In 1900 John Browningapplied for a patent for a recoil powered automatic gun. He didn't finalize the design until ten years later. The US Army Ordnance Department showed no interest until war was declared against Germany in 1917. It was put into production in 1918 but too late in WWI to make a difference.
Only 1700 1917s made it to Europe. It was used by various countries from 1918 up until the Vietnam war.
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