Today in AFJ History

August 12, 2013  

1899: Army asks Navy for guns

From the archives: August 12, 1899

Maj. Gen. Elwell S. Otis

Maj. Gen. Elwell S. Otis

Army officers are not altogether pleased that [Maj.] General [Elwell] Otis should have to apply to the Navy Department for rapid fire guns. The criticism upon the Army Ordnance Department is that it spends too much time splitting hairs and in experiments that lead to no final result. With all of his excellent qualities [Brig.] General [Daniel] Flager was slow to learn, and let us hope his successor will be less disposed to forget that the Ordnance Department exists for the Army, and not the Army for the Ordnance. The Navy readily agreed to fill General Otis’s requisition as they had ready for use one hundred of the guns asked for. [Navy] Secretary [John] Long immediately directed that twelve Colt automatic machine guns of six millimeters caliber be turned over to the Army, and they will be sent to Manila at once. General Otis had also requested 1 million rounds of ammunition for the guns and the Navy furnished 300,000 rounds as the first installment.