Was the Invention of New Types of Weapons the Main Reason Why the First World War Was so Deadly?

Topics: World War I, World War II, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria Pages: 3 (886 words) Published: May 12, 2012
The First World War, also known as ‘The Great War’ due to its immense number of casualties and also large amount of countries involved, took place in 1914-1918. The spark that started the whole war occurred when Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austro Hungarian throne, was assassinated on the 28th of June, 1914. The First World War was pernicious in many ways; however there are three main reasons the Great War was so deadly: the new types of weapons, lack of successful leadership and the terrible living conditions. The first reason why so many me died during the Great War, was because of the new types of deadly weapons. For instance, a variety of weapons were used: rifle, machine gun, chemicals and gas, the zeppelin, tank, planes and torpedoes. The main weapon used was the bolt action rifle due to its sturdiness and reliability. It released 13 shots per minute and killed over 500 men. One other weapon that was feared by many was the German Maxim machine gun, although it was 60-65kg, it had a range of 15,000/16,000 yards and could fire over 600 bullets per minute. According to Private George Arthur Arrowsmith, machine guns were “weapons of mass destruction” As a result of the Rifle and machine Gun, the First World War was profoundly deadly because thousands of men were brutally killed in a short period of time due to the very large/long distance of fire power from the guns, and also the quick and rapid shots, hence hastily decreasing the amount of men on the front line. Additionally, men died during The Great War as a result of the leadership present at the time. For example, during the first of July 1916 – The Battle of The Somme took place with General Haig as leader. Exactly 432,000 British men died overall. Firstly, Haig only ever visited the trenches once and actually lived in a cozy chateau 30 miles away from the trenches. Furthermore, a recent book about the WW1 states ‘Haig was as stubborn as a donkey.’ In addition, the battle ‘Gallipoli’ in 1915...
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