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Introduction of Heavy Artillery to Combat Trench Warfare in WWI

By jamjak46 Feb 26, 2014 486 Words
Heavy artillery was introduced in World War 1 to combat trench warfare. It was a new a new type of weaponry which would have a major impact on the outcome of the war. It was used in most of the major battles with varying success.

What actually is heavy artillery? Heavy artillery were massive guns, which could shoot 900kg shells over 18km. In the First World War artillery was divided into light and heavy, depending on the weight of the shot fired. Heavy artillery could also be used to deploy chemical weapons like chlorine gas. Examples of the heavy artillery used in World War 1 are the howitzer, Gun Carrier mark 1 and the Type M-Great 14 l/12 (Big Bertha)

At the beginning of the First World War the main support weapon was the long barrelled field gun but the stalemate caused by the trench system resulted the commanders demanding long range heavy field guns like the howitzer. Heavy artillery was also used to bombard the enemy trenches for hours before sending troops to attack the enemy trench in the hope that most of the enemy would be dead or wounded.

The impact of heavy of heavy artillery during World War 1 would be a major factor in the result of World War 1. The massive guns could bombard the enemy for days without stopping. This would kill and injure many of the emery troops while also being used to destroy their artillery, trench walls, machine gun nests and bunkers which would make taking the enemy trench a lot easier than before

There was a number of battles heavy artillery was used in. One of these battles was The Battle of the Somme. The plan was to use the heavy artillery to bombard the enemy trenches for 7 days to try and destroy the German trenches, machine gun nests, barbed wire and kill many of the German troops defending the trench. During the battle the first use of the military tactic ‘creeping barrage’ which would involve the heavy artillery firing just ahead of the friendly troops to make it harder for the Germans to see the oncoming troops and give them less time to fire on attacking troops but failure would result in friendly fire.

In conclusion heavy artillery was used extensively throughout World War 1 and played important roles during battles like The Battle of the Somme because It killed more soldiers than any other weapon during the First World War but other weapons also played an important role in the First World War like the machine gun because It could fire over 400 rounds a minute and cut through soldiers and lightly armoured targets with ease. A 2nd weapon that played an important role was the tank which could crush enemy machine gun nests and barbed wire to clear the way for troops. Overall heavy artillery played an important role throughout the First World War although other weapons also played an important role.

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