World War 1 weapons run the gamut from bolt action rifles like the Gewehr 98 and Lee-Enfield to sophisticated machine guns like the Lewis Gun and pistols used well into the 20th Century, like the Colt 1911. The First World War involved a great modernizing of armies, weapons, and tactics, and as the very nature of war changed from offensive to static, so too did the weapons needed to fight that war.
Just as one example, in 1914, French soldiers went into battle wearing blue pants, red tops, and white gloves - the same uniforms used in the Napoleonic Wars a century earlier. Soldiers marched in tight formations, vulnerable to massed machine gun fire. And many of the weapons they were using had been made before the turn of the century. But within a few months, all of the armies of the war had modernized, becoming the modern killing machines that would fight for the next four years.
The weapons of the First World War needed to be sturdy, powerful, and cheap to make. And so millions of rifles, pistols, automatic rifles, and machine guns were produced, along with tens of millions of grenades, and quite likely over 100 million artillery shells. These weapons turned out to be so effective that they were used in mass quantities in World War 2 and beyond.
Vote up the most effective and iconic weapons of World War 1.
list ordered by
Lee-Enfield Rifle Reliable and fast rifle used well into World War 2.
Mauser Gewehr 98 Primary rifle of the Imperial German Army. Extremely accurate, but not suited for rapid fire.
Luger P08 Pistol Famous German sidearm of World War 1 and 2.
Lewis Gun Light machine gun used by both British and American infantry and aircraft in WW1.
M1911 Pistol American sidearm used extensively during the 20th Century.
Maschinengewehr 08 Standard German machine gun for infantry and aircraft. Caused enormous casualties in trench warfare.
MP18 Close-range submachine gun used by German stormtroopers in 1918.
Mauser C96 Pistol A 9mm version was made in WW1 to help fill the German army's demand for pistols.
Vickers Machine Gun Widely-deployed British machine gun, used extensively on the Western Front.
Flammenwerfer M.16. The first flamethrower ever used in combat, and a mainstay of trench warfare.
Browning Automatic Rifle Light machine gun used by US forces in World War 1.
M1903 Springfield Standard American rifle at the end of the war. Was still used by snipers in Vietnam.
Model 24 Stielhandgranate Iconic German "potato masher" stick grenade used in both World Wars.
Winchester 1897 Trench Gun So deadly at close range that the Germans tried in vain to get combat shotguns banned.