Machine Guns Dylan, Kim, Eddie, Jon

General Knowledge:

The Machine Gun was invented in 1884 by Hiram Maxim

What is it?

Machine Gun

- Large, Heavy Gun that weighed 30-60kg

- Could fire 400-600 small calibre rounds per minute, rounds fed by fabric belt or metal strip

Russians using a Machine Gun.

- The Machine Gun required a gun crew of four to six operators

How it works:

Gas is produced by an explosion of powder in the cartridge that creates a recoil which continuously keeps gun shooting.


-Would overheat and needed cooling

- Jammed frequently


- cooled by water or air with air vents

Machine Guns being used in the trenches on the Western Front:

Impact On WWI:

- Major factor on the battlefield

- Was a fast way to take out an enemy/somewhat mobilized

- Caused easy deaths

- Cornered each other/pushed each other into the trenches

Influences Modern Weaponry:

- Caused later weapons to evolve with great amounts of ammunition

The first world


- The weapon had originally weighed 62 kg and eventually weighed 12 kg when the Germans had modified it

- Easier for one person to carry instead of three-four people

- The Germans had made the machine guns use an air-cooling technique which made the guns not overheat as much and work more efficiently

Who, When, and Where was it Used in Battle:

- The weapon was first used in July, 1916

- The Germans had used the machine gun first in the Battle of Somme and had dominated the battlefield

Battle of Somme-

- When the Germans introduced this weapon,they had killed or wounded just barely 60,000 British soldiers. And this was on the very first day...

"With no sign of the expected breakthrough, Gen Haig now regarded the Somme as an attritional or "wearing-out" battle. Machine guns inflicted heavy casualties on both sides." -


During World War 1, the use of machine guns increased causalities rapidly because of the outrageous amount of rounds these new guns could fire in a short amount of time.

When these rapid fire weapons were combined with trench warfare on the western front, things got very ugly.

These weapons were main factors in creating the stalemate on the western front that prolonged the war.

Works Cited

"Semiautomatic Weapons." Infobase, Facts On File, 1999, Accessed 2017.

Votaw, John F. "Machine Guns: World War I." ABC-CLIO, Accessed 6 Mar. 2017.

---. "Machine Guns: World War I." ABC-CLIO, Accessed 6 Mar. 2017.

WWI: Technology and the Weapons of War.

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