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Indirect Firing; An Innovation in Machine Gunning

Heroes Remember

Indirect Firing; An Innovation in Machine Gunning

We had different sites on our guns by that time and we could fire indirect firing. You take an ordinary machine gun, you can only shoot at what you see, be a soldier, a vehicle or whatever you want. But with the Vickers and that new site that they had, you could set it up the same way as an artillery sets up his sites on aiming posts. And you aimed at the aiming posts. You didn’t, you don’t know what your firing at. Your told so many degrees at such a such a range, and while, while he’s talking you put, your put the range on the site and the degree that he was asking so that when he says, might fire five hundred rounds or whatever you wanted . Then the, the whole four would fire that amount of round. And whatever orders we’d get then from the OPIP they had to have an OPIP then. Which ordinary machine gun units, up to that time, didn’t have that. It was very handy gun to have, because you could use it at close range and you could fire indirect firing. And you clear, you clear the hill, whatever. You might be firing from behind the hill, or it could be set up there. But get an order to, to fire on something else, you still had your site, and the aiming post that you had at the front. So you still aim there put whatever the range is given, it was quite simple.

Mr. Champoux talks about indirect firing; a technique made available by new machine guns.

Robert Arthur Champoux

Mr. Champoux was born in Hull, Québec on March 21st, 1921. He lived there until the age of 8 when his father, a First World War Veteran, moved the family to Ottawa. Mr. Champoux had three brothers and four sisters; he was the third oldest child. When the war broke out he was attending Ottawa Technical High School. He left school, after his first year, to join the Army after failing to join the Navy and the Air Force (who were not yet recruiting). He left for Europe July 17th, 1940 and ended up stopping in Iceland where he remained for the next 10 months. Mr. Champoux’s wartime service saw him fighting on D-Day and in the Falaise Gap. He also fought in Calais and later on in Holland where he was wounded. Mr. Champoux got a job with the Mint upon returning to Canada. He joined the army again in 1948 retiring in 1965.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Robert Arthur Champoux
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
13 Platoon - Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa
Machine Gunner

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