Life in the Trenches

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Life in the trenches, during World War I, was a horrible experience for the soldiers of that time. Many soldiers were faced with death during these times. The sources of their deaths were either enemy attacks or their contraction of harmful diseases. Another major obstacle, in the trenches, was of the infestation of rats. Rats, either black or brown, were feared and were nuisances to the soldiers. Brown rats, especially, were detested due to their tendencies to feed on human remains, including the eyes and liver of a corpse. They reproduced at a rapid rate and were viewed in great distaste. A further nuisance was of lice. It was contagious and spread rapidly through the trenches. The cause for this was the filthy environment of the trenches. Lice caused Trench Fever which was excruciating pain followed with high fever. Trench Foot was another infection caught by a vast amount of soldiers. It was an infection which caused the growth of fungus on soldiers’ feet due to the cold, wet and insalubrious conditions of the trenches. Frogs, slugs, and horned beetles were also found in trenches. Daily, a consistent schedule was followed consisting of stand-to, morning hate, the cleaning of rifles, breakfast, inspections, chores, reading and writing, dusk stand-to, duty of patrolling No Man’s Land, and relieving units. Another disadvantage of trench life was the awful stench filling the trenches. This smell would come from the latrines, the dried sweat on the men, rotting sandbags, stagnant mud, cigarette smoke, cooking food, poison gas, and creosol or chloride of lime. Creosol or chloride of lime would be used to prevent catching diseases and infections. The men had to live in these trenches and, often, would not be given a chance to rest and freshen up at the luxurious rest areas, behind the lines. Thus, life in the trenches was horrendous for the soldiers, during World War I.
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