When the leaders of the Gentian Air Force, during the latter days of the first World War, ordered the placing of armor around the vital parts of their huge Gotha bombing planes, they realized that they had not only made the rifle-caliber machine guns of the Allies obsolete but their own as well. In order to find some suitable weapon that would deal adequately with the situation and still not violate the St.. Petersburg Treaty relating to small-bore explosive projec tiles, they turned to the invention of Reinhold Becker, of Krefeld, Germany, who was then producing an aircraft cannon at his own firm, the Becker Stall lwerke at Will ich am Rhein. I lis patent had been applied for in 1914.
The 20-mm Becker cannon was extremely
light in weight, magazine fed and used straight blow-back for irs operating power. It was full automatic, with a rate of fire given as 400 rounds a minute and, when first, used bv the Germans,
employed a nonexploding solid projectile. It consists principally of a barrel which is
Becker 20-mm Automatic Aircraft Carmen, Model 1918 (Flexible).
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