WW1 Tehcnology and Warfare Timeline - By Andrew Boettger and Jeff Yu

  • Ross Rifle

    Ross Rifle
    During the Boer War, the Ross rifle proved to be a very useful sharpshooter in warfare. In 1914, it was issued to Canadian soldiers for use in trench warfare. However, the rifle would jam frequently due to the muddy and dirty conditions of the trenches. The Canadians complained but Sir Sam Hughes refused to listen. In desperation, Canadian soldiers would take Lee Enfield rifles from fallen British soldiers. In the summer of 1916, the rifle was recalled and they were given Lee Enfield rifles.
  • Lee-Enfield Rifle

    Lee-Enfield Rifle
    The Lee-Enfield rifle was the British standard issue rifle. It rivalled the German Mauser in effectiveness. It was well suited to rapid fire shooting around 12 rounds a minute. It was so reliable that it was continued to be used in World War 2. In the summer of 1916, the Lee-Enfield rifle replaced the Ross rifle as the standard issue for Canadian soldiers.
  • Machine Gun

    Machine Gun
    In 1914, the machine gun was a major component of the war. It would be placed on a tripod and required a crew of 4-6 people. They were supposedly able to fire 400-600 rounds per minute. But, they were subject to overheating, jamming. and required high maintenance. Used mostly for defensive purposes, they were worth as much as 80 riflemen. During the first day of the Somme, the British suffered 60,000 casualties mostly to machine gun fire. By 1918, they had become portable and more offesnsive,
  • Trench Warfare

    Trench Warfare
    Trench warfare was perhaps the most important part of the World War. Trenches had to be dug in the flat coutryside of Europe in order to protect soldiers from machine gun fire and explodig shells. Trenches could be miles long protected by machine guns and barbed wire. Conditions were extremely uncomfortable. Trenches were wet, muddy, and cold. Soldiers had to stay in them for years on end suffering diseases like trench foot and trench mouth. Trenches also had lice, rats, garbage and human waste.
  • Period: to

    World War 1

  • Blimps-Zeppelins

    They were used all throughout the war as reconnaissance and for bombing. In 1915, the Germans had developed an observation car in which a pilot could transmit information back to the base and better synchronize bomb raids. However, their downfall was the fact that they were filled with helium and helium is highly explosive. Especially throughtout the year of 1915, the British conducted many Zeppelin raids. In the end, they only had a psychological effect.
  • Airplanes-The Fokker

    Airplanes-The Fokker
    The Fokker was a German plane made famous by Manfred van Richthofen (The Red Baron). This was the first plane to feature synchronized machine guns mounted on the plane. The mechanism would prevent the plane from shooting its own propellers. The Red Baron was a bright red coloured Fokker part of a squad called the Flying Circus. As the war went on, engineers worked on a Fokker mounted with a Gatling gun capable of firing 7200 rounds per minute. The Fokker dominated the skies until 1917.
  • The Flamethrower

    The Flamethrower
    Introduced into the war in early 1914, it was invented in 1901 by German engineer Richard Fiedler. They were equipped on two German army battalions of former Leipzig firefighter Hermann Redemann. They were first used in combat on Feb. 26, 1915 against the French trenches at Malancourt north of Verdun.They had a great psychological effect; they were used for drawing enemies out of trenches so they could be mowed down by machine gun fire. However, they were cumbersome and difficult to operate.
  • Poison Gas

    Poison Gas
    Poison Gas (Chlorine) was first used in the Second Battle of Ypres, by the Germans. Although the French were the first to use it, trying to prevent them from invading Belgium, it was only tear gas, an irritant, not intended to kill. When the Germans used it against the French forces, they thought it was a smokescreen and lined up all their men in the front for a big attack. As soon as they realized it was poison gas they fled in terror.
  • Antidote to Gas Attacks

    Antidote to Gas Attacks
    During the Battle of Ypres, the Germans surprised everyone by bringing in a new weapon: poison gas. The deadly gas would burn the eyes and throat and destory the lungs eventually ending in death. A Canadian medical officer soon recognized the gas as chlorine and came up with a quick temporary antidote to the gas. He had the men soak their handkerchiefs in urine and hold them over their faces. It was nasty but necessary as their only defence. Canadians were the only ones who held their positions.
  • German U-Boats - The RMS Lusitania

    German U-Boats - The RMS Lusitania
    German U-Boats had been around long before the war, and were quite successful, although they were disregarded by the British because they were considered untraditional warfare. The RMS Lusitania, a ship carrying civilians, notably Americans. This outraged many Americans and was one of the leading factors that drew the Americans into the war.
  • Torpedoes

    Torpedoes were used a lot during World War One in conjunction with submarines in order to sink submarines as well as shipping boats. Using torpedoes and U-Boats, the Germans distrupted the British supply lines greatly. The British also used torpedoes in order to target the U-Boats (20 being sunk by torpedoes). They were fired by ejecting compressed air which would ensure it travelled straight until it had hit something.
  • Canadian Troops' Reputation

    Canadian Troops' Reputation
    During the Battle of The Somme, both sides suffered huge casualties. By the end 24,000 Canadians had died. However, this Battle gave the Canadians a fierce reputation. They fought so heroically that they began to be singled out as stromtroopers. They were deemed as fierce soldiers who fought bravely and this reputation was used many times against Germany. Whenever the Germans found the Canadian corps coming into their line, they prepared for the worst. It gave off a psychological effect.
  • Sound Ranging

    Sound Ranging
    In late 1916, British scientists developed a low frequency microphone that seperated the low frequency sound of the firing of a gun and the high frequency sound from the exploding of the shell. This was very useful by the end of the war and continued to be researched into World War 2. This was used in order to locate enemy batteries, artillery, and even machine guns.
  • The Navy - The Convoy System

    The Navy - The Convoy System
    Since Laurier failed to decide on which side he we would agree with, Canada ended up with a shameful fleet of a navy, with just two ships. Ships would be vunerable to attack from German U-Boats. A travelling method called the Convoy System in which boats would travel in packs, with the ship carrying the cargo deemed most important in the middle was made, to hopefully deter German attacks to the outer-most ships. This proved to work well, and by the end of the war Canada had 112 ships.
  • General Arthur Currie's Strategies

    General Arthur Currie's Strategies
    In February of 1917, Canadian General Arthur Currie was ordered to capture Vimy Ridge. At first the position on Vimy Ridge seemed invincible. But through the experiences of past battles like The Somme, Currie was convinced that poor preparation and scouting were the cause of the high casualties of the battle. Currie refused to blindly send his men to fight. Putting togther a true Canadian division, he made sure everything was thorough from full scale models to repeating manoeuvers.
  • The Vimy Glide/Rolling Barrage

    The Vimy Glide/Rolling Barrage
    The Vimy Glide was a new tactic introduced into the war in the Battle of Vimy Ridge. The Vimy Glide was a defensive technique where soldiers would advance 100 yards every three minutes while the artillery barrage advances to keep the Germans backed up so the Btritish/Canadians could attack the front lines. This was part of the reason that Canadians won the battle of Vimy Ridge. It was the deepest advance that the British forces had made in two and a half years.
  • Airplanes - The Sopwith Camel

    Airplanes - The Sopwith Camel
    The Sopwith Camel was more manouverable, faster, and could fly to higher altitudes than competing German planes. However, it had a tendency to turn left slowly because of the massive amounts of rotational torque and this would cause a bit of a nosedive while turning. The upspide is it could turn right twice as fast as the opposition.
  • The War of Attrition - Conscription

    The War of Attrition - Conscription
    World War 1 was still very old fashioned in terms of strategy, and combined with the modern weapons, this lead to mass bloodshed. The only way to win was to throw more men on the enemy until they surrender. In August of 1917, Prime Minister Borden passed a bill that stated all able bodied men from the ages of 20-45 must enlist in the army. Despite the efforts, only 45,000 men made it to the war efforts.
  • First Major Tank Battle (Battle of Cambrai)

    First Major Tank Battle (Battle of Cambrai)
    The Battle of Cambrai was the first major battle of WW1 that the mass use of tanks in a combined arms operation was used. The British had six infantry divisions with 437 tanks. The British, although suffering many casualties and losing 180 tanks in the first day, advanced more in six hours than in the previous three months. The battle showed the British that even the strongest trench defenses could be bovercome by a surprise artillery infanftry attack with a lot of tanks.
  • Canadian Air Warfare

    Canadian Air Warfare
    When the war broke out in 1914, Canada didn't have an air force of its own. The Royal Canadian Air Force wasn't made by 1924. However, Canadians who wanted to fly could join the British Royal Flying Corps. Canadian airmen soon gained the reputation for their bravery and skill in battle. Because of this reputation, Britain helped launch a pilot training program in Canada. By 1918, 40 percent of the British Airforce pilots were Canadian. Many of the top aces were Canadian as well.