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First World War

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:: CWGC :: The Battle of the Somme. :: CWGC :: Advance to Victory. :: CWGC :: Western Front 1918: The German Offensives. :: CWGC :: The Ypres Salient. First World War: Trench Warfare. The failure of the Schlieffen Plan. Illustrated trench scen. The First World War | The National Archives.

WORLD WAR ONE TRENCH WARFARE. The Battle of Verdun. In the trenches of 1914-1918. What were the trenches? Although most of us think primarily of the Great War in terms of life and death in the trenches, only a relatively small proportion of the army actually served there.

The trenches were the front lines, the most dangerous places. But behind them was a mass of supply lines, training establishments, stores, workshops, headquarters and all the other elements of the 1914-1918 system of war, in which the majority of troops were employed. The trenches were the domain of the infantry, with the supporting arms of the mortars and machine-guns, the engineers and the forward positions of the artillery observers. Why were the trenches there? The idea of digging into the ground to give some protection from powerful enemy artillery and small arms fire was not a new idea or unique to the Great War. What were the trenches like? The type and nature of the trench positions varied a lot, depending on the local conditions.

The enemy had a very similar system of trenches. World War One. World War One An A to Z of World War One Timeline of World War One 1914 and World War One 1915 and World War One 1916 and World War One 1917 and World War One 1918 and World War One Causes of World War One Wilhelm II Germany in 1900 Military Commanders of World War One The Western Front in World War One Battles of World War One Naval Warfare and World War One Aerial Warfare and World War One The Lusitania Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg November 11th 1918 Germany and the Armistice Terms of the Armistice America's military power in World War One America and World War One The Dominions and World War One Canada and World War One India and World War One South Africa and World War One Australia and World War One New Zealand and World War One World War One and Casualties The Home Front 1914 to 1918 World War One Poets Lawrence of Arabia Curtis LeMay and fire raids Mata-Hari Recommended World War One websites Related Pages Online College and University Degree Guide Popular content What was the Cold War?

Timeline of World War One Hide. BBC iWonder - How did so many soldiers survive the trenches? First World War.com - A Multimedia History of World War One. Trench Warfare Video - World War I History. BBC Schools - Life in the trenches. 31 October 2014Last updated at 15:07 Two British soldiers standing in a flooded communication trench during World War One On the Western Front, the war was fought in trenches. Trenches were long, narrow ditches dug into the ground where soldiers lived all day and night. There were many lines of German trenches on one side and many lines of Allied trenches on the other. In the middle, was no man's land, so-called because it did not belong to either army. Rest Soldiers in the trenches did not get much sleep. Dirty trenches The trenches could be very muddy and smelly. Two soldiers in flooded trenc. Life In The Trenches | WW1 Facts.

There was nothing glamorous about trench life. World War 1 trenches were dirty, smelly and riddled with disease. For soldiers life in the trenches meant living in fear. In fear of diseases (like cholera and trench foot) and of course, the constant fear of enemy attack. Trench warfare WW1 style is something all participating countries vowed never to repeat and the facts make it easy to see why. Constructing WW1 Trenches The British and the French recruited manpower from non-belligerent China to support the troops with manual labour. Their most important task was digging the trenches in WW1. 140,000 Chinese labourers served on the Western Front over the course of the First World War (40,000 with the French and 100,000 with the British forces).

No Man’s Land The open space between two sets of opposing trenches became known as No Man’s Land because no soldier wanted to traverse the distance for fear of attack. Hell on Earth There were millions of rats in ww1 trenches. World War I: One Word Video - World War I History. Trench Warfare Prior to World War 1 - Trench Warfare.

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The Western Front Association: dedicated to the study of The Great War 1914-18. explore | learn | share. Mud Blood and Poppycock. The 'Horrors' of the Trenches Source L: The Perception: Mud, Blood and Poppycock, page 76 The perception of soldiering in the Great War is of a young patriot enlisting in 1914 to do his bit, and then being shipped off to France. Arriving at one of the Channel ports he marches all the way up to the front, singing ‘Tipperary’ and smoking his pipe, forage cap on the back of his head. Reaching the firing line, he is put into a filthy hole in the ground and stays there until 1918. Source M: Marching: Mud, Blood and Poppycock, page 76 The original BEF, composed of pre-war regulars and reservists, did do quite a lot of marching, but they would have been very unlucky to have to tramp all the way from Boulogne to Belgium.

Source N: Trenches: Mud, Blood and Poppycock, page 79 French and German ideas on trench construction differed according to the military philosophy of the two nations. Source O: Trenches: Mud, Blood and Poppycock, page 79 Source P: Toilets: Mud, Blood and Poppycock, page 85. British military crime and punishment of 1914-1918. Military law reinforces discipline The maintenance of discipline in the army has always been considered a very serious affair. Whilst it is clear from statistics that there was much ill-discipline in the army throughout the war, most of it was of a non-serious nature.

The instances of failure to obey orders are relatively few, and the number of men convicted and suffering from serious punishment was miniscule as a proportion of the whole. The acts of discipline outlined on this page were defined by the Army Act and the Field Service Regulations. Small scale misdemeanours These crimes included everything from matters of individual presentation such as being unshaven, untidy or losing kit; not saluting or addressing superiors correctly; dirty or incorrect equipment; being late on parade or after curfew, etc. They would be detected and dealt with by the NCOs and officers of a man's own unit.

Moderately serious offences Serious matters These were tried by Courts-Martial. Types of Court-Martial. World War One executions. Content In World War One, the executions of 306 British and Commonwealth soldiers took place. Such executions, for crimes such as desertion and cowardice, remain a source of controversy with some believing that many of those executed should be pardoned as they were suffering from what is now called shell shock. The executions, primarily of non-commissioned ranks, included 25 Canadians, 22 Irishmen and 5 New Zealanders. Between 1914 and 1918, the British Army identified 80,000 men with what would now be defined as the symptoms of shellshock. There were those who suffered from severe shell shock. The horrors that men from all sides endured while on the front line can only be imagined. “We went up into the front line near Arras, through sodden and devastated countryside.

Victor Silvester. Senior military commanders would not accept a soldier’s failure to return to the front line as anything other than desertion. Few soldiers wanted to be in a firing squad. "We were in the trenches. The medical treatment of British casualties in 1914-1918. This page describes the main medical functions in a complex chain that processed the casualty from the front line back to hospitals at home.

It is in a simplified format. Many men missed stages altogether, and of course many wounded soldiers were in no condition to know which of these units was caring for them. Aid and Bearer Relay Posts The casualty is likely to have received first medical attention at aid posts situated in or close behind the front line position. Stretcher-bearers carrying an injured man on a stretcher down a twisting trench in Salonika. Field Ambulance This was a mobile medical unit, not a vehicle. This diagram from a Canadian history shows the locations and types of aid posts and dressing stations that supported the 1st Canadian Division during the opening of the Second Battle of Ypres.

An Australian Medical Officer attends a wounded man at an Advanced Dressing Station during the Third Battle of Ypres in 1917. Click on the image for a full scale view. Base Hospital. History - World Wars: Battle of Passchendaele: 31 July - 6 November 1917. :: CWGC :: Advance to Victory. Battles - The Battle of the Somme, 1916. Comprising the main Allied attack on the Western Front during 1916, the Battle of the Somme is famous chiefly on account of the loss of 58,000 British troops (one third of them killed) on the first day of the battle, 1 July 1916, which to this day remains a one-day record.

The attack was launched upon a 30 kilometre front, from north of the Somme river between Arras and Albert, and ran from 1 July until 18 November, at which point it was called off. The offensive was planned late in 1915 and was intended as a joint French-British attack. The French Commander in Chief, Joffre, conceived the idea as a battle of attrition, the aim being to drain the German forces of reserves, although territorial gain was a secondary aim. The plan was agreed upon by the new British Commander in Chief, Sir Douglas Haig, although Haig would have preferred an offensive among the open ground of Flanders.

Haig took over responsibility from Joffre for the planning and execution of the attack. The Somme - From Defeat To Victory - Part 1. Sir Douglas Haig's Somme Despatch. The second Despatch of Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig, Commander in Chief of the British Armies in France and Flanders. Printed in the Supplement to the London Gazette of 29 December 1916. It covered the enormous and critical Battle of the Somme. Haig at his desk in the railway carriage used as a mobile office. Contrary to the myth of "chateau generals", Haig spent much of his time travelling to meet with subordinate commanders, review troops or holding battle planning meetings with the commanders of the five British armies in France and Flanders. General Headquarters, 23rd December, 1916.

My Lord, I have the honour to submit the following report on the operations of the Forces under my Command since the 19th May, the date of my last Despatch. 1. Subject to the necessity of commencing operations before the summer was too far advanced, and with due regard to the general situation, I desired to postpone my attack as long as possible. 2. The object of that offensive was threefold: (i.) 3. 4. The Somme - From Defeat To Victory - Part 2. The Somme - From Defeat To Victory - Part 5. In the trenches of 1914-1918. The Western Front in France and Flanders in 1914-1918. This section of the Long, Long Trail will be helpful for anyone wishing to find out about the fighting in France and Flanders.

What was the Western Front? The Western Front was the name applied to the fighting zone in France and Flanders, where the British, French, Belgian and (towards the end of the war) the American armies faced that of Germany. There was an Eastern Front too, in Poland, Galicia and down to Serbia, where Russian armies faced those of Germany and Austria-Hungary. The Western Front was not the only theatre that saw the British army in action during the Great War but it was by far the most important. After the battles of 1914 both sides held an entrenched line that stretched from Nieuport on the Belgian coast, through the flat lands of industrial Artois, continuing through the wide expanses of the Somme and Champagne, into the high Vosges and on to the Swiss border. A summary of the war on the Western Front Why did war come to France and Flanders?

The Military Service Act 1916. The Military Service Act of 27 January 1916 brought conscription into effect for the first time in the war. Along with the Defence of the Realm Act, it was possibly the most important piece of legislation in placing Britain onto a "total war" footing. Every British male subject who - on 15 August 1915 was ordinarily resident in Great Britain and who had attained the age of 19 but was not yet 41 and - on 2 November 1915 was unmarried or a widower without dependent children unless he met certain exceptions or had met the age of 41 before the appointed date, was deemed to have enlisted for general service with the colours or in the reserve and was forthwith transferred to the reserve.

Provision was made under Section 20 of the Reserve Forces Act 1882, for information being obtained from the man with regard to his preference for service in the Navy. Men were encouraged to voluntarily enlist under the Group System (Derby Scheme) before the Act came into place. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Classes. Podcast 3: Joining up. IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM’s Voices of the First World War Here is the third in a series of podcasts that delve into IWM’s sound collection to bring you the voices of those who lived through the First World War. Find out what a huge range of people felt, experienced and witnessed between 1914-1918 – and the impact the events of those years had on their lives. Hear from a range of people as they describe how and why men enlisted following the outbreak of war. Podcast 3: Joining up Download mp3 (15Mb) Transcript Suddenly everybody’s sons and brothers and husbands were soldiers.

The iconic Kitchener recruitment poster that Irving Jones couldn’t avoid When war broke out in August 1914, Britain’s regular army numbered only 250,000. Irving Jones, from near Caerphilly in south Wales, clearly remembered the effect such propaganda had on him. The only thing I can remember so well about it is Kitchener’s picture, large pictures, put all around every hall, or outside each hall. William Berry War broke out. British Army enlistment 1914-1918. The expansion of the British Army from the small professional force to a vast citizen army, capable of defeating the world's most formidable military machine, was a truly extraordinary national achievement. How was it done? What does this tell you about the way your soldier joined up? Types of service available: up to the declaration of war Since 1908 the British Army had offered four forms of recruitment. A man could join the army as a professional soldier of the regular army or as a part-time member of the Territorial Force or as a soldier of the Special Reserve.

Finally there was the opportunity to join the National Reserve. There was a long-running battle, with politicians and military men taking both sides, about whether Britain should have a system of national conscripted service. Regular army A man wishing to join the army could do so providing he passed certain physical tests and was willing to enlist for a number of years. Special Reserve Territorial Force National Reserve. Why did Britain go to war? Podcasts. Blackadder on the Causes of World War One. The following famous scene from Blackadder Goes Forth: Goodbyee deals with the causes of the war. The humour is quite subtle, and you need to know about the Causes of World War One to fully appreciate why it is so funny.

In the episode, Blackadder is feigning madness to try to avoid going over the top. While they are waiting, Baldrick asks permission to ask a question... Baldrick: The thing is: The way I see it, these days there's a war on, right? Edmund: Do you mean "Why did the war start? " Baldrick: Yeah. George: The war started because of the vile Hun and his villainous empire-building. Edmund: George, the British Empire at present covers a quarter of the globe, while the German Empire consists of a small sausage factory in Tanganyika. George: Oh, no, sir, absolutely not. Baldrick: I heard that it started when a bloke called Archie Duke shot an ostrich 'cause he was hungry. Edmund: I think you mean it started when the Archduke of Austro-Hungary got shot. Edmund: Well, possibly.