• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Conditions in the trenches during WW1 on the Western Front

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Xavier Teasdale-Firth Conditions in the trenches during WW1 on the Western Front During World War One, the soldiers living and fighting on the Western Front suffered not only tremendous losses in life, but also suffered the imaginable, appalling, and quite unacceptable conditions that they did. By the time the Western Front had been established, and trench warfare was a mundane fact for those involved, the Great War was static. There was little progress made, attacks and offensives were futile, and the new weaponry available meant that it was near to impossible for any troops to advance. Every man involved wanted to get out, and to return home. Some were so desperate that they intentionally injured themselves, although in the British trenches if someone was believed to have done this deliberately, they were Court Marshalled, and executed for cowardice. The soldiers were sent into the front line by the railways, although the men never actually knew where exactly they were heading; all they knew was that they were moving east. ...read more.

Middle

At some times, the enemy were within shouting distance, and at other times, you didn't even know which direction the enemy were in. there was, as you can imaging, a great sense of disorientation. No Man's land was plastered with craters from the artillery, barbed wire, unexploded shells and mines, and the many dead bodies that had collected. It was what the soldiers in the trenches innocently looked out onto daily, until the day the whistles blew, and they "went over the top", only to get mowed down by machine-gun fire. Many men died before they even went over the top, however. The constant artillery fire and bombardment was enough to claim the lives of nearly one third of all the fatal casualties of the war. Every day in the trenches followed a strict regime: Stand To Every day, half an hour before dawn, there was a 'stand to'. ...read more.

Conclusion

In total, 2.5 million men died in battle, and 3.5 million died of disease in the trenches. Mud The trenches were man made, dug out by the soldiers, and especially at the start of the war, before Christmas, the trenches were bog pits, and consisted of waist high pools of water, and mud. Some men drowned in the waters, and others were sucked down by the boggy mud, and quick-sand like terrain. The troops sang songs to boost moral, but these lost their touch when, during an advance, you saw your best friend get shot in the head by an enemy machine gun. The men were made to carry around with them all 60lbs of kit, including their own personal belongings, and even their shaving kit. On top of this was the weight of their helmets, and their rifles. All in all, the conditions the men were fighting in were very poor, and the generals sitting behind the front line, giving the orders to attack, and to keep moral high could not even begin to comprehend what their own men were going through. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level War Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level War Poetry essays

  1. The impact of bombing during WWII

    This intensity of emotional reaction would most likely have a long-term affect on a person. There fore this sentence indirectly disagrees with A.J.P's idea of national unity as these people had been deeply distressed and had not seeked solace or companionship in the circumstances.

  2. Coursework on Trenches

    shells in an attempt to kill any front - line troops and tear gaps in the barbed wire guarding them. This was known as 'shelling'. Shelling was also very useful in churning up no man's land, so that the enemy could not attack.

  1. Was the Public Mislead About the Conditions In the Trenches?

    They didnt want the people at home to think they made the wrong decision their family to go and sign up.Also to keep the morale up at home.The government wanted to make a fake image of life in the trenches by hiding the bad by using censorship.The postcard in Source

  2. What Was Life Really Like In The Trenches On The Western Front

    There were then the machine guns and periscopes, the periscopes and machine guns were only in certain places unlike the sandbags and barbed wire. After the main trench (the dugout bit) there was the parados (the back of the trench), which was also covered in sandbags.

  1. "Poems and stories; official accounts. Which of these give a more accurate picture of ...

    I found stories to be useful as they offer an account as to how the person is feeling and their personal opinions. They can also be affective as windows into the writers mind, and particularly reliable for blow-by-blow accounts. However I had to be careful when dealing with memory issues, and many stories can be fictitious.

  2. What were conditions like on the Western Front for troops

    The weather also meant any bodies still in tact could not be retrieved from under the mud and therefore not given burial (the names of those never found can be seen on the Brandenburg gate in Ypres). Basically there were two extremes: Summer when it was warm, dry and smelly and winter when it was bitterly cold wet and muddy.

  1. The Trenches on the Western Front.

    Lots of times the trenches would cave in or dugouts and there would be lots of bodies underneath and this would attract rats. One pair of these rats could have 880 more so u can imagine that the trenches were swarming with them. These rats could grow to huge sizes.

  2. The Western Front.

    As the Germans were the first to decide where to dig, they had been able to choose the best places to build their trenches. Their choice of the higher ground not only gave the Germans a tactical advantage, but it also forced the British to live in the worst conditions.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work