WWI was the first major conflict to see an exponential rise in the appropriation of technology for combat. Planes, tanks, and machine guns saw widespread use on battlefields across the globe. Forward-mounted machine guns on planes were found to be the most effective, but to be at their best, they required a special interrupting gear called a synchronization gear to fire without shredding the plane’s propellers. Most countries involved in the global conflict developed their own gearing, but the Germans were the first to install theirs fleet-wide in 1915. The Slow-Mo Guys have a neat video here showing just exactly how the gearing works, and how destructive it can get when you disable it.
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