This is a list of all the source we used to gather research:


Source Analysis

Source 1

Dulce et Decorum Est


Origin: Poem written by Wilfred Owen between 8th October 1917 and March in 1918. Wilfred Owen was a soldier during the first world war and experienced many of these tragedies and devastations first hand. This means that the poems that he write are usually accurate and display the situations in the trenches in a way that no other poet will.

Purpose: The purpose of this poem was to show everyone how really terrible the trenches were. The name, Dulce et Decorum Est means that it is sweet and honourable, which is all of the things the war did not turn out to be. This poem shows that the war wasn’t glorious, but terrible. It also talks about gas;                      “Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling, Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.” This quote shows how terrible the gas attacks were and that the death was excruciating.

Value: Since Wilfred Owen was a soldier of the war himself, it is the closest you can get to a soldier’s point of view on the war. It is good because it shows how soldiers felt about the war and everything they had to go through. This is good for our exhibition because we want to look at the effect of certain weapons on the battles and trenches, and this one explains the effect of gas.

Limitations: It only talks about gas and not any other weapons. This is not exactly a limitation since we still get and understanding of the effect of gas.

Source 2



  • The website is secondary source
  • written by Michael Duffy
  • Published at Saturday 22 august, 2009


This document exist to people that want to use and understand about weapons in ww1. The aim for this website is to go find out about the weapons that was used in the ww1 and development of the weapons. The intended audience is the people that want to know about the weapons that was used in the war. The website say about the the use of the weapons in ww1 and development and which country used it.


From the website the author knows about the ww1. The the period is 1914 to end of the  war. This has a value of information that we have to make our part of the project. But there are limitation to this.


From this document it can tell in depth of the weapons not that depth. We could verify the source by checking with other sources to see if it is right source or not and get more info of the weapons.this source tells the accurate information that we needed to know about with some extra source to see in depth and back up the information that we had.

Source 3


This source is a secondary one written close to present day, however the source does not state when the articles were published. It can still be seen that the source was written a long time after the first world war took place. The articles were published by the Canadian War  Museum and gave an overview of the weapons used throughout the war.


The purpose of this source is to provide information about all of the different types and categories of weapons that were used throughout the First world war. Not only does it talk about how the weapon categories developed as a whole, but it also gives a lot of detail and analysis about the individual weapons such as how they were used, what their strengths and weaknesses were and also when and by who they were used.


The biggest value and thing that I took away from this source was the individual weapon descriptions. The reason why this was so helpful was because it really allowed me to see how the different weapons developed throughout the war and what weapons were used when. An example of this that I found very helpful was in the grenade category of the website, it shower how the german stick grenade was improved and refined throughout the war and how it became a more effective weapon. Another value of this source was the amount of weapons that were talked about and described, it gave an extremely good overview of the different weapons that were used in trench warfare, which allowed to have a better understanding of the research question and sub questions.


The biggest limitation that this source has, is the fact that it did not really discuss the impact that the weapons had on the war and battles from both sides. Another thing was that regarding some of the weapons, it did not give a lot of detail about who pioneered and used the weapon and also about when and where in the war they were being used.


1914: early grenades
During the first world war, all armies relied heavily on the use of grenades in order to both fight and attack enemy trenches and also to defend themselves against attacks. Grenades has been a weapon invented hundreds of years before, however they were not often used previous to the napoleonic war until ww1. The first grenades that were used in 1914 were hand made by the soldiers and were extremely unreliable. The first made grenades were typically cans that were filled with nails, metal and gunpowder. Their biggest flaw was the fact that they were almost an dangerous to the officers who made them as they were to the enemy, this was because they often exploded before they were intended to be.
1915: dozens of types
By the end of the year 1915 during the war, grenades were becoming essential and all armies were being supplied with them. There were many different types of grenades that were used by different sides during the war. Some riflemen in the trenches were specialised in this field, they attacked the enemy using specialised grades that were fired from their rifles. Regular infantry men on both sides of the war carried a variety of different types of grenades. On the German side of the trenches, their preference was with the “stick grenade”. This grenade could be thrown at further distances though the price they paid was a smaller explosive charge within. On the British and Canadian side of trench warfare, they used a more egg shaped grenade that could be thrown roughly around 30 meters and carried a larger payload than the stick grenades, though the downside to these was the fast that their range was around 10 meters less than the germans.
1917: Importance
By 1917 during the war, grenades became such a necessity in the battlefield that all infantry officers were issued with grenades. The reason why they were becoming so important was because the majority of trench assaults needed  these extra grenades to be able to complete the objectives of overthrowing enemy trenches, they were also needed in order to protect against enemy attacks.
Above is the No. 5 MK. I Hand Grenade, it was one of the most affective infantry weapon that was used throughout the first world war. This type of grenade was first issues in the spring of 1915 to troops. It worked by removing the safety pins, once done there was a 5 second period before the grenade exploded. This gave the troops enough time to throw the grenade upon the targets before it exploded. The weapon was lethal within a 10 meter radius but it was capable of sending shrapnel up 200 meters from the site of detention, making it extremely effective
In the picture above you can see the German egg grenade, it is a model of the grenade from 1917. The reason why this grenade was so successful and effective was due to the fact that it could be thrown up to distances of 50 to 60 meters, this was difficult to do however and could only be executed by experts. It was called the egg grenade because of its shape and appearance.
This is the commonly used stick grenade, it was one of the first models of the grenade from 1915. This model was very unreliable and was not successful because it could only detonate when stuck against a hard surface. Due to this fact the grenade did not work well in the common wet or muddy conditions within the trenches.
Above is the refined and improved German stick grenade from 1917. This model of the grenade featured a 5.5 second delay that the thrower could activate by pulling the toggle at the bottom of the handle, as you can see above. This was a great improvement from the previous 1915 model of the weapon because it was war more reliable due to the timer fuse as opposed to the grenade needing to impact upon a hard surface. On detonation, metal debris would be fired and propelled from an explosive chamber in the grenade.
The rifle grenade shown above was designed in order for the troops in the trenches to be able to propel grenades further than could be done by hand. At the beginning of the war, grenades were sometimes launched with catapults but that method was not reliable at all. The type of grenade above was called a “J” Pattern grenade, it was first introduced in February 1915 and was the first rifle grenade pioneered by the British army. By the end of 1916, Britain was producing 70,000 of these grenades per week. When added into the rifle barrel this grenade could be fired up to distances of 300 meters

Research Question Answer

How did trench warfare spark inventions and innovations in weaponry from the beginning of the first world war till the end?

Due to the constant change in trench warfare and technological advancements, new weapons and tools had to be created to be given the upper hand. All fronts were making developments and they were on ‘the same level of advancement’ for most of the time. When the gas was introduced by the Germans it gave them a huge advantage for a short period of time until the other forces also started using it. The spark was like a butterfly effect: if one country had made an advancement, then the other countries had to make an advancement to be able to keep up and not be completely overthrown by the weaponry of someone else. The only thing that separated a front was the weapons; even though the weapons had the same purpose, they were slightly different and had slightly different characteristics.

Dulce Et Decorum Est

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.
Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.
This poem is extremely effective in the sense that it reflects the devastation and displays the impact of the lethal gas in the first world war. It gives a perspective of how the gas impacted the men on the front line, through the eyes of someone from the front line. Not only that but it shows how the individuals were affected after inhaling the gas. This helps us with our understanding of the impact that weapons had on the soldiers during ww1, which was necessary in order to help answer the research question of the unit.
Not only the content of the poem but the way it was written, helps the viewer visualise the devastation that the gas has upon the officers on the front line who were exposed to it. One of the most impactful literary devices that is in the poem is simile, en example of this being used effectively is in regards to the lines “His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin” and also “Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud”. These lines are used to describe the affects that the poisonous gas had upon the men after they had inhaled it and what their body language and effect of it was. These lines help the viewers paint a picture in their heads very well, showcasing how devastating the lethal gas was during the first world war.
Another part of the poem that I find extremely effective is the line “Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!”. The reason why I find it so affective and powerful is because it really sets the context that this is happing from a first person perspective and that what is spoken in the poem is really happing in the eyes of the soldiers. Also the fact that those words contain the gas weapon in words, it allows for people that do not know about the weapon to have more context about what is going .

English Poems

These are three poems that we wrote displaying the effect of some weapons from a soldier’s point of view.


Green clouds sneaking over the fields

Our masks will be our shields

It causes one thing: death

And will lead to our last breath

Thousands upon thousands dies

Our ears are filled with many cries

As the soldiers scream their last goodbye



Creating large holes in the ground

And coming in with a dreadful sound

Causing nothing but destruction

To survive this we were given little instruction

A master of chaos and fear

Devastating everything far and near


Machine Gun:

The ability to kill people faster than lightning

This weapon is truly frightening

Mowing you down,

It can take out a whole town

Putting fear into the eyes of every attacker

This sounds like a firecracker


Impacts of Weapons

Machine Gun

One weapon that had a significant effect on battle and trench warfare was the machine gun. The machine gun was a fully automatic gun that could fire many bullets very quickly. It had a large magazine and a lot of ammunition so it could fire constantly for minutes on end. The machine gun was a large and heavy weapon so it was not carried around or moved a lot. It was used mainly in the defence since when one trench would rush another, they would run in a line. This meant that the machine gunners could easily ‘mow’ down the enemy forces without having to be very accurate. This weapon gave the defensive side a much larger advantage than the attacking side because the defensives could kill the attackers much faster than the attackers could kill the defensives.


Gas attacks was an effective, strategic but devastating way of attacking. This is because it could easily kill the enemy; it was toxic and would kill them quickly. The gas is heavier than air, so it would sink into the trenches and kill everything in them. The gas would however kill all living things that it would come across: plants, animals and even bugs. It was also difficult to set up, since there would have to be a row of gas canisters that were to be opened at the same time, and the wind had to be blowing in the right direction so that it would reach the enemy’s trenches and not go into your own.  When the conditions were right, the gas was one of the most effective ways of taking out many people at once and changed warfare. After gas, war became chemical warfare. All sides would use gas to try to kill the enemies and it destroyed landscapes and environments.