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During World War I, trench warfare was very common. It was a newer technique in battles as in wars prior to the Great World War, fighting was less invasive and men merely marched at each other from opposite ends of fields and fought until only one side remained standing or a white flag was hung high in surrender. In fact in older wars, the fighting was far less dangerous to the point where battles were often times viewed by locals who watched from side lines with really no threat of getting hurt. In World War I however, the fighting had upscaled to the most sadistic type the world had ever experienced. With the industrialist wave that had overcome us in the late 1800s into the early 1900s, many technological advancements made the war a lot harsher of a scenario. Mass weaponry was being created in factories all across Europe to use for the war, and so the “old wars,” of much less casualties and danger were in the past, and the “new war,” or first World War was at the present, with heavy war machinery and severe casualties. The picture in the Stearns text book on page 808 displays a group of soldiers during World War I in the trenches, their homes and in most cases-their death beds during combat.
In this picture it is clear to see that life in the trenches was dismal and uncomfortable. Trenches were basically dug out pieces of land that soldiers fought from and sought refuge in upon returning attacks. They were not fun places to live and consisted of numbers of men packed tightly together in constant fear of their lives being taken from them before they could ever return home to their families, if they were lucky enough to reach that day!
Through the expressions on these men’s faces in the picture, one can see that the trenches were very uncomfortable and unlively. The men look dirty and tired in their cave like surroundings. Disenchanted with the lives they led and the war they were there to fight, the soldiers do not look at ease or positive about their current situation. They sit cramped on the ground with no smiles or grins for the photographer of this picture. There is rubble all around them, somewhat signifying their lives as they miss their homes and families and watch their closest friends die or suffer from deadly battle wounds beside them.
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"The First World War (WWI) - Trench Warfare." 123HelpMe.com. 26 Jan 2020
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