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Paper Topic:

Impact of Machine Gun on WWI

The Role of Machine Guns in the First World War

The Battle of the Somme has again shown the decisive value of machine guns in defence . If they can be kept in a serviceable condition until the enemy 's infantry attack , and are then brought up into the firing position in time , every attack must fail

- From HQ 6th Bavarian Division , 3 September 1916

It was the fire of German machine guns which was most trying for our men . Again and again soldiers have told me today that the hard time came

when these bullets began to play upon them

- Philip Gibbs , 1917 (Quoted in Bruce 1997

One of the most significant weapon advancements which differentiated World War I from previous armed conflicts was the machine gun . Emerging from the technological advances at the height of the Industrial Revolution , the machine gun quickly gained a reputation for the devastation it could inflict . Machine guns became the most effective weapons of the war . They also naturally affected the perceptions and conduct of soldiers , who for the first time found themselves face to face with a reliable , portable , automatic weapon of deadly power that showered a hail of bullets and killed people instantly . We will begin this essay by taking a brief look at the these early machine guns , as well as the various types that were in use Although , these weapons were used by all the sides , it was Germany that realized and benefited from the power of machine guns most extensively We will discuss the advantage Germany had over the Allies with respect to machine guns . As the war progressed , some key technological innovations took place that aimed to exploit the full potential of machine guns , we will consider what these developments were . The machine gun 's effectiveness helped transform how people thought about warfare This ingenious invention of the 19th century had a profound influence on the very strategy of warfare during the First World War , especially as regards infantry tactics . It radically changed the conventional face of armed conflict , and paved way for further dramatic changes during the Second World War - we will try to understand the basis of machine gun 's critical impact on the nature of warfare

With armies becoming more reliant on military technologies by the beginning of the twentieth century , combat began to be seen as a contest of arms more than ever . Victory was heavily predicated on supplies of ammunition . The development of high explosives and new types of gun increased the firepower of warships as well as artillery on land . At the outbreak of the First World War , machine guns were developed enough to be easily deployable and their withering fire cut down advancing troops like a gardener scything grass . The German , British , and French machine guns dominated the battlefields of the Western Front in 1914-1918 , and have become one of the major hallmarks of the Great War . The following are some of major models used in the early years...

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