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

The Trenches on the Western Front.

Extracts from this document...


The Trenches on the Western Front This is information about the trenches on the western front. After the German plan had failed they began to retreat. Then they decided to dig trenches and fight the rest of the war where they were and so picked the best ground which was not only higher but forced the allied forces to live in the worst conditions possible. So most of the allied trenches were only just a few feet above sea level and after digging they soon reached the water. The picture above shows soldiers walking through a trench. I am quite sure that this is staged, because the cameraman is very high and the second soldier is walking normally and his head is above trench level. But this picture still supports my idea that the trenches were waterlogged and this how many of the soldiers died. Here are two quotes. The first from Captain Impey of the Royal Sussex Regiment wrote this account in 1915. "The trenches were wet and cold and at this time some of them did not have duckboards or dug-outs. The battalion lived in mud and water." The second Private Livesay, letter to parents living in East Grinstead (6th March, 1915) ...read more.


These were about 2 ft. and 4 ft. 6 in. wide. Roofed with corrugated iron or brushwood and then covered with a minimum of 9 inches of earth. You were ment to go in there to sleep and if there was a bomb run but the soldiers wouldn't go in there of fear of it caving in. The main fear of all the soldiers was going over the top because there was such a small chance of surving. This is because the genrals are still fighting the old war. This is a simple cross section of what a trench in the first world war would have looked like. The sand bags were used to absorb shell fragments and shots from the guns. Research says that an average gun shot would penetrate 15 inches into the sand bags. Between each of the trenches was a space of land called no mans land this is covered in bodies, shell holes and barbed wire. This NEVER would have any plant life on because of the constant shelling. In the picture you see what the trench system would have looked like. ...read more.


1= Towel 2= Haversack 3= Extra socks 4= Soap 5=Iron rations 6=Preserved rations 7=Canvas holdall The French German border was protected by many forts these forts where the best of the best. These were defended by heavy artillery Forts were used in Belgium and France and to protect important towns or cities. Some of the most important forts such as Douaumont at Verdun, were considered to be indestructible. Douaumont Fort was protected by, two layers of concrete 1.2 metres thick with 5.4 metres of earth on top. A seven-metre deep moat and 30 metres of barbed wire also defended the fort. In August 1914, German heavy artillery reduced the best fortresses in Belgium to rubble. The same happened in France and several of these forts were stripped of their heavy artillery in order to provide reinforcements for the French Army. During the German Verdun Offensive in 1916 over 22 million shells were fired on the 15 forts defending the city. The French were horrified when Douaumont was taken on 25th February. In July 1916, the Germans were forced to transfer troops to defend their front-line at the Somme. The French now counter-attacked and General Charles Mangin became a national hero when Douaumont was recaptured on 2nd November 1916. By Ted Guest 9.8 ...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 Battle of the Somme 1916

    Official numbers were not released on the German casualties at the Somme but newspapers and inside sources estimated up to 680,000 losses. This was described by German newspapers as a serious and maybe fatal blow to them.

  2. Consider the novels ‘Birdsong’ and ‘Regeneration’ compare Faulks’ and Barker’s presentation of life in ...

    always going to be far worse than they would be for an officer". The silences that punctuate Barker's text are even more powerful than the words spoken, Barker departs from the battlefield, away from the firing shots, the explosion of shells and the barking of commands to explore what happens when silences must be addressed, filled and understood.

  1. Coursework on Trenches

    This proved a disadvantage in two main ways. When it rained, water would flow down the high ground and into the trenches in the low ground. Mud around the trenches would get saturated (soaked - won't absorb anymore liquid) and filled all the trenches with muddy water.

  2. Live and Let Live On the Western Front In World War One

    There were also more open and general cease-fires, or truces, at the Battalion and Divisional level. Perhaps the most famous of these was that of Christmas 1914, which was widely reported in the newspapers of both the Allies and the Central Powers: Much to the disapproval of the High Commands of both the antagonists.

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

    Ever now and again there were 'dead end trenches'. The entire trench system for the triple entente was dug in zigzags so that when enemy shells dropped onto the trenches it only damaged a little area and not a massive area that would wipe out several men. They were also dug in zigzags so that if enemy soldiers captured

  2. The Western Front.

    Most of this area was rarely a few feet above sea level and as soon as soldiers began to dig down they would normally find water two or three feet below the surface. Along the whole line, trench life involved a never-ending struggle against water and mud.

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

    As Andrew Bowie remembers: "It was a bloody massacre. They didn't see the conditions in reality that we were up against." Leave was rare and it could be difficult for the average soldier to get home due to the problems in transportation. One soldier explains how they had "perhaps two weeks leave being granted each year."

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

    The trench is very narrow, so there is not much room for the soldiers to move around in the trench. Also, the trench is not very high, so soldiers are more likely to be shot at. As this is an official account, and it shows that the conditions in the

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