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

Were the Heavy Allied Casualties on The Western Front Caused Mainly by the Tactics Used by Commanders?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Were the Heavy Allied Casualties on The Western Front Caused Mainly by the Tactics Used by Commanders? World War One (1914-1918) was one of the greatest wars of all time (thus it is commonly known as the 'Great War'), the second largest War in entire human history and the largest at the time of occurrence. Because of the relatively recent introduction of the industrial period, mass weapon, transport and ships were more readily available than ever before and this provided the foundation for the war's cruel nature. This modern style created a pathway to the unprecedented casualty figures and mass destruction on such a huge scale. This form of fighting was an unknown territory for those who participated; few had any idea of how long the war would last, and most of the commanding officers were unwilling to accept that it was a different style from anything they had previously attempted to lead. ...read more.

Middle

Therefore the basis of the question is whether the central cause of Allied casualties was the choices and actions of commanders, or the multiple additional factors including trench life, modern weaponry and the newfound use of airborne military units. Because of the global spread of industrialism, mass production of weapons and ammunition, warships and alternate transport vehicles could be more easily achieved at an unparalleled rate in both the Triple Entente and the Central Powers. This meant that high quality weapons could be produced at a relatively low cost and provided for each soldier; therefore it was possible for both sides to have roughly the same amount and type of military equipment during a battle. However, this did not mean that they had equal amounts of similar military apparatus due to differing tactical approaches; for instance Edmund "The Bull" Allenby was a field marshal who believed that the use of cavalry was appropriate even against the Ottoman's machine guns when he fought in the Third Battle of Gaza. ...read more.

Conclusion

Machine gun operators were commonly protected from fire inside concrete 'pillboxes' (dug-in guard posts with firing loopholes). Their main disadvantage was that each gun took six to eight men to operate and they were very heavy. They had an inbuilt water cooling system; however, the guns occasionally overheated after only two minutes of firing and therefore were used in intermittent bursts rather than continuous streams of fire.*Germans appreciated the use of machine guns. However, machine guns did not in fact contribute to the casualty count of the British soldiers at a level remotely comparable with the immense damage caused by artillery. These caused on average an estimated three quarters of all combat deaths. They were used in many different ways; they could be used to fire fragmentation, gas and even incendiary shells. Fragmentation shells were designed to release as much shrapnel as possible upon impact (explosion) and incendiary shells were used to set fire to the surrounding environment. By Sam Reine-Harris ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE International relations 1900-1939 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 GCSE International relations 1900-1939 essays

  1. Trench warfare. Trench warfare was created to help hold your position and fend ...

    Funding was secured, and in 1908 a prototype man-portable flamethrower (Flammenwerfer) was tested. During the period 1908-1914 this design was improved and tactics were worked out for engineering troops armed with flamethrowers to support infantry assaults. In addition, a larger nonportable device for defending trenches..."(Tucker, Spencer C.)

  2. The Western Front

    How The War Ended Toward the end of Sept 1918 it was obvious that the German offensive in the west had failed, while Bulgaria and Turkey were on the verge of defeat and Austria was pleading for peace at any price.

  1. History Sourcework- Field Marshal Haig Final

    All three have no direct relation to his actual battle successes, so while useful for studying the portrayal of Haig in entertainment and media, are not so useful for this particular interpretation so cannot be used to prove or disprove it. Source E is Haig's view of the Somme campaign.

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

    There were several major changes that took place on the Western Front in the First World War. One of the main ones was the introduction of the tank. A tank was an armoured vehicle that was capable of crossing difficult terrain, crushing wire, destroying strongpoints and generally demoralising the enemy.

  1. Why had the Western Front been established by the end of 1914?

    In 1906 Britain launched a new and very powerful battleship known as HMS Dreadnought. It was much better and faster than anything the German's possessed so the Germans went about establishing their own of course. When they had made their own style battleships Britain was alarmed.

  2. World War 1 - How Two Bullets Caused 20 Million Deaths

    There were two alliances: The Triple Entente and The Triple Alliance. The Triple Entente consisted of Russia, UK and France. The Triple Alliance consisted of Germany, Austria- Hungary and Italy (who later change sides to ensure victory). Every country thought having alliances will prevent wars and will keep everyone safe

  1. Was Field Marshall Douglas Haig more important that the allied blockade of German naval ...

    This is important because the German March Spring Offensive was their big mistake and cost them the war as they finished off the best of their army in making breakthroughs they could not sustain. Another important factor to consider about the battle of Passchendale was that during 1917 the French

  2. How Far Did Weapons and Tactics Change Over the Period of 1914 and 1918?

    Larger guns such as the Howitzer could fire shells at enemy targets hundreds of yards away. In addition, smaller versions of field guns were also used in artillery attacks and hand held trench mortars were used by the men in the trenches.

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