Trench weapons

The trench warfare taking place throughout the entirety of the first world war led to the creation of effective new weapons that were pioneered in the battlefields. Along with these new weapons there were also many improvements made of older weaponry.
One of the biggest aspects of trench warfare that motivated these advancements in weaponry was the deadlock between both sides. These new weapons were introduced in order to help break the deadlock and the goal of either side was to put themselves in front and give themselves an edge over their enemy.
Those weapons that were introduced were on many different scales, some were small-arms and personal weapon and some were on much larger scales.
Small-arms and personal weapons:
  • At the beginning of the war the majority of soldiers only carried a rifle and bayonet as their form of weaponry
  • As the war progressed the military began to equip their soldiers with a wider range of weapons to help them in trench warfare and battles
  • In their small units of around 30 soldiers, there was a balance of the weaponry amount the soldiers so that the weaponry they had to offer varied.
  • Some of the personal weapons that were introduced into trench warfare were:¬†grenades, rifle grenades, mortars, and several types of machine-guns.
Knives and clubs:
  • Weapons such as catapults, gives and clubs were used in many raids.
  • 1915, the Canadians carried out many different assaults on their enemy’s trenches
  • Those weapons were very effective in these raids because the combat and fighting that took place was at very close ranges, at these close ranges those weapons were more useful than others such as guns, etc.


The push dagger was not a weapon assigned to all military officers, it was a blade that was personally purchases by officers and soldiers. The main use of this weapon was to provide added protection during trench raids and hand to hand contact that would have taken place. The design of the push dagger, as you can see above, was extremely effective for hand to hand combat because its handle was created in such a way that it was perpendicular to the blade itself. It was a double edges blade. With this handle design it allowed for the most thrust and power during an attack.
Soldiers made their own clubs to use in the raids that they took part in during trench warfare and battles. Many of the raises depended on both speed and stealth so the club was a very efficient weapon to use. The club in the picture below was made from the handle of an entrenching tool, and it was modified into a club using an eight-pointed cast iron ring.
Above you can see the Colt .45 calibre automatic pistol. In 1914, the Department of Militia and Defence purchased 5,000 of these pistols for use of the officers of the 1st Canadian division. This pistol was semi-automatic, and was designed to holding eight .45 calibre cartridges of ammunition within the detachable magazine. The magazine is situated in the grip of the pistol. On the pistol, commonly the owner’s name and unit were engraved onto it.
Above you can see the revolver, this was the standard assigned sidearm throughout the first world war. The majority of soldiers carried this pistol, which accompanied the other weapons they were assigned such as riles, etc.

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