Schwarzlose Machine Gun Model 07/12
The Schwarzlose machine gun is a water-cooled, belt-fed machine gun designed by Andreas Wilhelm Schwarzlose for the Austro-Hungarian Army in 1907. While after the establishment of the Maxim construction many countries of the world placed orders with the large manufacturers Vickers or DWM (Deutsche Waffen- und Munitionsfabriken AG) or applied for their own production, the Austro-Hungarian Empire took other paths. Around 1902, the Berlin engineer Andreas Schwarzlose applied for a patent for his own design of a machine gun. The Steyr-Werke acquired the license in 1905, and in 1907 it was introduced to the Austrian armed forces as the M.07, chambered in 8X50R. This model has a gap between the top cover and the water jacket. Some improvements led from 1912 on to the M.07/12.
Schwarzlose, who had already drawn attention to himself before with technically highly interesting constructions in the field of weapon technology, broke completely new ground. His MG had a fixed barrel and was essentially based on the function of a delayed spring-mass breech. At no time during the firing process was the system positively locked. On the other hand, a relatively strong closing spring, few but solid and therefore robust locking parts and retarding lever forces together with a short barrel provided the reloading cycle. A small shadow is cast on this ingenious design by the need for case lubrication, which was deemed necessary to reduce extraction resistance and thus minimize the risk of case tearing. One oil filling of five liters was enough for about 4,500 cartridges. The Austro-Hungarian Aviation Troops (k.u.k. Luftfahrtruppen) were equipped with the M.07/12/R16, which was an air-cooled version of the M. 7/12. During World War I, Austria-Hungary exported the M. 07/12 to Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire.
The Schwarzlose-MG was inferior to the German Maxim MG 08 and 08/15, especially the disc rim cartridge of the German groove rim cartridge, in terms of dimensional accuracy and simultaneous combustion, and it did not allow metal belts. Inhibitions of the MG occurred frequently, especially due to case breakers. Also, the hemp belts (for the aviation troops also for 500, 750 and 1000 rounds) caused constant trouble. At higher altitudes, inhibitions due to wetness, icing and cold occurred much more easily, especially when the belts often remained ammunition for days on end.
The way it is constructed initially suggests that the Blackless CMM is too dependent on predetermined functional parameters such as caliber, laboratory and especially barrel length to be easily adapted to other charges of the same caliber or other calibers. Interestingly, however, it has been possible to adapt the MG to such different calibers as the improved cartridge M.31 (Austria, Hungary after 1931), 6.5 mm Mannlicher-Schönauer, 6.5 mm Swedish or even 8X57IS.
Manufacturers were from 1905 to 1918 Österreichische Waffenfabriks-Gesellschaft (OeWG), Steyr and from 1914 to 1918 FGGY in Budapest. Another manufacturer was in Holland, Artillery Inrichtingen, that strongly oriented to the M.07 and was further developed to M08/13 and M08/15, chambered in 6.5×53mmR. In Sweden, it was manufactured by Carl Gustav as the Kulspruta M/1914 (which looks exactly the same as the M. 07/12, but has the Swedish national coat of arms on the water cooling jacket) and was used for decades in the Swedish army. It adorns to this day the medal of the Swedish MG gunners.
It was used in both world wars and also afterward on many fronts, from Scandinavia to North Africa.
The Maschinengewehr 07/12 was the standard machine gun of the K.u.k Army. It was introduced in 1912 as an improved version of the M.07. The M.07/12 had an increased rate of fire of 500 rounds per minute compared to the predecessor M. 07, automatic steam discharge of the water cooler, an enlarged oiler and other design changes. The externally distinguishing feature of the two models: on the M.07, the barrel jacket does not extend to the housing.
From 1915 on, the Luftfahrtruppen also needed machine guns for their planes and resorted to this weapon. The 8.3 kg water jacket was usually omitted to save weight. The MG was used as a movable weapon on the "round" of the observer in two-seaters (from 1917 also in the rotating ring) and as a rigidly forward-firing MG for operation by the pilot.
During World War I, Austria-Hungary exported the M.07/12 to Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire. The Schwarzlose was also exported and reused in the successor states of the K.u.K. monarchy. For this purpose, it was converted to other ammunition. This model had only ten functional parts, therefore, it was very reliable and was also used as a prey weapon by the enemy. The M.07/12 was still in use during the Second World War.
- County of Origin: Austria
- Type: Machine Gun
- Calibers: 8mm Mannlicher, 7.92mm Mauser, 6.5mm Mauser
- Capacity: 250 round fabric belt
- Cyclic Rate: 400 rds/min
- Length: 42.00in(1066mm)
- Barrel Length: 20.75in(526mm)
- Weight: (unloaded) 44lbs (19.9kg)
The Schwarzlose Machine Gun Model 07/12 and variants can be seen in the following films, television series, video games, and anime used by the following actors:
|Mountains on Fire||Austrian soldiers||M. 7/12||1931|
|If War Comes Tomorrow (Esli zavtra voyna)||Seen in documentary footage||1938|
|The Four Days of Naples||Italian Resistance fighters||1962|
|The Shortest Day (Il giorno più corto)||Italian solders||M. 7/12||1963|
|The Desert of the Tartars (Il deserto dei Tartari)||Austro-Hungarian soldiers||1976|
|From Hell to Victory||British soldiers||Standing for Vickers||1979|
|The Grey Zone||German soldiers||2001|
|The Roses of the Desert||Italian soldiers||mock-up||2006|
|Front Without Mercy (Front ohne Gnade)||Seen among Italian troops; Ep.5||1984|
|And Quiet Flows the Don (Tikhiy Don)||Austro-Hungarian soldiers||2015|
|Babylon Berlin - Season 1||Police officers||Ep. 03||2017|
|Babylon Berlin - Season 2||Ep. 16||2015|
|Game Title||Appears as||Note||Release Date|
|Battle of Empires: 1914-1918||mounted on a car||2014|
|Tannenberg||"Schwarzlose M.07/12 "||with shield||2019|
In 1908, the Dutch army purchased its own variant of the Schwarzlose; the 'M.08' chambered in 6.5×53mmR like their Hembrug rifles; however, the barrels were later bordered to 7.92mm. The army bought 75 pieces in 1910, 56 pieces in 1911 and another 55 pieces in 1913. So in 1914, the Netherlands had about 300 pieces of this weapon at its arsenal. From this time on the Dutch army started to produce them themselves because of delivery problems.
Until 1940 another 2000 pieces were produced, the Schwarzlose M.08/15 chambered in 7.92mm. This variant was oriented on the Austrian M.07/12, without the gap between the housing and (longer) barrel, and was also used as an anti-aircraft weapon. Eventually, there would be 2300 pieces ready for use in the Maydays of 1940. A special gun carriage was used in the so-called "G-casemate" and an armored jacket was attached to the barrel.
|Operation Amsterdam||M. 08/15 (anti-aircraft version)||1959|
In 1918, Czechoslovakia, as a successor state of Austria-Hungary, added a larger number of Schwarzloses to its armed forces. From 1924 on, these weapons were converted to the 7.92 × 57 mm caliber and designated as M07/24. After the German occupation of Czechoslovakia, the Wehrmacht took over the weapons captured there in 1939, especially since they had the same caliber as the German rifles and machine guns, and used it primarily as a heavy machine gun in the machine gun companies of the infantry divisions of the 5th and 6th Aufstellungswelle, which were mainly equipped with Czech weapons. Later replaced by other more modern weapons, reserve stocks were still used in the Volkssturm toward the end of the war.
|The Stolen Border (Uloupená hranice)||Czechoslovak troops||1947|
|Wolves' Lairs (Vlcie diery)||Slovak insurgents||1948|
|Captain Dabac||Slovak soldiers||1959|
|Forty-Four Mutineers||Dusan Blaskovic||Tono Mikles||standing for M. 7/12||1964|
|A Star Called Wormwood (Hvezda zvaná Pelynek)||Rudolf Deyl||Pvt. František Noha||standing for M. 7/12||1959|
|Von Ryan's Express||German guards||1965|
|The Day That Shook the World||Austro-Hungarian soldiers||standing for M. 7/12||1975|
|The World Knows Nothing (Svet nic neví)||Czechoslovak troops||1987|
|Capitaine Conan||Philippe Torreton||Captain Conan||standing for M. 7/12||1996|
|Bulgarian and French soldiers, Bolsheviks|
|Company of Heroes||German soldiers||2013|