The ZB vz. 37 or ZB-53 was a medium Czechoslovak machine gun. A versatile weapon was used both as a support weapon and mounted on board tanks and other armored vehicles, as well as in fixed positions within the Czechoslovak border fortifications. Adopted before World War II by the armies of Czechoslovakia (under the designation TK vz. 37) and Romania, it was also manufactured under license in the United Kingdom as a Besa machine gun. After the Munich Agreements, German troops captured large quantities of this weapon and used it during the war with the designation MG 37. The ZB vz. 37 was designed by engineers Václav Holek and Miroslav Rolčík of the Zbrojovka Brno factory as a replacement for the Schwarzlose of the First World War. Based on the previous machine gun ZB vz. 35, the prototype was tested in 1936 and the following year the Czechoslovak Army adopted the new machine gun with the designation TK vz. 37 (-TK- is -těžký kulomet-, Heavy machine gun; -vz- is -vzor-, Model). It was introduced as the standard machine gun of the Czechoslovak tanks LT vz.35 and LT-38. Czechoslovakia exported this machine gun to Romania, Yugoslavia, Argentina, Afghanistan, Iran and China (only 850 units used during the Second Sino-Japanese War), while the United Kingdom bought a license and began producing its own version, the Besa machine gun ( more than 60,000 units). The British adopted it as weapons for their armored vehicles. The factories Zbrojovka Brno and then Zbrojovka Vsetín produced the machine gun in large quantities until the 1950s. It was a machine-powered machine fed by tape and cooled by air that served both for support of the infantry, as weapons of armored vehicles. The machine gun was supplied in three variants: Infantry machine gun (on heavy tripod), heavy bunker machine gun (with heavy barrel marked with -O-) and for armored vehicles (cannon marked with -ÚV-). It was designed to shoot continuously for 5 minutes, after which the barrel had to be changed due to wear. Even being a modern weapon, it was prone to block due to the complex cadence selector mechanism.
Weapons with names
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World War II
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