With modern weapons and ammo in short supply, Kiev’s forces are reportedly dusting off old Maxim guns
An M1910 variant of the Maxim gun, seen in Lodz, Poland, October 2014 © Wikipedia
Ukrainian forces defending the Donbass town of Artyomovsk, also known as Bakhmut, are relying on Victorian-era Maxim guns, the Telegraph reported on Friday. Despite receiving tens of billions of dollars worth of US and NATO aid, Kiev is reportedly struggling with shortages of arms and ammunition.
“I have seen Maxim machine guns in stationary positions many times,” a Ukrainian soldier told the British newspaper. “Despite their age, it is a rather formidable weapon. The main thing is not to forget to add some water.”
Invented by Hiram Stevens Maxim in 1884, the Maxim gun was the first fully automatic machine gun in the world. Firing a still-respectable 600 rounds per minute, the gun relies on a heavy water jacket around its barrel to prevent overheating. Sitting on iron wheels and weighing around 30 kilos before adding water or ammunition belts, it takes a crew of four people to operate.