How WW1 changed warfare

Michael Mascaro

World War One has changed warfare in many different ways. In my case, I will be focusing on the tank and the use of the sub machine gun. The tank, first introduced in the battle of Somme, had changed the horrors of trench warfare and brought some mobility to the battlefield. The sub machine made a big impact to the war, and has become a very important aspect to the way 21st century war is fought. World War one had changed warfare by introducing new weapons and new ways to fight on the battlefield.guns1

In my research, I focused mainly on the weapons of the war. Not just guns, but also the use of the first tanks in a war. The tank alone had about a top speed of 4 mph, an ability to cross an 8 foot gap, and it had a working radius of just about 20 miles. While the first tanks, made in about 1916, were a laughing stock compared to what we use today, they had made a great impact back then. With a crew of 10 men, the tank had provided some sort of a home for the crewmen. Also the use of the infamous sub machine gun had made one of the biggest impacts to the war. Early Italian designs for the sub machine gun, known as “Villa Perosa” or “Fiat”, had a simple 2 barrel design with 2, 25 round magazines and thumb type triggers. While this was the first submachine gun, the German mauser pistol had a limited number of “fully-automatic” variants, that were used as a light machine pistol by German troops.

During the first battle of World War One, the submachine gun was not the only weapon used. Some of the first guns used were bolt action or clip fed rifles. British infantry men, first armed with the Lee Enfield 0.303 rifle, had adapted the use of the submachine gun, but only for certain trained troops. This weapon, known as the “Vickers” submachine gun to the British side, could fire 450 rounds per minute and had a large cooling jacket on the barrel to keep the gun from overheating. The gun was issued 2 per battalion due to the fact that British officers didn’t believe that it was affective enough. While the machine gun had impacted the war, as we know, the tank had one of the most significant roles. Although it was not as popular as the machine gun, the tank had a better overall effect for the war. It had impacted wars for years to come and played a large role in World War 2. The one tough problem for the tank, was finding a crew. Many people did not want to risk their lives in a chunk of metal on tracks that had a high percent chance of the tracks falling off.

Overall, my topic of the weapons of World War 1 had changed warfare. The submachine gun has had a strong impact to current military use in all countries. Thanks to World War 1 we also have tanks. These have helped largely to the way war is fought in the 21st century. None of these things would have happened if it wasn’t for World War 1. The sudden hit of war to the European countries had the impact that no other war has had, making World War 1 the most significant war that has revolutionized the world way of fighting a war. From the large upgrade of having an automatic weapon, to having a large advantage of the tank, World War 1 has changed warfare.

MLA Citations

         “Tanks and World War One”. 2011. Web.

“Infantry weapons in World War One”. 2011. Web.

“Cavalry and World War One”. 2011. Web.


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