WW1 Began 28th July 1914 - What were the "FIRSTS" that took place?

Discussion in 'Prewar' started by spidge, Jun 13, 2014.

  1. spidge


    WW1 or The Great War was the greatest military mobilisation of combatants with over 70 million personal involved and would become to that time, the bloodiest conflict in history.

    This led me to ask, what were the "FIRSTS" that occurred in that conflict? What were the strategic and technological advances?

    What made me think of this was the first Australian born Military Aviator to be killed in the Royal Naval Air Service on 30th September 1914.

    He was Flight Lieutenant Basil Drummond Ash who was born in Southport, Queensland in 1890 and died flying a Short 74 Seaplane serial 77 over the North sea whilst scouting for German submarines off the coast of Scotland. Flight Lieutenant Henry Doone Vernon was also died.

    The use of aircraft was very new and there shoukd be many more Avaiation FIRSTS.

    Feel free to put your suggestion forward and if it is not a first someone will have the right answer and the reason. Remember that this is a discussion forum.


  2. Hesmond

    Hesmond Well-Known Member

    In the UK conscription would be there as well as public house closing times , and possibly use of poison gas but that could be argued against as would be many other so called firsts ,suppose also use of Indian Army troops in Europe .
  3. spidge


    I would have thought the use of aircraft.

    Their use in combat:

    Aerial Surveillance.

    Aerial Ammunition drops to forward moving troops.

    Aerial spotting Artillery.
  4. Hesmond

    Hesmond Well-Known Member

    That's the thing many items what we believe may have been a first in the Great War were used in the run up ,aircraft by the Italians in Africa , submarine warfare also can claim to have been used previous ,but not on the scale scene post 1914 ,one thing would be the sub machine gun the MP18 .
  5. spidge


    Hi Hesmond,

    I have put another line in the first post. Eg: UK conscription is one and Public House closing times is two however poison gas use is a maybe. Does anyone know if poison gas was used before WW1?


  6. spidge


    This is just my point. I did not know about the Italians using aircraft in military operations in Africa before WW1. Were they shooting or bombing from aircraft?

    Were these previous uses of Submarines "engine driven" and "torpedo capable"? What new weapon, did the WW1 submarine bring to the fight , if any?

    Then here we have another possibility - The MP-18 sub-machine gun.

    What about the TANK? Was it ever used pre-war in a Military sense? I was led to believe is was first used in a military conflict at the Battle of Flers-Courcelette in September 1916.


  7. Rav4

    Rav4 Senior Member

    What about the introduction of the tank, and the use of poison gas.
  8. spidge


    They have both been put forward. The Tank by me and the poison by Hesmond however he believes it may have been used previously.

    Something to research!

    Seems that the Germans were the first to use Poison Gas effectively in WW1


  9. spidge


    I have picked up a few from this site: http://historyschmistory.tumblr.com/post/3179155693/wwi-firsts

    Do we agree or not with this list. WWI Firsts

    There were several firsts that occurred in the First World War beyond just being the first war spread across the planet. Some of the other firsts include:
    • It was the first war to be fought on three different continents.
    • It was the first industrialized conflict.
    • The first use of chlorine and mustard gas.
    • The first use of a flame thrower.
    • The first tank battle.
    • The first use of mass airplanes and aerial warfare.
    • The first use of x-ray by the military.
    • The first use of a blood bank.
    • The first use of guide dogs to help guide blinded soldiers.
    • The first use of the value of trillion in estimating the cost of the war.
    • The first use of war art as propaganda.
    • The first use of an IQ Test.
    • The first U.S. President to visit a European country by President Woodrow Wilson in 1918.
    • The first four-star general rank was used in the war, given to General John J. Pershing.


  10. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi Geoff

    Think you may need a small edit in your post above:

    "The first tank bottle." - although I suppose the tank crews in the first tank battle would need something to drink out of :rolleyes:


    edited to add:

    Was it the first time that animals were awarded medals for military 'action'??? - just thinking out loud
  11. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.

    The Creeping Barrage? Flash spotting and sound ranging?

    Don't know if they were used before?
  12. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    The First World War also pushed medicine further along the path to modern wound management, including the treatment of cellulitic wound infections, i.e., bacterial skin infections that followed soft tissue trauma. Battlefield surgeons were quick to appreciate the need for thorough wound debridement and delayed closure in treating contaminated war wounds. The prevalence of central nervous system injuries – a tragic byproduct of trench warfare in which soldiers’ heads peered anxiously above the parapets – led to “profound insights into central nervous system form and function.” The British neurologist Gordon Holmes provided elaborate descriptions of spinal transections (crosswise fractures) for every segment of the spinal cord, whereas Cushing, performing eight neurosurgeries a day, “rose to the challenge of refining the treatment of survivors of penetrating head wounds” (Arch. Neurol., 51:712, 1994). His work from 1917 “lives today” (ANZ J. Surg., 74:75, 2004).
  13. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Mass tunneling and explosive placement
  14. spidge


    Hi TD,

    Would have been a fragile battle for sure!

    Not sure on the animal decorations however somebody would know!


  15. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    A few Canadian firsts from WWI.
    The variable pitch propeller, developed by Wallace Rupert Turnbull, the gas mask, invented by Dr. Cluny MacPherson of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment and the "Nissen Hut", invented by Peter Norman Nissen.
  16. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

  17. spidge


    Good posts Canuck!

    There had to be many firsts and your link has shown a few good ones.


  18. Hesmond

    Hesmond Well-Known Member


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