Trench warfare had been used in past wars, but the Germans popularized this style during World War I. Germans sought to capture Paris, but faced the French at the Marne River on September 5, 1914. The French army had stopped the German advance and began to push them back (Torr, 30). 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). The soldiers had no way of avoiding the oncoming barrage of shrapnel and bullets from the enemy. Thus, the trenches became a necessity and a temporary safe haven. Initially, trench warfare seemed a simple style of battle, but eventually became an intricate system of tunnels.
As countries adapted to trench warfare, new techniques and tactics emerged. For instance, the countries made trenches in a zigzag pattern and surrounded them with barbed wire so the enemy could not bomb them in a straight...
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...stated the countries of Europe and their soldiers who died from the new weaponry and poor living conditions in World War I. At first, trench warfare seemed beneficial and apt, but instead it caused a horrific stalemate that lasted for about four years. This new battle style led to advancements in technology and terrible sanitation that led to more brutal deaths. In essence, the soldiers who survived the trenches, survived hell.
Torr, James D. World War I: Primary Sources. San Diego, CA: Lucent, 2002.
Marshall Cavendish, Corporation. "Tactics and Weapons on Land." History of World War I 3.(2002): 808-827. History Reference Center. EBSCO. Web. 30 Oct. 2011.
Social Studies School, Service. "CHAPTER 5: Life in the Trenches." Everyday Life: World War I. 34-41. US: Social Studies School Service, 2006. History Reference Center. EBSCO. Web. 30 Oct. 2011.
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