Technological Inventions Of World War I

1893 words - 8 pages

Wars have been around for centuries. A typical battle was fought on land. The infantry would line up and fire at the advancing enemy. World War I was first called "the Great War" because of the number of lives lost (Coetzee 11). There were approximately nine million deaths over the course of the four years the war lasted (11). World War I began because of the assassination of "Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne" (17). Tensions were high and war seemed the only solution (17). The alliances in Europe were well formed by the time 1914 arrived (17). "The Central Powers" were "Germany and Austria-Hungary" (Westwell 8). "The Triple Entente" were "Britain, France, and Russia" (8). All of the countries and citizens believed in the cause of the war from the very beginning (9). That enthusiasm would quickly change once the introduction of new weapons and strategies were revealed (9). Every country involved was seeking ways to improve on the resources they needed to fight, and hopefully win the war. None of the countries involved wanted the other side to have a military advantage over the other (7). World War I had technological inventions such as machine guns, poison gas, tanks and submarines, which changed the strategy of war. The outcome of these inventions resulted in more death and destruction than previous wars.
Many have tried to improve the rapid firing power of guns throughout history (Bull 162). The first working machine gun was invented by "Hiram Maxim in the late nineteenth century" (163). World War I would be the place where the technologically advanced weapon would prove just how destructive the machine gun could be (163). The machine gun would also be used on tanks and airplanes (163). Many European soldiers went to war thinking it would be fought like it had always been with bayonets and lances (Coetzee 57). However, they would quickly learn the strategy of war changed when the machine gun was introduced (57). The troops would not have a chance to advance toward the enemy because of the massive firepower the machine guns produced (57). An entire line of troops would be eliminated before they had a chance to draw their weapon in defense (57). The use of machine guns created a new strategy of war, trenches (57). The French even wrote a song about how "a soldier's true love is the machine gun" (57). The soldiers had no choice, but to take to the ground and hide like "moles" in the dirt (57). The bloodiest battle of warfare with the use of machine guns was at Verdun (57). The casualties at Verdun were reported to be over 700,000 (58). The machine gun was undoubtedly "the most devastating weapon of the war" (Livesey 106). The machine guns were used by the British, Germans, Russians, French and Americans (106). At the beginning of the war, only two machine guns were assigned to battalions (106). Once the capabilities of this new advanced weapon were known, entire units began to only use the machine gun (106). The...

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