Villar Perosa aircraft submachine gun
|Type||Aircraft machine gun|
|Place of origin||Italy|
|Used by||See users|
|Wars||World War I|
|Mass||6.5 kg (14 lb)|
|Length||90 cm (35 in)|
|Barrels||2 side by side|
|Rate of fire||1.500 round/min|
|Feed system||Box Magazine|
Originally designed to be used by the second crew member/observer of military airplanes, it was later issued to ground troops. Between May and November 1916 a section was assigned to each infantry battalion of the Italian army and from May 1917 the number of sections was increased to 3 per battalion.
The Villar Perosa was designed as a portable double barrel machine gun firing a 9mm round. It consisted of two independent coupled weapons, each with its own barrel firing mechanism and separate 25-round magazine.
As it was originally designed to be operated from airplanes it had a high rate of fire of over 1,500 rounds per minute. However, in practice the 9mm munition was not sufficiently powerful to shoot down aircraft, which had become ever more resistant over the course of the war, and in addition the range was inadequate.
It was also used during World War I by the Italian infantry, with a bipod and a gun shield. Despite its high rate of fire, its atypical design and its weight, it proved to be very effective at short range.
The mechanism of the VP was a sound design, and shortly after the end of the war was used as the basis of a more practical weapon, the OVP 1918.
- Austria-Hungary, Captured examples.
- Germany, Captured examples.
- United Kingdom, Trial purposes. Chambered in .455 Webley Automatic.
- Nicolle, David (25 Mar 2003). The Italian Army of World War I. Men-at-Arms 387. Osprey Publishing. p. 33. ISBN 9781841763989.
- Landships II, http://www.landships.info/landships/weapon_articles.html?load=weapon_articles/Villar_Perosa.html
- "Villar Perosa". Retrieved December 6, 2015.
- Anthony G. Williams (2012). Sub-Machine Gun: The Development of Sub-Machine Guns and their Ammunition from World War 1 to the Present Day. The Crowood Press UK. p. 260. ISBN 1847972934.
- George M. Chinn, The Machine Gun. History, Evolution, and Development of Manual, Automatic, and Airborne Repeating Weapons, Volume I.
- Philip Schreier, The World's First Sub-Gun. Guns & Ammo Surplus Firearms, September 2009.