French machine-gunner on the Champagne Front, 1915.

A French soldier prepares to fire his St. √Čtienne Mle 1907 8 mm machine gun. Introduced in 1908, this weapon was widely used by the French in the early years of the war. Although capable of firing up to 600 rounds a minute, the mechanically complex weapon was prone to stoppages in the muddy condition of trench warfare. The St √Čtienne Mle 1907 was thus eventually replaced by the Hotchkiss M1914 machine gun which was easier to manufacture and more reliable. From a collection of 164 British, French and Belgian official photographs, World War One (1914-1918).