Machine-Guns In WW1

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As most of us know, machine-guns inflicted appalling casualties during the First World War. Thousands of men, charging towards the enemy line, were mown down by the rapid fire of these devastating weapons.

In theory machine-guns in WW1 could fire up to 600 small-calibre rounds per minute. In reality they were prone to overheating and would break down without some sort of cooling system in place. Water jackets were initially used, but the guns would still overheat quite quickly and large supplies of water had to be kept on hand. As such, they were typically fired in short bursts rather than sustained fire. However, by the end of the war machine-gun design had drastically improved. They could fire double the rate that was capable in 1914 with sophisticated air-cooling systems built into the designs.

Of course, the WW1 machine gun was primarily used as a defensive weapon and, even in 1914, was extremely effective when used against charging soldiers. However, by 1915 they were light enough to be mounted onto the front of aeroplanes for …show more content…

The Maxim-gun, an oil-cooled machine-gun designed by Hiram Maxim in 1884 that didn’t require hand-cranking or any other kind of manual intervention, had been offered to the British military by Hiram. However, the British High Command rejected the inventor’s offer, believing that there was no real need for it. The Germans, on the other hand, quickly grasped the strategic advantages that it offered and began developing their own version of Maxim’s design. Consequently, when the war broke out in 1914, Germany had a much greater arsenal of machine-guns. This is reflected by articles in The Sphere, which reported in 1914 that Germany had a new type of machine-gun with a telescopic sight, and The Illustrated War News, which noted that the weapon had revolutionised German artillery

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