S: The Weapons of World War 1 by Gabriella Kreinbrook
FC: The Weapons of World War 1 | By Gabriella Kreinbrook
1: Weapons | Many innovations in weapons came about during World War 1. Many weapons we have today became well known through the war. Today we'll explore 5 commonly used weapons of World War 1. | 1 Grenades 2 Machine Guns 3 Pistols 4 Rifles 5 Poison Gas
2: Many models of grenades come from World War 1. Size and shape varied and the impact was unique with each model. Grenades quickly became a common weapon. Often times, teams of soldiers would run along enemy trench and throw grenades into dugouts. At the beginning of the war the Germans had 70,000 hand grenades and 106,000 rifle grenades waiting to be launched. Hand grenades were set off by pulling a pin and releasing the lever on the side. Rifle grenades were shot from a gun and contained a timed fuse that determined the detonation time. Homemade grenades showed their face among the mass produced grenades. Though the homemade grenades proved to be a risk as they were unpredictable.
4: The machine gun was top dog of the guns used in World War 1. With its fast firing ability it came into high demand. When positioned on a flat tripod the gun required a crew of four or six men. The gun was capable of firing 400 to 600 rounds a minute. The rounds fed into the gun on a fabric belt or metal strip. Though the gun could fire many rounds it often overheated. With the threat of overheating it was often shot in sudden bursts rather than constant fire. Even with the overheating it often jammed. Though the gun was very useful it proved to be difficult in battle. The use of the machine gun was favored by many but the difficulty of operating it was a hassle.
5: Machine | Guns
6: The pistol was originally made for cavalry but soon became popular among military police, officers of all armies, airmen, and tank operators. In cramped conditions the pistol was a perfect weapon that could attach to their waist. Revolvers, clip loaded automatics, and the 'blow-back' models were most common in use. Millions of pistols were produced during World War 1. They were a light weight gun that had light weight ammunition. They proved to be the perfect weapon in the war.
8: Even with advances in machine guns, mortar, and grenades the rifle still remained a popular defense. It's smaller size made for an easier weapon in the cramped trenches. The light weight was easier to manage than the heavy weight of some of the larger guns. The rifles, though not always accurate, could shoot over long distances. Though the most important use of the rifle was for the snipers. Snipers used rifles such as the Lee- Enfield (British) or the Mauser rifle (German). Rifles with less accuracy and distance were used in other areas of fighting. Some rifles even had knife attachments that would secure to the end for close combat.
10: Before the start of World War 1, many thought the use of poisonous gas and gas weapons to be uncivilized. As the war started it proved to be a powerful weapon. In trench warfare it was difficult to attack your opponent without exposing yourself. The first to use the weapon of gas was the French, though many believed it was the Germans. In August of 1914 the French army fired tear gas grenades towards the Germans. As the use of gases started becoming popular weapon choice the Germans started to experiment. They successfully engineered a gas that induced violent fits of sneezing. As well as a tear gas that would vaporise in freezing temperatures. Thought the first actual use of poison gas was on the 22th of April in 1915 at the Second Battle of Ypres. The gas of choice was chlorine, it appeared as a yellow-green cloud. Within seconds of breathing in the gas the victim would face respiratory damage and ultimately choking attacks that would end their lives. After the first use at the Second Battle of Ypres, poison gas became a very popular sought after weapon. As more gases were engineered the protection against the gases was also upgraded. At first the use of cotton pads dipped in a solution of bicarbonate of soda could be held over the face for protection. (We won't even mention the emergency alternative to this...) Though by 1918 a filter respirator was born! By the use of charcoal or other chemicals the respirators could be worn over the face for protection from gases.
11: Poison Gas