WWI notes Edexcel

  • Created by: S_webb
  • Created on: 27-01-19 23:49

War on land:

  • 1914 rifle -- 15 rpm, 800 yards target. Smokeless powder. No lines and firing volleys, inspead ifirng from trenches or from any cover (such as shell holes). Officers often had little control over riflemen's fire once order was given. French policy from 1916 was "fire and move", whereby one group would rush forward udner covering fire, groups switchign roles as required, leaidng ot narrow fornt. British ""wave and flow", mile-wide fronts using hundreds of men leaving trenches, each wave advance in four lines arranged by company (500 men to one company), two or three yards apart for each man, eac line left a gap of 50-100 yards betwene it and line behind. First wave hold, second wave push through to capture next trenched. Each soldier carried up to 60 pounds of equipment / rations.
  • Machine guns -- typical rate was 60rpm. Sitedi napirs or 4-8 to a battery, hidden in dugout or pillbox. Pre-1914 tests -- one of these worth 50 or more rifles agianst infantry. Lewis machine gun could be carried by one man, heavier Vickers gun required three orm ore gunners, 1914 12:1 rifle-machine gun ratio, 1917 close ot 2:1. Cavalry made virtually obsolete.
  • Mills bomb and stick grenade, 1915 German experiments with flamethrowers but too bulky, made the soldier carrying it an obvious target for rifle fire. Minenwerfer mortr, 1915 Stokes trench mortar could fire 25 bombs / machine, 800 yds.
  • French 75mm gun could fire 15 shots minute, howitzers to destroy enemy trecnhes. JOhn French believed victory would be largely a matter of using high explosives effectively. By 1916 rangeo f artillery guns from 18 pounders (6,000yds) to 1,400lb howitzers over 10,000yds. "Flahs-spotting" used to judge distances. "Creepng barrage", the artillety hotsm oved forwards in unison with infantry lines. July 1916 1.5 million artillery shells shot, but only surface German defenses destroyed, barbed wire defences were 30 feet wide. 60,000 casualties on first day of the somme.
  • Pre-1914 timed-fused andh igh-expolsive shells used, British fuse 106 was a percussion dievice allowing shelsl to eplode sideways rather than be buried in mud. Could create a smokescren. Trialled in 1916, 1917 widely avaiable, effecitve at Arras. 
  • April 1915 first use of posion gasbut westerly winds did blow some gas back into the German lines. 6,000 canisters of chlroine gas set on the grond used. June 1915 first Allied gas masks, September 1915 first rench use. First British at Battle of Loos 25th September - 8th October. December 1915 Germans use phosgene gas, 6x mroe toxic, 80% of gas casualities. July 1917 Germans debut mustard gas. First gas maks primtiive, fabric helmets, evovled to "respirators" with goggles, canister-filter. Only around 8,000 gas casualities amognst empire troops. ]November 1917 at Cambrai 380 tanks use d by the Germans, crossed three lines advanced five mies, but within two weeks the Germans had regained all this. 1918 nearly 10,000 present on the Western Front. At Amiens, Augusst 1918, advance of nine miles in a day. 4th October Hindenberg Line…


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