TRENCH WARFARE

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The First World War saw a new form of warfare known as Trench warfare which involved trenches which were deep long dugouts made by the soldiers that lived in these trenches. The trenches proved useful as they protected the soldiers from artillery and bomb fire and were most likely situated in the eastern and western fronts of Europe. However the conditions of the trenches were far from exuberant but were in fact severely terrible. There was bad hygiene throughout the trenches, for example soldiers bathed probably only once a month and as such were prone to diseases such as trenches fever (which were due to the lice attracted by the bad hygiene). The weather was no exception as well, in the summer it would be too hot and in the winter it would be too cold and due to the nature of the trenches, when it rained the trenches would be filled with water, and due to such conditions welcomed the disease known as trench foot which was due to prolonged exposure to water and claimed the foots of many soldiers. There was also the constant danger of bomb fire and snipers would always be on the lookout for any movement. Latrines, which were toilets used in the trenches also sprouted fear as the enemy could see them in this area of the trenches and therefore were in constant danger of death. Soldiers also had to follow a strict code of conduct which was known as trench etiquette which ordered them to respect higher officers and they would have to be punished if the trench etiquette was ignored. One of the major diseases that almost permanently affected the soldiers was Shell Shock which was due to constant exposure to horrific scenes of death. Source A1 is an extract from a historian writing for the First World war aimed at students, focuses on ... ... middle of paper ... ...be exaggerated to grab the media’s attention. The source A9 is helpful as it tells us how terrible the trenches were such as the diseases and hygiene problems that were present in the trenches. In my opinion the trenches were terrible in most case, from the awful stench and the infestation of rats to the lice and shell shock; the front line trenches were unforgiving, brutal and cruel. In opposition, not everything was terrible, the trenches were for many, the first time many soldiers had the chance to have a three course meal, and they could rest and make letters. However these sources are limited by the fact that it focuses on only one aspect of the First World War and hence leave out the full picture. Overall, the sources are reliable and as such help me to understand the conditions of the trenches through the experiences of the soldiers of the First World War.

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