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Franco-Prussian War
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Franco-Prussian War Articles
The Mitrailleuse
Franco-Prussian War Articles
The Mitrailleuse
by Dr. Patrick Marder

The Mitrailleuse was the world's first machine-gun to actually be used in major combat, during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871. Description: 25 barrels of 13mm caliber, bullet weight: 50 grammes, powder weight 12 grammes, muzzle velocity: an extraordinary (for the time!) 530 metres/second (the result of a high propellant/projectile ratio of nearly 1:4; higher than the Chassepot's of 1:5 or of the Dreyse's of 1:6), rate of fire 75 to 125 rpm or 200 rpm max; one battery of six guns carried 9 chests loaded with a total of 43,200 bullets. This ammunition supply allows 7200 rounds (or 1440 25-round 'clips') for each Mitrailleuse, enough ammunition to theoretically permit one and a half hours of continuous fire.
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