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Casualties of World War I Essay

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The First World War witnessed an appalling number of casualties. Due partly to this fact, some historians, developed the perception that commanders on both sides dependence on only one disastrous approach to breaking the stalemate. These historians attributed the loss of life to the reliance on soldiers charging across no-man’s land only to be mowed down by enemy machineguns. The accuracy of this, however, is fallacious since a variety of tactics existed on both sides. The main reason for battlefield success and eventual victory came from the transformation of battlefield tactics; nevertheless, moral played a major role by greatly affecting the development of new tactics and the final outcome of the war.
Tactics during the early stages of the war led to the massacre of hundreds of thousands of soldiers and a huge loss in moral. Originally the Allies employed Napoleonic Era tactics that relied heavily on infantry lined up shoulder to shoulder and advances across open fields. The French further claimed that by attacking with superior moral they could overcome any foe. However, enormous casualties resulted from these tactics due to the widespread utilization of machine guns and long-range rifles. The French and British, as well, continued to funnel soldiers into failed offensives, even if the battle resulted in little or no gains, further led to a decline in moral. With thousands of soldiers’ dead, the armies could not continue to fight with these tactics or the armies would cease to exist or the refusal by soldiers to continue fighting.
When Allied soldiers began to refuse to return to the front lines their officers in response made compromises to retain what little moral still lingered, because if they failed the Germans’ could ...


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...h would help to lower German moral.
The falling German moral lead to their demise, but only because the allies tactics along with a strategic goal led to overwhelmed their positions.
Tactical changes within both main armies fighting on the Western Front would eventually lead to battlefield success for both sides while leading to an impending victory by the Allies. The Germans on one hand developed the use of combined arms, Stormtroopers. These soldiers while extremely successful also led to a destruction of the German moral and reserves due to high casualty rates. On the other side, the Allies stymied their original failures in tactics by maintaining moral and developing their own tactics. These new tactics included the creeping barrage, difeme en profondeur, and bite and hold. By combing these with a genuine strategy the allies overcame the weakened German Army.


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