WORLD WAR I
Technology for Educators
Great Britain 2,090,212 908,371
France 4,266,000 1,375,800
U.S. 205,690 50,585
Russia 4,950,000 1,700,000
Germany 4,247,143 1,808,546
Austria- 3,260,000 922,500
Q: Why were the casualties so much more
devastating than in previous wars?
Tactics did not
keep up with
Machine guns were designed for trench
• Greater range than any previous weapon.
• Faster rate of fire – typically 400-600
rounds per minute.
German Machine Gun
Military tactics were still rooted in the 18th
Frontal attacks reminiscent of the Napoleonic
Failure to recognize dominant shift of
advantage to defender.
British Machine Gun
• First used by the French, first used effectively by
the Germans .
• attacked lungs
British Gas • Phosgene gas
Bombs Exploding • slower acting attack on lungs
• nearly odorless blister agent
• did not evaporate as quickly as chlorine
or phosgene, made it a problem to capture
areas previously gassed.
• Wind shifts could blow your chemicals back in your direction.
• By the end of the war, protective gear had made gas much less effective.
• Mechanically unreliable
• Became “ditched”
But these shortcomings were quickly overcome
When the first British tanks appeared on the battlefield at Flers, the
Germans abandoned their positions.
MORE TANK STUFF
U.S. tank America
Initially, tanks were used to tear down barbed wire and overrun enemy
positions for infantry occupation.
The tanks would punch through then stop, and let the infantry
move in to “mop up”.
Later strategy involved massing large numbers of tanks as the primary
The tanks would punch through the lines, then continue through
enemy positions to destroy enemy command and control
YouTube - World War One - Tanks