Death was a constant companion to those serving in the line, even when no raid or attack was launched or defended against. Life in the trenches was brutal, terrifying and sordid. Soldiers suffered from a lack of food, diseases, awful weather conditions and the long periods of constant bombardment. Life in the trenches during the First World War took many forms, and varied widely from sector to sector and from front to front. Undoubtedly, it was entirely unexpected for those eager thousands who signed up for war in August 1914.
There were many causes for the deadly diseases, but a major cause came from exposure to the unhealthy conditions in the trenches. From 1914 to 1918, French and German forces battled it out from trenches they had dug for protection from the opposing army. This trench warfare resulted in a stalemate for the Western Front, because for four years, neither side could dislodge the other from their trenches. This type of warfare caused millions of young men to die by “going over the top.” This was an offensive tactic where soldiers would climb out of their trenches and attempt to invade the opposing forces. However, the soldiers’ journey through No Man’s Land, the strip of land between the trenches that connected the opposing forces, was highly dangerous.
Yet, for whatever reason, the human race continues to dive headfirst into wars repeatedly. World War I was a particularly brutal war and was one of the most expensive in terms of human lives in history. Very few soldiers on the front made it out alive, and Paul Bauman was no different. In Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front, Paul’s fate of death is decided by the beginning due to the physical and mental dangers. The physical dangers of the war made sure that it was nearly impossible for soldiers to make it out of the war alive.
No one wanted any war like World War One to happen again. It caused vast devastation and misery and caused more slaughter than any other war. War dehumanised men that managed to survive the war, their lives were no longer normal. Wilfred Owen, Jessie Pope and Siegfried Sassoon all wrote emotional poetry considering the war, but they saw different aspects of it. Wilfred Owen enlisted in the army during the war and therefore saw disturbing and horrifying scenes in his time away in the trenches, unlike Pope who was not involved in trench warfare, but saw life during the war as a beneficial time for women of Britain.
In addition to the unreliability, when the weather turned to rain the entire battleground became a large quagmire, meaning tanks were unable to move efficiently across the battlefield, resulting in an increased stalemate. Ultimately the battle was not won by either side, but rather abandoned. The lack of decisive military strategy resulted in the British being unable to quickly overtake the Germans, allowing time for reinforcements to be recruited. Ultimately both sides tallied extensive casualties, for a battle which receives little glory for its gruesome history.
The First World War was the most horrific war of human history, leaving soldiers traumatized and heartbroken. The novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, written by former soldier, Erich Remarque captures this suffering. Remarque had fought in the war until 1918, before being sent home on a medical discharge. He returned home as a changed man, with little hope for the future. The dark shadow of his wartime experiences hung over him until he decided to put pen to paper and write this novel, along with others.
Soldiers on the Western Front of WWI lived in filth for four years. Bodies were put through horrid conditions. World War I started in 1914 and ended in 1918, with approximately 10 million deaths. Most of the casualties and deaths came from a combat termed Trench Warfare. Trench Warfare is a type of combat in which opposing troops fight from dug up trenches facing one another.
The Germany army refused to give up gained territory so it dug into the ground to resist the French. Unknowingly, the Germans made the biggest mistake of the war. The trenches began to spread and soon became the predominant style of battle. The Germans were not solely responsible for the spread of trench warfare. Modern machine guns and artillery made tactics of past wars obsolete (Torr, 28).
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 use of trenches in World War 1 was to protect soldiers from their enemy. Topic 1: Life in the trenches was very hard for soldiers. The tactic used in World War I was the placement of trenches on the front line. Those areas were the most dangerous, because that’s where all the fighting occurred. Other than hiding out in the trenches the men aimed their machine guns from there.