Which kingdoms, little dictatorships and all sorts of fiefdom had World War 1 armor (and nothing more modern) at the time of the second war? I bet there was a lot because after the First World War all that equipment was sold off to little kingdom for which this firepower was real upgrade. In particular tanks and similar armored vehicles.

Wikipedia says only this: The volume of the arms trade greatly increased during the 20th century, and it began to be used as a political tool, especially during the Cold War where the United States and the USSR supplied weapons to their proxies across the world, particularly third world countries (see Nixon Doctrine).[9]https://origins.osu.edu/article/merchants-death-international-traffic-arms/page/0/1 says something about sales to China and Spain.

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    Simplified title because it took me three tries to parse it. I'm still confused as to whether you're asking for WWI weapons or WWI armor.
    – MCW
    Commented Nov 22, 2021 at 13:09
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    Thank you for your question; could you give us an overview of the research you have done so far and explain what you find to be unclear or missing? Our help center, and other stacks may be helpful.
    – MCW
    Commented Nov 22, 2021 at 13:09
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    Many naval vessels used in WW2 were launched before/during WW1.
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Nov 22, 2021 at 14:25
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    As but one interesting ship, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chilean_battleship_Almirante_Latorre was ordered by Chile in 1911 from a UK shipyard, 'bought' by the UK for use in WW1, returned to Chile in 1920 , and used by Chile during WW2 for neutrality patrols (after, perhaps, turning down offers from both the Soviets and the Americans to buy it).
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Nov 22, 2021 at 20:40
  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renault_FT#Operators The old Renault FT was still kicking on WW2, e.g., Yugoslavia, Romania. A little more if you count training units, even Canada, Brazil, Switzerland. It makes sense as an anti-partisan unit. How would you counter it with no heavy weapons?
    – Luiz
    Commented Nov 25, 2021 at 15:16

3 Answers 3


More than you can imagine, and not only minor kingdoms.

The main actors of WWII where still using WWI equipment, specially at the beginning.

From the navy standpoint, many main unit where still from WWI (all Queen Elizabeth-class and Revenge-class, for example, for UK) for all the participant. From infantry, lot of equipment was from WWI, here few examples:

Soviet Army:

French Army:

German Army:

Japan Army:

Here I've put some examples, the space of the answer is too little to put all the weapons from WWI used in WWII and other wars (for examples, Type 3 machine gun was used still in the Vietnam war).


Why limit yourself to WW1? The Dutch army went to battle in 1940 with (some) equipment predating the Franco-Prussian war.


I think the question is mood. Why? Because the age of a weapon is not that important. Look at the time period: 1914-1940 = 26 years.

Many advanced weapons systems in common use today are much older:

  • The Boeing B52 flew 69 years ago. There is no replacement planned. It will fly almost certainly for another 30-40 years.
  • The ROC Hai Shih submarine (former USS Cutlass) was launched in 1944, and is still serving.
  • The Lockheed Hercules C 130 flew in 1954, and will continue to do that in the foreseeable future. Like the B52, it might clock a century.
  • The M113 APC is in continuous use since 1960, and will do that for many decades to come.
  • The T34 dates from 1940. Nine countries still use it today.
  • The M2 Browning .50 machinegun became operational in 1933. It still is a very current weapon, and will be that probably for another 50 years at least.

If we take those examples, and place them against 1914 you'd go back to well before the Crimean War of 1853. That's not possible or even realistic, of course. Sometimes weapons remain in extended use for many reasons.

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    The earliest in that list seems to be a revolver from 1873. The F-P war was 1870-1.
    – Tomas By
    Commented Nov 23, 2021 at 7:32
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    @TomasBy the list is incomplete and doesn't tell nearly the entire story. The Dutch army on the start of hostilities emptied the army museum of among others front loading field guns and rifles. Most of the more modern stuff that is on the list also was in extremely short supply and ammo for it even harder to come by. Also, often the numbers reflect ordered or planned numbers rather than what was actually available for action.
    – jwenting
    Commented Nov 23, 2021 at 8:12
  • @jwenting I know. But what's there should be good enough to get the picture. If the Dutch army had just WW1 equipment, they would have lasted longer. (six days ...)
    – Jos
    Commented Nov 23, 2021 at 8:19
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    @Jos maybe. Or maybe there would just have been more casualties as the Germans would have resorted to more artillery and air strikes rather than ignore things like 1880s era artillery lobbing the occasional shell. I do know my grandfather went up to tanks and stukas on the Grebbe with just his rifle, he was one of the less than 10% to survive that episode.
    – jwenting
    Commented Nov 23, 2021 at 8:23
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    @TomasBy No, that's a hoax. Yes, antediluvian artillery was pulled from museums. But not front loading artillery. That was even for the government too much.
    – Jos
    Commented Nov 23, 2021 at 23:30

The french 75mm field gun (Canon de 75 modèle 1897, which came out in WWI) and was still available in large numbers in 1940 ?

Which was used by France, Poland, Great Britain and the US 1940.

In the case of the US, the carriage was changed into a split trail design.

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