French auto mitrailleuse attached to U.S. Army, Montabaur, Germany


French auto mitrailleuse attached to U.S. Army, Montabaur, Germany


"Mitrailleuse" is the French word for machine gun. The type used in the French army is the Hotchkiss. This weapon is operated by the powder gas of the successive explosions, each shot opening the breech, ejecting the empty cartridge and feeding in another at any rate desired up to 600 shots per minute. As the barrel is cooled by an air radiator and not by a water jacket, it becomes terrifically hot when the rate of fire is high. But this does not affect the gun in the least, as the barrel is made of special manganese steel and does not lose its shape. There is probably no weapon as effective as the machine gun in proportion to its cost and weight, the ease with which it can be transported from place to place, and the small crew necessary to handle it. It is particularly adapted to defensive tactics—a few men, armed with these guns, cleverly hidden in brush or rocks, can hold off a regiment. France had thousands of these guns mounted on light armored automobiles like the one before us in the narrow street of this German village. The armored roof is so arranged that it can be swung up in sections to form a shield when in action. The gun is mounted on an adjustable base so that it can be trained in any direction. These guns did great execution in the last months of the war when, driven from their Hindenburg and Kriemhilde lines, the Germans were streaming eastward on every road, hurrying to get out of France. The auto mitrailleuse, flying along every byroad and highway, enfiladed and ambushed them, shot them down and captured them by the thousand.

Spatial Coverage



1 stereograph : b&w
1 gelatine silver print stereograph (8 x 15 cm) mounted on card (9 x 18 cm)


Copyright. The Keystone View Company
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World War through the stereoscope

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Keystone View Company, “French auto mitrailleuse attached to U.S. Army, Montabaur, Germany,” Monash Collections Online, accessed June 17, 2024,

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