What were benefits and limitations of machine guns and other weapons during World War 1?

== == there were many advantages to Machine Guns throughout ww1. Advantages included the fact it could kill a enemy in 1 second ((ok maybe a bit exaggerated but you know what I mean)) A disadvantage is that it could also kill one of your soldiers in a second too!!! == == Machine gunners in WW1 had a very short life span in battle, as their guns attracted a huge volume of enemy fire. It is hard to hide a active machine gun from the enemy, therefore the gun crew ( a Vickers 303 caliber gun had a crew of 12 men ) will take lots of casualties from enemy fire directed at the gun. Even when the gun is well dug in , with lots of sand bags around the position, it will be fired on a lot. A machine gun battery, made up of four guns, could, if well supplied with belts of ammo, stop a attacking infantry wave, at the wire entanglements, with it's withering volume of fire. The battery would be spread out along the defended trench line about 100 yards apart. Each gun was set so it could provide support to the gun on either side, if they got into trouble. The gunner and his mate would actually fire and re-load the gun, while the rest of the 12 man crew was responsible for bring up more boxes of belted ammo, with 250 rounds per box. They also carried the water that was used to cool the gun barrels. The Vickers had a water cooling jacket that surrounded the barrel to keep it cool under extremely heavy firing rates. It drew water from a 5 gallon can that had to be kept filled with water. The Vickers machine gun fired the same cartridge as the standard British infantry rife, the Lee Enfield caliber 303. The ammo was in cloth belts of 250 rounds, that were fed into the left side of the gun by the loader. The gunner cocked the gun, using the cocking handle on the left side of the gun, and that fed the first round into the breech of the gun, ready to fire again. There were two firing triggers on the rear of the gun, that required both thumbs to be used. Contrary to popular belief, the machine gunners did NOT simply spray their bullets any old way. They fired in short burts of about 3 seconds each, and aimed their fire using very accurate sights, that could be set for targets out to 1,000 yards away. This would be in the case where the enemy was attacking in the open. In other cases, the machine guns were used like artillery, firing at the rear areas of the enemy lines, to harass and annoy them, at night, for instance. The 303 bullet had an effective range of over ONE MILE, so it could kill at that range, or closer.