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

Describe The Conditions Faced By the British Troops on The Western Front.

Extracts from this document...


Describe The Conditions Faced By the British Troops on The Western Front When the Allied forces declared war on Germany on the 4th of August 1914, the aim was to quickly defeat Germany and swiftly end the war so it would be "all over by Christmas". Instead it became a war of attrition with troops going "over the top" into no man's land. After the failure of Plan 17 and the Schleiffen Plan, the war stagnated and this led to trench warfare. However the Germans had already taken a large amount of land and were happy to consolidate what they had won. This meant that the Germans held the higher land and could build trenches; made of concrete, in the ground, whereas the British wanted to regain the land the Germans had won. ...read more.


Two million soldiers died in combat but three and a half million died from infection, maybe because antibiotics, such as penicillin, were in their infancy. However these problems were only suffered by the lower ranks, not officers or NCOs, who were only in that position because of their background, most of them coming from public schools. Men in the trenches were living in constant fear of a mustard or chlorine gas attack or where the next shell would land, although the trenches were built in a zigzag shape to avoid numerous fatalities when a shell exploded. This constant fear led to psychological problems. This was worsened by the smell of death, depression and stress. ...read more.


It was very different for officers though, who were usually paid at least ten times more than the average soldier and could therefore afford much more sophisticated entertainment. Moreover some soldiers were conscripted into the army and therefore had never experienced these types of conditions. This army was called "Kitchener's army" and for many it was their first time away from home. Some volunteers though had had two years' training. In conclusion it is obvious that conditions in the trenches along the Western front were awful, although these could be ameliorated depending on background, rank and the geography of the land. It is thus no surprise that attitudes to the war changed from "Now, God be thanked Who has matched us with His hour", (Rupert Brooke, 1914) to "It is unspeakable, godless, hopeless", (Paul Nash, 1917). Rob Ashley ...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. Explain and describe the dangers and difficulties faced by the soldiers on the Western ...

    Not only did snipers in the Western Front successfully eliminate thousands of enemy troops, they were also efficient spies and reported on troop movements. POISONOUS GAS Gas was greatly feared by troops as it caused severely horrific effects for the victims.

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

    For this case study poems were useful, they used descriptive language and conveyed an atmosphere clearly. However metaphors and other language tools can reduce their accuracy and reliability. In this case study I have found that official accounts and stories seemed to give the best picture as to what conditions in the trenches were like, for the above reasons.

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

    Admittedly a great deal of time was spent trying to repair damaged trench sections, standing guard or simply trying to obtain an hour or two of sleep.

  2. Why was Trench Warfare so terrible

    Lice became a major problem in World War 1. Almost all off the soldiers would be infected with them; they would live in soldier's clothes and roam the human body sucking blood. The lice would cause intense itching and uncomfortable living situations.

  1. Production of chlorine

    Also there are special equipments present in the industry for producing high amounts of chlorine and many people are employed to do the job. In the laboratory, there are only simple equipments like Andrew's gas generator for producing chlorine. In the industry chlorine is produced by electrolysis and they can use different chemicals to form chlorine.

  2. Describe the conditions that soldiers experienced on the Western Front in the years 1915-17.

    The constant use of heavy artillery in some cases gave some soldiers a mental illness, commonly referred to as 'shell shock'. Soldiers suffering from this illness were sent back home, the most likely cause of it being the constant deafening sounds of artillery bombardment from either side.

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