Weapons of the Great War

Lisa Ravenclaw
Mind Map by Lisa Ravenclaw, updated more than 1 year ago
Lisa Ravenclaw
Created by Lisa Ravenclaw about 4 years ago


World War I

Resource summary

Weapons of the Great War
1 The Tank
1.1 Tanks were first used by the Allies in the summer of 1916.
1.2 Many of the tanks broke down before they could even reach the enemy lines.
1.3 The psychological impact of the tanks was very strong - The tanks created panic amongst the Germans and had a profound effect on the morale of the German army.
1.4 Originally, the tank was designed to solve a tactical situation - the stalemate on the Western Front. The tank would achieve this by protecting the soldiers from bullets and shell splinters as well as being able to pass through barbed wire.
1.5 A tank would... ...have a top speed of 6.4 km/h on flat land ...be able to turn sharply at top speed ...be able to climb a 5-feet parapet ...be able to cross an 8-feet gap ...have a working radius of 20 miles
2 The Mashine Gun
2.1 Both sides used mashine guns as an effective weapon.
2.2 A mashine gun had the firepower of about 100 rifles - It could fire 400-600 rounds of small-callibre ammunition per minute.
3 Gas
3.1 The use of gas in the first world war was limited - it accounted for 4% of war deaths.
3.2 Gas was psychologically very effective: It was a terrifying weapon that caused panic and fear among troops.
3.3 Mustard gas was the most lethal of all the poisonous chemicals in the war. Small amounts were added to highly explosive shells and then released. Once in the soil, mustard gas remained active for weeks.
3.4 Chlorine Gas burned the throat of the victims, blurred their vision and caused blisters and nausea. It was often fatal.
3.5 Phosgene was the most used type of gas in the war - it was responsible for about 85% of the deaths caused by poisonous gases.
3.6 Often, a combination of gases were used for a maximum effect.
3.7 Gas was developed at a rapid pace, but scientists also worked on protection from gas.
4 Aerial Warfare
4.1 The first world war saw the introduction of the use of aircrafts in conflict.
4.2 The main role of aircraft at the time was observation and reconnaissance.
4.3 With no radios to communicate between land and air, it took valuable time for massages to be passed on to ground troops.
4.4 There were limited attempts at bombing raids.
5 Artillery
5.1 All day, every day, artillery would pound the enemy's trenches with hundreds of shells.
5.2 Artillery bombardments caused more casualties than any other weapon.
5.3 At the beginning of the war, the guns were not very accurate. Artillery only developed over the course of World War 1.
5.4 A vast part of European industry was given over to making shells for the artillery.
6 Tunnel Warfare
6.1 Tunnels were dug with the intention of placing mines under the trenches of the enemy.
6.2 Both sides listened for the constant shoveling of the enemy. Often tunnels would collide and a fight in the dark would determine which tunnel was to be blown up.
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