10 Innovation WWI

10 инноваций Первой мировой войны

By 1914, Western Europe has lost the habit of big wars. The last great conflict - the Franco-Prussian War - took place almost half a century before the first salvo of the First World War. But that 1870 war of the year directly or indirectly led to the finalization of two large states - the German Empire and the Kingdom of Italy. These new players felt stronger than ever, but deprived in a world where Britain ruled over the seas, France owned vast colonies, and a huge Russian empire had a serious influence on European affairs. The big massacre for the redivision of the world was long overdue, and when it did begin, politicians and military still did not understand that wars in which officers gallop on horses in bright uniforms, and the outcome of the conflict is solved in large but transient battles of professional armies big battles in the Napoleonic wars) are gone.

The era of trenches and pillboxes, a field form of masking color and many months of positional “butting”, when soldiers died in the tens of thousands, and the front line almost did not move in either direction, came. The Second World War, of course, was also associated with great progress in the military-technical field - which is worth only the missile and nuclear weapons that appeared at that time. weapon. But in the number of various innovations, the First World War is hardly inferior to the Second, if not superior to it. In this article we will mention ten of them, although the list could be expanded. Let's say formally military aviation and combat submarines appeared before the war, but revealed their potential precisely in the battles of the First World War. During this period, air and submarine warships acquired many important improvements.
The plane turned out to be a very promising platform for placing weapons, but it was not immediately clear how exactly to place it there. In the first air battles, the pilots fired at each other with revolvers. Machine guns tried to hang up from the belts on the bottom of the aircraft or place them above the cabin, but all this created problems with aiming. It would be nice to place the machine gun exactly in front of the cockpit, but how to shoot through the propeller? This engineering problem was solved by the Swiss Franz Schneider in 1913, but the Dutch firing engineer Anthony Fokker developed a truly working firing synchronization system where the machine gun was mechanically connected to the engine shaft. In May, 1915 th German aircraft, machine guns which fired through the propeller, entered the battle, and soon the Entente countries took over the innovation.

The synchronizer firing allowed the pilots to conduct aimed shooting from a machine gun through the propeller blades.

This is not easy to believe, but the first experience of the creation of an unmanned aerial vehicle, which became the ancestor of both the UAV and cruise missiles, dates back to the time of the First World War. Two American inventors, Elmer Sperry and Peter Hewitt, developed an unmanned biplane in 1916 — 1917, the task of which was to deliver a charge of explosives to the target. Nobody heard of any electronics then, and the device had to withstand the direction with the help of gyroscopes and an altimeter based on a barometer. In the 1918 year, it came to the first flight, but the accuracy of the weapon was so “left to wish” that the military refused the novelty.

The first UAV took off in the 1918 year, but never got to the battlefield. Accuracy summed up.

The heyday of underwater operations forced engineering to actively work on creating means of detecting and destroying warships hiding in the depths of the sea. Primitive hydrophones - microphones for listening to underwater noise - existed in the XIX century: they represented a membrane and a resonator in the form of a bell-shaped tube. Work on listening to the sea intensified after the collision of the Titanic with an iceberg - it was then that the idea of ​​active sonar. And finally, already during the First World War, thanks to the work of the French engineer and in the future public figure Paul Langevin, as well as the Russian engineer Konstantin Chilovsky, a sonar was created based on ultrasound and piezoelectric effect - this device could not only determine the distance to the object, but also indicate direction to it. The first German submarine was detected using a sonar and destroyed in April 1916.

Hydrophone and sonar were the answer to the success of the German submariners. Submarine stealth suffered.

The fight against German submarines led to the emergence of such weapons as depth charges. The idea originated in the walls of the Royal Navy Torpedo and Mine School (Britain) in 1913. The main task was to create a bomb that would explode only at a given depth and could not damage surface ships and vessels.

Depth charges
The hydrostatic fuse measured the water pressure and was activated only at a certain value..

Whatever happened at sea and in the air, the main battles were fought on the ground. The increased artillery firepower and especially the spread of machine guns quickly discouraged the war in open spaces. Now, opponents competed in the ability to dig as many rows of trenches as possible and dig deeper into the ground, which more reliably saved from heavy artillery fire than forts and fortresses - those that were in vogue in the previous era. Of course, earthworks existed since ancient times, but only during the First World War did giant continuous lines of the front appear, carefully excavated on both sides.

Endless trenches
Artillery and machine-gun fire forced opponents to dig into the ground, resulting in a positional deadlock.

The Germans supplemented the trench lines with separate concreted firing points - the heirs of the fortress forts, which later received the name of pillboxes. This experience was not very successful - more powerful pillboxes, capable of withstanding attacks from heavy artillery, appeared already in the interwar period. But here you can remember that the giant multi-level concrete fortifications of the Maginot Line did not save the French in 1940 from a blow tank wedges of the Wehrmacht. Military thought went further. Burrowing in the ground led to a positional crisis, when the defense on both sides became so high quality that it was devilishly difficult to break through. A classic example is the Verdun meat grinder, in which numerous mutual offensives each time drowned in a sea of ​​fire, leaving thousands of corpses on the battlefield, without giving a decisive advantage to either side.

The pillboxes reinforced the German defensive lines, but were vulnerable to heavy artillery strikes.

Battles often took place at night, in the dark. In 1916, the British “delight” the troops with another new product - tracer bullets .303 Inch Mark I, leaving a greenish glowing trail.

Tracer bullets made it possible to shoot at night.

In this situation, military minds focused on creating a kind of ram that would help the infantry to break through the rows of trenches. For example, the tactics of a “fiery shaft” were developed when a shaft of explosions from artillery shells rolled in front of the infantry's trenches attacking the enemy’s infantry. His task was to maximally “clear out” the trenches before their capture by infantrymen. But this tactic had drawbacks in the form of casualties among those attacking from “friendly” fire.

A definite help for the attackers could be light automatic weapons, but its time has not yet come. True, the first samples of light machine guns, submachine guns and automatic rifles also appeared during the First World War. In particular, the first Beretta Model 1918 submachine gun was created by designer Tulio Marenghoni and entered service with the Italian army in 1918 year.

Submachine gun Beretta opened the era of light automatic weapons.

Perhaps the most notable innovation, which was aimed at overcoming the positional impasse, was the tank. The first was the British Mark I, developed in 1915 year and went on the attack on the German position in the battle on the Somme in September 1916. Early tanks were slow and clumsy and were prototypes of breakthrough tanks, relatively resistant to fire, the enemy armored vehicles supporting the advancing infantry. Following the British, the Renault FT tank was built by the French. The Germans also made their car A7V, but they were not particularly zealous in tank building. In two decades, it was the Germans who would find a new use for their already more agile tanks - they would use tank forces as a separate tool for rapid strategic maneuver and stumble over their own invention just at Stalingrad.

The tanks were still slow, clumsy and vulnerable, but turned out to be a very promising type of military equipment.

Poisoning gases are another attempt to suppress defense in depth and a genuine "calling card" of the massacre in European theaters. It all started with tearing and irritating gases: in the battle of Bolimov (the territory of modern Poland), the Germans used artillery shells with xylobromide against Russian troops.

Fighting gases caused many casualties, but did not become super-armed. But gas masks appeared even in animals.

Then it's time for the gases that kill. 22 April 1915, the Germans fired on the French positions by the Ypres River 168 T chlorine. In response, the French developed phosgene, and in 1917, the German army used mustard gas in the same Ypres river. The gas armament race went on throughout the war, although the fighting agents did not give a decisive advantage to either side. In addition, the danger of gas attacks led to the flourishing of yet another pre-war invention - a gas mask.
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  1. KostA_RikA
    16 August 2014 08: 01
    Probably nothing moves science and the economy so much as war as an over motivation for modernization.
    1. +4
      16 August 2014 09: 44
      Probably nothing moves science and the economy so much as war as an over motivation for modernization.

      Economy flies into a pipe ... aerodynamic lol
      But this "motivation" by war is too expensive.

      Maybe it’s just ... for scientists around the world to rebuild nano-cities with elements of the chaos of war? Such silicon valleys, and let them move back and forth there. Progress regression.
  2. +1
    16 August 2014 08: 20
    That's for sure, war always leads to modernization and innovation.
  3. +2
    16 August 2014 08: 30
    Yes, wars or their threats prevent rulers from slumbering. For example, today. If it weren’t for the military threat, could anything else stir up our grief rulers?
  4. The comment was deleted.
  5. Dart_Veyder
    16 August 2014 08: 49
    The first world most innovative war. In 1914, generals
    pranced around the battlefield riding on
    horse, and soldiers in caps were walking in
    attack without the slightest fire
    cover. Both sides were
    armed mainly with rifles. Four years later
    troops went on the attack in steel
    helmets and undercover
    artillery fire. But not the bloodiest at that time. 50 years before
    beginning of World War I in China
    erupted even more bloody
    conflict. By the most modest
    estimated for 14 years of Taiping
    uprising killed from 20 to 30 million people. In the first world war
    killed a total of 17 million
    soldiers and civilians.
    1. Underwood
      16 August 2014 10: 46
      Quote: Dart_Veyder
      Four years later
      troops went on the attack in steel
      helmets and undercover
      artillery fire.

      Yes, for sure, the leather pickelhaube from the time of Friedrich Wilhelm was replaced by a helmet of the 1916 model.
      Among the innovations did not notice the flamethrower. Or missed?
  6. +9
    16 August 2014 09: 06
    1916 Fedorov submachine gun chambered for 6,5x50 arisaka
    1. +12
      16 August 2014 11: 33
      Only not a "submachine gun", but an "automatic". Submachine guns were loaded with pistol cartridges, and the Fedorov assault rifle was loaded with rifle cartridges. These are different classes of weapons.
      1. 0
        16 August 2014 11: 49
        Then it’s more likely a light machine gun, if the rifle cartridge, but in general Fedorov planned to develop an intermediate cartridge, for his machine gun, but in the absence of opportunities, made it under the most low-powered rifle cartridge
        1. +2
          17 August 2014 15: 35
          It seems to me that it has never been a "handbrake", but a prototype of automatic combat rifles of the future, developed immediately after WWII: M-14 auto, H&K G-3, CETME, FAL and others. From the domestic it is still possible to recall the ABC-36.
    2. Artem1967
      16 August 2014 20: 14
      An advanced model of small arms for its time. It’s a pity it was not widespread. Apparently, it was complicated and expensive to manufacture with technologies of the early 20th century. It would be very useful to scouts and assault units of the Russian army in WWI.
      1. +2
        17 August 2014 22: 43
        The Fedorov assault rifle was successfully used by the soldiers of the OSNAZ engineer during the Soviet-Finnish war. The PPD submachine gun, which entered service with the Red Army at that time, did not give an advantage over the Finns armed with the Suomi submachine gun. And the Fedorov assault rifles extracted from the storehouses gave such an advantage, due to the greater range of aimed automatic fire and a more powerful rifle cartridge. Fedorov created his machine gun in front of the NVG, he even managed to persuade him to form a number of submachine gun detachments armed with his machine guns, but then the war ended and the remaining machine guns were sent for storage. In Soviet times, Fedorov continued to improve his weapons, but his design did not get widespread.
    3. +2
      17 August 2014 15: 34
      Fedorov called this a submachine gun. Arisakov's cartridge was 2600 J compared to the rifle of that time 3700 J. Therefore, the weapon has the honor to be called the world's first serial automatic weapon chambered for an intermediate cartridge, referred to in Russian terminology as "automatic".
    4. 0
      20 August 2014 15: 59
      I saw him "alive" in the Artillery Museum in St. Petersburg good
  7. +4
    16 August 2014 09: 25
    The world's first s-22 bomber Ilya Muromets, developed by a group of designers led by Igor Sikorsky
    1. +2
      16 August 2014 19: 23
      Quote: bionik
      The world's first bomber s-22 Ilya Muromets

      As a bomber, he was not the first in the world, and he had no analogues in the world! Before him was still the world's first multi-engine aircraft "Russian Knight" engineer Igor Sikorsky. The plane was originally called "Grand" or "Big Baltic", and after some modifications it received the name - "Russian Knight". On August 2, 1913, the aircraft set a world record for a flight duration of 1 hour 54 minutes. This aircraft, surpassing in size and take-off weight all the machines built up to this point, became the basis for a new direction in aviation - heavy aircraft manufacturing. The direct successor of the “Russian Knight” was the four-engine aircraft Ilya Muromets, the first copy of which was built in October 1913.
  8. +3
    16 August 2014 09: 32
    Motor-gunner-gunner Ilya Muromets sergeant major Marcel Plya, photo from the magazine Ogonyok 1916god
  9. Underwood
    16 August 2014 10: 49
    as well as the combat use of airships. The story, however, was limited to the WWI, but still ...
  10. +2
    16 August 2014 12: 00
    Conclusion: wars avalanche accelerate technological progress smile
  11. +1
    16 August 2014 13: 14
    Good article ! Bold plus! good
  12. padonok.71
    16 August 2014 13: 47
    Another wristwatch was conceived.
  13. +2
    16 August 2014 15: 04
    run on the tops of the poppie ...
    well example
    The pillboxes reinforced the German defensive lines, but were vulnerable to heavy artillery strikes.
    which led to the birth of assault detachments., methods of capturing and destroying bunkers not only artillery but also infantry.
    By the way, the OM artillery itself in those years was actively used on the fields of war. By the way, yes helmets, bombers.
    New types of artillery appeared: anti-aircraft, anti-tank, infantry escort.

    Flamethrower where? didn’t enter 10 and decided to skip? although yes, in the style of a poppie, so that the MOSH managers did not strain.
    1. 0
      17 August 2014 13: 27
      Quote: Stas57
      Although yes, in the style of a poppie, so that the MOSH managers do not strain.

      Popular mechanics is no longer a cake, with the change of editor five years ago it turned into a boring guano for dumbass ...
    2. 0
      17 August 2014 21: 54
      stas57 "Where's the flamethrower? Didn't enter the 10k and decided to skip it? although yes, in the style of popmeh, so that the managers of the mosch would not strain."
      What about machine guns? Easel, hand ... and they drove the infantry into the trenches.)
      1. 0
        18 August 2014 12: 21
        Sorry, machine guns - this is the US civil war + Anglo-Boer, have long been tested in large numbers.
  14. +3
    16 August 2014 15: 36
    Quote: Mayor_Vikhr
    Only not a "submachine gun", but an "automatic". Submachine guns were loaded with pistol cartridges, and the Fedorov assault rifle was loaded with rifle cartridges. These are different classes of weapons.

    Sorry, with whom it does not happen, just when I wrote a comment I looked at another brainchild of the PMV Bergmann MP 18,1 designed by Hugo Schmeiser
  15. +1
    16 August 2014 15: 51
    Super artillery still existed (even a race)
    the war brutally intensified the evolution of gasoline engines (aircraft)
    started with Gnome at 50 hp and finished with Benz at 200 or more horses ..
    the planes themselves were divided into famous classes, and before the war they were just toys
    Evolution went on in all branches of the army.
    On a civilian even. Though not so fast
    In extreme conditions, the human brain accelerates the development of means of destruction. By giving birth to a geometric progression of the mortality of evolution ...
    That is, the explosion of the dreadnought and 1000 victims could be replaced by 5 thousand victims at a time and 200 000 thousand victims in 2 MB (Hiroshima Nagasaki) and today it is almost humanity .. time 3 ...
  16. +1
    17 August 2014 02: 09
    I would like more facts
  17. +1
    17 August 2014 11: 22
    Quote: xomaNN
    Conclusion: wars avalanche accelerate technological progress smile

    By themselves, do not accelerate. Rather, they set ultimatums that cannot be ignored. For example, despite the Cold War, progress in the USSR turned out to be one-sided and ineffective. The sense of all these military-technical gadgets, if the economy and management slide into some kind of ass.
  18. 0
    17 August 2014 21: 46
    This article was posted on Popular Mechanics a week ago.

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