This infographic shows how the machine gun revolutionized World War I combat
WWI was one of the first truly modern conflicts. Fought mainly along trenches, the war saw the introduction of chemical weapons, tanks, and aerial combat. Thought of as the war to end war, over 9 million soldiers were killed in the conflict and 21 million were injured. These casualties were largely helped along by the war being the first to feature widespread use of machine guns. The following graphic, from Norwich University's Online Masters in Military History program, shows the destructive impact and history of the machine gun on the war.
Artillery in the Great War by Paul Strong and Sanders Marble (book review)
Artillery was the decisive weapon of the Great War, dominating the battlefields, tet the history of artillery during the conflict has been neglected. Authors describe how in theory and practice the use of artillery developed in different ways among the opposing armies, and they reveal how artillery men on all sides coped with the challenges that confronted them on the battlefield.
Remains of huge secret First World War flamethrower discovered in Somme
A long-forgotten British secret weapon is emerging along the Somme Valley in France. Parts of a giant flamethrower, which would have engulfed the German WWI frontline in an inferno, have been discovered by archaeologists who now think they can locate the weapon, still buried under tonnes of earth. It was destroyed by German shellfire before it could ever be used – and 3 similar weapons were never deployed in action. Royal Engineers, based at Chatham, designed the device that could throw 1,000 gallons of burning oil at the enemy - unfortunately it needed 300 men to manoeuvre it into position.
Woman's carload of World War I rifles and shells shut down city center
Authorities evacuated City Hall and shut down busy Beach Boulevard in Buena Park after an elderly woman turned up with a carload of First World War rifles and shells. She had discovered the antique weapons, which her late husband had collected, when she cleaned out her garage. The woman took the weapons – rifles, handguns and bayonets – to the Police Department to turn them in. But officers were quite worried because some shells were large-caliber military ordinance - some still in their original boxes. Authorities will destroy the rifles and shells - making no exception for antique or collectible weapons.
German machine gun captured by Alvin York at Museum of Appalachia
Of the 2 million American soldiers who served in France during the First World War, one name became synonymous with the doughboy war, an authentic all-American hero: Alvin Cullum York. York may be the greatest American combat hero of all time. Now, a part of the battlefield feat that made York a legend has come to the land of his beginning. A German machine gun that York seized in the closing days of the war is on permanent loan to the Museum of Appalachia in Norris. It took 2 years of working through red tape to get the German Maxim M1908/15 light machine gun to Norris from the Nahant, Mass., Public Library, which has the weapon for the past 92 years.
Machine gun Collector donates 1,700 items to World War I museum
As Kansas City's Liberty Memorial has gained fame with its WWI museum, the flow of donated artifacts has also increased. But officials are still recovering from the immensity of a gift from the widow of a lifelong collector Carl H. Hauber. A semi-trailer truck brought in the 1,700 items, most of them related to the machine guns of that era. "It was like getting a whole other museum. Hauber collected like a curator. He was collecting the world of the machine gun. Not just the object but the context," explained Eli Paul, of museum programs at Liberty Memorial. It will take months, maybe years, to fully absorb the material.
105mm calibre 1FH 16 German gun captured at Vimy Ridge in Niagara all along
It's been an undiscovered historical treasure, located in plain sight for 12 years in a Niagara-on-the-Lake park. The German gun from World War I is exposed to the weather, played upon by kids and generally has a low profile. Not anymore. When members of the Lincoln and Welland Regiment Foundation traced its serial number through Ottawa, they were amazed to discover the gun was seized in the Battle of Vimy Ridge. "We were aware it was a WW1 gun. We really weren't aware it was somewhat iconic," stated Jeff Cairns, executive director of the Lincoln and Welland Regiment Foundation and chairman of its museum.
Amateur history enthusiast saves a First World War revolver
For years it gathered dust, maybe in an attic. Somehow, a World War 1 pistol was scooped up in a pile of clothes and passed on to a charity shop. Now, the gun (a prized possession of Captain Hugh Winfield Sayres, who perished on the first day of the Battle of the Somme) is finding a new home in a museum. The discovery of the pistol was made when staff at the Earl Shilton shop searched through a bag of old clothes. They called in Leicestershire police. Normally, the gun would have been dismantled, but after learning of the discovery, amateur history enthusiast Sergeant Rich Matlock stepped in to save the relic (a Wilkinson Webley revolver).
History buffs who pleaded for WWI militaria get 2ft German bayonet
History buffs who called for First World War memorabilia got more than they asked for when they were offered a 2ft bayonet which once belonged to a German soldier. The Great War relic was handed over to Ladywood History Group by Gertie Grice, who was handed the bayonet by her dad Frank Webster, who served in the trenches of Western Front. The bayonet will go on show in an exhibition to mark the 90th anniversary of the end of the conflict.
Letter from Winston Churchill to Edward Harrison, who invented the gas mask, found
An unknown letter from Winston Churchill to Edward Harrison, WWI army chemist who invented the gas mask, has been discovered. Churchill, then minister of Munitions, tells Harrison's widow that "it is in large measure to him that our troops have been given effectual protection from the German poisonous gases". Harrison died just days before the end of WW1, working himself to death to develop the perfect gas mask. His work on the gas mask saved countless soldiers from the death caused by poisonous gas in the trenches. For his work he was decorated with the highest honours like France's Legion d'Honneur.
Duluth collector buys legendary 1914 shotgun - Czar's Parker (Article no longer available from the original source)
To firearm collectors, it's known as the Holy Grail of guns, an almost mythical weapon. It was manufactured in 1914 and was meant for Czar Nicholas II. But the "Czar's Gun" was long thought to be lost or destroyed, while some believed it never existed in the first place. It did exist, and it now belongs to gun trader Jack Puglisi Sr., who bought it at an auction for $250,000, thought to be a world record for a shotgun at auction. the Czar's Gun is also known as the Czar's Parker because it was handmade by Parker Bros. It was to be shipped to Czar Nicholas II, but historian David Trevallion said WWI broke out and the gun sat in a New York dock.
A historic find frustrates: Trouble with captured German machine gun
Sergeant Alvin York's capture of a heavily fortified German machine gun nest made York an American legend. Which is why Nahant's public library was thrilled to discover one of the captured German machine guns in attic. Research showed that Mayland Lewis had plucked the weapon from a pile given up by Germans. Prized as a souvenir of the war, it was paraded through the town on 1919 Armistice Day. Its rediscovery stoked dreams of a big windfall for the library as auctioneers valued the weapon at $100,000. But the dreams didn't last long: Officials learned that the gun is illegal and that they can do very little with it - and ATF wants to destroy it.
Mysterious Czar's Parker shotgun surfaces, put up for auction (Article no longer available from the original source)
This is a story about a Meriden shotgun, made for Czar Nicholas II, the last czar to rule Russia. The gun was on its way to Russia when World War 1 broke out and it was returned to its maker in Meriden, the renowned Parker Brothers. The czar never saw it. Eventually, a new buyer was found. In the years since, the shotgun, referred to as the "Czar's Parker," has been surrounded by mystery, fueled by a fake in the 1980s. The shotgun has legendary status among gun collectors, particularly those obsessed with the history of the Parker company. Now the gun has resurfaced, for auction. It is expected to attract bids $225,000-$325,000.
Museum gets WWI-era MG08/15 water-cooled machine gun (Article no longer available from the original source)
Officials with the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum, which houses military memorabilia, were wide-eyed as local sheriff's officials presented them a new link to battlefield history - a World War I MG08/15 water-cooled machine gun that was seized in a drug raid. The MG08/15 was the lighter version of the MG08, a machine gun that was meant to stay stationary. The MG08/15 was lighter and more portable for more rapid relocation in the trenches. "In 1918-19 when the war ended, many of these were brought back. Restrictions on what individual soldiers could bring home were nonexistent."
Arming ivan -- Russian small arms of WWI
During the Great War, the Russians violated the first rule of a gunfight: have a gun. The fighting on the Eastern Front in the early days of WW1 was performed in open order, columns and close order regimental line formations. The well equipped frontline regiments of the Russian army that took the field in 1914, carried a variety of different rifles. The standard issue model was the battle proven, Model 1891 Three-Line Rifle, better known to the casual collector as the M91 Mosin-Nagant. It is an interesting field of study with a tremendously wide range of weapons, both modern and obsolete, having been issued to front line units.
The rise of the war knife - bayonets too long in the trenches (Article no longer available from the original source)
In the first part of World War One, the battles were fought in deep trenches and fortifications; the different detachments trained the soldiers which became specialists in the sudden attack, the so called "coup de main". The war had demonstrated that the bayonets and rifles were too long to be used effectively in the trenches, the narrow tunnels and the wire entanglements. Many soldiers made their own war knives, using all kinds of materials and pieces of other arms.
Stolen World War I vintage handgun returned (Article no longer available from the original source)
A World War I vintage handgun, priceless as a keepsake to the family of a certified war hero, was returned to its owner - nearly a decade after it was stolen from a Grayling Military museum. Police recovered the weapon, locked and loaded in the waistband of a arrested juvenile. Now owners, the Stevens clan, is hoping this will lead to the finding of the rest family heirloom that was stolen with the gun: the Distinguished Service Medal and the framed certificate, signed by renowned Gen. John Joseph "Black Jack" Pershing. The gun, a Model 1911 Colt 45 automatic, the medal and a souvenir helmet from a German soldier were among items stolen.