Tyler Rudolph Dr. Von Sturm-Day Composition 1 25 October 2009 The Effects of New Weapons on World War 1, 1914-1918 World War I signified the end of the era when civilians watched their champions on the battlefield. It became a war of knowledge and people, using the brains of scientists and inventors of the homeland. They created new weapons, which consumed awesome numbers of men and in time, led to a war on the ground, sea, and air. Differences in warfare became inevitable, and made thinking and ideas very important.
For the North, the Federal Arms Reserve held 437,000 weapons witch was thought to be enough for the Union. Soon each side found out that getting weapons could be a harder task than they thought. There were many different types of weapons used. Standard guns for both sides included the .54 caliber and the .58 caliber rifles. “Pocket pistols” were also common for people like generals and captains and were usually used in the event of an emergency.
Yet still, the Gatling gun was a huge step in revolutionary weapons technology. Prior to the Gatling gun, the only weapons that were available to militaries were mass-firing volley weapons of 1870 and 1871 or field cannons, which fired canisters like a large shotgun. The last were widely used during and after the Napoleonic Wars. Even though the maximum rate of fire was increased by firing multiple rounds at the same time, these weapons still needed to be reloaded after each discharge and for multi-barrel systems like the volley weapons, this was very time consuming. It also negated much of the advantage of their high rate of fire per discharge which made them less powerful during combat situations.
The tactics and technologies developed in this period changed the way we fought, and they are still used in modern combat. The Civil War was a chaotic period in American history. A united America was an incredibly tough opponent; however, a divided America was left scrambling for everything. The industrial works were in the North, the weapons manufacturers in the South. The South had to make do with the weapons they already had due to most of the resources being in the north.
New weapons of war revolutionized the style of battles throughout World War One. Without the new revolutionary weapons, World War One's combat between the sides would not have transformed from a quick, noble and brief battle into a whole new representation: trench warfare. Whether it was the further use of machine guns, the amazing tanks, the certainly refined flamethrowers, or the many other new technological developments that were brought into the First World War this new style of revolutionary warfare transformed battles forever. Machine guns were the cause of many of the deadly accidents in both war fronts during World War One. The men that came out of trenches had little chance of survival if the enemy opened fire with their machine guns.
They were becoming more accurate, and capable of longer ranges. In World War One, the average soldier carried a bolt action rifle. Bolt action rifles are accurate; however, they take a while to reload. After each shot, you have to reload. This would not work in World War Two.
These pikes would be used in a large square formation (called a "hedgehog formation) to protect archers and harquebusiers from cavalry assaults. Although both of these weapons were effective it was very difficult to amass large armies with the skills necessary for their effective use. The longbow took years to learn to use effectively and the Swiss pike required large groups of very well disciplined fighters moving in complex formations. This is in stark contrast to a soldier who could be trained to effectively use a firearm in weeks instead of the years of training needed for the longbow and pike. There was no need to learn marksmanship skills because these early firearms were extremely inaccurate.
Another type of weapon used was the bolt-action rifle. The most popular one is the Gewehr 98 Mauser. The rifles require the operator to reload usually after four shots have been fired. The Gewehr was famous for its precision and speed. These types of rifles also added a telescopic scope for sniping.
World War 1 was the first war were trench warfare played a vital role during the war. Trench warfare was a new way to fight a war and affected the war and soldiers in many different ways. Advancements in weaponry and fighting styles were reasons for the use of trenches in ww1. The trenches meant that the war became a stalemate and both sides searched for ways to break the stalemate. Fighting along the front was not continuous, timing and location could give soldiers vastly different experiences of the war.
The division was so strong, it eventually led to the Civil War. But sectionalism still isn't the top competing force. In my opinion, the force that had the greatest impact on the nation was expansion. Expansion is the process of extending a states territory by claiming new land, which the United States did a lot of. Expansion affected the nation in many ways other than size.