In 1974, renowned Belgian arms company Fabrique Nationale brought out a ground-breaking new light machine gun, the Minimi. Its success has been meteoric, arming more than 45 countries around the world.
The Minimi offers the ultimate in portable firepower. Firing the high-velocity 5.56x45mm round, the Minimi is a gas-operated, lightweight, belt- or magazine-fed weapon, able to burn through cartridges at a cyclical rate of up to 1,150 rounds per minute, making it the weapon of choice for fire support at squad level.
This study uses gripping first-hand accounts and striking combat photographs, following the Minimi to war zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan. It tracks its design and development, as well as investigating what has made it so compelling a choice for armed forces around the world for more than 40 years.
Chris McNab is an author and editor specializing in military history and military technology. To date he has published more than 50 books, including A History of the World in 100 Weapons (2011), Deadly Force (2009) and Tools of Violence (2008). Chris has also written extensively for major encyclopedia series, magazines and newspapers, and he lives in South Wales, UK. Johnny Shumate works as a freelance illustrator living in Nashville, Tennessee. He began his career in 1987 after graduating from Austin Peay State University. Most of his work is rendered in Adobe Photoshop using a Cintiq monitor. His greatest influences are Angus McBride, Don Troiani, and Edouard Detaille. Born in Malaya in 1949, Alan Gilliland spent 18 years as the graphics editor of The Daily Telegraph, winning 19 awards in that time. He now writes, illustrates, and publishes fiction (www.ravensquill.com), as well as illustrating for a variety of publishers (www.alangilliland.com).