By John F. Connors
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Harold L. Peterson, Pageant of the Gun (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1966), p. 22. 10. Ibid. 11. Hogg, Guns and How They Work, p. 28. 12. , p. 32. CHAPTER 2 Organ Batteries and Mechanical Machine Guns Since the earliest days of firearms in the late middle ages, the idea of replacing masses of men with a single weapon that could fire a continuous stream of bullets had fascinated inventors and designers. However, early firearms technology precluded the practical realization of these ideas. There were no metals that could withstand the stresses of sustained fire.
This weapon was similar in appearance to the many multibarreled guns that were introduced shortly after the Civil War. However, since there were already so many better weapons like the Gatling gun in existence, no one was interested in financing the production of Farwell’s gun, and only one prototype was made. In 1871, Benjamin B. Hotchkiss, born in Watertown, Connecticut, unveiled a rapid-fire weapon that he had been working on for four years. Hotchkiss served his apprenticeship and became a master mechanic at Colt’s Hartford plant.
Government used the Gatling gun, it was manufactured by Colt. S. Army had adopted the Gatling gun, there were two schools of thought among military men, both in the United States and elsewhere, about the best way to use it. One believed they should be used as artillery fire support; the other advocated its use for defending bridges and for street defense. Neither side recognized its true potential was as an infantry support weapon. This would be a recurring theme within the world’s armies regarding the Gatling gun and subsequent machine guns, as doctrine and tactics failed to keep pace with technological advances.
Albatros Fighters in action by John F. Connors