World war relics: Two machine guns ZB-26 found in German trenches

World war relics: Two machine guns ZB-26 found in German trenches

Luck is a very unpredictable thing. To someone it gives a bunch of trash during searches with a metal detector, but someone succeeds in finding very, very interesting things!

So one autumn day these guys were lucky. On one forum, I came across an article where the participants discussed their latest find – two ZB-26 machine guns.

Unfortunately, we do not have details of how and where this find was made. Nevertheless, let’s see the photo and read about the history of this machine gun.

World war relics found in trenches

zb26

zb26

Most likely, the happy-goers found a German machine-gun cell. It’s surprising that no one has discovered this weapon before.

Despite many years of being buried underground, the weapon still retained its formidable appearance!

Despite many years of being buried underground, the weapon still retained its formidable appearance!

Along with the weapon, there was a huge amount of ammunition.

Along with the weapon, there was a huge amount of ammunition.

The ammunition was in sealed boxes. The condition is very good!

The ammunition was in sealed boxes. The condition is very good!

Discussion of machine guns

Machine gun ZB vz. 26

Czechoslovak soldiers in gas masks with a ZB 26

Czechoslovak soldiers in gas masks with a ZB 26.

ZB vz. 26 is light machine gun, developed by the Czech arms designer Vaclav Cholek in 1924-1926, chambered for the German cartridge 7.92 × 57 mm Mauser, adopted by the Czechoslovak army in 1926 and exported to 24 countries.

The ZB-26 and its modifications were used as a light and heavy machine gun, and were also installed on some samples of armored vehicles of Czechoslovak production: armored vehicles OA vz. 27 and OA vz. 30, tankettes LT vz. 33 and AH-IV.

Slovak anti-aircraft gunners firing at a Soviet plane, September 1941

Slovak anti-aircraft gunners firing at a Soviet plane, September 1941.

In 1930, a modification of this ZB vz. Machine gun, slightly improved due to the introduction of a gas regulator was adopted by the Romanian army, and in 1933, tests of the ZCB-33 modification, created under the English 7.71-mm rifle cartridge, began in England. This machine gun was adopted by the British army under the name BREN.

The machine gun turned out to be extremely successful, and during the period from 1926 to 1939, the Brno plant produced at least 120 thousand ZB-26 machine guns (commercial designation) and its further variants ZB-30. About 62 thousand machine guns of the ZB vz. 26 and ZB vz. 30 in 1939 was adopted by the Wehrmacht under the indexes MG 26 (t) and MG 30 (t) (production continued until 1940).

Soldier with machine gun ZB

Soldier with machine gun ZB.

After the occupation of Czechoslovakia by Nazi Germany in March 1939, 62 thousand ZB-26 and ZB-30 machine guns were adopted by the Wehrmacht under the MG.26 (t) and MG.30 (t) indices, their production continued until 1940. The MG.26 (t) and MG.30 (t) machine guns were used primarily to arm the occupation, training, security and police units, as well as the Waffen-SS formations. After the occupation of Yugoslavia in 1941, captured ZB-26 machine guns of the Yugoslav army were put into service under the designation MG.26 (j). In the fall of 1944, a certain number was transferred to the armament of the Volkssturm detachments.

German officer training in machine gun shooting ZB vz. 26

German officer training in machine gun shooting ZB vz. 26.

ZB26: The Best of the Light Machine Guns

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