Men would dig trenches and stay there, hundreds of them, and there they would wait with their bayonets and other weapons and look over a small piece of land. Imagine that you are in the middle of a field. The field is maybe a quarter mile wide and on the other side of the field is your enemy. There are no tanks or bombers to give you cover. There are no fancy heat-seeking missiles. You are going to have to kill or be killed for a piece of earth so small and seemingly insignificant that the idea that your death will be important seems almost insane.
Life for the soldiers on the Western Front was horrendous. There was no water, no proper amounts or portions enough for them to eat, your food is mold and waste, medical care seems like a myth, hygiene was basically nonexistent, and by the time this war was over the Western vision of war was changed forever. Late during the summer of 1914, train stations all over Europe echoed with the sound of leather boots and the clanging of weapons as millions of enthusiastic young soldiers prepared for one of the most intense conflicts since the Napoleonic Wars.
Within weeks however, the excitement and glory dissipated into horror and death, brought on by dangerous new machines of war that took control of the old fields and turned them into desolate moonscapes littered with corpses and wreckage. Erich Maria Remarque writes: “We wake up in the middle of the night. The Earth booms. Heavy fire is falling on us. We crouch into corners. We distinguish shells of every caliber. Each man lays hold of his things and looks again every minute to reassure himself that they are still there.
... especially when used against the tactics field commanders employed in the initial phases of the War. Field operations by 1916 had, after ... and the Germans on Christmas Day 1914. All-in-all, World War 1 resulted in a revolution in infantry tactics which ... by artillery. Commanders were expecting decisive engagements to settle the war rapidly. The British, French, Germans, and Russians that marched ...
The dug-out heaves, the night roars and flashes. We look at each other in the momentary flashes of light, and with pale faces and pressed lips shake our heads. Everyman is aware of the heavy shells tearing down the parapet, rooting up the embankment and demolishing the upper layers of concrete…Already by morning a few of the recruits are green and vomiting. They are too inexperienced. ” (303) Erich has managed to capture the horrific emotions and helps us visualize what it was really like down in those trenches.
He paints a picture for us, of these frightened and “inexperienced” soldiers, out on the battlefield for what may very well be their first war fought. This Great War, called World War One, began as a local disturbance in Southern Europe but eventually spread into a worldwide struggle. The western portion of the war took place mostly in Belgium and France, and started as a war of “grand maneuvers. ” But when more troops were poured into an area that would progressively become more and more cramped, there came a time when the soldiers could no longer maneuver against each other in any stragtegical sense.
When this happened, the forces involved began rooting themselves in the face of more and more deadly concentrations of firepower, and the war of the machines and trenches had begun. These conditions triggered a complex and difficult to trace series of evolutions in both battlefield strategies and technology. The Germans responded by creating what came to be modern combined arms squad tactics, something their French and British opponents had initially dismissed as infiltration tactics.
After a long period of unforgiving failure, the British managed to deploy a massive amount of a new weapon called the tank, which also changed the nature of warfare and helped break the deadlock of position warfare. The French adopted both of these methods and weapons. Applying them is a combined form that appealed to the French leadership. It was however, Germany that finally surrendered to the drain of economic warfare. By October of 1918, German field commanders declared that the war was militarily lost, and that a truce must be made between the opposing forces.
Introduction Prior to the outbreak of the First World War, people regarded war as a male affair. In fact, right up to the occurrence of the war, women on either side of antagonism vowed themselves to peace, in global harmony. However, within several months into the war, major feminist groups gave a new vow to support their respective countries. Most of the women who served in the war ...
From that point on, it was only a matter of time, and the end came on November 11, 1918. The Great War ended, having caused millions of deaths on the Western Front alone. Europe and the world would never be the same. Thousands of men had served in the war, but women, too, had certain duties in helping out. The more than 25,000 US women who served in Europe in World War I did so on a commercial basis, especially before 1917. They helped nurse the wounded, provide food and other supplies to the military, serve as telephone operators, entertain troops, and work as journalists.
Vera Brittain gives us an idea of what it was like to be a woman fighting on the frontlines of the war, but in a very different way. She tells us in her book, “Testament of Youth:” “The noise of the distant guns was a sense rather than a sound; sometimes a quiver shook the earth, a vibration trembled upon the wind, when I could actually hear nothing. But that sense made any feeling of complete peace impossible; in the atmosphere was always the tenseness, the estlessness, the slight rustling, that comes before an earthquake or with imminent thunder…whenever I think of the war today, it is not as summer but always as winter; always as cold and darkness and discomfort, and an intermittent warmth of exhilarating excitement which made us irrationally exult in all three. ” (372)
Many of these women found their own work, improvised their own tools, and scrounged for supplies. They created new organizations where none had existed. Despite the awful hardships that they had to face, the women had “fun” and “were glad they went. The women that were sent out to provide entertainment for the United States Army, to sew on buttons, and to hand out cigarettes and sweets were righteous women, sent to keep the men in line and act as “den mothers. ” Army efforts to keep women to the rear proved itself to be difficult. The women kept ignoring orders to leave the troops they were looking after, and reappearing again and again after they had been sent to the rear. Looking back, the American women displayed contradictory feelings of sadness about the war, horror at what they had seen, and pride in their own work.
“Women in War” Academic English 1B 10/13/10 Character Analysis While I was preparing to write this paper, I wanted a strong definition of what the term “character in drama” meant. I found a few definitions around the internet. Answers.com mentioned this: “Aristotle defines the character in drama as the people represented in the play. He believed the characters qualities should be revealed in a few ...
Mary Borden, a Baltimore millionaire who set up a hospital unit at the front from 1914 to 1918, wrote: “Just as you send your clothes to the laundry and mend them when they come back, so we send our men to the trenches and mend them when they come back again. You send your socks … again and again just as many times as they will stand it. And then you throw them away. And we send our men to the war again and again … just until they are dead. ” The sources we were handed to write this paper were useful. They were all, for the most part, very thoroughly written.
They were lengthy, but what kind of primary source isn’t? Thoroughness can sometimes call for lengthiness, but it makes for a good source to learn from and write about. If I were a high school history teacher, I’d use these numerous sources and have my students read them, despite the groans I may or may not receive. They are easier to interpret because, since they are primary sources, no other person has had a chance to read them and sift through them looking for the most valuable information that they can put into a textbook. History textbooks also do not go into as much detail, depending on the grade level the book is meant for, of course.