Firstthings.com The Great War Revisited. How Modern Weapons Changed Combat In The First World War. The opening months of the First World War caused profound shock due to the huge casualties caused by modern weapons. Losses on all fronts for the year 1914 topped five million, with a million men killed. This was a scale of violence unknown in any previous war. The cause was to be found in the lethal combination of mass armies and modern weaponry. Chief among that latter was quick-firing artillery.
This used recuperating mechanisms to absorb recoil and return the barrel to firing position after each shot. With no need to re-aim the gun between shots, the rate of fire was greatly increased. Shells were also more effective than ever before. The deadly effectiveness of these weapons was not fully realised until the armies clashed. The terrible casualties sustained in open warfare meant that, within four months, soldiers on all fronts had begun to protect themselves by digging trenches. How Britain Invented The Tank In The First World War.
The concept of a vehicle to provide troops with both mobile protection and firepower was not a new one. But in the First World War, the increasing availability of the internal combustion engine, armour plate and the continuous track, as well as the problem of trench warfare, combined to facilitate the production of the tank. The name 'tank' came from British attempts to ensure the secrecy of the new weapons under the guise of water tanks. During the First World War, Britain began the serious development of the tank. Ironically, the Royal Navy led the way with the First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, establishing the Landships Committee in early 1915. The military combined with engineers and industrialists and by early 1916 a prototype was adopted as the design of future tanks. Britain used tanks in combat for the first time in the Battle of Flers-Courcelette on 15 September 1916. As production increased and reliability improved, they were used in greater numbers.
These everyday objects bring a century of Irish history to life online. DIARIES, PHOTOS, POSTERS and pamphlets tell the story of a changing Ireland in two new online exhibitions launched earlier this week. Trinity College Dublin and the Little Museum of Dublin have made hundreds of historic exhibits available through the Google Cultural Institute, an online depository of millions of important cultural artefacts from across the world. War recruitment posters are among the over 80 WWI items from Trinity’s rare books and manuscripts collections that were digitised as part of the initiative. Source: Google Cultural Institute/Trinity College Dublin Source: Google Cultural Institute/Trinity College Dublin Source: Google Cultural Institute/Trinity College Dublin Trinity’s exhibits include previously unpublished letters and diaries from Irish soldiers serving in France, Iraq and Palestine. Letter from Charles Howard Bury in France Source: Google Cultural Institute/Trinity College Dublin Source: Google Cultural Institute/Trinity College Dublin.
The African soldiers dragged into Europe's war. More than one million people died in East Africa during World War One. Some soldiers were forced to fight members of their own families on the battlefield because of the way borders were drawn up by European colonial powers, writes Oswald Masebo. I was born and raised in a simple home in the rural district of Ileje about 1,000km from Dar es Salaam, in south-west Tanzania. The district is at the border with Malawi where the hilly plateaus of Ileje and Rungwe districts rise above the plains of Lake Nyasa and Kyela district. My family has made a living from the land of Ileje for generations. During World War One, Ileje and the surrounding environments became a battle ground between German forces and British allied forces from Malawi.
Although the war began in 1914, it was the battles fought in 1915 and 1916 which were most intense and which had grave consequences to the generation of my great-grandparents. "Our parents narrated to us a lot about this war. The Berlin Conference Find out more. India and the First World War | Defence-In-Depth. The Great War inhabits an elusive space in India today. Not entirely forgotten nor actively remembered, it oscillates between memory and oblivion. However, the buzz surrounding the Centenary celebrations in India raised some important questions about how we remember our past and forget it at the same time. The First World War is a relatively unnoticed event in an otherwise historic timeline of Indian events.
At one level, there has been a gap in our understanding of the Great War and its wide ranging socio-political impact on India. Unbeknownst to many, it was one of the starting points for many constitutional changes that were introduced in India at this time. The devolution of powers to the provinces and the widening of representative elective bodies in the subcontinent (known as the Montague-Chelmsford Reforms of 1919) was a direct result of British recognition of India’s war effort. At another level, First World War amnesia obscures a larger unawareness of India’s military history. Inventions of World War I spanned from front lines back to the American home front. Wars spur inventions, especially weapons of destruction. “Wartime is a time frame that certainly encourages invention,” said Lora Vogt, curator of education at the National World War I Museum and Memorial, in Kansas City, Mo. In World War I, tanks clanked across battlefields, machine guns came into their prime as tools of death, mustard gas poisoned soldiers, and gasoline-powered vehicles transported people and supplies rather than horses and wagons.
But nonlethal inventions in World War I made their way back to the home front, local historians said this week. A lot of the inventions were crafted before the war, Vogt said. “But it is in wartime that these innovations become more widely used,” Vogt said. A display opening this week at the Kansas Museum of History notes the inventions. “We tried to pick things that children would recognize today,” said Nikaela Zimmerman, registrar at the Kansas Museum of History. For instance, the wristwatch blossomed because of the war. How World War I Shapes U.S. Foreign Policy.
In the spring of 2015, my undergraduate son and I drove the length of the 1914-1918 Western Front, from the British battlefields in Flanders through the French zone in Champagne and Lorraine to the American cemeteries and monuments: Chateau-Thierry, St. Quentin, Belleau Wood, the Argonne. The nearer we approached the American sector, the fewer tourists shared the sites with us. Under the Menin gate at Ypres—a massive memorial to Britain’s lost—we were jostled among half a thousand men and women, boys and girls.
In the overwhelming Meuse-Argonne cemetery, the largest American military burying place in all Europe, we stood alone. A Twitter follower offered me a memorable explanation of the weak hold of the First World War upon the American consciousness. “Americans prefer the sequel: better villains, bigger explosions.” In the United States, the First World War is a rare example—George W. Somebody had to carry the blame. Some “euroskeptic” readers might snort: a German-dominated Europe? The Perfectly Preserved World War I Trench. Sanctuary Wood, Ypres, Belgium, where trenches have been preserved since World War One.
(Photo: John Gomez/shutterstock.com) The fields of Northern France and Belgium still bear many of the scars of last century’s Great War, but they are a faint reminder of battle carnage on the Western Front. After the Armistice, farmers returned to find their fields and villages totally destroyed by four years of trench warfare. Craters mark spots where artillery shells exploded but much of the area is now covered over with grass, hedgerows and forests. Except for one place. In 1919, a Belgian farmer called Schier returned to his land on a hill over looking the ancient medieval city of Ypres, and simply left it as it was. Once part of the British front line, it lies there today looking much as it did a hundred years ago: a mess of rusted barbed wire, shell holes full of water, trees shattered by artillery fire and a system of trenches and tunnels filled with mud.
Looking into the trenches. 100 Years Ago Today: Italy enters the First World War. Italy entered hostilities on the Allied side on May 23rd 1915, declaring war on the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Italians had originally been bound to Germany and Austria in the Triple Alliance. But they joined sides with Britain, France and Russia in April 1915, encouraged by offers of Austrian territories in the Tyrol and along the Dalmatian coast (present day Slovenia and Croatia). Italy signed the secret Treaty of London and went to war within a month, as agreed. The move opened a new front in the First World War, much of it in Europe's highest mountains, the Alps.
The harsh conditions of fighting in snow and ice led to the conflict being called 'The White War.' On the eastern side of the front, Italy fought repeated offensives in the hope of achieving a breakthrough on the Isonzo River. Sources: Wikipedia/various Images courtesy of the Imperial War Museum (© IWM Q 114805) Battle of Gallipoli diaries tell how Olympic gold-medallist rower Frederick Kelly went to war. Frederick Kelly composed an elegy in memory of Rupert Brooke (McLaren Books) Gallipoli oak is a permanent legacy to a son's sacrifice They also provide a revealing insider’s account of the self-styled “Latin Club” of artists and classicists who served together in the Royal Naval Division, including Kelly, Rupert Brooke, the poet, and Arthur Asquith, the Prime Minister’s son.
When Brooke died of blood poisoning just two days before the invasion, Kelly was among the party who buried him on the island of Skyros, and he later composed an elegy in memory of his friend. Kelly was born in Australia to an Irish father but lived in England from the age of 13, when he was sent to Eton. “He was shaped by the ancient British institutions of Eton, Oxford and the boat clubs of the Thames,” said Jon Cooksey, a military historian who has edited his diaries for publication. When war broke out, much of his circle signed up and fought together.
. • Five myths of the Gallipoli campaign busted.