1944 BESA tank MG belt

I got this 3 link belt segment in a plastic sealed bag. When I lifted the rounds, I found green verdigris. I associated verdigris with leather, that’s where I see it most, brass-leather junction. Here there is no leather, I think. Also, the symbol on the middle link reminds me of fleur-de-lys. Is this belt of French design?

Verdigris is associated with moisture, often attracted by salt compounds. So while often seen with leather due to curing salts, can be associated with any moisture. Canvas belt could be the culprit here.
Also there is the possibility of galvanic reaction with the brass case and galvanized link, just add water…

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Vlad, “French” is correct as for the name of the manufacturer who was Thomas French & Sons Ltd. - located in Manchester / UK.

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Belt is original Czech ZB53/Vz37 design, adopted by
BRITAIN in slightly modified version of gun as BESA 7.92
MkI.
Thomas French & Sons were and still are Curtain accessories manufacturers from before 1900, and made Maxim and Vickers belts from the beginning. They were instrumental in developing .303 Prideaux links in WWI and further developments in WWII.
Their last product was the Stripper clip for 7.62Nato, for the LIAI rifle.
Doc AV

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Here’s the BESA page from Thomas French’s brochure, it seems strange to think of military equipment appurtenances as “brands”;

The company made vast numbers of cartridge and shell clips in the First War and carried on making military bits and pieces until the 1960’s although export contracts may have run later than that. The final bit of their story that I have is one of the series of experimental one-piece 7,62x51 clips that’s dated 1962, produced in the search for economy … a case of re-inventing the wheel as one-piece “Mauser” designs have been introduced many times … and always found wanting when in use.

Peter

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They also made a distinctive style of 20mm Hispano belt link.

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Takapu, it was something from this series. Can’t find my images of them.

French.pdf (1.0 MB)

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Reference EOD’s link to French patent.

A couple of pics of the 20mm Thomas French link, with the Fleur-de-lys on the box.Link on right is standard 20mm Hispano for comparison.

LINK

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Here’s the page from French’s brochure dealing with their Hispano link;

Peter

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