Weapons/Vehicles Used in WW1
by Lexi Daniel
Rifles were the main weapons used in World War 1 by British soldiers in trenches. With the use of the bolt-action rifle, 15 rounds could be fired in a minute and a person 1,400 meters away could be shot.
2. Machine Guns
Machine guns required 4-6 men to fire them and had to be worked from a flat surface. Despite the trouble of working one, they had the power of 100 guns and were useful during the war.
The first to use gas as a weapon were the Germans, who used chlorine gas during the war to suffocate their enemies. It was first used during the battle of Ypres in 1915. Mustard gas was another gas used during the war. It was a colorless gas that took 12 hours before it resulted in blistering skin, vomiting, and many other symptoms for the victim.
Zeppelins were used in bombing raids by Germany in the beginning of the war to carry machine guns and bombs. They stopped being used later on, since they were too easy to shoot down.
Tanks were first used during the Battle of Somme. Some of the first tanks of the war needed 3 people to operate and could reach a maximum speed of 3 mph. Near the end of the war, a more modern tank was developed, which could hold 10 people and reach 4 mph.
At first, planes were used during the war for delivering bombs and spying. Later on, however, they were used for fighting and were armed with machine guns, bombs, and even canons.
During the war, the Germans fired torpedoes from submarines to shoot down ships carrying supplies from America to Britain. On May 1st, 1915, the Germans torpedoed the Lusitania, which sank and killed around 1,195 lives. This made Americans angry, so they joined the war on the side of the Allies in 1917.
During the war, all soldiers were equipped with bayonets. Bayonets were used for close combat fighting in trench warfare. However, as the war progressed, more soldiers began using machine guns instead for offensive attacks.
In as early as 1913, Germany was producing hand grenades to use later on during trench warfare in 1914. These grenades were typically made with heavy cast iron coverings and were used for offensive or defensive purposes. They were used by the French during the war as well.
At the time, the Germans had the most advanced form of submarine, called the U-Boat. A typical U-Boat was 214 feet long, held 35 men and 12 torpedoes, and could last underwater for about 2 hours. In the first few years of the war, Germany used U-Boats to do a lot of damage against the Allies.