Reffye Mitrailleuse

Guttman, Jon
January 2010
Military History;Jan2010, Vol. 26 Issue 5, p25
The article highlights the Reffye Mitrailleuse, which was the first machine gun in the world designed by Belgian army Captain Toussaint-Henry-Joseph Fafchamps. The 50-barrel mitrailleuse featured a crank, alternating needle-fire mechanism that was used to fire preloaded cartridges from a steel breechblock. Fafchamps together with Joseph Montigny developed a more practical version, which was adopted by the French army in 1865. The mitrailleuse was first used during the Franco-Prussian War and for executing Communards after the fall of the Paris Commune.


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