9 February 2014
World War 1: Trench Warfare
World war 1 was the extremely bloody war that swallows up the Europe from 1914-1919. “In late June 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated by a Serbian nationalist in Sarajevo, Bosnia that was one of the reason, which rose the tension between Austria and Serbia” (modern world history 410). But the three main reasons, which lead to World War 1, were: rise of nationalism, imperialism and militarism. According to pattern of interaction “Due to the huge loss of life’s and lands German officers gave order to dig trenches so that they can fight and gain land at the same time” (412). Throughout the First World War the soldiers had to endure many cruelties in the trenches to survive and to fight against their enemy. Late in 1914 nations started taking the help of the other nation to fight and gain the territories of other country. Therefore two groups were formed which were central powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary and ottoman empire) and allied powers (Russia, France, Great Britain, Italy and later joined by the united states). In late summer 1914 in Modern World History Sir Edward Grey stated, “The lamps are going out all of the Europe” (411). During the World War 1 Germany decided to fight the war on two fronts, on western front the eastern front. Due to defeat of Germans, and loss of soldiers in large number Germans left their plan and started digging the trenches. According to history1990s.com “the main purpose of trenches was to defend the position and attack the enemy at the same time”. Due the building of trenches the forward moving strategies such as head-on infantry attacks were no longer effective against modern weapons like machine guns. According to history.com “early trenches were little more than foxholes (4 or 5 feet vertically and 2 feet horizontally)”. As the stalemate continued, however, it became obvious that more elaborate system was needed, so they completed first major trench line November in 1914. In book named modern world history “by the end of the year they stretched 475 miles of trenches, starting at the North Sea, running through Belgium and northern France, and ending in the Swiss frontier” ( 413). All the trenches were built according to the same basic design. According to firstworldwar.com “the front wall of the trench, known as the parapet, was built of ten feet high, lined with sandbags from top to bottom, the front wall also featured two to three feet of sandbags stacked above ground level”. The sandbags helped to obscure a soldier’s view. “A ledge also known as the fire steps were also built into the lower part of ditches which allows a soldier to step up and see over the top through a peephole which is between sandbags when ever he was ready to fire his weapon” (history1990s.com). According to the British guidelines it took 450 men approximately 6 hours to dig 275 yards of front line trench. According to modern world history “the trenches were dug in the zigzag pattern so that if an enemy entered the trench he could not fire straight down the line” (413). But these trenches were like a nightmare. Due to rainfall each soldier have to face many problems, which make these trenches like a nightmare for soldier. Whenever rainfall occurs the walls of trenches get collapsed. Due to rainfall in book modern world history it was being told that “trenches get flooded as high as a man’s waist, rifles get jammed and soldier fell victim to the much-dreaded “Trench Foot”(a painful condition of the foot caused by long immersion in water)” (413). But Heavy rains were not sufficient to wash away the filth and foul odor of human waste and decaying corpses. Not only this unsanitary condition contributed to the spread of diseases, they also attracted an enemy despised by both sides, the lowly rats. Article on site worldwar.com says “the multitudes of rats shared the trenches with soldiers and, even more horrifying....
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