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World War One - Inventions and Weapons

The Revolver-Canon (Sur Le Vif, 1915)

The French made "Revolver Canon" must have had some difficulties...


Armored Cars and Trucks (Vanity Fair, 1916)

The American trucks and armored cars pictured here were not created specifically for the Great War, but no doubt they were sold to the French and British; a year later these trucks arrived with the A.E.F.. The bull dog that has for so long adorned the hood of the Mack truck dates to this conflict -"the bull dog" was the nick-name bestowed upon that vehicle by the Tommies.

Recognizing the importance of armored vehicles, a group of American Millionaires, among them Henry Clay Frick (1849 - 1919), pooled their money and donated a number of such items to the New York National Guard. Vanity Fair Magazine followed this story and produced this article as it developed with a thorough review of each of the donated military vehicles. Although the trucks are photographed, few are named.


A New Propaganda Delivery Sysytem (Literary Digest, 1917)

Photographs of a small, hand-held helium balloon being loaded with German translations of President Wilson's April (1917) war address in order that they might be released over the German trenches. This small notice makes clear that this particular method of persuasion resulted in fifty Germans surrendering.


A Diagram of the French Renault Tank (Freedom's Triumph, 1919)

The French made light Renault tank was first seen on the Western Front in 1918, it had a crew of two, measured 13 feet (4 meters) in length and weighed 6.5 tons. The tank's 35 hp. engine moved it along at a top speed of 6 mph. The factory options were few: one turret was fashioned to accommodate a 37mm gun while the other was made for a machine gun. The American Army placed 227 of these tanks in the field; these Renaults were distinctly different from those commanded by their French allies: the American version sported an octagonal turret (the French used a circular one) and steel wheels (the French Army preferred wood).

If you wish to read about the only German tank of World War I, click here.

Read about the Patton tank in Korea...


A Diagram of Germany's Only World War I Tank (Almanach Hachette, 1919)

A black and white diagram depicting the interior and exterior of the German A7V heavy tank. Manufactured in the spring of 1918, only twenty were ever known to have existed. Although the illustration depicts only two men, it is said that the tank had a crew of 18 and measured 26 feet, three inches in length and 10.5 feet in width. The A7V had two heavy Maxim machine guns placed within it's turret, while the tank's primary weapon was a 57mm gun mounted at the very front (these guns were believed to have been of Russian or Belgian origin). The tank could travel an estimated fifty miles at the top speed of 6 mph; it weighed 32 tons and sported armor plating that was 30mm thick at the bow and 20mm thick all around. The tank's two 150 horse-power, 4-cylinder water cooled engines were made by Daimler.


Shrapnel Shells (Freedom's Triumph, 1919)

Attached herein are diagrams of three World War I shrapnel artillery shells designed for use on land. The illustrator provided precise details concerning the mechanism of each - the precise operation of the percussion fuse, the time ring, the location of the acid and the essential shrapnel projectiles.


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