Why were casualties so high on the Western Front?
There are many reasons for the casualties on the western front during World War I, such as the length of the war, the weapons involved, strategy and tactics, and the conditions. The total number of casualties in World War I, both military and civilian, was about 37 million: 16 million deaths and 21 million wounded. Throughout this essay, I will explain how each of these things affected the number of people who died on the Western Front. The first reason was weaponry. It was a major contribution to the number of deaths and probably what caused the most deaths because they were all very destructive one of them being the rifle, which was popularly used by the British. The rifle could fire fifteen rounds per minute and could shoot a person 1400 meters away. The machine gun was another popular gun to use from the safety of the trenches, as it needed 4-6 men to work on them and it had the firepower of 100 guns. But the war had more than just guns. Along the trenches were barbed wires to protect the soldiers. But sometimes the soldiers would get tangled up in them and bleed to death. The same happened to the enemies. Trench warfare led to the development of the concrete pillbox, a hardened blockhouse that could be used to deliver machine gun fire. They could be placed across a battlefield with interlocking fields of fire. The German army was the first to use chlorine gas at the battle of Ypres in 1915. Chlorine gas causes a burning sensation in the throat and chest pains. But if the wind is in the wrong direction it could end up killing your own troops rather than the enemy. Mustard gas was the most deadly weapon used. It was fired into the trenches in shells. It is colorless and takes 12 hours to take effect. Effects include: blistering skin, vomiting, sore eyes, internal and external bleeding. Death can take up to 5 weeks. Trench warfare was primarily a defensive tactic, placing soldiers low in the trench for...
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