Virtual tour 20 - Arms

During World War I, machine guns ruled no man's land and repelled any classic attack. It was the most feared weapon. During the Third Battle of Ypres, the German bunkers were often taken one by one. Soldiers sneaked around the bunker and overpowered its defenders with hand grenades and bayonets. Primitive weapons, such as daggers, knives and clubs, wese also used. They were especially effective in self-defense and during hand-to-hand combat.

Object 1: British Battye hand grenade

This British Battye Grenade was used from 1915. It was designed and named after Major Battye, who served with the Royal Engineers. The hand grenade is made from a simple cast iron cylinder with explosives and is closed with a wooden plug, tied with iron wire, with a wick. The Battye Grenade was not used for a long time, because it turned out to be too dangerous to handle. (MMP1917, MZ 00703a)


Object 2: periscope rifle

The First World War is well known for its many inventions. In 1915 the Germans developed the Spiegelkolbe for a Gewehr 98. The periscope rifle was used to aim at the opponent from a trench in an undetected way. The Spiegelkolbe wasn’t that practical and for that reason rarely used. (MMP1917, …)


Object 3: Reichsrevolver M1879

For a long time this Reichsrevolver from 1879 was the standard revolver for all German army units. It has a caliber of 10.55 mm and a drum for 6 cartridges. In 1908 it was replaced by a new model, but during the First World War this revolver remained in use with certain units, especially behind the front line. (MMP1917, MZ 01857)