Breaking the Habit: 8 WWI Weapons That Marked a New Era of Warfare

As the major players converged at the front-lines during WWI, new technology threw everyone into a tailspin. Both sides had implemented trench warfare, leaving nothing but a consistent barrage of bullets that resulted in no progress for either side. It became a war of attrition, and something needed to be done to change the course of the war.

Well WWI also brought about new weaponry and transport strategies that helped bring the war out of its stalemate. Read on to learn about eight weapons that emerged from the dawning of technology, and helped transform the usual tactics of the military thereafter.

8. The Machine Gun


Machine guns weren’t a new weapon in 1914, as American Hiram Maxim had previously invented the gun of the same name already by 1884. However, it was enhanced and became easier to maneuver during WWI, and remained useful across the stretch of no man’s land separating the two sides on the Western Front.

Germany’s own heavy machine gun, the standard Maschinengewehr 08, was built to mirror the Maxim gun, firing off 400 rounds in 60 seconds. The British even had their own version, the Vickers machine gun, which could shoot between 450-500 bullets a minute.

7. Barbed Wire


Barbed wire actually materialized on the Western Front as a deadly defense weapon after initially being introduced to corral cattle on American farmland. It worked best for snagging on the enemy’s equipment and clothing, slowing down anyone who was caught up in it. Those who did get entangled then became prime targets for snipers. Once you added the deadly stopping power of the machine gun, the barbed wire made the proposition of gaining ground almost impossible.