Machine guns

Pre war:
The machine gun itself was not first invented during the the first world war, it dated back roughly by half a century before that. Though they became popular during the war. Due to the facts that many doubted the role and effectiveness of the machine gun limited the use of them in most pre-war events and wars. Most of the machine-guns that were used prior to ww1 were heavy not mobile, so when they were innovated during the war they became a lot more effective.
Domination of the machine gun:
In the war the Germans were the first to realise the power and influence that the machine gun could give them over their enemies. They used the weapon more on the defence side of warfare and they set up the machine guns from prepared positions dug into the trench systems with overlapping fields of fire. The other armies soon realised the potential of this weapon and that the machine-gun allowed soldiers from the battlefield to be safer behind the trench lines, dug-outs, and fortifications. This however cause a stalemate during that was always be an issue throughout the entirety of the war.
Heavy and light machine guns:
During the war heavy and light machine guns were categorised into different aspects of warfare. Heavy machine-guns were removed from the infantry battalions and instead were positioned into machine gun units in order to centralise the firepower that they were capable of producing. Armies used these heavy machine guns to lay down fire upon enemy lines and fixed positions that the enemy had control of such as supply trenches.
Infantry men during the war received lighter machine gun in order for easier mobility and transportation during trench warfare. Many received Lewis machine-gun, this weapon was light enough to be carried by a single soldier alone. There still needed to be other men alongside the machine gunner however, to carry the ammunition. In  battle there could be as many two or three members of the team carrying ammunition for the gunner to ensure there was sufficient amount and they did not run out in the heat of battle. The Lewis gun and other light machine guns changed the way trench warfare was fought because it increased the infantry’s firepower during an attack and in defensive situations.
Above you can see the lewis machine gun. This machine gun was extremely effective in the battlefield because it provided the infantry and soldiers with large amount of firepower and support, though at the same time the weapon was still fairly light and was able to be carried forward at a fast pace during frontal attacks in the battlefield. It was issued in the summer of 1915 to the commonwealth troops. The gun had a 47 round magazine and was air cooled.
Above you can see the Colt “Model 1914” machine gun. At the beginning of the war, Canada purchased roughly 950 of these guns by 1915 they issued 4 of these weapons to every infantry battalion. The gun was nicknamed the Colt “Potato Digger” because of the amount of dirt it kicked up when being fired. The tripod’s legs that you can see in the photograph were very commonly “sawed off” and shortened to reduce the gun’s overall height and weight in the battlefield. A modified cocking lever was also added to the gun and this was effective because it allowed the gun to be loaded and reloaded without exposing the officers to enemy fire.
The weapon in the photograph above is the Vickers Mk.1 water-cooled machine-gun. This was one of the most highly used machine guns by the allied forces in the first world war. The gun fired a .303 calibre bullet for ammunition. It was a fairly heavy weapon which made it much more suitable for a defensive role, however the gun could also be used in the attack. The Vickers could be moved forward fairly easy in the attack, due to its weight and the fact that it needed a team of five to move it forward along with the ammunition and water to accompany the gun. The vickers was most commonly part of the second or third assault wave.



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