• 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...

Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

The generals had no idea what to do, but to stick to what they thought was the way to fight a war using outdated tactics that no longer applied because of the new weapons.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. Why was Trench Warfare so terrible

    know it and opinions from historians are always given as their opinions not as facts. The other problem is that because the site is about all aspects of history it is unable to go into much detail about many areas of WWI.

  2. Was there much change in the fighting methods employed by the British Army on ...

    As well as this there was a dramatic increase in the size of the army, half a million men signed up in one month. This lead to commanders having more troops at their disposal so enabling them to try new tactics such as the wave attack advocated by the French general Laffargue.

  1. The North Sea

    The increase in proven reserves mainly reflects the incorporation of the Ormen Lange field. Whether Norway eventually develops or discoveries new recoverable oil reserves depends on many factors, such as investment, taxes and the opening of new frontier or virgin acreage to exploration and development activities.

  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.

    It was not uncommon for soldiers to be in the front line trenches for over thirty days at a time. Short trenches called saps were dug across No-Man's land. These were dug towards the enemy trenches, and allowed soldiers to move forwards, without exposure to fire.

  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

    It is evident, from numerous sources, that the war was expected to be "over by Christmas'' or "done in six months''. This may have contributed to the overwhelming readiness to enlist and also for the "Lady Reader's'' persistence that the war should continue even after this pre-determined deadline was not met.

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

    This photo, although subject to censorship gives me an idea as to what the conditions in the trenches were like. The floor of the trenches is covered in mud, which is up to the soldiers knees in some parts; this could lead to conditions illnesses such as trench foot.

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