Indeed, the Great War, a phrase coined even before it had begun, was expected to be a relatively short affair and, as with most wars, one of great movement. The First World War was typified however by its lack of movement, the years of stalemate exemplified on the Western Front from autumn 1914 until spring 1918. Source 8 helps to portray this as well where it says “the idea that was not stopping in the trenches for long”. The word “idea” in this quote implies the fact that this is what the generals wanted to happen but may have not actually happened. Source 8 goes on to say, “the result, in the long term, meant that we lived a mean and impoverished sort of existence in lousy scratch holes.” This shows, due to expectation of continues moving towards the Germans, the trenches were not well made or fortified and therefore not giving the men enough protection or comfortable living spaces. This however, is contradicted by Source 9 where it says how “casualties were low simply because men were in trenches.” And where it also quotes the trenches “were constructed for protection”. Not that there wasn't movement at all on the Western Front during 1914-18; the war began dramatically with sweeping advances by the Germans through Belgium and France heading for Paris. However stalemate and trench warfare soon set in, and the expected war of movement wasn't restored until towards the close of the war, although the line rippled as successes were achieved at a small level. Finally, no overview of trench life can avoid the aspect that instantly struck visitors to the lines: the appalling reek given off by numerous conflicting sources. Rotting carcases lay around in their thousands. For example, approximately 200,000 men were killed on the Somme battlefields, many of which lay in shallow graves. Overflowing latrines would similarly give off a most offensive stench. Men who had not been afforded the luxury of a bath in weeks or months would offer the pervading odour of dried sweat. The feet were generally accepted to give off the worst odour. Trenches would also smell of creosol or chloride of lime, used to stave off the constant threat of disease and infection. To add to this the smell of cordite, the lingering odour of poison gas, rotting sandbags, stagnant mud, cigarette smoke and cooking food. This is supported by Source 7, describing how the soldiers “had to share their dugouts and their food with disease ridden rats fattened on a plentiful supply of rotting corpses”. This portrays that the life in trenches was one of unbroken horror. It can be said that the trenches were clearly better than nothing, offering small amounts of protection at the least. However they clearly were not something they looked forward to with its “filthy conditions” stated in source 7. I feel the main difference between the sources which create the argument, is likely to be that the accounts are taken from different locations along the British front line as well the time of the year. As stated previously, the winter of 1916-1917 in France and Flanders was the coldest in living memory, where as other times of the year and different areas were not so bad. Moreover the trenches were a place of hell. Al though they offered protection for the troops, the conditions and living standards were terrible. Therefore, agreeing that the British soldier’s life in the trenches of the Western Front during the First World War was one of unbroken horror.