• 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...


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.


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.


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

    But a manual brought out by the British Army suggested that the dugouts should be between two ft. and four ft. six inches. Wide and that they should be covered by corrugated iron or brushwood, then covered with a minimum amount of nine inches deep of earth.

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

    This does though help me to see the scale of gas attacks, an extract from the Spartacus website says "most of the soldiers caught in a gas attack died as a result of the gas," this shows me that if these are the survivors then many more people must have been killed.

  1. what was the importance of the Ypres salient during ww1

    his promise to call off the offensive if the first attack failed. The area of the Ypres salient was important to people in Britain because of the propaganda it would create if allies retreated. People would doubt our army and the point of the war if they knew the harsh truths of war.

  2. Coursework on Trenches

    After less than a hundred yards we ran up against an almost concrete wall of whistling and whining machine - gun bullets. My company commander had his face shot away; another man yelling and whimpering held his hands to his belly and, through his fingers, his stomach protruded.

  1. Women before, during and after WW1.

    men who fought for their country as the men left their jobs to fight. The men still prejudiced against women made the women go back to their old jobs in the domestic service and so after the war women went back to similar jobs, as before, the women did not want to go back to the domestic service.

  2. 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

  1. The impact of bombing during WWII

    Many people felt they were fighting against the Germans simply by carrying on amidst the devastation. This man was obviously brave to try and prepare the bodies for burial and must have felt a strong duty to his people and country to carry out such a task.

  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