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

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

Extracts from this document...


Coursework Question 1: describe the conditions that soldiers experienced on the Western Front in the years 1915-17. The trenches were basically holes in the ground, laid out in a zigzag pattern stretching all the way from Switzerland to the North Sea. On one side were the British and French, the Germans on the other. This form of defence basically brought on a stalemate on the western front, were neither side could outflank the other, and neither side could break through the other's defences. This new from of war, 'Trench Warfare' was brought on by the onslaught of new military technologies, mainly the machine gun and heavy artillery. Machine guns could be handled by anyone, no skill required. The high rate of fire allowed the gun to be fired into a crowd, killing everyone there. This was used against any enemy advances, to reduce the attacking army to nothing within seconds. The ruthless efficiency of this weapon made it a popular base defence, cutting down chances of a successful enemy attack. ...read more.


They could rarely see the enemy but they knew they were there across no-mans land. They lived under constant fear of sniper or machine gun fire if they put their head above the parapet. The health services were terrible. The hospitals were far from the front line, and few survived the way there. Mass graves were commonplace, and so was the sickly sweat smell of rotting corpses. Overall conditions in the trenches were savage and terrible, worse than what might have been in the stone ages, but people survived, until they had to go over the top. The wait was usually the worst part. Question 2: Why was there a stalemate on the Western Front during much of the First World War? The First World War was a war that was supposed to be over by Christmas. That was the general idea. Either side would win clearly in a decisive victory and the war would be won. In a way it was over by Christmas, four years later. The stalemate at the Western Front could be blamed for this. ...read more.


The generals had no idea what to do, but to stick to what they thought was the way to fight a war using outdated tactics that no longer applied because of the new weapons. Battles turned into massacres as millions of men went over the top in battle such as Neuve Chapelle and Compiegne, where around seventy-to-eighty thousand men were lost to gain a few square kilometres of land. Worse is the Battle of Arras, where 120,000 men were lost, without anything to show for it. The tactic of going 'over the top' had been proved to be useless, a waste of lives, to all people but the generals. They continued to send more and more people to their deaths, only because they couldn't think of another way to do it. The new weapons were not of much help either. Tanks were close to useless, artillery had a worse effect on the army than the enemy, and machine guns made waves of attacking people no problem to mow down by the hundreds. GCSE- History Hasan Haider, 11C 1 ...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. Was there much change in the fighting methods employed by the British Army on ...

    and male versions (included two six pounder guns) and a few more designs/models as well. This shows the diversity of change and improvement. One successful tactic was a draw back to medieval siege warfare, mining under enemy positions and collapsing the mine although explosives were detonated instead of just collapsing.

  2. Why was Trench Warfare so terrible

    Vaughan did not mind being in the trenches in the months before August (Passchendaele). During this period he actively sought patrol duty in no man's land, claiming that "Fighting patrols are the finest stiffeners of morale." Vaughan's optimism remained despite the fact that he did not get along with any of his fellow soldiers.

  1. The North Sea

    During the first half of 2004, total oil production was up nearly 1% over the same period in 2003, despite an oil-worker strike in June 2004, which shut in some production for about a week. In 2003, there were five new fields that came onstream -- Grane, Fram West, the

  2. Explain and describe the dangers and difficulties faced by the soldiers on the Western ...

    In extreme cases, severe coughing detached mucous membranes from the lungs, flesh was burnt to the bone, and sometimes even genitals were eaten away by severe burning and blistering. * Chlorine Gas - A visible gas with a pungent smell.

  1. The Western Front.

    They therefore needed to know there way very well around the trenches, so a "trench map" was introduced. They wore a red armband around their left arm to identify them. Dogs and pigeons also had a role to play in the war as messengers. Signallers were responsible for sending messages.

  2. New technologies and their effect on the stalemate on the Western Front.

    He fitted this synchronizing gear to his new range of Fokker E aircraft. These planes arrived on the Western Front during the summer of 1915. This new technological advance gave the German pilots a considerable advantage over the Allied pilots.

  1. In 1915 a British newspaper printed a letter from a

    As the young men were pressured to enlist, with songs with lyrics such as "We don't want to lose you, but think you ought to go - your King and country need you'' often from the women, they became the heroic figures of soldiers fighting for their country and there

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

    trenches to be reasonably bad (the trench doesn't even have duck boards) I am lead to think that this is actually quite accurate, as if the conditions on this picture were bad, then what were the rest of the trenches like, many must have been worse.

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