The First World War

On the fields of Northern France and Belgium the First World War reached traumatising dimensions. In the course of 1916 each hectare of earth on the battlefield of Verdun was bombarded with an average of 50 tons of steel from grenades. The age of war machines was unfolding. In the forms of iron and steel, coal and coke, industry on the Saar produced the most important raw materials for Germany’s arms production. Ammunition production was the Röchling’sche Iron and Steel Works major task for German weapon production.

The Röchling’sche works also played a vital role in a special new development that emerged out of the First World War: the steel helmet. Völklingen’s newly developed induction furnace produced the best steel for the manufacture of the helmet. The works enlarged the capacity of the furnace enabling the ironworks to produce 80 to 90% of all the materials required for the steel helmet.

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