Trench Warfare In World War 1

1435 words - 6 pages

Trench Warfare in WWIWorld War I began the horrific sequence of world conflicts that characterize the 20th century. It caused the Russian Revolutions of 1917 that made Russia communist, and led directly to World War II, Adolf Hitler's "war of revenge". The Cold War continued the sequence, fought covertly between the capitalist U.S. and the communist U.S.S.R. Previously isolated with World War I; the United States entered the world stage to join Britain and France in the First World War against Germany. But WWI changed the way war was fought with the revolutionary technological advancements like the advancements in guns, specifically machine guns, tanks, airplanes, etc. This paper will demonstrate the use and designs of trench warfare and how it was one of the most technological advancements in World War I and the diseases that life in the trenches would lead to.In September 1914, the German commander, General Erich von Falkenhayn ordered his troops to dig trenches that would provide protection from the allied troops. When the allies reached the trench, they soon realized that they could not break through the line that the trench provided. They also realized that the trench provided the Germans with shelter from their fire. Soon after, the allies began to dig their own trenches and, therefore, trench warfare began. Not very long after the first trenches of the war were dug, a network of trenches arose. This network spread across France and Belgium for many miles. Within the network, there were three different types of trenches: front line trenches, support trenches, and reserve trenches.The first line of trenches was called front line trenches. These were usually two meters deep and had a zigzag pattern to prevent enemy fire from sweeping the entire length of the trench. In order to prevent the trench form caving in, sandbags were stacked against the trench walls. Between the trenches of opposing forces laid no man's land. This area between the opposing front line trenches was filled with barbwire and mines to prevent enemy crossing. If a soldier was ever injured in no man's land, he usually was killed because of his vulnerability to enemy fire. The second and third types of trenches were the support and reserve trenches, respectively. These trenches were constructed to easily move supplies and troops to the front trenches. All of the trenches were linked to each other by other trenches, underground tunnels, or telephone communications networks. Barbwire was also stretched across the line to protect from enemy attack.While the design of the trenches and the network of trenches seemed like a great tactic, the reality of the life in the trenches was a different story. Life in the trenches took its toll on the soldiers involved in the war. The soldiers in the front line trenches often stayed there for at least 10 days at a time, usually with very little sleep. The main reason that soldiers on the front line could not sleep was to be on guard against...

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