The British army introduced the Bren light machine gun in 1937. The gun was standard issue for British and Canadian infantry units during the Second World War. Each infantry group was equipped with one Bren gun group for local automatic support fire. Designed to be portable, the use of the Bren gun meant that tactics could include fast-moving automatic fire. This was a great improvement over the older Lewis light machine gun whose weight and dimensions prevented it from being used in an attack at speed. Also used as an anti-aircraft weapon, the Bren gun played an important role in attacking German planes during the Battle of Britain.

Specifications: The Bren gun was manufactured by the Royal Small Arms Factory, Enfield Lock with a calibre of 303" (British), an overall length of 1,150 mm (42.5"), an empty weight of 10.15 kg (22.38 lbs.), a 635 mm (25.0") barrel, a feed system including a 30-round detachable box, a rate of fire of 500 rounds per minute and a muzzle velocity of 731 metres per second (2,400 feet per second). Equipment for the Bren gun included a mounting tripod, a gun cover, a spares holdall or wallet, a box of magazines, utility pouches to hold the magazines.
Canadian Heritage Information Network
c. 1937
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