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Spandau LMG08/15 (Maxim)

Air-Cooled Aircraft Machine Gun [ 1916 ]

About 23,000 LMG08/15 aircraft machine guns were produced by Spandau for the German Empire during The Great War.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 07/31/2019 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

The ultra-deadly and efficient Maxim MG08 was the standardized field machine gun when the German Empire committed to World War 1 (1914-1918). From this base design was developed the "lighterweight" MG08/15 of 1915 by removing the 70lb sledge support assembly, adding a pistol grip and bipod, and installing a shoulder stock. the water-cooled and belt-fed nature of the gun remained and this weapon soon took over the original MG08 guns in both availability and battlefield presence.

The weapon also proved very lethal as a fixed mounting on German warplanes, often paired over the nose and synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blades. The "LMG08/15" was the result of further work on the series which converted the infantry-based machine gun into an effective air-cooled aircraft weapon. Spandau Arsenal of the German Empire was the sole manufacturer of the this new machine gun type which was adopted for service and entered the war in the middle of 1916.

A heavily perforated barrel jacket now took the place of the water cooling jacket as water cooling held no place in an aircraft gun. The weapon also took on a slightly revised version of the German ammunition belt. Like its forebearers, the LMG08/15 was chambered for the ubiquitous 7.92x51mm Mauser German rifle cartridge and these fed into the gun by a 500-round fabric belt. Cyclic rate-of-fire reached 400 to 500 rounds-per-minute and effective range was out to 2,200 yards.

Because of Spandau's involvement in producing this new weapon, the Maxim LMG08/15 became generically known as "Spandaus" for a time and the line would see consistent service up until the end of the war in November of 1918.

Roughly 23,000 LMG08/15 machine guns were produced from mid-1916 until 1918.©MilitaryFactory.com
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Service Year

Imperial Germany national flag graphic
Imperial Germany


Air-Cooled Aircraft Machine Gun

Spandau Gewhrfabrik - German Empire
(View other Arms-Related Manufacturers)
National flag of the German Empire German Empire (retired)
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Fire Support
Capable of suppressing enemy elements at range through direct or in-direct fire.


Short-Recoil; Belt-Fed; Air-Cooled; Full-Automatic-Fire-Only

Rounds are automatically ejected from the breech, a new cartridge stripped from the feed and set in the chamber, and rounds are continuously fired so long as the trigger is pulled and an ammunition supply exists.
(Material presented above is for historical and entertainment value and should not be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation - always consult official manufacturer sources for such information)


7.92x57mm Mauser

Sample Visuals**

Graphical image of a 7.92mm Mauser rifle cartridge
Rounds / Feed

500-round fabric belt.
Cartridge relative size chart
*May not represent an exhuastive list; calibers are model-specific dependent, always consult official manufacturer sources.
**Graphics not to actual size; not all cartridges may be represented visually; graphics intended for general reference only.
Max Eff.Range
6,600 ft
(2,012 m | 2,200 yd)

LMG08/15 - Base Series Designation

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