Lee Enfield Rifle

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The standard rifle of the British army during World War I was the Lee-Enfield .303, a variation of a weapon that had been used by the army since 1902. Fed by a magazine that could hold 10 bullets, the bolt-action Lee-Enfield was a robust, reliable rifle well-suited to the harsh conditions of trench warfare. A trained regular soldier could fire 15 rounds per minute with the weapon. In fact, it was so successful that further variants were used throughout World War II and, in some countries, for decades after that. German infantry, meanwhile, were issued with the Gewehr 98, a rifle with a bolt action designed by the famous Mauser company. The Gewehr was a well-constructed and accurate weapon, but it was ill-suited to the conditions on the Western …show more content…

It snagged on equipment and clothing and slowed attackers, who were often prime targets for snipers as they desperately tried to disentangle themselves. Coupled with the deadly stopping power of the heavy machine gun, barbed wire, often deployed in double rows or in intricate traps, made advancing even short distances over no man's land a nightmarish proposition.
The machine gun was not a new weapon in 1914 – the American Hiram Maxim had invented the gun that bore his name in 1884 – but it was refined and made easier to carry during World War I and used to even deadlier effect across the expanses of no man's land that separated the two sides on the Western Front. Germany's standard heavy machine gun, the Maschinengewehr 08, was derived from the Maxim gun and could fire 400 rounds a minute. The British equivalent was the Vickers machine gun, which could spit between 450-500 bullets a …show more content…

Chemical weapons in World War I included phosgene, tear gas, chlor arsines and mustard gas. A secret report by Lt Colonel C. G. Douglas, on the physiological effects of chemical weapons, stated that "the particular value of the poison mustard gas is to be found in its remarkable casualty producing power as opposed to its killing power". The report said that 1% of British troops died due to chemical weapons, while an estimated 181,000 soldiers were victims of gas casualties.Chemical weapons were easily attained, and cheap. Gas was especially effective against troops in trenches and bunkers that protected them from other weapons. Studies show that over 1,300,000 people were exposed and intoxicated by gas during the First World War, and 90,000 were killed due to

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