Trench Warfare in World War One

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World War 1 (1914-1918) is perhaps best known for being a war of attrition, fought in trenches as means for opposing armies to hold their positions, playing a major role offensively and defensively in World War 1. These trenches consisted of ditches dug out of the ground to give troops protection from enemy machine-gun fire and artillery bombardments, and these trench systems led to attacks and counter attacks across open land, as well as the use poison gas as the opposing forces desperately tried to gain land in a static war. My enquiry therefore, looks into the main features of trench warfare by utilizing a wide range of five sources consisting of: primary and secondary information, different media types, direct evidence and interpretations. With such a broad range of sources, we can hope that useful and reliable information can be determined and aid in the enquiry. Source F is the most useful source because its content provides the greatest insight into the features of trench warfare. The content elaborates on different types of artillery barrages ( for example the creeping barrage), records infantry charges, and looks as mortar guns as well as alternative warfare’s like the use of mines and defensive tactics like the use of barbed wire. Additionally, the source has very few limitations regarding provenance, as it’s a documentary commissioned by the British War Office in 1916, and portrays direct, primary evidence from the trenches. However, we do know some scenes were staged a training centre and the footage was selectively cut together before the documentary was distributed to empire and British audiences. This causes the source to be less useful as it will have the purpose to show Britain in a good light and glorify w... ... middle of paper ... ...ght into the methods of trench warfare on the western front in world war one. However overall, this set has been limited in terms of content and brevity, not providing a wide range of information on different types of methods of trench warfare. In particular, Sources B and C mainly focus on one type of trench warfare method, gas (Source C) and tanks (Source B) and do not provide a general oversight of multiple methods of warfare. The most useful source type therefore was the animated sources (Source F and A) as they provided a broad scope of warfare methods whereas the least useful source was Source B as it didn’t provide an accurate representation of methods of trench warfare or a balanced view, due to its provenance. Sources C and A, even though both primary were additionally very useful however had limitations in content (Source A) or in provenance (Source C).
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