Encyclopedia - Marlin Gun

Marlin machine gun The 1917 Marlin 0.30-inch light machine gun, designed by Carl Gustave Swebilius - a Marlin employee who began work for the company when aged just 16) - was chiefly intended for aircraft use.

It comprised a modified version of the U.S. Colt-Browning 0.30-inch machine gun.  The Marlin was gas operated and air-cooled and was loaded via a 250-round belt.  Its cyclic firing rate was some 650 rounds per minute.

The weapon offered the advantage of working well with aircraft interrupter gear (i.e. firing through the aircraft's propeller blades).  It saw widespread use on U.S. aircraft in 1918 and a few were also attached to American Renault light tanks when modified with a skeleton radial finned cooling jacket and tripod mount.

'Whippet' was a term used to describe any light tank.

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