FROM HANKIES TO RESPIRATORS
The worst of warfare has certainly included the possibility of gas or other lethal chemical weapons. Respirators and hoods have saved lives, but they’re hot and take some getting used to on the battlefield. Urine-soaked hankies saved some at Ypres in 1915.
Guns And Rifles:
FROM THE ROSS TO MODERN ASSAULT
Named after its developer Sir Charles Ross, the Ross rifle performed poorly in muddy battlefield conditions during the First World War, although many believed in it as a target rifle. It was subsequently abandoned by soldiers who preferred the British Lee-Enfield. Hunting rifles, including elephant guns, were used for sniping in the First World War until army rifles were modified. Better optics and precision parts have made the job of finding a target easier. The portable and versatile Lewis Gun, meanwhile, was considered the most effective light machine-gun during the First World War.
FROM JAM-TINS TO BIGGER BANGS
The Jam-Tin bomb looked exactly as its name implied, but instead of being filled with raspberry spread, it contained an inner can of explosive with an outer can of nasty bits, often ball bearings. Tin cans jammed with gun cotton and scrap metal were also tossed at the enemy during WW I. Dozens of grenades were developed during the war, but the most common was the No. 5 Mills bomb introduced in 1915. It weighed about a pound and had a serrated exterior to maximize fragmentation. Smaller and more spherical, the modern C13 is the standard issue grenade of the Canadian army, and has a lethal radius of 15 metres.
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