World War One was mainly fought from trenches. This can be explained by changes in weaponry and military technology. During World War One, existing weapons gave the advantage to the defending army. Defensive weapons like the machine gun were much more effective than attacking weapons like the rifle and bayonet.
As the war progressed new weapons like poison gas and tanks were introduced to try and break the stalemate of trench warfare.
Civilians were not immune from advances in military technology. Germany used new aircraft and airships called Zeppelins, to bomb British cities. In the waters around Britain, Germany targeted any ship, naval or merchant, by using submarines called U-boats.
This war was the first in which chlorine and mustard gas were used.
Tanks were developed in order to break the deadlock and as a way to cross no-man’s land. It was believed that they would change the course of the war. They were first used at the Battle of the Somme. However, they often broke down, got stuck in the mud and ran out of fuel. They were used more effectively at the Battle of Cambrai in November 1917.
They were more used for spotting the enemy and for gathering intelligence. Later in the war, fighter planes were fitted with machine guns. Heavier planes were developed that dropped bombs on the enemy. By 1918, planes had been developed that could drop bombs on Berlin.