Bren

Template:Weapon-firearm



Bren is also a commune of the Drme dpartement in France.

The Bren Light Machine Gun, usally just called the Bren Gun was Britain's primary infantry light machine gun in WWII and served on after the end of World War 2 until phased out in favour of smaller calibre weapons.


Contents

Development

The British Army adopted it in 1935 following extensive trials of the Czech ZB vz.26 light machine gun which was manufactured in Brno. A licence to manufacture was sought and the Czech gun modified for British use. The major changes were in the magazine and barrel to take the .303 rimmed round. The name was formed as a contraction from "Brno" and Enfield" (the Royal Enfield armoury were it would be manufactured).

A gas operated weapon, it fired the same .303 British rounds as the standard Lee Enfield rifle at a rate between 480 and 540 rpm, depending on the model. Each gun came with a spare barrel that could be quickly changed when the barrel became hot during sustained firing, although later guns featured a chrome-lined barrel which made the spare unnecessary. A disadvantage of the weapon was that the rate of fire was much slower than that of its German counterparts. Also, it only accepted magazines, and so demanded more frequent reloading than belt-fed machine guns. The Bren was typically used with a 30 round magazine that in practice was filled to only 28 rounds to prevent jamming. There was also a 100 round drum available for Bren used in an anti-aircraft role.

Missing image
Warsaw_Uprising_LMG.JPG
A Home Army soldier equipped with ZB vz.26 LMG, the gun on which the Bren was based, during the Warsaw Uprising

Some considered the Bren too accurate because its cone of fire was extremely concentrated. Its weight also stretched the definition of "light" machine gun: it was often partially disassembled and its parts carried by two soldiers when on long marches. Others consider it the best light machine gun ever made.

Despite these seeming shortcomings, it was popular with British troops who respected the Bren for its high reliability and combat effectiveness and few would have swapped it for anything else. Re-worked to take the NATO standard 7.62 mm round, it was redesignated as the L4 series of light machine guns and continued in British Army service into the '80s. The change from rimmed to rimless cartridge meant the distinctive curved magazine could be replaced by an easy-to-use straight magazine as on the original czech design. The conical flash hider was also lost in the transition.


The completion of the move to a 5.56 mm cartridge for all infantry firearms should see the end of the Bren/L4 in infantry service.

Missing image
Bren2.jpg
Bren LMG carried by a Canadian soldier in 1945

Variants

Mark 1

From August 1938. The original Bren based on the the Czech gun.

Mark 2

Introduced 1941. A simpler version of the Mk 1. Produced by the Monotype Group through a number of compnent manufacturing factories.

Mark 3

A shorter and lighter Mk 2 made by Enfield for the war in the East from 1943.

Mark 4

From 1944.

L4

From 1958. Straight magazine with rimless ammunition.

Production

  • Enfield, UK: 400 per month.
  • Inglis, Canada: Additional production started in 1943.
  • Lithgow, Australia

Use

  • Commonwealth forces.
  • Chinese Army of Chiang Kai Sek


External link

  • Nase noviny (http://www.geocities.com/nasenoviny/brenEN.html)
  • Bren LMG (.303) (http://www.kimdutoit.com/ee/index.php/weblog/printvers/bren_lmg_303/)

See also

Template:WW2 Brit Comm Infantry Gunsms:Bren no:Brengun de:Bren pl:Karabin maszynowy Bren zh:布朗式轻机枪

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