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The Machine Gun and Its Significance in the First World War: Critical Essay

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Created by Hiram Maxim in 1884, the machine gun greatly influenced World War I because of its rapid fire and high kill rate. This is because the machine gun was one of the most common and effective guns at this time. During the war, one of the main causes of death was from machine guns. Therefore, the introduction of the machine gun ended up having the highest impact on the death toll because they were so effective and were soon introduced to plains. Consequently, due to Hiram’s exceptional design, the machine gun was the most effective of its time.

The machine gun was introduced in 1884 and is still highly effective to this day. This is because Hiram Maxim made such an effective design that could fire multiple bullets at a time. He made his design to be completely self-powered and made it become powered by relying on the energy released from the firing cartridge. This gun was so effective that on June 7, 1912, they decided to mount the gun on fighters’ aircraft to eliminate more enemies. Despite the fact that this weapon is so practical and dependable, it does not have excellent effects on pilots.

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Although the machine gun is so effective, it does however come with some quite substantial effects. Even though the mounting of the machine gun on fighters’ aircraft seemed like a smart idea, at the time it caused the pilots some great danger. One of the biggest dangers was caused due to the propeller spinning five times faster than the machine gun could fire. Which caused there to only be an exceptionally small margin for error. However, they solved the problem by adding a gear-like disk onto the propeller, which allowed the gun to fire in between the blade rotations. So, although people think the machine gun is so great nowadays, back when it was first invented it ran into a lot of complications.

The significance of machine guns in World War I was that they inflicted casualties on both fronts, caused many deaths, and caused trench warfare. Both fronts suffered casualties as the men climbed over the trenches and had little chance of survival when the enemy opened fire. Both sides also soon learned the lesson that the machine gun, more than any other weapon introduced in that war, drove soldiers off the battlefield into the safety of their trenches, and it was called trench warfare. Therefore, the significance of machine guns in World War I caused casualties on both fronts in this war due to their high kill rate and rate of fire.

In summary, the machine gun had a huge impact on the development of World War I due to its rapid rate of fire and high kill rate. With rapid machine gun fire and a high kill count, this resulted in both fronts facing heavy casualties, forcing soldiers off the battlefield into the safety of trenches. Both sides benefited from installing machine guns on fighter planes to increase the number of deaths. The machine gun was so significant in the First World War that even after 137 years, creators are finding new and new ways to modify and recreate this gun. Something we could consider for the future is that the machine gun has been so effective that we may see more and more versions coming out in the near future. After this research, I can understand that if Hiram Maxim had not created this machine gun, the First World War would have had a very different outcome.

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The Machine Gun and Its Significance in the First World War: Critical Essay. (2023, October 11). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 2, 2024, from
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