Bren Light Machine Gun
The Bren Light Machine Gun is recognized today as perhaps the iconic British Gas Operated Machine Gun. Ironically the weapon originally was adopted for British use from a 1930's era Czech design. Manufactured mostly in Britain and Canada during the Second World War, the primary modifications made by the British to the weapon were to its barrel and magazine. The Bren light machine gun was reconfigured to fire the British .303 round - also used with the standard British infantry rifle; the .303 Lee-Enfield. The Bren Gun could maintain a rate of fire at anywhere from 480 to 540 rounds per minute, however the relatively small 30 round magazine limited the weapon's effective rate of fire.
Overall, the Bren was a reliable, accurate weapon that was easy to carry for a light machine gun and compared favorably in weight against the standard .30 caliber American light machine gun. The Bren Gun was frequently operated by just a single soldier with spare magazines efficiently spread amongst other men in the section. The basic Czech design held up well over time; numerous armies have relied on Bren inspired light machine guns during the decades following the Second World War's end.
Picture Courtesy of Steven Mercatante