100 YEARS AGO: The U.S. Marines in The Great War


One of the more famous episodes in the history of the USMC occurred with the various Machine Gun Battalions that were deployed to the Great War. They had trained with 1917 Lewis Machine Guns in 30-06 caliber; for example, the 6th Machine Gun Battalion had 16 Lewis guns and 33 machine guns carts. However, as soon as they deployed, they were given the French-made 1914 Hotchkiss Machine Gun in 8mm Lebel caliber, feeding from strips. This is not the first or the last time the Marines showed up for a fight and were given alternative weapons they hadn’t trained on. In Vietnam, many Marines and US Army soldiers who had been trained on the M14 rifle showed up and were handed the new M16.