ZB vz. 26 file photo [9931]

ZB vz. 26 Machine Gun

Country of OriginCzechoslovakia
TypeMachine Gun
Caliber7.920 mm
Capacity20 rounds
Length1,150.000 mm
Barrel Length672.000 mm
Weight10.500 kg
Rate of Fire500 rounds/min
Range1,000 m
Muzzle Velocity744 m/s


ww2dbaseThe ZB vz. 26 light machine guns were developed by the Czechoslovakian firm Zbrojovka Brno starting in 1923, with the research project headed by Václav Holek. After production began, they equipped the Czechoslovakian Army. The design was sold to other nations, including 30,249 weapons to China, whose troops used them against Japanese attacks as early as 1932. After Germany annexed Czechoslovakia, these weapons continued production under the new designation MG 26(t), and were widely used by German Waffen-SS troops early in the war. Only a small number of them were assigned to German Army units. The direct successor design, ZB vz. 30 machine guns, were produced under the German designation of MG 30(t). Of the ZB machine guns built during the war in German-occupied Czechoslovakia, 20,000 of them were exported to Axis-friendly Spain.

The ZB vz. 26 design was exported to Britain in the 1930s as the basis for the Bren gun. While ZB and Bren weapons fired different ammunition, these two weapons were otherwise nearly identical.

During the Korean War, Chinese communist forces used many captured ZB vz. 26 light machine guns against forces of the United Nations. In the Vietnam War, Communist China provided a number of them to North Vietnamese forces.


Neil Grant, The Bren Gun



Last Major Revision: Apr 2010

ZB vz. 26 Machine Gun Interactive Map


Chinese troops with a ZB vz. 26 light machine gun, date unknownMachine gun crew of Chinese 185th Division with ZB vz. 26 light machine gun, date unknownChinese soldier with ZB vz. 26 light machine gun, 1930sCzechoslovakian troops on exercise, late 1930s; note ZB vz. 26 light machine gun
See all 29 photographs of ZB vz. 26 Machine Gun


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ZB vz. 26 Machine Gun Photo Gallery
Chinese troops with a ZB vz. 26 light machine gun, date unknown
See all 29 photographs of ZB vz. 26 Machine Gun

Famous WW2 Quote
"With Germany arming at breakneck speed, England lost in a pacifist dream, France corrupt and torn by dissension, America remote and indifferent... do you not tremble for your children?"

Winston Churchill, 1935