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During discussions of the use of WC machine guns in WW1,most of us knew about the Vickers and the Maxim guns. However,I have just been able to document that the 1917 Browning WC was not ALLOWED by Gen. Pershing to be used in combat by American Army and Marine units until 17 September,1918. The 1917 Machine Gun Cart series was in use...gun cart,ammo cart,spare gun cart....and originally configured for the use of several types of weapons. The Benet Mecier...a strip-fed air-cooled machine gun,the Lewis gun...also air-cooled and fed by a pan-type magazine placed on top of the gun, and the WC Vickers,belt-fed machine gun. The rational given was that because the 1917 was considered to be the finest WC belt-fed weapon of it's type in existence,the general staff was concerned that it would be recovered by the Germans during combat and then reproduced by them. I have a series of documented pictures that were official Signal Corps WW1 photo's in a 3-vol set published in 1920. It was called the "Doughboy Edition" and was an official set published by the war department. Up until this point, I had never seen or heard anyone state a definite date of usage for the 1917 Browning.

This new info gives us a better understanding of how valuable the 1917 Browning was considered by the military. Because the 1917 Browning was so reliable and trouble-free during actual combat,it was adopted as our primary machine gun at the end of the conflict by both the Army and Marines. And as a result,the Spare Gun Cart was declared obsolete by 1925 because of the 1917's reliability.
 
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