Life in the Trenches of World War I

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From early in the war, in May of 1914, Blunden recalled his experience in the trenches of France. Structured with sandbag walls, the Old British Line in which the men were stationed was only a frail comfort, as the trenches were often only one row deep with no additional protection against debris caused by artillery shells. Communication between the between the front line and the Old British Line was provided some covered by through the Cover Trench, although Prior’s account of returning from The Island, the front line, states that he had to pause every two minutes to lay in a ditch along the road to avoid the infamous German machine guns. The Germans bombarded the Cover Trench with heavy fire and large shells over the farmhouse and its residents, including children. Because the Germans were known for using gas, Blunden and his men underwent training to prepare for attacks. After completing this course, he was sent to the dugout near Cuinchy Keep, which was described as “dirty, bloodthirsty and wearisome,” primarily due to the number of mines which had already been exploded, and that it was not completely finished. However, when fighting in the trenches, “There was nothing for it but to copy experience, and experience was nothing but a casual protection.” While marching on the dusty road towards Thièvres, the battalion faced hills and forest along with the scorching heat of the sun; therefore, many of the men fell out of line, so to keep the pace, higher ranking officials would carry two or three rifles. After reaching Somme, heavy rain and German shells began to flood upon the men. The British communications trench, was reduced to ash from a direct hit, although the train station survived the attack, allowing for a slo... ... middle of paper ... ...ater, the British still held their ground, though it continued to mist and the shelling was more constant. A 5.9 shell flying over his head, Blunden and his men began exploring the trench they were in, and they managed to find an intact listening set. Perceiving from the continuous shell blast that a full-scale attack would soon be made upon them, Blunden telephoned an SOS to the artillery; a reply was sent that they could offer no help as their headquarters had recently been attacked and had thirty dead and wounded. Latter chapters: altered attitudes: evidence for, in what way *CONCLUSION This image, painted with the blood of soldiers, caused a reaction of ____ and the end produced devastating changes within the countries who participated yet the battles themselves Bibliography Blunden, Edmund. Undertones of War. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2007.

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