At the time of US entry in the first world war, the United States military had no portable light machine guns of its own, as this technology was only just being pioneered at the time. In response to poor performance of the French Chauchat machine gun, John Browning set about designing a gun bridge this gap. What resulted was the M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle, and while it came too late to make any discernable effect on the course of the first world war it would go on to be one of the more widely used weapons during World War II and remained in service well up until the Vietnam war. The weapon was gas-operated, and normally chambered for a .30.06 cartridge. The powerful ammunition used, as well as the weapons high rate of fire often resulted in the weapon being somewhat difficult to control, as well as making sustained rates of fire difficult. To counter this the M1918 was often deployed in pairs, such that one gunner could pick up the slack in the fire rate whilst the other gunner reloads.
Despite some difficulty in its operation the M1918 was one of the most widely used weapons of the war, which when used correctly could prove deadly to the enemy.