Encyclopedia - Parabellum Gun

German observer with a Parabellum Gun The 7.92mm German Parabellum Gun - or MG14; Parabellum was the designated codename of the Deutsche Munitions und Waffenfabriken - comprised a modified version of the Maschinengewehr 08 machine gun (MG08).  The weapon entered into service towards the close of 1914 and was specifically intended for use by the German air service.

The MG08 was adapted to enclose the fabric ammunition belt within a circular drum, thus removing the risk of slipstream interference. The Parabellum also featured a lighter recoil casing.  Following these modifications the gun weighed just 10kg.  It was capable of firing up to 700 rounds per minute.  The gun's water cooled jacket was perforated to enable efficient air cooling of the weapon.  The Parabellum was also fitted with a wood butt stock and pistol grip.

With the advent of Interrupter Gear in the summer of 1915 - which allowed pilots to forward fire through the aircraft's propeller blades - the Parabellum Gun proved incapable of ready modification; it nonetheless continued to be used by aircraft observers.

Anecdotal evidence suggested that the Parabellum was less reliable than the Lewis Gun.

A Kite Balloon was an observation balloon controlled by a cable from the ground.

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