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Technology and Trenchwarfare

Overview of technological and warfare advances and life in the trenches

Dan Slowik

on 6 January 2017

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Transcript of Technology and Trenchwarfare

World War 1
Technology and Trench Warfare
A Time of Change
Machine guns
Chemical warfare
Submarines (U-Boats)
Holt Tractors (Caterpillar)
Barbed Wire
Difficult to get through.
Offers no obstruction to the view and fire of the defense.
Trench warfare
Living in the trenches
Changed the way wars were fought
Big contributor to trench warfare
Heavy, almost immobile
Gun crew of 4-6 operators
400-600 rounds a minute
Often overheated
Machine Guns
1st time used in war
Tear gas
Mustard gas
Phosgene (fatal)
Chlorine (fatal)
Led to the inventing of the gas mask
"I wish those people who talk about going on with this war whatever it costs could see the soldiers suffering from mustard gas poisoning. Great mustard-colored blisters, blind eyes, all sticky and stuck together, always fighting for breath, with voices a mere whisper, saying that their throats are closing and they know they will choke."
Chemical Warfare
German U-Boats
1st time these machines were introduced into naval warfare
Most naval warfare fought between Germany and the British
Germany wanted to stop trade routes to the British Isles
Unrestricted submarine warfare
Submarines (U-Boats)
Time stationed at the
front line
was limited due to troop rotation
Minor injuries could prove fatal due to infection and gangrene.
Daily death
poor sanitary
common infections included:
dysentery, typhus, and cholera.
Poor hygiene
Trench foot
Trench Fever
Rat and lice infested
Designed from the Caterpillar tractor tracks
Introduced because of the stalemate due to trench-warfare
British took the lead in Tank development, French not far behind
Germany focused on anti-tank weapons
Lots of mechanical issues in the beginning
Trench Warfare
Each Side would dig these trenches
for defensive purposes.
Implemented because of the advances in weaponry.
caused for war stalemate
Dug along the fronts of the battle lines.
No mans land
-area between the two fighting sides trenches.
Soldiers would live in these trenches.
The Trenches
Aviation in WW1
1st war in which aircrafts were deployed on a large scale.
Used mostly for reconnaissance missions.
Very primitive fighter jets
Strategic bombings
The Red Baron
Manfred Von Richthofen
German Fighter Pilot
top ace
of WW1
Credited with

combat victories
German war hero

Trench Life
Trench Life
Sinking of the Lusitania
US did not like this
Original Caterpillar tracks
Aerial photography
Major role in planning out war strategies
-Private James Mitchell of 7 Church Lane, East Grinstead, wrote a letter to his father on 17th October, 1914.
We started away just after dawn from our camp and I think it was about an hour later that we encountered the enemy. They were on the opposite side of the valley and as we came over the brow of the hill they opened on us with rifle fire and shrapnel from about 900 yards. We lost three officers and about 100 men killed and wounded in that half hour. I do not want any more days like that one. (this section censored) Anyway we drove the Germans back and held them there for eight days. I cannot tell you all I should like to, as it would never reach you.
Letters Home
"The soldiers at the front need more rest. While in the trenches the water is over our knees most of the time. The war is going to last some time yet, and might be another twelve months before it is over. The war has only just begun and its going to be a war of exhaustion. After the regular armies have done their work it means that all the young lads at home being trained and disciplined and will take our place in the field. The sooner people understand this, the better, it will be for the nation."
-Private H. F. Leppard of East Grinstead wrote a letter to his mother on 19th December, 1914.
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