The M1913 Parabellum machine-gun was a light-machine gun based on a clever modification of the Maxim system of operation. It was first produced shortly before the First World War by the German company Deutsche Waffen-und Maschinenfabrik (DWM). Production of the weapon was a commercial venture, but the outbreak of war led to it being taken into service my the German armed forces. The water-cooled version was fitted as defensive armament on airships. Later examples were modified to be air-cooled and were used as observer's guns in aircraft. This particular weapon is a very rare example of an early, water-cooled gun used in ground warfare. A painted legend on the barrel indicates that it was captured on 17 August 1918 by the 57th Battalion of the Australian Imperial Force, at Merricourt on the Somme.
This version of the Parabellum, with water jacket, is extremely rare. MOD Pattern Room has only other known example.
1. stamped on left of receiver 2. stamped on left and right of receiver, top cover and cocking handle 3. stamped on top cover 4. painted on water jacket 5. painted on water jacket (partially illegible)
1. S.M.GEW.MOD.PARABELLUM 1913 BERLIN 2. DWM 3. DWM monogram 4. G7083 5. MERRICOUT SOMME CAPTURED BY 57TH BN 15TH AUST INF.BDE. 17.8.18