I would love to more about Japanese weaponry in the Great War and, more specifically, about their use of light machine guns, and did they use things like a c96 Mauser or a Madsen LMG. Also, did they use Russian weaponry in any way? People have been trying to convince me that they did but there isn't sufficient evidence, that I found, that they did.
It doesn't appear Japan used light machine guns in WWI their first domestically produced light machine gun was introduced in 1922 after WWI concluded.
Light machine guns were rare at the beginning of WWI(1914). The only model available was the Madison gun from Denmark and those were very expensive. During WWI the United States designed two and one was mass produced in Britain.
- Madsen machine gun (Denmark 1883), sold to and used by both sides during WWI(*)
- Lewis_gun(USA 1914) (American designed, mass produced in Britain)
- M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle (USA 1918)
(*) The Japanese captured Madsen guns in WWII during the Dutch East Indies Campaign from the Norwegian Army and used them during WWII.
The need was based upon the "heavy machine guns" were so heavy (130+ lbs), they could not be easily carried when troops went on offenses. The military wanted a light machine gun which could be used as an infantry weapon when the infantry was on the move.
The First Japanese light machine gun was Type 11 light machine gun. It was introduced into the Japanese military in 1922 after WWI was concluded. It also saw action during WWII.
Other WWI Japanese Arms include