American Rifleman - February 2015 - 74

The features
that made the
Model 1889
revolutionary
in its day were
its 7.65 mm
smokeless
cartridge, an
enclosed box
magazine that
could be loaded
by stripper clip or
with individual
rounds, its barrel
jacket and its
one-piece bolt
body with two
locking lugs.
Manufacturer
markings are
found on the
receiver rings of
Model 1889 rifles
and Model 89/16
carbines (below).

74

The Model 1889 rifles of the Great War
(r.) include (l. to r.): Birmingham arsenal
manufacture, Hopkins & Allen manufacture, FN
manufacture as used by the civil guard, rare FN
manufacture as used by the Force Publique in the Congo
and FN manufacture as used by the army. Period accessories include a pre-war bayonet, a wartime 1916 bayonet
without quillion, an instruction manual, muzzle covers,
a cleaning rod, ammunition and medals commemorating
the significant battles of the field army.

The Belgian military adopted the rifle in 1889,
but the Belgian Garde Civique (civil guard) waited
until 1895 to conduct its own trials. Ultimately
the Model 1889 was selected, and compatibility
with army rifles was obviously a key consideration.
FN was the sole manufacturer of the Model 1889
rifle in the 19th century. Belgian state arsenals
started making parts in order to repair guns. By
1913 this led to the assembly of complete rifles.
FN grew through the years and added numerous
product lines, but the Model 1889 rifle was never
changed and its only customers were the Belgian
army and the Belgian Congo.
The Belgian Congo adopted the rifle for its
Force Publique (Public/Police Force) in 1910.

However, only 40 percent of the Force Publique's
native soldiers were issued the Model 1889 rifles.
Constant mutinies in the ranks of the Force
Publique created distrust with the officers who
were concerned with having repeater rifles in the
hands of native soldiers.
At the outbreak of war in 1914, the Belgian
military was completely equipped with Model
1889 rifles and carbines. The Garde Civique was
mostly using the Model 1889 rifle, although some
outdated Comblain Model 1882 single-shot rifles
were still in use.

When thinking of the Great War, we often
envision the stagnant conditions of trench warfare; but before the stalemate was the German
race to capture Paris. When tensions rose, the
Germans enacted the 1905 Schlieffen plan in
order to capture the French city. For Germany
to succeed, France needed to be defeated in six
weeks. The overconfident German military did not
recognize the shortcomings of its plan, after all,
there was not much in the way. Neutral Belgium
would certainly not resist, so it reasoned.
The first hurdle manifested itself when the
Belgian government refused to give the German
army free passage to France. Germany responded
by invading Luxembourg and Belgium on August
4, 1914, confident that the Belgian army would
be swept aside, causing no delays. After the

Franco-Prussian war, Belgium had built a network
of strategically positioned fortifications, and forts
were built around many cities. The city of Liège
was surrounded by 12 forts-a defensive network
the Germans had to cross.
There, the German first wave of 35,000 men was
met with stiff resistance. Liège and its forts were
defended by the Belgian 3rd Division. Belgian foot
soldiers were armed with Model 1889 rifles while
fortress personnel were armed with Model 1889
artillery fortress carbines. The Germans massed on
the eastern bank of the Meuse River, and attempts
to cross the river resulted in heavy fighting.
The Germans quickly became aware of the excellent marksmanship of the Belgian riflemen. This
turned to frustration as Belgian rifleman employed
multiple tactics that often allowed them to remain

February 2015

american riFleman



American Rifleman - February 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - February 2015

Contents
American Rifleman - February 2015 - Cover1
American Rifleman - February 2015 - Cover2
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 1
American Rifleman - February 2015 - Contents
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 3
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 4
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 5
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 6
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 7
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 8
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 9
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 10
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 11
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 12
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 13
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 14
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 15
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 16
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 17
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 18
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 19
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 20
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 21
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 22
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 23
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 24
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 25
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 26
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 27
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 28
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 29
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 30
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 31
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 32
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 33
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 34
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 35
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 36
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 37
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 38
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 39
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 40
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 41
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 42
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 43
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 44
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 45
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 46
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 47
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 48
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 49
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 50
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 51
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 52
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 53
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 54
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 55
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 56
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 57
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 58
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 59
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 60
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 61
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 62
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 63
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 64
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 65
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 66
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 67
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 68
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 69
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 70
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 71
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 72
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 73
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 74
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 75
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 76
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 77
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 78
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 79
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 80
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 81
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 82
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 83
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 84
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 85
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 86
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 87
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 88
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 89
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 90
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 91
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 90b
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 91b
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 90c
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 91c
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 90d
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 91d
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 90e
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 91e
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 90f
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 91f
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 92
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 93
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 94
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 95
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 96
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 97
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 98
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 99
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 100
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 101
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 102
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 103
American Rifleman - February 2015 - 104
American Rifleman - February 2015 - Cover4
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