The weapons used in World War I were by far deadlier than any weapons used in previous wars. Weapons like the automatic machine gun, tanks, submarines, and poison gas were all introduced in this historic war. This is a complete list of the new weapons used by both sides of World War I. 



Mechanics of a British rifle

The main weapon used by British trench soldiers was the bolt-action rifle. It could shoot fifteen rounds in a minute and kill a person from 1400 meters away. 

Machine GunEdit


Four men manning a machine gun in the trenches

Machine guns fired ammunition automaticaly, and could wipe out waves of attackers. This made it very difficult for troops to advance on the enemy. They needed four to six men to operate them, and had to be on a flat surface. Machine guns had the firepower of 100 normal guns. 

Poisonous GasEdit

Poison Gas

The first gas used in WWI was chlorine gas, by the Germans at the battle of Ypres, 1915. It was risky and dangerous, as wind could blow it back to your own forces. The most dangerous gas used in WWI was mustard gas- it was fired into trenches, was colorless, and took 12 hours to take effect. Effects included: in/external bleeding, blisters, and vomiting. Death could take up to 5 weeks.  

Flamethrower Edit


The first portable flamethrower was introduced by the Germans, and was used by them until the end of the war. It was first used against the French on the Western front. Flamethrowers turned out to be very powerful weapons, but they had a limited range and were difficult to control. Nevertheless, both France and Britain later developed flamethrowers, though they never used them to the same degree as the Germans.  

Tanks Edit


Tanks were first used in the Battle of the Somme. They were developed to cope with the conditions of the Western Front. The first tank made was called "Little Willie" after it's inventor William Foster and Co. in Britain, 1915. Tanks were first successfully deployed in the Battle of Cambrai (November 20 -December 7, 1917) and helped the British achieve a major breakthrough in the first day of the offensive.

Submarines and Torpedoes Edit


Submarines had first been introduced in the American War of Independence, but were only used widespread in WWI.  All belligerents had submarines at the outbreak of the war (the British had over 70) but the German U-boats were by far the most successful. Germany's unrestricted Submarine warfare was one of the reasons America joined the war. America's involvement was critical in the defeat of the Central Powers.

Planes Edit


Initially used for reconnaissance, both sides of WWI used airplanes to drop bombs on the enemy, and to do battle in the air. Fighter aircraft was armed with machine guns, bombs, and sometimes cannons. Fights between two planes were known as "dogfights". Throughout the war, airplanes were continuously improved; for a large part to improve pilot safety, as the introduction of fighter planes led to the development of anti-aircraft weapons.

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