The United States showed no interest in machine guns until after we were officially at war o /
with Germany, at which time Browning, along with other inventors, was asked to submit weapons with a view of adoption. It is true that there had been earlier trials ol various machine gun mechanisms of both American and foreign man-ulacture. But nothing resulted from them except a passive interest by our Government. Thus, although we had practically two years to prepare after the start of World War 1 before Ave entered and it was almost a foregone conclusion that we were to be a participant, there had been no effec tive machine gun program in spite of the early demonstration bv Germany as to the deadly em-
ploynient of the weapon.
Machine gun development in this country floundered on one thing only: 'I"hose in author-
ity could not make up their minds on what was wanted. Had they come to some happy conc lusion as to what weapon would be adequate, there would have been no machine gun problem to face on () April 1917. On that afternoon the headlines proclaimed that a state of war existed between the United States and the Imperial German Government. But the public was not told of a confidential report issued the same day to the military high command that to fight this strictly machine-gun war there were on hand only 670 Benet-Mercics. 282 Maxims, Model 1904,' and 158 Colts, Model '95.
In other words, we had a total of 1,100 of w hat
The Prototype Model of the 3. A. R.
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