Weapons of the Trench War 1914-1918
By Anthony Saunders
Publisher: Alan Sutton Publishing 1999 174 Pages
PDF 15 MB
Trench warfare was a particularly horrific feature of the First World War, notably on the Western Front. The equipment problems it raised for soldiers who had to fight in and from the trenches gave rise to a whole host of specialised weapons adapted for use in this violent environment. Although none were war-winning weapons, many were significant in the conduct of trench war. These included remote firing devices, body armour, wire-cutting machines, knuckle-dusters and maces, grenade launchers and flame. The focus is principally on British equipment but also includes that used by other combatants.
The author looks at innovation in the trenches, the weapons and associated equipment designed to overcome the problems of trench warfare at trench level, including ideas that were never put to practical use. Much of the research material is drawn from UK patents for these weapons (a unique and unexploited source), combined with other official documentary sources and personal memoirs that refer to them in use. A comprehensive range of illustrations support the text and include contemporary photographs, photographs of surviving examples and detailed drawings.