The machine gun has been around since the end of the nineteenth century and its impact on warfare cannot be overestimated. Its capability of prolonged fire, ability to wipe out dozens of victims in a single burst without the need for enormous accuracy on the part of the operator, has made it a fearsome weapon. It exacted a huge toll during the First World War and today it is still a potent weapon in the hands of troops on the ground and in the air. Terry Gander's readable history neatly sums up the development of the weapon. Information on all the most important designs, including Maxim, Browning, Lewis and Degtyarev, as well as specifications of the most significant models are included.