Book Review: Honour Bound – The Chauchat Machine Rifle

I’ve discussed the much-maligned CSRG machine rifle (the Chauchat) previously – it was not the utter disaster that common knowledge would lead you to believe. You won’t find much literature on the Chauchat, but fortunately what has been written is of top-notch quality: Gerard Demaison’s and Yves Buffetaut’s Honour Bound: The Chauchat Machine Rifle. Published by Collector Grade, this is an insightful and detailed account of the history, development, and field usage of the CSRG.

Honour Bound includes a significant amount of material from declassified French military archives, including firsthand assessments of Chauchats in the field from official French troop surveys, as well as citations for soldiers armed with the guns. Even if you aren’t particularly interested in French weapons or early machine guns, this is an excellent example of how the truth can be much different from what “everyone knows,” and it’s worth reading just as a cautionary tale about repeating common beliefs.

Best of all, it’s about the cheapest book put out by Collector Grade, at least until it’s sold out. I’m sure this volume will never be reprinted, so it behooves anyone to get a copy while they are still cheap and readily available.