How Tactics Changed in WW1

View mindmap
  • How did tactics change in WW1
    • Trench Warfare
      • Systems of trenches meant that fighting was largely static, with very little movement.
      • This was a huge change that came with the new type of war, as soldiers weren't advancing towards each other.
      • The trenches started out as simple shelters but developed into complex defensive systems.
    • Powerful Artillery
      • Artillery bombardments were used regularly during the war. The constant shelling caused more causalities than anything else in the war.
      • Their use developed as first they weren't particularly accurate-often bombing their own front line trenches before getting the correct range. By the end of the war the use of artillery became more sophisticated.
    • Cavalry
      • Cavalry became less important in trench warfare as it was vulnerable to artillery shelling and machine guns. On average only 3 out of 400 horses would survive. 
    • Infantry
      • As the cavalry became less important, the infantry was increasingly used. Foot soldiers charged the enemy trenches, instead of following behind a cavalry charge, like in previous wars.
      • Soldiers were provided with basic weapons and later on gas masks. Initially hundreds and thousands of lives were lost due to infantry charges over the top- as men were cut down by machine guns. 
      • Later camouflage techniques were developed and artillery bombardments were better organised to aid infantry charges.
    • Poison Gas
      • The first gas attack occurred in 1915. The Germans sent chlorine gas over to the Allied trenches via the wind.
      • The aim of gas attacks initially was to disable the enemy for a successful infantry charge. Later scientist developed gases that not only disabled but killed the enemy over a period of weeks.
      • Gas masks were introduced so that only 3000 British troops died from gas. However it had a huge psychological impact on the soldiers- many feared a gas attack more than artillery.
    • Tanks
      • Tanks were introduced in the Battle of the Somme by the British. They could withstand the machine gun fire and barbed wire. They were also terrifying to see advancing towards you for the first time.
      • Most were slow and unreliable, later when they improved some became too quick for the infantry to keep up with them.
      • By 1918 the Germans were using armour-piercing machine gun bullets and had adapted field guns to fire at tanks.


No comments have yet been made

Similar History resources:

See all History resources »See all Causes and effects of WW1 resources »