WWI Weapons and Vehicles

By:Shyana Marvelle

1.The Zeppelin

The Zeppelin was a blimp. was an airship that was used during the early part of the war in bombing raids by the Germans. They carried machine guns and bombs. However, they were abandoned because they were easy to shoot out of the sky.


At first they were used to deliver bombs and for spying work but became fighter aircraft armed with machine guns, bombs and some times cannons. Fights between two planes in the sky became known as 'dogfights'.


Torpedoes were used by submarines.The Germans used torpedoes to blow up ships carrying supplies from America to Britain.The Germans torpedoed the passenger liner Lusitania on May 1st 1915 which sank with a loss of 1,195 lives. Americans were outraged and joined the war in 1917 on the side of the allies.


The main weapon used by British soldiers in the trenches was the bolt-action rifle. 15 rounds could be fired in a minute and a person 1,400 meters away could be killed. It was the most crucial, ever-present infantry weapon throughout World War One.


The German army were the first to use chlorine gas at the battle of Ypres in 1915. Chlorine gas causes a burning sensation in the throat and chest pains. Death is painful, you suffocate. The problem with chlorine gas is that the weather must be right. If the wind is in the wrong direction it could end up killing your own troops rather than the enemy. Mustard gas was the most deadly weapon used. It was fired into the trenches in shells. It is colourless and takes 12 hours to take effect. Effects include: blistering skin, vomiting, sore eyes, internal and external bleeding. Death can take up to 5 weeks.

6.Machine gun

Machine guns needed 4-6 men to work them and had to be on a flat surface. They had the fire-power of 100 guns. Large field guns had a long range and could deliver devastating blows to the enemy but needed up to 12 men to work them. They fired shells which exploded on impact.


Tanks were used for the first time in the First World War at the Battle of the Somme. They were developed to cope with the conditions on the Western Front. The first tank was called 'Little Willie' and needed a crew of 3. Its maximum speed was 3mph and it could not cross tranches.The more modern tank was not developed until just before the end of the war. It could carry 10 men, had a revolving turret and could reach 4mph.

8. Grenades

Grenades - either hand or rifle driven - were detonated in one of two ways. They were either detonated on impact (percussion) or via a timed fuse.The idea of using a pin, extracted by hand from a grenade, to set off a timed fuse quickly became commonplace and was a feature of most later grenades. Another, earlier, method of igniting the fuse was via the so-called 'stick' grenade, where the fuse was lit when the grenade left the handle which it was attached to.


U-boats were German submarines. It was a self-propelled underwater missile. By the end of the war Germany had built 334 U-boats and had 226 under construction. The peak U-boat strength of 140 was reached in October 1917, but there were never more than about 60 at sea at one time. In 1914–18 the destruction—more than 10,000,000 tons—caused by the U-boats was especially remarkable in view of the small size (less than l,000 tons), frailty, and vulnerability of the craft.

10. Mortars

Trench mortars were used in a variety of defensive and offensive roles, from the suppression of an enemy machine-gun, sniper post or other local feature, to the coordinated firing of barrages. Larger mortars were sometimes used for cutting barbed wire, especially where field artillery could not be used, either because of the danger of hitting British troops or where the effect of the fire could not be observed. Experience on the Somme revealed that use of Stokes mortars in an offensive close-support role had been limited by the reluctance of some commanders to sacrifice rifle strength to provide parties required to carry the ammunition which the weapons so quickly consumed.