Battle Strategies of the First World War
A battle strategy is a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim or a tactic used to direct military operations and movements in war or battle. In World War I, battle strategies were often planned with the idea of wearing down the enemy’s supply of troops and equipment allowing the enemy to become more vulnerable to a later attack. Battle strategies were used to deploy aircraft in the sky, direct soldiers and vehicles on land and control naval ships on the sea. Well known battle strategies fought on land are such as the Battle of the Somme, the Battle of Ypres and the Battle of Verdun. Tactics such as using trenches, artillery and vehicles were all used in an advance to defeat the enemy trench line on land. Trenches consisted of a fire trench, a support trench, a reserve trench and communication trenches which were joined. They were specifically built to provide protection against enemy gunfire whilst also providing a method of transportation for rations, water, ammunition and new reserves for the front. Trenches were built to a maximum of four to five feet deep. Inside was a fire step to allow men to shoot, duck boards to prevent men from sinking into the mud and dugouts or pozzies were built from wood and provided a place to sleep but were later banned due to a number of cave ins. Weapons such as guns, bayonets and grenades were used for tactical support on land for men in battle whilst machine guns, mortars and explosive shells were used by each of enemy to bombard their trenches. British soldiers were forbidden to fire at the enemy and were required to hold their rifles across their chest and tackle the enemy with grenades and bayonets. These tactics failed continuously and many units adopted more flexible methods of attack to try to reduce casualties. The tank was a common transportation method which carried soldiers across no-man’s land. Although they proved to be reliable when it...
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