The First World War saw the introduction of many firsts in technological, scientific and societal innovations. Tanks were invented as a means of breaking the trench warfare stalemate. Chemical weapons in the form of deadly poison gases were used for the first time, leading quickly to the development of the first gas masks.
In this gallery,
IBTimesUK takes a look at some of the most important advances of the Great War. Circa 1917: US soldiers demonstrate the different styles of gas masks used by Allied and German forces during the First World War. Chemical weapons in the form of deadly poison gases were used for the first time, leading quickly to the development of the first gas masks. Getty French soldiers fire rifles and throw rocks in an attempt to dislodge German soldiers from hillside trenches. Steel helmets were used for the first time in World War One as protective headgear for soldiers. Getty Circa 1917: Germans test the climbing powers of captured British tanks, redecorated in German colours. Tanks were invented as a means of breaking the trench warfare stalemate. Getty United States L class submarines are seen stationed in the Azores during World War One. Submarines were used in mass numbers for the first time in naval warfare. Reuters November 1918: Airmen and seamen on the aircraft carrier HMS Argus, painted in wartime "dazzle" camouflage, cheer as King George V visits the fleet on the Firth of Forth. Aircraft carriers were used for the first time, with the HMS Argus setting the template for future carriers capable of allowing planes to both take off and land on ships. Dazzle camouflage was designed by Norman Wilkinson to confuse enemies. The camouflage was intended to make it difficult to pinpoint the direction in which a ship was travelling. Getty US artillerymen fire a 75mm gun toward Montsec from a position near Beaumont, France on September 12, 1918. World War One was the first major war where a majority of casualties were inflicted by artillery. Reuters The 37-mm gun section of the 2nd Division is seen in combat against German forces in an undated World War One photo. Machine guns were regularly employed for the first time, forever altering the battlefield. Reuters A group of German soldiers prepare to make contact using a field telephone. Wireless communications and field telephones were regularly used for the first time to coordinate military movements. Getty 1st Lt. Eddie Rickenbacker, America's most successful World War One fighter ace, poses with a biplane. Aircraft were deployed in war en masse for the first time, for both air-to-air combat and reconnaissance. Reuters An officer receives a camera and its film for processing in the field. Reuters An early aerial reconnaissance photograph taken at 8,000 ft shows deep trenches, mine craters and shell strikes on an important sector of the Hindenburg Line. Getty A US Army nurse assists with treatment of a patient. Blood banks were created for the first time to help stabilise the wounded. Reuters A Renault truck outfitted with mobile X-ray equipment is seen in an undated World War One photo. Mobile X-ray labs were developed to aid doctors in performing surgery on the battlefield. Reuters