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

Was there much change in warfare on the Western Front between the end of 1914 and March 1918?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Was there much change in warfare on the Western Front between the end of 1914 and March 1918? Between the end of 1914 and March 1918, warfare changed a great deal. It changed mostly in terms of technology and tactics. It also saw the beginning and end of trench warfare. Technology played a major part in the First World War. New technology enabled new forms of warfare, never seen before, to be used. Predominantly, it introduced chemical warfare, tank warfare, machine guns and aircraft warfare. Although gas attacks can be traced back to the 5th Century B.C., chemical warfare was not much heard of until WWI. It was introduced in April 1915, when the Germans used chlorine gas against the French at Ypres. The introduction of gas was in a way long-term, as gas has been a constant threat, even though not much used, ever since the Great War. Gas was first released in gas cylinders, which released gas clouds to be blown by the wind. However, this could mean that the gas would be blown back towards the friendly side, as it was on many occasions, so the Germans developed gas-shells, first used in 1916. The first gases used by the Germans were asphyxiating: flooding the lungs. The first of these, chlorine, reacted with the ammonia in urine, making an excellent method of protection possible. ...read more.

Middle

However, even with the advent of the machine gun, rifles stayed as the primary weapon of a soldier, as they were cheap, light, reliable, and soldiers were already well trained in their use. Machine guns were also used extensively with aircraft, another new World War One invention. In 1914, the Germans had 240 aircraft, the French 150 and the British had 60. Airplanes were originally only used for reconnaissance. The standard British military aircraft at the outbreak of the war was the BE-2 biplane. It was a slow but stable plane with a top speed of 72 mph, initially used for reconnaissance and light bombing. It remained in use on the Western Front until the middle of 1917, having gone through five versions. However, as the amount and usefulness of reconnaissance planes increased, there was a necessity to get rid of them. There were many failed experiments in attaching a machine gun to an airplane, until early in 1915, when deflector plates were installed. These were steel plates on the propeller blades which deflected any bullets that would hit them. However, still in 1915, the Germans developed a much better system: the interrupter. This synchronised the firing of the machine gun with the propeller. By the end of the year, most aircraft, Allied or German, had machine guns installed, and stability had been sacrificed for manoeuvrability and speed, e.g. ...read more.

Conclusion

By autumn 1916, the Allies could attain a speed of 50 metres per minute. Another development of the war was tunnelling. Tunnels were dug under no man's land to place mines. The British especially used this tactic, increasing the size and amount of the explosives every time, from 20 tons in two mines during the Somme offensive, to 600 tons in 20 mines at Messines. The idea that cavalry would win the war was kept through the whole war, even though the cavalry was nearly never successfully used. In 1914, most of the major armies had around a third of their strength in cavalry. The British, French and German armies all considered their cavalry to be an elite force and had considerable influence over the tactics used during battles. However, cavalry was not used for reconnaissance, as the new airplanes were much better, and they could not be used for trench warfare, as machine guns were extremely effective against the,. However, at nearly every offensive, the cavalry were waiting for an opportunity to charge towards the enemy. The idea and usage (or lack thereof) of cavalry never changed through the whole war. In conclusion, even though there were things that did not change in warfare on the Western Front between the end of 1914 and March 1918, the period did see many other changes, both in technology and in tactics, even the whole concept of war changing from movement to trench and back. ...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. I need to produce a marketing strategy for a new or existing product. I ...

    The first campaign of 2000 supported one of the most significant changes British Gas customers have seen in recent years. From 1st April for gas customers and 1st May for electricity customers with British Gas the standing charge was removed and replaced with a two tier pricing structure.

  2. The impact of bombing during WWII

    closed and the men's glum faces, explain how not everything is as happy and unified as the government would choose to promote. The accusative and sarcastic rhetorical question is answered by the dismal and totally controlled scenery behind them and suggests that there is nothing directly positive other than a sense of grim discipline and duty.

  1. In what ways did the attitudes of soldiers and civilians change towards the war ...

    Trench warfare continued and gas attacks began on British and French trenches. Although the French had used tear-gas grenades during the first month of the war, it was the Germans at Ypres in April 1915 that first used it widely.

  2. The Battle of the Somme 1916

    Told for boys and girls of the Empire.' We are not told the author of the book, but the title suggests that he was British or from a country with the Empire, so he and the book were probably biased.

  1. The Battle of the Somme 1916 - source related study.

    Source H, the Somme as it is today, suggests that progress for the Allies was probably quite slow. This was likely due to the Allies having the lower ground and soldiers being ordered to walk across mo-man's land. With such poor conditions over the winter months, the soldiers would have been walking across very muddy ground.

  2. The year 1916 was the year of the Battle of the Somme.

    Also, the public at home would support the war because the paragraph quotes the words, "honour justice and truth"; this is shown in the provenance and also stated in the main part of the Source which is "Forward went these brave fighters..."

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

    that my end would be instantaneous....It missed the trench by inches...The instinct of self-preservation was quick to return; I flung myself flat in the trench." By 1917, after destructive and devastating battles such as Somme and Ypres, there was a new mood of longing for the war to end.

  2. Did the Soldiers Themselves, Give a more Accurate Picture of Trench Life than Official ...

    However, it is still possible that the information in this source is still exaggerated to make things sound more extreme. Because of this the source could never be entirely accurate. Because of this is cannot be entirely reliable either but it still remains useful because it would show how the

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