Weapons of the Trenches


September 11, 2003, 07:27 PM
Let's put together a semi-comprehensive listing of all the small arms that saw significant (or insignificant) usage in the Great War.

This is, of course, a GREAT excuse to post lots of pictures of your vintage weapons.


Great Britain:

-Rifle, Short, Magazine, Lee-Enfield, No. 1 Mk.III (and other models I'm sure), .303 British
-Vickers .303 Machine Gun (water cooled?) Grand old lady of No Man's Land.
-Webley Mk.IV and MkVI, .455 Caliber. (And older ones in .476, prolly)
-Webley-Fosberry self-cocking revolver, .455 Caliber.

Imperial Germany:

-Mauser 98, 7.92mm.
-Luger "Parabellum", various models, 9mm and .30 Luger.
-Mauser "Broomhandle", various models, 9mm and 7.65x25mm.
-Maxim 1910 Machine Gun, 7.92mm? The Devil's Paintbrush.


I got nothin'. Anybody? Lewis Gun?

Austrio-Hungarian Empire:

Again, I'm real fuzzy. Roth-Steyr pistol, I would imagine.

United States:

-M1903 Springfield rifle, .30-06
-M1917 Enfield rifle, .30-06
-M1917 Revolvers, (Colt and S&W), .45ACP
-M1911 Pistol, .45ACP
-Winchester M1897 Trench Gun, 12 Gauge
-Browning M1917 Machine Gun, .30-06.

Imperial Russia:

-Mosin-Nagant M1891, 7.62x54mmR
-Nagant M1895 Revolver, 7.62mm

Were Russia's Winchester 95s in 7.62x54 used in the great war? What about their S&W top-breaks in .44 Russian? What kind of machine guns did they have?

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September 11, 2003, 07:33 PM

Lebel (Model 1885?) rifle, 8mm Lebel cal.

Machinegun: 8mm Lebel Chauchat (pronounced "show-show") one of the worst designed and most hated machineguns built.

September 11, 2003, 07:39 PM
Ah, yes, I forgot about the Chau-Chat. :barf:

The M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle saw limited use.

There was another early light machine gun in the US. They have a demilled example of one in one of our Armories. It's like a Colt 190...8, maybe? Anybody know anything about a Colt automatic rifle or light machine gun?

I also understand that many hand weapons were used for trench raids. Bayonets, knives, and sometimes field expedient things like clubs, bats, and sticks.

M1903 Springfield. (Image by Allen Blank, courtesy of world.guns.ru)

How much use did the Petersen Device get?
(thanks again to world.guns.ru)

And I'm interested in Sniper Rifles and sniper usage of the great war. Were any optical sights in use? I read somewhere that German snipers got so bold as to crawl across no-man's-land with thick steel shields that could, apparently, deflect .303 rounds. This practice stopped, apparently, when the British introduced their big elephant guns to the front.

September 11, 2003, 08:25 PM
i think austria hungary has the mannlicher m95 or something like that
france had the lebel rifle, with its efficient single round loading system :)
dont forget japan, they captured some german colonies in the far east
i think russia's machien guns were maxim designs

September 11, 2003, 08:45 PM
well, the occasional superciliously smirking German used a sporter Mauser... :)

From page 223--McBride on Battle Rifles:

"...I took [a German Mauser] from a young and cocky Yager who had been wounded an taken prisoner. That one was a beauty. Short and trim--a regular "sporter" in fact. The former owner vouchsafed a supercilious smile when I held it up beside my own heavy Ross, and I don't blame him. He had a real, honest-to-goodness battle rifle, beside which ours were just clumsy clubs."


To answer your sniper rifles questions Nightcrawler, look up "A Rifleman Went to War" by H.W. McBride (quoted above). He goes into a lot of the sniper stuff of the era. I do recall a mention of a scope, but by and large from what he says the optics of the period were comparatively delicate and not up to extended hard use.


September 11, 2003, 08:47 PM
What sort of armaments did the Ottoman Empire have?

September 11, 2003, 08:47 PM

9mm Driese "blowback" pistol


The 03' never served overseas, just the 1917. If that doesn't matter then add the Thompson submachine gun. It was setting on the New York docks waiting for shipment overseas when the War ended.

September 11, 2003, 08:50 PM
I knew the 1917s outnumbered the Springfields, but I've never heard that there were NO Springfields in the trenches.

September 11, 2003, 08:55 PM
ALWAYS read that for the sake of standardization, all 03's (guard and training duties) stayed here and 1917's were issued for overseas use. York used a 1917 rather than the 03 shown in the movie.

September 11, 2003, 09:17 PM

Are you referring to the Colt 1895 "potato digger" machinegun? I thought those had been phased out by WW1.

September 11, 2003, 09:24 PM
yes optical sights were in use, more so by the western powers (canada, UK and other "comonwealth" troops, and the US mainly) than by the germans or austro-hungarians, from what i understand.

not entirely sure what the more common scopes in use were, but there seem to be alot of pictures showing Ross, SMLE, and '03 Springfield rifles, equipted with Warner-Swasey sights (an ugly, prismatic thing, sort of short and humpbacked looking reminds me of some of the current Night vision units in basic profile).

as to the german's using loophole plates, they weren't the only ones, these plates were MAINLY used for protection of MG positions, and obsevers, plus the sniper positions in the support trenches (many places no-man's land was 100yards or less wide, snipers could set up WELL behiond the frontline trenches, and still be brutally effective) there may have been a FEW german attempts, in those places where the no-man's land belt was fairly wide and the smiper could not get a good shot from other forms of cover, to try and crawl across no-man's land behind one, but due to the weight, size etc this would be a physically difficult thing to do. plus by the time sniping had really set in and such forms of inovation were needed by both sides, decent comunication with the Artillery units behind the lines, had established and any such attempt would have been met by a barrage.

what the Elephant guns were mostly brought up to do is to be able to shoot through (or least damage and give the impression that it MIGHT give way with the next shot, if the plate was not penetrated on the first time) plates that were being used to protect MG "pits", forward observation points, etc in other words, general harrassment and making sure teh enemy didn't think he had a "safe haven" behind a 1/2 inch of armor. not long after the germans introed the 8mm AP round, the brits brought out an AP .303 round to even the field.

the WW1 era rifle I personally would like to find an example of someplace (just to look at) is the Mondragon, Designed by a Mexican Army officer and built by SIG, as the first Semi-auto to be intended for general issue to the infantry, it turned out to have signifigant problems that caused Mexico to cancel their orders, SIG left with a coinsiderable number sold them to the Germans who uswed them for a short time as feild expedient rifles for use by aircraft observers. if you read between the lines of all desciptions of the service life of this gun AND the feild manuals for it, the design was both WAY ahead of it's time AND a piece of junk (two rifles with 30rd drumms magazines, were issued to each flight obsever, b/c it was pretty much a given that at least one of them would suffer a hard to clear stoppage!, and poor accuracy [anything under a 20cm at 100meters was considered normal) but the first (accepted in 1908) functional self loading infantry rifle.

and at least it wasn't a Chauchat :D

September 11, 2003, 09:40 PM
there is a reference in "A Rifleman went to war" to the MG section of the 21st Battalion of the canadian expeditionary Force, going to war with "Colt -Vickers" (i think this was a .303 vickers copy of the maxim, made by colt instead of the Brits) as well as another type of Colt machine gun, which i beleive was of a different design than the "potato digger" but not sure on that point, gather from McBride's reference to the second "colt" guns (two of them, given by citizen groups to the troops) that these unlike the issue guns were not of the vickers design, while still being chambered for .303.

September 11, 2003, 09:49 PM
This is from Standard Catalog of Military Firearms
FEG (Frommer) Stop Model 19
Steyr Hahn Model 1911

Model 1895 in varies forms

Machine Guns
Model 07/12 Schwarzlose

Model 1892
Savage Model 1907

Model 1982/M16

Machine Guns
Model 1907 St. Etienne
Hotchkiss Model 1914
Chauchat Model 1915

4v50 Gary
September 11, 2003, 10:42 PM
I was thinking knives, clubs, metal knuckles and of course, that bayonet that fits on the end of the Webley MK VI revolver. :D

Mike Irwin
September 11, 2003, 10:54 PM
By World War I the Mle 1886 Lebel rifle had been replaced in front-line service by a number of rifles that used, instead of the 1886's tubular magazine, a Mannlicher en-block clip system.

Most of these rifles were based on modifications made by Col. Betherier, who modified the design to use the Mannlicher system.

These included the Mle 1892, the Mle 1907, and the Mle 1916.

A number of these, including the 1892, used a three-round en-block clip.

I don't think there has ever been anything more useless...

The French also fielded, in limited numbers, two semi-auto rifles, the Mles 1917 and 1918, but the 1918 appeared just a little too late to see active duty.

Machine guns included the Mle 1914 Hotchkiss, and the lamentable Mle 1915 light machine gun, the dreaded Chauchat.

September 12, 2003, 12:36 AM
Come on, Crufflers, let's see some pictures of those surplus rifles. Where's Tamara?

September 12, 2003, 01:16 AM
1917 BSA No1mkIII, still retaining the mag cut-off.
P17 Enfield, WWI vintage.
Lithgow No1mk3, in it's original Queensland maple. 2nd Military District marked.

September 12, 2003, 01:51 AM
Under France add every cheap Ruby Pistol that Spain could crank out.

And BTW, I have talked to at least 2 WW1 vets who had Chauchats in .30-06 caliber with a mag that had no cutouts like the French caliber gun and they actually loved them. They had no problems with jams like the opensided mag guns had.

Mike Irwin
September 12, 2003, 02:12 AM

I've risked the ire of members a number of times by opining that in design the Chauchat actually wasn't a bad weapon. It was the execution (manufacture) that made the thing a real problem.

I've also fired an 8mm Lebel Chauchat, and overall, it's not a terrible gun. The balance stinks kind of badly, and there's that half-moon magazine (with the horrific cutouts!) that's required because of the rimmed and steeply tapered cartridge.

US troops to get the first Chauchats got them in 8mm Lebel, and they were, quite frankly, worn out and just didn't work well. Armorers trying to rebuild them ran into serious problems because the guns were essentially cottage built, with little standardization between the different manufacturers, so replacement parts literally had to be hand fitted.

Those that were redesigned and manufactured in .30-06 worked fairly well, for a time, until the more powerful cartridge started beating the living hell out of the guns, and then they too became problematic.

All in all, a nice try for a light machine gun, but overall a failure.

September 12, 2003, 02:24 AM
I hear something about Canadian soldiers having a rifle called the "Ross". Anybody know anything about it, or have any pictures? Apparently it was problematic, though very accurate.

September 12, 2003, 04:08 AM
I think I remember reading somewhere that the straight-pull Ross was perfectly OK until it got dirty. Then, when you took it apart to clean it, it was all too easy to put some of the small parts back into its bolt back-to-front, whereupon the bolt, or parts of it, would fly back and destroy your eyeball the next time you shot it.:eek:

September 12, 2003, 07:02 AM
Don't forget Germany's Mauser 98 and also the German Commission Model of 1888.

September 12, 2003, 08:26 AM
Winchester M1897 Trench Gun, 12 Gauge

This was the famous "trench broom" that apparently caused the Germans to complain long and loud about how "barbaric" and "inhumane" the weapon was....

September 12, 2003, 08:59 AM
as if poison gas wasnt barbaric

September 12, 2003, 01:09 PM
My entry's into the list of trench weapons are possibly the most fearsome trench warfare individual weapons of them all: The US Mark One, 1918 brass knuckle trench knife, and the hand grenade.

Contrary to current "urban legend" the 1903 Springfield was extensively used in WWI. If nothing else, remember, the Marines used the Springfield exclusively.
Belleau Wood and Ch√Ęteau Theirry were "'03" events.

Also there are plenty of vintage photos of combat troops in the trenches with Springfield rifles.
True, the 1917 was more heavily issued, but the '03 was there in numbers.

The problem with the Canadian Ross rifle was inability to handle the mud of the trenches, the possibility of improper re-assembly, and a problem with the locking system. Under use, the locking mechanism would get burred, and if not noticed, this would eventually allow the rifle to fire in an unlocked condition. The bolt could be blown out the back of the receiver.

After the problems appeared, the Ross was used only for training in Canada, and the SMLE was issued for combat.
This was a sad end for the Ross, since it was loved by the Canadians for it's target rifle-like accuracy.

As an interesting historical note, my Dad's Uncle died in the 1930's from the effects of Mustard gas. He was a trench messenger, and Dad told me his Uncle's foot locker contained a pistol belt, TWO 1911 pistols in 1913 Model holsters, and a Mark One trench knife.

Ian Sean
September 12, 2003, 03:30 PM
Not a rifle, pistol or shotgun but one that sums up the barbarity of that war.


September 12, 2003, 03:42 PM
Funny how today, we think of close quarters battle as home for 16" AR-15 carbines with all sorts of doo-dads.

Back then, it was a Mauser/Springfield/Enfield with a long bayonet, a big knife, maybe some brass knuckles or a primitive club, a hatchet, or whatever else you could scrape together.

I think World War One is often overshadowed in history by the Second World War, and that's understandable. But World War One WAS a turning point in history as well, and it too cost millions of lives. The Great War should not be forgotten or brushed aside becaue World War II was bigger.

I believe that during the Battle of the Somme, in 1916, the British took sixty THOUSAND casualties in one DAY.

World War One was the very first war in which most of the modern instruments of war were used on a large scale; The airplane, modern artillery, the submarine, the machine gun, chemical weapons, hand grenades, flame throwers, tanks, on and on.

These weapons combined with primitive Napoleonic tactics led to killing on a scale the world had never seen. I can only wonder what went through people's minds shortly after the Battle of the Somme, when the press reported the tens of thousands dead in a few days. The British, French, Germans, and Russians lost an entire generation to that meat grinder. The tragedy of the Great War is magnified when you begin to understand what it was about. It wasn't about ANYTHING, really. Old alliances, old grudges. The european powers thought it'd be just another little war for the glory of their respective monarchies, like the countless ones they've had over the centuries.

So in 1914 their armies happily marched off to war, singing songs, wearing brightly colored uniforms, and saying it'd be all over by Christmas.

Wow, didn't mean to get so deep. LOL


September 12, 2003, 04:35 PM
Were Russia's Winchester 95s in 7.62x54 used in the great war? I've wondered that myself. Apparently they were.




September 12, 2003, 05:15 PM
I hear something about Canadian soldiers having a rifle called the "Ross". Anybody know anything about it, or have any pictures? Apparently it was problematic, though very accurate.

Since I just got to this section, thought I'd share... (A Rifleman Went to War, pp 213)

The first time we were called upon to repel a determined attack, and sustained rapid fire was in order, it was found that the Ross would not stand up under that kind of treatment. Wonderfully accurate weapon as it was, it was never built for fast, rough work. Never will I forget the time: one night when Heinie tried to rush our lines in one of his many charitable attempts to chase us out of our muddy muskrat holes and back on to the high and dry ground in our rear and we, with characteristic soldier perversity, declined to go, that I heard, during a little lull in the firing, a great voice, supplicating, praying, exhorting, and, above all, cursing the whole Clan Ross. Investigation showed it to be "Big Dan" McGann, assiduously trying to open the bolt of his rifle, using a big chunk of wood as a persuader. During the short time allowed me to listen, I heard him specify each and every member of that family from away back -- from the time of the "begats" down to the present generation, all designated by name and number, together with the most lurid and original adjectives it has ever been my pleasure to hear. It was marvelous, entrancing -- just to hear that man swear -- but we soon found out that he was only doing what we should have liked to, had we his extraordinary ability. The bolts would stick and all hell would not open them

Gee... sounds like one of George's rants on the AR. :D


September 12, 2003, 05:40 PM

TELL ME the following does not sound familiar...

picking up where we left off...

We had trained intensively with the Ross rifle... and had found it to be thoroughly reliable and accurate. Even in the stenuous rapid-fire tests, when fifteen shots per minute were required, it never failed. ... In accuracy, up to six hundred yards, at least, it equaleed or excelled any rifle I had or have since fired -- the Springfield not excepted.


Mindful of all this, it can well be understood that we went into action with all the confidence in the world in our rifles. Every man in the original batallion had fired hundreds, yes thousands of rounds, each with his own pet rifle, and knew just what he could do with it. He also knew how to take care of it, which is another very important thing. Cleaning accessories were difficult to find, but somehow or another every man found some means to keep his rifle in servicable condition...


... when they commenced to freeze up on us, it was acknowledged that the problem was serious. They tried all sorts of stunts to remedy the trouble, sending the rifles out back of the lines to the armourer sergeants, who reamed the chambers out larger so the cartridge would not fit so trightly, and all that, but it was no go., and the ultimate solution was to ... issue every infantryman the regulation [SMLE].

At that time and for several years after the war, I believed that all the trouble was due to some fundamental defect in the rifle itself, but since hearing from members of organizations in the First Division who participated in the earlier battles without noticing any such trouble, I am now inclined to the opinion that it might have been due, in part, at least, to the ammunition.

[McBride goes on to describe ammo production and distribution of the era...]

So...... who's taking bets that ol' Eugene was a bastard child of the Ross Clan? :D



September 12, 2003, 06:53 PM
Another oddity from the Great War was the 1915, 13mm Mauser.
Originally intended as an anti-tank weapon. It was basicly a scaled up 98.
No one on either side ever argued about it's power, reliablity or effectiveness against the first tanks.
The poor smucks who fired it complained that it had a "somewhat" excessive kick. The German military responded by adding a 3 round magazine.
It had NO muzzle brake!
The 13mm round was supposedly the inspiration for the US army and JMB to design the .50BMG round.

I have heard that some US troops carried the Krag-Jorgenson to France and only got 1903s or 1917s just before going to the front.

September 12, 2003, 07:05 PM
That would make sense. There were probably thousands and thousands of Krags still in the inventory at the time, as well as probably a few original Springfields in the .30-'03 cartridge.

What cartridge did this Canadian Ross rifle fire?

C'mon. Anybody got any pics of trench shotguns for us? :D

September 12, 2003, 07:25 PM
Then, as now, most guard and reserve units would get the hand-me-downs from the regular army. I think some National Guardmen still had the trapdoor Springfeilds, though I don't think any went to France for the great war.
Ross was .303, just like the Enfeild.

September 12, 2003, 07:59 PM
Here is a Norinco copy of a Winchester 97 Shotgun

Here is a pic. of a Styer M95 made in 1898 in 8x50

Mike Irwin
September 12, 2003, 08:57 PM
The Ross fired the standard .303 British round. Canada was part of the Commonwealth, and there was parity in ammunition, at least.

September 15, 2003, 11:08 PM
There was another early light machine gun in the US. They have a demilled example of one in one of our Armories. It's like a Colt 190...8, maybe? Anybody know anything about a Colt automatic rifle or light machine gun?

found it!!! i was mistaken with my last reply on this subject the gun in question is a 1895/1914 Colt-Browning info found HERE (http://www.firstworldwar.com/atoz/mgun_coltbrowning.htm) and it IS in fact a "potato Digger"

had a VERY short us ground force service life, was used as the basis for the Marlin "aviation" Machine gun which replaced the swinging under barrel toggle with a gas cylinder).

September 15, 2003, 11:30 PM
That's it! Thanks!

September 16, 2003, 12:10 AM
The 03' never served overseas, just the 1917. If that doesn't matter then add the Thompson submachine gun. It was setting on the New York docks waiting for shipment overseas when the War ended.

Which Thompson was sitting on the docks waiting for shipment? Would that be the original 1921 model?

There were probably thousands and thousands of Krags still in the inventory at the time, as well as probably a few original Springfields in the .30-'03 cartridge

I have nver read of any .30-40 Krags in WWI front line service. And IIRC the Springfield in .30-03 was never a general issue weapon.

September 16, 2003, 12:42 AM
And IIRC the Springfield in .30-03 was never a general issue weapon.

i've seen a few histories of the 1903 springfield, that seem to imply that the 30-03 chambered 1903 was never issued to ANY troops (remember 1903 was the year of acceptance for production, not the year it reached service), that by the time sufficent numbers of the rifle had been MADE, so that the rilfe could be issued to to even a company level unit, that the decison to change over to the "spitzer" style 30-06 round had been made and that ALL 1903 issued to the troops had their chambers redone (wasn't simply a lengthened throat or some such??)

i maybe completely wrong or the researcher/historian that made the comment may have been smoking something. but if there were not sufficent numbers of '03 rifles to equip the army by 1917, i'm thinking that dern few were produced between acceptance in 03 and the change over to teh NEW round and the need for the revised chamber in 06....

BTW the "guns on the NYC docks" at the time of the end of the war, were the second or third (and first LARGE) shipments of BARs meant to be feilded for use as "walking fire" weapons, in the big allied offensive that year.
Thompson got the IDEA for His "trench broom" (most likely from early reports of Bergmann MP18s) and started designing it before the war ended, but the war ended before a suitable prototype had been made and it took a few years to make a commercially viable unit.

September 16, 2003, 04:45 PM
Don't forget the 1891 Mannlicher-Carcano, the Italian's main rifle. The Italian Front was intense during WWI, fought IIRC high in the mountains against Austro-Hungarian troops.

From all I've heard, both the long version of the Mannlicher-Carcano and the long version of the M95 Mannlicher straight pull were far more accurate than the cut-down versions from WWII we see so often today.

March 25, 2004, 01:21 AM
Got a better understanding of things now.

The US also used the Lewis Machine Gun in .30-06, called the "M1917". It had a 47 round pan magazine, though I've seen pictures of it with what looked like a box magazine.

Was the Pedersen Device for the M1903 ever used in combat?

Did the British and Americans use optics on some of their rifles? Which rifles? (M1903, M1917, P.14, SMLE?) Did the Germans field a scoped Mauser 98?

Anybody know anything about the MG-08/15 light machine gun ("light" being a relative term) and the MG-13? The former looks like a water cooled, though it's supposedly manportable, and fed from a big drum on the right side. The Latter had a box magazine and was air cooled, I think.

The British used the Vickers Mk.1 machine gun, but also an adaptation of the French Hotchkiss called the "Portative", if I'm not mistaken.

The Germans had this 13mm Anti-Tank rifle. Anybody know anything about it?

What about the British .55 Caliber Boys Anti-Tank rifle? Was that fielded during the Great War? (Doubt it, as the Germans only had one cumbersome tank during the whole war, with a crew of EIGHTEEN....)

What about the Bergman MP-18? It fed from a Luger Snail Drum, correct? What was the magazine capacity? Was it actually fielded during the war (I understand this is a topic of much debate). The MP-18 design lived on well through World War II, with modernizations and updates being used by both the Germans and the Japanese. I believe that the MP-18 also evolved into the Lanchester submachine gun the British used.

The French had a whole mess of guns, too. They had a Lebel rifle that used spitzer bullets AND had a tubular magazine; they later replaced it with a box-mag bolt gun with a three round magazine. They later updated that to a five round magazine. They had the Hotchkiss machine gun, too.

EDIT: The MG-13 was apparently a post-war design that was fielded in 1930. Observe. (http://www.ima-usa.com/p1.html) My mistake.

Oh, and if you check this page (http://www.rememuseum.org.uk/arms/machguns/armmg1.htm), apparently the .30-06 Chauchat used a straight 16 round magazine instead of the banana magazine with the slots in it.

March 25, 2004, 01:24 AM
Great website with lots of info:


March 25, 2004, 02:45 AM
The only scope I've ever even seen or heard mentioned in connection with WWI sniping is the Warner & Swasey, I've seen pix of it mounted on an M1917, and on a Ross. The Ross pic was in 'The Gun Digest' , but I'm exactly sure of the year, somewhere around '68. Excellent article about the Ross rifles in it. The Germans must have used some glass on their sniper rifles, because it was the low magnification of them that prompted John Unertl to build his own. (Thankfully after he moved to the US between the wars;) .)

March 25, 2004, 05:07 AM
I got nothin'. Anybody? Lewis Gun?

This looks like it might have been fun to shoot:


Photo of a French advisor teaching US troops how to use the 37mm TR Mle1916 infantry gun in 1918.

Link (http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=33182&sid=28a2a6517b31)

March 25, 2004, 05:24 AM
firstworldwar.com (http://www.firstworldwar.com/index.htm)

handguns of the great war (http://www.firstworldwar.com/weaponry/pistols.htm) rifles of the great war (http://www.firstworldwar.com/weaponry/rifles.htm) machine guns of the great war (http://www.firstworldwar.com/weaponry/machineguns.htm)

March 25, 2004, 07:07 AM
Was it actually fielded during the war (I understand this is a topic of much debate).

Supposedly von Hutier's troops were issued small numbers for the assault on Riga in 9/17.

Don't forget the Italian Villar Perosa "submachine gun"!

Interesting thread, as I'm just finishing up The Guns Of August. If you haven't yet read it, Nightcrawler, I highly recommend it. Another couple of good ones are Eye-Deep In Hell by Ellis and British Butchers and Bunglers of World War One, by Laffin. You'll enjoy them. :)

March 25, 2004, 09:10 AM
Guns of France

HOTCHKISS (http://www.firstworldwar.com/atoz/mgun_hotchkiss.htm)

St. Etienne Gun (http://www.firstworldwar.com/atoz/mgun_stetienne.htm)

Chauchat Gun (http://www.firstworldwar.com/atoz/mgun_chauchat.htm)

March 25, 2004, 09:43 AM
Pic of ChauChaut with half moon mag. What a pile! Read "once an Eagle" by Anton Myrer.
http://www.hunt101.com/img/073105.jpg (http://www.hunt101.com/?p=73105&c=500&z=1)

March 25, 2004, 10:03 AM
Don't forget that large numbers or Russian troops, and the Arabs under T.E Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) used 6.5mm Arisaka rifles from Japan (oddly enough, Japan was on our side in that war) and some Russians preferred them to the Mosin-Nagant.

The Russian MG was a Maxim '08.

Also, at the start of the war the Germans had trained snipers, with scopes, in large numbers, the allies did not have many, if at all, with any scopes or training (they got in gear after the war started). Most of the scopes used in WW1 had low power (3-4X) and were fragile, but they worked. Not much changed from what got used in WW2, though by then they were a bit stouter-built. The book Sniper by Adrian Gilbert in paperback covers WW1 quite well, the sniper hides, development of the ghillie suit, rifles used, why/when, etc.

The Pattern 1914/1917 Enfields were actually preferred for sniper use on the Allied side as they were very accurate with a scope.

I've handled a WW1 Ross, and while well built, the propensity for launching the bolt into your eyeball if improperly assembled would preclude me from having one as anything but a collectors piece! :) I prefer my No.4 Mk1 Lee-Enfield.

March 25, 2004, 10:23 AM

No wonder the French don't like to fight wars they got some butt ugly guns

March 25, 2004, 12:46 PM
The 03' never served overseas, just the 1917. Incorrect...the Marines carried '03s.

Another interesting feature of the Canadian Ross was that the bolt could be assembled improperly, and firing the rifle would earn the shooter a face full of bolt. The Canadians were issued the Enfield No1MkIII from late 1915 on, IIRC.

March 25, 2004, 01:58 PM
As far as I know, the Pederson Device was never used operationally. It would have been used in the spring offensive of 1919, had there been a spring offensive of 1919.

It would have been interesting to see U.S. troops armed with Springfields fitted with the Pederson Device backed up by BAR's attacking the the German trenches.

I bet afterwards the troops would have loved the BAR and hated the Pederson Device. The BAR gave the troops undprecedented mobile firepower in a reliable package, but the Pederson Device was a clumsy lash-up firing an underpowered cartridge. I bet most of the Pederson Devices would have been quickly "lost in action."

March 25, 2004, 02:11 PM
the Pederson Device was a clumsy lash-up firing an underpowered cartridge.

that lacked that all important part of "supressive firepower" SOUND to make the enemy aware that all those bullets are comming his way!
(the little .30 cal pistol round used plus the rifle length barrel resulted in a very quiet weapon)

the largest component of supressive fire isn't really the bullets, it's the perceived noise of the guns firing them, without the some sort of other indicator than the "splash" of the bullets the germans would most likely NOT be impressed by the use of such a device, they'd simply get behind their maxims and mow the americans down like wheat.

March 25, 2004, 03:33 PM
Is there any way that either side could've achieved a more decisive victory, early on, you think? Seems to me that the war bogged down as a result of Napoleonic tactics in an era of machine guns and modern artillery. Not a good combination, as the Battle of the Somme proved.

What if the "belligerents" had waited until 1918 to really make large offensives, using things like airplanes, tanks, flame throwers, gas, etc. in conjunction? Could've really handed it to the other side, had the other side primarily used the primitive tactics that the armies all demonstrated in 1914.

Would've been interesting to see how the M1919 machine gun did in the Trenches, as well as (if the war went on long enough) the M1921 Thompson.

Who were the main central powers in the War? There was Germany, the Austrio-Hungarian Empire (desperately trying to keep its mish-mash of nationalities, cultures, religions, and peoples under autocratic rule). I know the Turks fought with the Central Powers; was it still under the auspices of the Ottoman Empire?

The Allies were, primarily, the British Commonwealth, Belgium, France, Russia (until 1917), and the US. Though, "officially", China, Japan, and dozens of other countries were involved in the war as well. Italy was with the allies too, at least late in the war.

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