Skip to main content

Ryan Robertson

Anchor, Investigative Reporter

Share
International

Ukraine, Russia using weapons from World War I

Share

Ryan Robertson

Anchor, Investigative Reporter

Share

In many ways, the war in Ukraine is one of the most advanced ever waged. Electromagnetic warfare and drones are redefining the battlefield. In other ways, however, the war is proving the old axiom, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

The fighting is fiercest in Ukraine’s east, where the Russian military and Wagner mercenaries are trying to take Bakhmut. Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense said Russia is trying to overwhelm Ukrainian forces by sending wave after wave of attacking soldiers with little to no regard for the massive casualties Russian troops will inevitably suffer.

For the Ukrainians, one of the best ways to counter Russia’s century-old battle tactic is with a weapon that’s just as old. For months, Ukrainian soldiers have used Maxim Model 1910 machine guns against the Russians.

The Maxim M1910 was first introduced in 1910. The Soviets produced Maxim machine guns by the thousands, so the weapons and ammunition are widely available in Ukraine. The Maxim was upgraded over the decades. Ukrainian soldiers mount modern optics and suppressors on some M1910s.

The major selling point of the M1910, though, is still the water-cooled barrel. Ukrainian soldiers praise the feature because it means the gun can fire longer bursts. According to the Ukrainians, longer bursts and more sustained fire are needed against waves of attacking Russians. Ukrainian engineers are also reportedly mounting several M1910s together to essentially create anti-aircraft guns targeting drones.

Russian engineers are also crafting new systems from old weapons, but for different reasons. Russia has lost thousands of tanks, mobile artillery units and other armored vehicles in Ukraine. Russia’s ability to replace lost armor is severely diminished, forcing Russia to field what can be best described as franken-vehicles.

Images circulating online show 80-year-old Russian naval guns mounted to 70-year-old armored vehicles. The first of these enhanced weaponized tractors started showing up on the battlefield in early February.

The guns appear to be 2M-3 and 2M-7 gun boat turrets. The 2M-7 features a pair of over-under mounted 14.5mm auto-cannons in an enclosed casing.

The most commonly used vehicle Russia is using to mount the naval guns is an MT-LB, essentially an armored tractor. The MT-LB is a tracked fighting vehicle. The steel armor is only half an inch thick, though, leaving the crew inside much more vulnerable to attack than they’d be inside a modern armored vehicle.

Western intelligence outlets said Russia’s use of the franken-vehicles is further proof of the country’s dwindling ability to re-arm its troops. At the end of February, after one year of fighting, it’s believed Russia lost more than 9,000 tanks, fighting vehicles, trucks and howitzers.

Ukraine has lost around half of its fleet of tanks in the fighting, but more modern tanks and fighting vehicles from Western allies are now arriving in Ukraine.

Tags: , , , , , ,

IN MANY WAYS, THE WAR IN UKRAINE IS ONE OF THE MOST ADVANCED EVER WAGED. ELECTROMAGNETIC WARFARE AND DRONES ARE REDEFINING THE BATTLEFIELD. IN OTHER WAYS, HOWEVER, THE WAR IS PROVING THE OLD AXIOM “IF IT AIN’T BROKE, DON’T FIX IT.”

THE FIGHTING IS FIERCEST IN UKRAINE’S EAST, WHERE THE RUSSIAN MILITARY AND WAGNER MERCENARIES ARE TRYING TO TAKE BAKHMUT. UKRAINE’S MINISTRY OF DEFENSE SAYS RUSSIA IS TRYING TO OVERWHELM UKRAINIAN DEFENSES BY SENDING WAVE AFTER WAVE OF ATTACKING SOLDIERS WITH LITTLE TO NO REGARD FOR THE MASSIVE CASUALTIES RUSSIAN TROOPS WILL INEVITABLY SUFFER.

FOR THE UKRAINIANS, ONE OF THE BEST WAYS TO COUNTER RUSSIA’S CENTURY OLD BATTLE TACTIC IS WITH A WEAPON THAT’S JUST AS OLD. FOR MONTHS, UKRAINIAN SOLDIERS HAVE USED MAXIM MODEL 1910 MACHINE GUNS AGAINST THE RUSSIANS.

THE MACHINE GUN WAS FIRST INTRODUCED IN 1910. THE SOVIETS PRODUCED MAXIM MACHINE GUNS BY THE THOUSANDS, SO THE WEAPONS AND AMMUNITION ARE WIDELY AVAILABLE IN UKRAINE. THE MAXIM WAS UPGRADED OVER THE DECADES, BUT ITS BARREL IS STILL WATER-COOLED. UKRAINIAN SOLDIERS LIKE THAT FEATURE BECAUSE IT MEANS THE GUN CAN FIRE LONGER BURSTS, WHICH THE UKRAINIANS SAY IS NEEDED AGAINST WAVES OF ATTACKING RUSSIANS.

UKRAINIAN ENGINEERS ARE ALSO REPORTEDLY MOUNTING SEVERAL M1910s TOGETHER TO ESSENTIALLY CREATE ANTI-AIRCRAFT GUNS, BUT FOR DRONES.

RUSSIAN ENGINEERS ARE ALSO CRAFTING NEW SYSTEMS FROM OLD WEAPONS, BUT FOR DIFFERENT REASONS. RUSSIA HAS LOST THOUSANDS OF TANKS, MOBILE ARTILLERY UNITS AND OTHER ARMORED VEHICLES IN UKRAINE. RUSSIA’S ABILITY TO REPLACE LOST ARMOR IS SEVERELY DIMINISHED, FORCING RUSSIA TO FIELD WHAT CAN BE BEST DESCRIBED AS FRANKEN-VEHICLES.

IMAGES CIRCULATING ONLINE SHOW 80-YEAR-OLD RUSSIAN NAVAL GUNS MOUNTED TO 70-YEAR-OLD ARMORED VEHICLES. THE FIRST OF THESE ENHANCED WEAPONIZED TRACTORS STARTED SHOWING UP ON THE BATTLEFIELD IN EARLY FEBRUARY.

THE GUNS APPEAR TO BE 2M-7 GUN BOAT TURRETS WITH A PAIR OF OVER-UNDER MOUNTED 14.5 MM AUTO-CANNONS IN AN ENCLOSED CASING. THE VEHICLE IS AN MT-LB. IT’S ESSENTIALLY AN ARMORED TRACTOR, BUT THE STEEL ARMOR IS ONLY HALF AN INCH THICK, LEAVING THE CREW INSIDE MUCH MORE VULNERABLE THAN THEY’D BE INSIDE A MODERN ARMORED VEHICLE.

WESTERN INTELLIGENCE OUTLETS SAY RUSSIA’S USE OF THE FRANKEN-VECHICLES IS FURTHER PROOF OF THE COUNTRY’S DWINDLING ABILITY TO RE-ARM ITS TROOPS. AT THE END OF FEBRUARY, AFTER ONE YEAR OF FIGHTING, IT’S BELIEVED RUSSIA LOST MORE THAN 9,000 TANKS, FIGHTING VEHICLES, TRUCKS AND HOWITZERS.

UKRAINE HAS LOST AROUND HALF OF ITS FLEET OF TANKS IN THE FIGHTING, BUT MORE MODERN TANKS FROM WESTERN ALLIES ARE NOW ARRIVING IN UKRAINE.

FOR MORE OF THE UNBIASED, STRAIGHT FACTS ON THE WAR IN UKRAINE, CHECK OUT STRAIGHT ARROW NEWS DOT COM.