WEAPONS OF WORLD WAR 1
Rifles and Pistols
Bolt action rifle.
Nearly all infantrymen used bolt action rifles in world war 1.
The inventor of it was a Scottish immigrant named James Paris Lee. The Bolt rifle had a metal box in witch cartridges were
placed on top of a spring. As the bolt was opened the spring forced the cartridges up against a stop, the bolt pushed the
top cartridge into the chamber as it closed. After firing the opening of the bolt pushed out the empty cartridge case and
the return stroke loaded a new round.
The Lee Enfield was the most popular rifle in world war 1 used by the British army. Other popular rifles were the Mauser
Gewehr (Germany), Lebel (France), Mannlicher-Carcano (Italy), Springfield (United States), Moisin-Nagant (Russia), Mannlicher
M95 (Austria) and Arisaka (Japan).
The Lee Enfield.
In the 1890’s all major European countries used small bolt action rifles that fired multiple rounds. The Lee Enfield
was introduced in 1907 just at the start of the ww1, this was the British army’s main rifle. It was estimated that the
highly trained British Expeditionary Force that arrived in France in September 1914 were able to fire 15 rounds per minute.
The Lee Enfield could accurately shoot from 600m away but it could still kill someone from over 1,400m away.
The French army first introduced the Lebel rifle in 1886. The was the worlds first mass
produced magazine rifle. Another new invention was it used smokeless gunpowder. The ammunition was contained in the tubular
magazine beneath the barrel. On the outbreak of the First World War
the Lemel was still being used by the French Army. However, by 1916 it had been replaced by the Berthier.
The fist Springfield was made for the united states
Military in 1795. After the Spanish war in 1898 Erskine Allin the Superintendent of the Springfield Arsenal, developed
the M1903. The bolt-action magazine rifle, an adaptation of the Mauser Gewehr, was used by the United States Army during the
First World War. The M1903 rifle remained the US standard rifle until 1936. However, because of production problems with the
M1A1, it was also used during the Second World War. Snipers also preferred using the rifle all the way through the Korean
All officers in the first world war carried pistols. They were also given to military police, aircrew and the operators
of tanks and armoured cars. The British army tended to use the Wembley MKIV. Originally designed in 1887, but improved during
the early stages of the war, the Webley was a strong heavy-calibre weapon. It has been estimated that over 300,000 Webley
pistols were distributed to British officers during the war.
George Luger developed a new automatic pistol. The Swiss Army was the first to officially adopt the Luger P.04 pistol.
In 1904 the German navy used them then in 1908 it was used by the German army. Produced by Deutsche Waffen und Munitions,
the Luger Parabellum became the world's most widely used military handgun. The Luger fired a 7-round clip of 9mm ammunition. It is estimated that 1.5 million Lugers were produced in Germany
during the First World War.
In 1884 Hiram Maxim invented the world's first automatic portable machine-gun. Maxim used the energy of each bullet's recoil
force to eject the spent cartridge, insert the next and fire it. The machine-gun would therefore fire until the entire belt
of bullets was used up.
In 1889 the maxim gun was used by the British army. It was first used by Britain`s colonial forces in the Matabele war
in 1893-94. In one fight fifty police of the Rhodesian character company fought of 5,000 Matabele men with just four maxim
guns. The design was taken over by the Vickers Company and was used by the army for over seventy years. The Maxim Gun could
fire 400-600 rounds of small-calibre ammunition per minute. Each gun had the firepower of about 100 rifles. The German Army's
Maschinengewehr and the Russian Pulemyot Maxima were both based on the same design. The American Army tended to use the Browning
Machine-Gun whereas the French Army preferred the Hotchkiss.
Machine-guns were positioned all along the Western Front. The machine-guns in use in 1914 required a crew of three to six
men and were positioned on a flat trajectory tripod. For added protection, German machine-guns were often housed inside concrete