The Machine Guns of Fort Lee

In Fort Lee outside boro hall, there is a War Veterans Memorial. Next to the monument itself sit two WWI French Hatch Kiss machine guns.




One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Ken on March 12, 2009 at 9:08 AM

    It’s not Hatch Kiss it’s Hotchkiss, The Marks apologized to me for spelling it wrong in the Roadside Guide. There used to be a French Hotchkiss and a British Vickers chained to a tree in front of the Ft. Lee town hall. In WNJ #8 there was a news article about a machine gun being found along the RR tracks they could not figure out who it belonged to. The detectives involved were amazed at how many people were missing a machine gun. About that time the Hotchkiss gun went missing. Two years ago I picked up the back issue and I wrote the detectives mentioned in the article.

    Six months later I drove to Ft. Lee to see if they had straightened it out. I found a brand new memorial with two Hotchkiss guns bolted to it. Around the base of one of the there is a different pattern of drill holes as if there had previously been a different tripod bolted there. I assume they had replaced the missing Hotchkiss gun then recovered the missing one and decided to display the matching set. The Vickers gun was probably put in storage. The chain that attached the guns to the tree is still there. One weird thing about the memorial that I did not notice until seeing your pictures. The memorial reads “The Greatest Generation 1941-1945”. Hotchkiss guns are from World War One. The Vickers gun was used in both World Wars but is more noted for its role in the trenches of the first one. Thanks, Ken


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