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Shotguns (World War I)

Shotguns – World War One When the Americans entered the war, they brought with them the combat shotgun As a close-range weapon, it was highly effective for clearing a German assault on a trench or clearing German positions such as dugouts or buildings The Winchester Model 1897 was a popular pump-action shotgun with American civilians and the military before the war and it is said that General John Pershing was a big supporter of US troops being issued with such shotguns in World War One because of their effectiveness during the Philippine Insurrection To suit its military role, a trench grade version of the Model 1897 was designed based on what they had observed from the first three years of the war The M1897 trench grade shotgun featured a perforated steel heat shield over the barrel which protected the soldier’s hand from overheating and the bayonet lug for an M1917 Bayonet The weapon could also be slammed fired meaning all six buck shots could be fired like a crude automatic shotgun by holding down the trigger and working the slide It has also been said that soldiers who were skilled trapshooters were employed with the shotgun so they could shoot enemy hand grenades midair However, this would have been very difficult and impossible during night time raids The initial paper hold shotgun shells of the M1897 were unsuitable for the damp conditions of the trenches as they were prone to swelling up and jamming the weapon To alleviate this, brass cases were developed American soldiers and Marines equipped with shotguns had such formidable firepower in their hands that they refer to the weapon as the “Trench Sweeper or “Trench Broom” The use of the Winchester Model 1897 along with the Model 1912 and various Remington models by the American troops gained protest from the German side who alleged that the shotgun was: “Prohibited by the law of war and that it caused unnecessary suffering” When the Americans refused to stop using the weapon, German High Command threatened to execute any American soldier who had been caught with a shotgun or shotgun shells Watch our other videos to learn more Get your copy of Simple History – World War One available on Amazon now Thank you guys for all your support on the Simple History YouTube channel if you enjoy it, please consider visiting our Patreon page there, you can show us your support for the channel by donating and make a huge difference in what we’re able to create for you Plus you can get early access on upcoming videos, so let’s keep it growing, and thank you for being part of this amazing community

100 thoughts on “Shotguns (World War I)

  1. Slam firing is one of the coolest things you can do with a old pump action. Can't with newer ones because of a dis connector. Still, most Winchester 1897s, 1912s, and older Ithaca Model 37s can do it and most homemade shotguns works on the slam fire principle.

  2. Germans: throws mustard gas
    Americans: "Stop!"
    Germans: "No!"
    Americans: Gets Combat Shotgun
    Germans: "Hey thats not allowed!"

  3. That just shows you how boss a man and his 12 gauge can be..even Germany feared its wrath. Snowflake liberals get 1 12 gauge insurance policy you'll come back to the fold..if you dont melt

  4. C&Rsenal recently published a video about the shooting-a-stick-grenade-midair-and-disabling-or-possibly-sending-it-back-trick. It's a hoax based on an advertisement, basically.


  5. The irony of it all, is that the germans complained about shotguns causing undo pain and suffering. But then they proceed to use Bromen and Chlorine gas on everyone.

    Seems legit.

  6. If the Germans were executing soldiers with Shotguns then the Allies should of executed the whole German Army for their participation with Biological and Chemical Warfare – including poor little Adolf crying in his hospital bed. History changes

  7. It will never not be funny that Germany claimed shotguns caused “unnecessary suffering” when they used so much mustard gas which, you know, causes unnecessary suffering to a much further extent.

  8. The M1897 Trench Gun was as ugly an instrument of war you will ever see. Spraying buck shot as fast as you can work the pump, and that long bayonet to finish the job. I hope for a cleaner death, but lust for one in my gun safe.

  9. It fucking war so pretty much Germans we're getting mad because a shotgun was powerful like in fucking video game

  10. Germany: Uses Mustard Gas and Flamethrower which cause so much suffering and death
    The Allies: Hey, that's I L L E G A L
    America: Don't worry I got this.
    Also America: Uses Shotgun
    Germany: T R I G G E R E D

  11. Germans: Have best armor and belt fed machine guns in the world. Complain about aggressive guys using shotguns effectively.

  12. The huns ddnt think twice about using mustard,phosgene,and chlorine gases,but they fussed like brats about shotguns!

  13. I'll never get over the irony of the Germans complaining about the trench gun while they regularly used chlorine gas

  14. Why were they complaining about us using this shotgun when they used a lot of deadly weapons during the entire war they just wanted to keep like this us getting slaughter

  15. When you're Top Dog you don't care how much unnecessary suffering you're effective weapons cause until you've met your match and are on the receiving end


    US in WWI: Shotguns.

    Me if i had to kill one or the other: Flamethrower

  17. Warcrime on a nutshell
    Kid1: ok rules are don't kick or punch someone in the head or the private ones
    Kid2: breaks rule
    Kids: thats unfair!
    Kid2: * have a tantrum *
    Kids: fine
    Kid3: * kick kid 2 in the chest *
    Kid 2: ThAtS ChEtInG

  18. It's hilarious that Germans with their mustard gas and flamethrowers were upset that Americans were using shotguns.

  19. Execute people for using shotguns? While using poison gas, artillery shrapnel with canister/grapeshot, and flamethrowers! Of course, only FMJ (full metal jacket) bullets, because others are inhumane and "cause unnecessary suffering" – Hague Accords ban them. Even tho HP (hollow-point) are less-lethal, but more incapacitating, than FMJ. Makes PERFECT sense! Hypocrisy rots this world…

  20. Using this gun with bayonet in bf 1 maked me feel like I can sweep out whole road by my own.
    But end up being exploded by trip wire or dynamite. Still, I love it.

  21. Germany starts a war "supporting an ally" and invading to build an empire and leading to more unspeakable war crimes in the future… and usa uses a shotgun. yah, that makes sense. how about stop starting wars and spreading hate which led to all the mess.

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