The Conditions Faced by the British Troops on the Western Front

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The Conditions Faced by the British Troops on the Western Front The conditions faced by the British troops on the Western Front were terrible due to the shallow poorly built trenches that accompanied awful living space, food that was rationed out in small quantities and mind altering experiences. It was horrific and was the definition of the First World War. However, these conditions were varied in their brutal existence. Different regiments and people of different military status suffered supremely different experiences. Officers, who were elected from their ‘posh’ upper class backgrounds would have a greater existence in the trenches than their soldier counterparts. Officers would receive a pay load ten times the amount of a normal soldier with occasional visits to luxurious cities such as Paris where they would indulge in sophisticated entertainment in sheer comparison with the poor dreary small towns visited by the soldiers who would not be treated to such entertainment but would instead search for cheap alcohol and prostitutes to escape the horrors of the war. It is true however, that due to their specially recognisable uniforms and clear order signals to their men, the officers would immediately be targeted by German snipers resulting in a greater officers to soldier death ratio in the trenches. These snipers could be stationed over a thousand yards away with their Lee-Enfield rifles and still easily with pinpoint accuracy kill a multitude of men as they peaked over the top of the trenches. In 1916 due to this fact the helmet was introduced to the war, though it did not stop the bullet’s entry. It was mainly used as protection... ... middle of paper ... ...hat could unload a quantity of 650 rounds a minute which could desecrate an oncoming infantry attack. It was the weapon that lay waste to ‘No Man’s Land’ and inspired the saying Kannonenfutter (cannon-fodder) of the German army about the New Army of Britain in 1916. The introduction of Gas in 1916 spread fear due to its gruesome effect. Mustard gas was a vicious and painful gas that reacted with water on impact thus burning the soldier’s eyes, mouth, lungs and several sweaty parts of the body. Other gases were used causing serious panic and disarray in the trenches. The conditions faced by the British troops on the Western Front were brutal and gruesome causing much death and producing mind altering experiences. It allowed the introduction of a number of new weapons which would become a primal force in years to come.
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