The First World War saw many weapons being used, including gas, artillery, bayonets, grenades and flame-throwers. Some were more successful than others. The films on this page show a range of weapons and the tactics used alongside them.
2 MINS 1 SEC, SILENT, B/W, 1914-1918
Men assemble a tripod stand for a machine gun before loading it onto a truck with other tripods.
The film then shows a drill in which British soldiers run with the equipment, set up a tripod, load, then fire the machine gun into a field.
TANKS AT THE FRONT
1 MIN 23 SECS, SILENT, B/W, 1914-1918
A film about French troops on the Western Front during the First World War. It shows small tanks moving along a road through a bombed village. It also includes shots of horse artillery and ambulances. If you watch carefully, there is a very brief glimpse of a blimp or balloon hovering above a road.
The Lancashire Fusiliers undergo bayonet drills during the First World War. They practice lunging with the weapon, then three waves of soldiers run across a field at hanging sandbags, impaling them with their bayonets before stabbing similar bags laid out on the ground.
The damage caused by a huge German cannon (called 'Big Bertha' by the press at the time, though actually a different weapon) which shelled Paris from a staggering 71 miles away. The first attack occurred on Good Friday in 1918.
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