The myth of the machine gun in the First World War and how it came about.

Mind Bursts

In the final chapter of ‘Machine Gun and the Great War’ Paul Cornish consider those who, in the 75 years after the First World War, ‘seized upon the machine gun as a symbol of both the carnage and the ‘stalemate’ of the Western Front.’ Paul Cornish (2009 : 141)

Debunking myths is my favourite game wherever my command of a subject is such that I feel I can do so with some credibility. I’ve been hooked on the First World War since childhood thanks to a grandfather who served and survived and lived well into his 90s. I’ve also been a sucker for the mythology of the war and too many warped and inventive interpretations of what actually took place. It has taken some serious, postgraduate study of the events of 1914-1918 to find I will chirp along with contemporary historians who are gradually turning the tide: generals were professional and did…

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