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. 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. The climate in France and Belgium was quite wet, so No Man’s Land soon became a mud bath. Hell on Earth
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. 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 bird's-eye view (below, from an official infantry training manual of March 1916) shows a typical but very stylised trench layout. Behind it is another line, similarly made, called a support line. Keep your head down!
Life in the Trenches Life in the trenches during the First World War took many forms, and varied widely from sector to sector and from front to front. Undoubtedly, it was entirely unexpected for those eager thousands who signed up for war in August 1914. A War of Movement? Indeed, the Great War - a phrase coined even before it had begun - was expected to be a relatively short affair and, as with most wars, one of great movement. Not that there wasn't movement at all on the Western Front during 1914-18; the war began dramatically with sweeping advances by the Germans through Belgium and France en route for Paris. So what was life actually like for the men serving tours of duty in the line, be they front line, support or reserve trenches? Daily Death in the Trenches Death was a constant companion to those serving in the line, even when no raid or attack was launched or defended against. Similarly, novices were cautioned against their natural inclination to peer over the parapet of the trench into No Man's Land.
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Front Line: Life in the Trenches of WWI If you were a soldier fighting in the First World War, what would you see? What would you hear? With only 20 WWI veterans left in the world, fewer and fewer people are able to answer these questions with certainty. For everyone else, there's Front Line. Front Line is a website devoted to the trench experience of the First World War. Trenches: In this page, you'll find information on the construction of trenches, their layout, the hygiene (or lack thereof) of trenches, the cold, and how burials were handled in trench warfare. Routine: On here, you'll find information on the day-to-day life of the soldiers in the trenches: for example, the food they ate, their various duties, and the ways they attempted to cope. Warfare: This page details the "warfare" part of "trench warfare." Traumas: Trench Warfare was a horrific experience for most of the soldiers. Game: This is a choose-your-own-adventure style game that attempts to recreate the experience of trench warfare. About Front Line Contact Me
Two soldiers in flooded trenc Causes of World War I Germany, France, Russia, Austria-Hungary, and Britain attempting to keep the lid on the simmering cauldron of imperialist and nationalist tensions in the Balkans to prevent a general European war. They were successful in 1912 and 1913, but did not succeed in 1914. The crisis came after a long and difficult series of diplomatic clashes between the Great Powers (Italy, France, Germany, Britain, Austria-Hungary and Russia) over European and colonial issues in the decade before 1914 that had left tensions high. In turn these diplomatic clashes can be traced to changes in the balance of power in Europe since 1867. The more immediate cause for the war was tensions over territory in the Balkans. The various categories of explanation for World War I correspond to different historians' overall methods. Background Both Wilhelm II and the Army leadership agreed that if a war were necessary it were best launched soon. "Moltke described to me his opinion of our military situation.
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. If he survives, he is fed a tasteless and meagre diet of bully beef and biscuits. 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.
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.
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. Moderately serious offences For moderately serious crimes, a man could elect to be tried by a district court-martial, or be 'convicted' and sentenced by his Commanding Officer.