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This book dispells the myth of lines of men mindlessly crossing dead man's land into machinegun fire. The fact is that tactics changed during the war as generals tried to avoid the devistation of machineguns. The author uses original documents from the British Imperial War Museum to show how both sides modified their tactics, which worked, and which failed. This book is a must if you are a student of WW I and don't want to fall for the popular myths of the Great War.
The machine-gun is one of the iconic weapons of the Great War - indeed of the twentieth century. Yet it is also one of the most misunderstood. During a four-year war that generated unprecedented casualties, the machine-gun stood out as a key weapon. In the process it took on an almost legendary status that persists to the present day. It shaped the tactics of the trenches, while simultaneously evolving in response to the tactical imperatives thrown up by this new form of warfare. Paul Cornish, in this authoritative and carefully considered study, reconsiders the history automatic firepower, and he describes in vivid detail its development during the First World War and the far-reaching consequences thereof. He dispels many myths and misconceptions that have grown up around automatic firearms, but also explores their potency as symbols and icons. His clear-sighted reassessment of the phenomenon of the machine-gun will be fascinating reading for students of military history and of the Great War in particular.