Handbook of Machine Gun Support Equipment and Accessories 1895-1945, by Robert G. Segel. (ISBN 978-1-5136-4013-6, Robert G. Segel, P.O. Box 654, Thiensville, WI 53092; www.EmmaGeeMan.com. Hardcover, 415 pages, more than 1,000 color illustrations, 2019, $125).
After receiving a gift of a deactivated Sten gun when just nine years old, Robert Segel embarked on lifetime filled with collecting machine guns and the accessories associated with them. Though there was plenty of references on the guns, Segel, like all collectors, was frustrated by the lack of single source covering all the accessories for the machine guns.
So, he set out to rectify this glaring lack in the machine gun hobby. What started out as a simple effort to catalog a few items quick grew into this resulting multi-chapter, fully illustrated, hardcover masterpiece of research.
While a collector can easily find an empty M13 Browning MG spare parts rolls, this book will answer their question, “What goes in it?” In fact, it will answer the same question for kits for 77 different machine guns.
The Handbook of Machine Gun Support Equipment and Accessories (with a cover that is modeled after the original 1918 Handbook of the Browning Machine Gun Model of 1917) is the only work to specifically deal with the items and tools in gunner and armorer kits associated with the maintenance or function of the weapons. It provides a valuable look into the kits of different international weapons and shows the appropriate parts, tools, and accessories. Segel’s intent was not to catalog the history of variations, but rather, to provide an illustrated identification guide.
And that, he does well. Covering the primary weapons of WWI and WWII, the book delves deeply into the gear necessary to keep the weapons firing. In addition to identifying the contents of the simple parts rolls, the reader will find a full range of gear from feed strip loaders for a Italian Breda Model or optical sights for the German Maxim MG08s to the contents of the MG-34’s “E “and “Z” Kits or the Vickers Mk.I handcart. This stunning visual reference book is a tribute to what real collecting and research can produce.
Segel set out to answer the very simple question, “What goes where?” The result is this 415-page, fully illustrated encyclopedia that will become the definitive reference for shooters, collectors, museums, and reenactors. -—John Adams-Graf