dated 1917 on the top cover. This base machine gun, is all original to 1917 and the side plate along with the top cover are numbers matching. There are a few reproduction items on this gun. The fuzee cover is an excellent reproduction of the original and could not be distinguished otherwise from an original. The inside of the fuzee cover has an original spring. The next reproduction item is the bi-pod which is one of the best made reproduction bi-pods on the market. The butt stock and wood grip are also reproductions. There is one compression dent to he water jacket not terrible but shows use. The water jacket also has surface pitting spread across the entire surface. Overall a great MG 08/15 demilled display gun. This is a complete and fully BATF approved inert non-firing display gun for the advanced collector. This fine example was built from all original parts and is offered in fine condition with multiple German markings and serial numbers. Only the bipod is reproduction. Please note that there are slight combat dents to the water jacket and fusee spring cover but overall a really nice Display piece from almost 100 years ago. A lightened and thus more portable version — by "stepping-down" the upper rear and lower forward corners of the original MG 08's rectangular-outline receiver and breech assembly — was tested as a prototype in 1915 by a team of weapon designers under the direction of a Colonel Friedrich von Merkatz—the MG 08/15. The MG 08/15 had been designed to be manned by four trained infantrymen spread on the ground around the gun and in the prone position. To accomplish that purpose the MG 08/15 featured a short bipod rather than a heavy four legged sled mount, plus a wooden gunstock and a pistol grip. At 18 kg, the MG 08/15 was lighter and less cumbersome than the standard MG 08 since the MG 08/15 had been designed to provide increased mobility of infantry automatic fire. It nevertheless remained a bulky water-cooled weapon that was quite demanding on the quality and training of its crews. Accurate fire was difficult to achieve and usually in short bursts only. It was first introduced in battle during the French "Chemin des Dames" offensive in April 1917 where it contributed to the very high casualty count among the French assailants. Its deployment in increasingly large numbers with all front line infantry regiments continued in 1917 and during the German offensives of the spring and summer of 1918. The MG 08/15 became, by far, the most common German machine gun deployed in World War I (Dolf Goldsmith, 1989) since it reached a full allocation of six guns per company or 72 guns per regiment in 1918.

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