Virtual tour 3 - New Weaponry

This part of the museum tells the story of the weapons in 1915. The front has stagnated completely and classic attacks yield few or no results. New types of weapons are needed to break through this trench warfare stalemate. Primarily in 1915, the Allied and Central forces experiment with different techniques: underground mines, gas and flamethrowers are used to try and get the situation moving again. 

Object 1: Flamethrower (MZ01716)

"A new and terrifying weapon is the flamethrower. The Germans use it for the first time on 30 July 1915 at Hooge in Zillebeke. Its flame of 10 to 30 metres long causes panic amongst the soldiers. 
In essence, a flamethrower consists of: a barrel with a mixture of oils , a  container filled with nitrogen, carbon dioxide or compressed air to propel the fuel This creates a powerful beam, which is set on fire"


Object 2: Horchgerät (MZ 00771)

A new method of warfare was mining: camps on each side of the front tried to blow up each other’s positions. The Horchgerät Waetzman (Waetzmann listening device) made by Siemens & Halske was used to detect all kinds of noises, mainly those of digging enemy miners. Men from both sides of the conflict sometimes even ended up in each other’s tunnels as they attempted to defuse underground enemy charges.


Object 3: 'Vermorel' sprayer (MZ 06724)

The 'Vermorel' sprayer was developed in 1880 by the French inventor Victor Vermorel. It was one of the first commercialized sprayers. This sprayer was used to control weeds by spraying pesticides. This sprayer was used during the First World War to disinfect the trenches after a gas attack with chlorine gas. (MMP 1917, MZ 06724)