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

Why was fighting on the Western Front such a new and terrible experience for British Soldiers?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Why was fighting on the Western Front such a new and terrible experience for British Soldiers? World War One experienced two major frontiers that were being contested for- the Eastern and the Western. The Eastern was much longer than the latter, so lines were much easier to break there because soldiers were more dispersed and there were less of them in one area. The fighting was also more open and there were various forms of attack. Life in the Western Front was primarily harsher because of the constant risk of death and the foul conditions of the environment they were living in. The Western consisted of an ingenious system of trenches which stretched from the border of Switzerland to the coast of Belgium. They were well constructed and designed to give maximum protection and advantage. One clever factor used for both sides was digging them into a zigzag shape and not in a beeline direction to provide cover against the enemy if within sight of enemy guns. For the British and the French this was especially important because the Germans had built theirs on higher ground. All the trenches were interconnected and had specific duties. The Front line was the most dangerous because it was amid all the fighting and heavy fire. ...read more.

Middle

Because of their heavy weight they had to be set up on the ground and manned by around five men (to reload, move and shoot). Field Guns (like cannons) were another breakthrough. It was too far and impossible for a man to throw a shell as accurately as possible towards the opposite trench from the front line, so these were placed behind the reserve trench and could fire hundreds of metres ahead. The other well known piece of heavy artillery was the tank. It didn't really help the cause of the Western Front because originally the first ones could only have a crew of 3 soldiers and they were unable to manoeuvre over trenches. Later it was more improved by the Germans- they increased the speed from 3 to 10 miles per hour and it was a lot more capable of accompanying trench soldiers but by the time it had been made the war was already ended. Aircraft in general were insignificant to the fighting. The were initially used to transport bombs and spy on the enemy to warn soldiers if they were going be attempting an advance- only later in the second world war were planes directly involved in the fighting with their built in machine guns and bombs that would be dropped from the sky. ...read more.

Conclusion

He did not want to do it willingly but was under a lot of pressure from the French. Secondly, everybody was desperate for the war to end. He knew the ordeals of his men and how much they were suffering so perhaps he just wanted to try the quick route out. It was the first time his men climbed out into No Man's Land to take over, so no-one knew about how well the German trenches were made. Later on he used the information to benefit him in future battles. Although it was blind to go in without any knowledge but hope that luck was on their side, Germany paid with many men too and the Battle of the Somme was the first real progress into putting pressure against them. If all those men had not bravely died the war could have dragged out for years more after it had ended. This concludes the fairly boring lives of British Soldiers in the Western Front which mainly comprised of the repeated process- Attack, you die or you move on. Every year it was the same, if you survived an offensive you had nothing to look forward to, except more hardship and the wallowing fear of death. Life in the trench was not pleasant but it was nothing compared to what would face them outside. ...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 Britain 1905-1951 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 Britain 1905-1951 essays

  1. Britain And The Western Front - Sources Questions

    According to source I the main difference in opinion between them was that Haig wanted to use infantry to break through the enemy lines whereas Rawlinson wished to use artillery to break through the enemy lines and the infantry to hold the captured trenches.

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

    The author was present on the Western Front which instantly suggests that the author had first hand experience of warfare and had also experienced gas attacks. In October 1917, he was transferred to the Western Front, 2nd Company, Reserves, Field Depot of the 2nd Reserves Guards Division at Hem-Lenglet.

  1. Describe the conditions that soldiers experienced on the western front in the years 1915-1917.

    Flooding of the trenches was a serious problem, and one of the soldiers daily routine was to empty out flooded trenches, which was an extremely difficult task. Flooded or muddy trenches caused a lot of physical problems to the soldiers, such as 'trench foot.'

  2. How did life for a typical soldier serving in a trench on the western ...

    In the Civil War, many men didn't want to fight against other British men. Some families disagreed and so were fighting against each other. Religion was another reason for choosing a side to fight on. Many soldiers stayed to fight near their homes, often defending the country estates of their employers.

  1. Britain And The Western Front of World War One - Sources Questions

    The Somme was the perfect place to attack, the land was flat and undisturbed; the ground was also chalk which removed the chance that it could flood. Section C: The Battle Of The Somme Question 11: What evidence is there in source J to suggest that the bombardment was a failure?

  2. Why did a stalemate develop on the Western Front??

    The Battle of the Somme (1916) is an example of the bad leadership of the allies. It was planned as a joint French and British operation. The idea was originally the French Commander-in-Chiefs, Joseph Joffre and General Sir Douglas Haig the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) commander, accepted it, despite his personal preference for a large attack in Flanders.

  1. 'Lions Led by Donkeys'. Using the information in the sources and your own knowledge, ...

    This source seems to be reliable as it was written by a private who witnessed the event and how horrific it was. It was also written during that time in 1916. One can argue that this soldier could possibly be biased because of his experiences on the western front.

  2. The Western Front - Sources

    I think that source A may be more reliable because it was written by a historian. It is their job to look at and consider a wide range of sources before reaching a conclusion. Source A is a researched piece of writing, which should consider many accounts of the events opposed to the one account we see in source B.

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