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When we think of weapons that the soldiers used in War World I we think of them as defense. But what is sort of ironic is that the same weapons the soldiers used to protect them selves were the same weapons that killed them. "The development of poison gases took on a new urgency during 1914-18." (http://www.firstworldwar.com/weaponry/index.htm) Poison gas was a lethal or incapacitating gas used as a weapon in warfare. It was used extremely between the years of 1914-1918 in order to torture enemies during war. Another major weapon used during the war was the machine gun. "The machine gun was a fairly primitive device when general war began in August 1914." (http://www.firstworldwar.com/weaponry/index.htm) The machine gun is an automatic weapon that fires rapidly and repeatedly without requiring separate squeezes on the trigger each time. This weapon was one of the most affective weapons and murdered the most enemies. These weapons were similar to the weapons that Remarque described in the novel All Quiet on the Western Front.
As stated in the previous paragraph. The weapons used in the novel and during World War I were similar, but in the novel they have a large selection of weapons. "Bombardment, barrage, curtain-fire, mines, gas, tanks, machine-guns, hand-grenadeswords, words, but they hold the horror of the world." (Chapter 6 pg. 132) All these weapons played a huge role in helping the soldiers defend themselves. Every soldier used one of these weapons at least once throughout the war.
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Another important factor in WWI was the trenches. The irony of the trenches was that, they were created as protection but they turned into a hole of death. The trenches were disgusting and on a daily filled with rats. "Rats in their millions infested trenches A single pair of rats could produce up to 880 offspring in a year." (http://www.firstworldwar.com/features/trenchlife.htm) The number of rats was increasing every day in the trenches. The rats were eating the dead soldiers, they were also biting the living and active soldiers while they were sleeping at night. Soldiers were dying rapidly in the trenches due to snipers. "Many men died on their first day in the trenches as a consequence of a precisely aimed sniper's bullet." (http://www.firstworldwar.com/features/trenchlife.htm) The rookie soldiers weren't aware of how to hide from snipers. So as a result many of those rookie soldiers died on their first day. The idea of the trenches being used as protection did not exactly exceed as expected.
The same types of problems were occurring in the trenches, in the novel All Quiet on the Western Front. These trenches were also filled with rats, these rats were fat, evil, naked faced, long naked tailed rats. "The rats here are particularly repulsive, they are so fat-the kind we call corpse rats."(Chapter 6 pg. 102) The rats were disgusting and irritating to the soldiers. They weren't only eating the bodies; they were also eating all of the soldiers' food. The young recruits aren't able to foreshadow the incoming of explosives. "A man must have a feeling and an ear for the shells and how they will burst the young recruits of course know none of these things, they get killed from high explosives."(Chapter 6 pg. 129-130) The veteran troops know how to protect themselves from the shells and realize that they are coming beforehand. And the young recruits are still being trained on how to be read whether or not explosives are coming. The dominant numbers of dead soldiers were young soldiers. "Trench mortar then points up at one o the trees."(Chapter 9 pg. 207) Trench mortars are small cannons capable of firing shells at high trajectories over short distances. These were used in trench warfare, and mostly the rookie soldiers were killed by them because they did not know how to protect themselves from them. This time Remarque uses the information from War World I to give descriptions of the trenches in his novel.
The sights of World War I are extremely horrific. All of the dead bodies that were laid across the battlefield were the most horrific sights. "We could not get from the German wire continued to swell ... the color of the dead faces changed from white to yellow-gray, to red, to purple, to green to black." (http://www.pbs.org/greatwar/chapters/ch1_trench.html)The faces of all of the people that were sick and dying started to change colors. The final color was black when they had finally stopped moving. Most of these injured and dead soldiers were either in the trench holes or in the operating room. "The operating room was ablaze the place by one o'clock in the morning was a shambles." (http://www.pbs.org/greatwar/chapters/ch2_slaughter.html) The injured soldiers went to the operating room when they needed to be care for. When one o'clock in the morning came around the operating room was a mess and compacted. Imagine if you were walking in a field or in to an operating room and nothing but dead people changing colors were laying around, if you were a soldier in War World War I you would be used to it.
The sights from the novel are horrific and dreadful. The sights are very depressing and poignant. "Marten has no legs anymore, Meyer is dead, Max is dead, Beyer is dead, Hammerling is dead, there are a hundred and twenty wounded men lying somewhere or other ;" (Chapter 6 pg. 139) All of the men in the trenches are starting to drop like flies. One by one they are dying and becoming fatally injured. Shells were leaving soldiers in pain and helpless. "Fragment has sufficient force to tear open Leer's hip. Leer groans as he supports himself on his arm, he bleeds quickly, no one can help him." (Chapter 12 pg.284) Some soldiers were massively bled and were in deep pain. These soldiers had could not be helped and instantly died. Blood flowed like water over the battlefield. "The summer of 1918 is the most bloody and the most terrible." (Chapter 12 pg.284) During the summer of 1918 there was blood all over the battlefield, every were you looked. That was the most horrific sight of all.
World War I was a very important event during the time period of 1914-1918. The author Erich Maria Remarque wrote this novel All Quiet on the Western Front based on the events of World War I. Remarque did not make up any details in this story. The characters, plot, and setting accurately portrayed the time period. His novel just gave a more vivid image of the details in World War I.
The development of poison gases took on a new urgency during 1914-18.
The machine gun, was a fairly primitive device when general war began in August 1914.
"Bombardment, barrage, curtain-fire, mines, gas, tanks, machine-guns, hand-grenadeswords, words, but they hold the horror of the world." (Chapter 6 pg. 132)
"A bomb lies ready to blow me to pieces." (Chapter 9 pg. 210)
"Rats in their millions infested trenches."
"Many men died on their first day in the trenches as a consequence of a precisely aimed sniper's bullet."
"The rats here are particularly repulsive, they are so fat-the kind we call corpse rats."(Chapter 6 pg. 102)
"A man must have a feeling and an ear for the shells and how they will burst the young recruits of course know none of these things, they get killed from high explosives."(Chapter 6 pg. 129-130)
. "Trench mortar then points up at one o the trees."(Chapter 9 pg. 207)
"[the bodies] we could not get from the German wire continued to swell ... the color of the dead faces changed from white to yellow-gray, to red, to purple, to green to black."
"The operating room was ablaze the place by one o'clock in the morning was a shambles."
"Marten has no legs anymore, Meyer is dead, Max is dead, Beyer is dead, Hammerling is dead, there are a hundred and twenty wounded men lying somewhere or other ;" (Chapter 6 pg. 139)
"Fragment has sufficient force to tear open Leer's hip. Leer groans as he supports himself on his arm, he bleeds quickly, no one can help him." (Chapter 12 pg.284)
. "The summer of 1918 is the most bloody and the most terrible." (Chapter 12 pg.284)