Designed by a French commission following general Boulanger’s demands in 1885, based on the previous Gras-Kropatschek rifles. Adopted c.1886, manufactured starting c.1887 by all major French national factories. 8x50mmR Lebel 8-round tubular magazine +1 chambered +1 in the lift, bolt action repeater. France’s military rifle for a good 60 years, named after colonel Nicolas Lebel who submitted the jacketed bullet idea, the Mle1886 rifle was the first smokeless powder rifle in full military service, one of the first repeating rifles in full military service and later the first one to use spitzer bullets.
By the late 1940’s, the French Army’s supply of submachine guns included an oddball collection of aging French made MAS-38’s, American Thompsons, British Stens, and captured German MP-40’s. By 1948, with conflicts heating up within France’s disintegrating colonial empire, it was decided that the military needed a new indigenously produced submachine gun. Developed by French arms factory Manufacture Nationale d'Armes de Tulle (MAT), the new MAT-49 was a weapon that was simple yet effective on the battlefield. Utilizing a blowback operated open bolt, it had a firing rate of around 600 rounds per minute. It was chambered in 9mm Para, thus maintaining common caliber with other NATO countries and doing away with the unusual 7.65mm Longue. For desert use it used a 20 round magazine specially designed to tolerate harsh desert conditions. In standard format it used a 32 round magazine. The magazine well itself had a grip machined into it to use as a forward grip. Most interestingly, the magazine well could fold up making it more compact for storage, transport, or during paratrooper jumps. Most of the submachine gun is produced from machine stamped steel, thus making it a cheap and easy weapon to produce but durable and simple. The grip incorporates a grip safety, meaning the weapon can only be fired when the grip is held. The stock is produced with collapsible wire, when can be retracted when not in use.
Produced of the MAT-49 began in 1949, and was immediately issued for use in France's numerous colonial wars as colonies made their bids for independence. It was used heavily during the Algerian War and the Indochina War. It was used especially heavily during the Indochina War (Vietnam) where it was ideal for use in the heavy jungles of Southeast Asia. After France’s defeat in the Indochina War, the Viet Minh captured a number of MAT-49’s. Many were converted to fire 7.62x25 Tokarev, a caliber which was commonly supplied by the Soviet Union and China. A number of domestic copies were also produced by North Vietnam and the Vietcong. Thus, the MAT-49 also became a common weapon used during the Vietnam War as well. France discontinued production of the MAT-49 in 1979 with the adoption of the FAMAS assault rifle.
-Crash Course: they’re videos, technically, but they are an awesome way to be entertained and learn at the same time. I used these to “take breaks” while studying for APUSH exams, and it relieves stress to watch something funny. Plus, John Green. Enough said.
-Animaniacs- also videos, but this is how I survived memorizing the presidents in order. If anyone ever comes across this for some reason and wants the rest of the song, I wrote the final few presidents through Obama for myself that I might post someday.
-Quizlet- Quizlet is my go-to for memorization. I love having online flash cards so I’m not wasting so much paper, and plus, they have games you can play to help yourself- the “learn” setting is especially helpful for languages, because you actually have to spell the word right before it lets you move on.
-Slader- I had no clue that Slader existed until my senior year in high school and I was so mad. Slader has a lot of answers to math problems, and other subjects as well, and it allows people to post explanations for the problems so you can solve along step-by-step. Disclaimer: DO NOT USE THIS TO CHEAT. The answers are there to help you CHECK yours, and most questions have a written tutorial to show you how to solve it, so do the work- it seriously helps you understand what’s going on. Slader is like 60% of the reason I passed Precalculus- the tutorials taught me more than I ever learned in class.
-Sparknotes- everyone knows about sparknotes, but here’s a suggestion of how to use it. I will use my experience with Hamlet as an example. When reading Hamlet, I would read the passage we were assigned, and then, the night before comprehension quizzes, I would read the Sparknotes summaries to jog my memory. Sparknotes has other great tools, such as a list of characters, in case you can’t remember who that random dude from page 3 was.
-Netflix- WAIT WHAT??
Hear me out. If you’re studying Political Science or some sort of Civics/Government class, I strongly recommend watching at least a little bit of The West Wing. Not only is this one of, if not the best show to grace television, but it is highly educational about American politics. It’s very fast-paced and hard to understand every political plot, but watching The West Wing gave me a greater appreciation for politics and history.
*someday I might try to post a list of the most educational West Wing episodes- they are very helpful for understanding concepts. For example, if you’re studying the Senate, there is a wonderful episode on Filibusters.
-If you’re learning a language, listen to pop tunes in that language. This helped me enormously with French, and I think it would work with anyone learning a new language. Find an artist you like, and become a fan!
(Fun fact- my favorite French artist came to my city twice, and I saw him live in concert 😍)
-if you’re in band or orchestra, listen to the pieces you’re practicing and learning while you do other homework. It will give you a greater understanding of how your part works with the other parts in the ensemble. I used this frequently.
-Books for language learners-
Depending on what year you are in a language, reading a chapter book in your language can help. I read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in French and really enjoyed it! Helped me a lot with vocabulary.
Arachnid attack? Giant robot spider occupies French street
For a moment you might think you are watching a Hollywood blockbuster, but the scene actually took place in western France on Saturday.
The giant, eight-legged mechanical spider named Kumo was taken by its human drivers on a tour in front of Nantes Cathedral. But instead of screaming and running for their lives, the curious crowd gathered around the 38-ton mammoth creature, pointing their cameras at it.
The steel beast was manufactured by French factory Les Machines de L'Ile 8 years ago.