Machine gun battalions

At the start of the First World War each infantry battalion was issued with two, later four, machine-guns which were manned by the battalion’s machine gun section. However, during the war this organisation evolved. In February 1916 the machine gun sections were brought together, concentrating their firepower, to form machine gun companies. Each company was allocated to a brigade and all companies were re-equipped with Vickers medium machine-guns. In March 1918 each division’s four companies were consolidated into machine gun battalions. This organisation continued during the Second World War, with a machine gun battalion raised for each division of the Second AIF.