Whatever happens, we have got The Maxim gun, and they have not.
— Hilaire Belloc, The Modern Traveller (1898)

The Maxim Gun was the world first true fully automatic machine gun, designed in 1884 by Hiram Maxim. The variants of the gun were produced by numerous European countries and used to crush native forces in the conquest of Africa. The weapons were, however, also used by Ethiopians, who successfully fought back against colonialism with captured or purchased modern weapons, including Maxims. The various Maxim designs, such as the British Vickers and German Spandau went on to see service in World War I, where they were responsible for millions of deaths in the trenches of the Western Front. Maxim-style weapons saw limited use in WWII, and were phased out entirely by the 1950s.


  • Vickers Machine Gun
  • MG 01
  • MG 08
  • MG 11
  • PM M1910
  • Skoda M1909 Machine Gun
  • Maxim-Tokarev
  • Chinese Type 24 Heavy Machine Gun
  • Finnish Maxim M/09-21
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