When focusing on the positives of the uses of trenches one can say they provided protection to the soldiers. With the use of heavy artillery and machine guns, trenches provided an area where men would be shielded from enemy fire. Black stated that trenches were also used to provide shelter for “reserve troops.” However, the trenches did not provide much comfort for the men living in them. Robert Graves relates in his narrative that the trenches were made from bricks, ammunition boxes, and corpses. Graves, later in his narrative also states that life in the trenches depended on the battalion and the moral of those living in them.
In conclusion, many factors put together caused World War I to be considered one of the bloodiest wars in the history of mankind. Some of these factors include the design of the trench, the new technology that was introduced during the war, the offensive and the defensive methods the soldiers used, the gruesome conditions that the soldiers lived in, and the lack of medical science.
The American Expeditionary Force allowed the Allies to take the offensive, thereby ending the static state of war that had settled on the Western Front as a result of trench warfare. The system of trench warfare had men facing each other across opposing lines dug into the ground. The purpose of digging trenches was purely a matter of survival. In a war where technology was the worst enemy, trenches were a must. Following the Battle of Somme in 1916 where casualties exceeded one million, the High Command on both sides of the war learned of the desperate need for trenches.
This book adds to our historical knowledge because it gives a great firsthand account of the war from a man who served in the trenches. Not only that, but Jünger participated in many major battles throughout the war. Due to this, Jünger’s experiences give an unprecedented look into the life of the average soldier. This perspective also shows how the soldiers were effected by and perceived the changes and events that occurred we have discussed in class on a broader front. However, Jünger rarely expresses his opinions of the war as a whole or dwells on broader concepts such as the justification of the war.
There was a rotation schedule for soldiers in the trenches, so that each regiment served time at the front lines. Trench conditions were horrendous including rodent infestation as well as unsanitary living spaces; many were infected with diseases such as trench foot with most trenches were filled with dead corpses for weeks after they were first killed. Defense mechanisms included creating dense fields of barbed wire in No Man’s Land, between the enemy trenches, in order to prevent an attack on the trench. Trench sanitation and defense were not the only reasons for the stalemate connected with World War One. The weather played “On the first day of the battle of the Somme, ... ... middle of paper ... ...fensive.
As countries adapted to trench warfare, new techniques and tactics emerged. For instance, the countries made trenches in a zigzag pattern and surrounded them with barbed wire so the enemy could not bomb them in a straight... ... middle of paper ... ...stated the countries of Europe and their soldiers who died from the new weaponry and poor living conditions in World War I. At first, trench warfare seemed beneficial and apt, but instead it caused a horrific stalemate that lasted for about four years. This new battle style led to advancements in technology and terrible sanitation that led to more brutal deaths. In essence, the soldiers who survived the trenches, survived hell.
The first world war was defined by the heavy use of trench warfare, as the decorated soldier and writer Segfried Sassoon observed, “the war was mainly a matter of holes and ditches” (the great war, modern memory). Trench warfare was primarily utilized due for protection from opponent small arms fire and shelter from artillery, they kept soldiers on both sides safer and reduced casualties. Despite these benefits and many more, various primary and secondary sources can be used to question their efficacy. This essay will delve into the advantages and disadvantages of trench warfare, how these shaped the experience of a soldier fighting in the trenches, and how these experiences differed for soldiers in the Central Powers and the Triple Entente.
These expectations were far from reality. The experience of war at the Western front was marked with the realities of modern warfare. Indeed, the old methods of fighting yielded to a static war of attrition, characterized by great battles, such as that of the Somme in 1916. However, it was the periods spent in rest that most dramatically affected the morale of individuals over time. The ceaseless artillery bombardment and futile offences created uncertainty and frustration among soldiers in the trenches.
The reality of war is that it is a brutal and inevitable part of society in today’s world. The soldiers embodied in The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien provide a vivid image of the physical and emotional burdens developed during the Vietnam War. Though the book is fictional, the obstacles the characters encounter are a direct reflection of difficulties that are true for many that serve our country. Many soldiers must learn to cope with not only the burdens of war, but with death itself. Characters in The Things They Carried endured many hardships that create an element of truth within the novel.
The battle of Stalingrad was one of the bloodiest battles with both sides loosing enormous amounts of casualties. This attempt by Hitler to capture three major cities changed the course of history and helped it for the better so we think. "Surrender is forbidden. 6 Army will hold their positions to the last man and the last round and by their heroic endurance will make an unforgettable contribution towards the establishment of a defensive front and the salvation of the Western world." –Hitler.