The video below shows a German development originally from 1915, based on a Maxim machine gun, but representing a “lightened” (weighing just under 17 kilograms) version, the MG 08/15.
The unique advantage of machine guns from the First World War era over other machine guns used in modern warfare is their water cooling. In the case of modern weapons, the continuous, even firing for a minute can cause overheating that can lead to deformation of the barrelaccordingly, only relatively short bursts can be fired with them.
Ukrainian soldier with his modified Maxim machine gun. Bipod + optical sight installed. pic.twitter.com/gh216SMk3L
— Clash (Report) March 5, 2023
The barrel of the various Maxim variants is equipped with water cooling, which allows the machine gun to fire continuously for a longer period of time. However, in the footage that has just been shared, several modern developments can be seen on the weapon, which, according to its owner, further increases the effectiveness of the weapon that is already responsible for killing millions – such are the optics and silencer missing from the original weapons.
These types of ancient weapons do not belong to the official, system-held weapons of any party, rather they only appear as colorful relics at almost every point of the Russian-Ukrainian border. About 35,000 Maxim machine guns from the First World War are available to Ukraine, but they are only made available to soldiers serving in the Ukrainian army upon special request.
The cover image is an illustration. The cover photo does not show a Maxim machine gun or its variant, but a Russian-developed PKM machine gun. Cover photo credit: Julia Kochetova/Getty Images