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World War 1
Transcript of World War 1
After the outbreak of WW1 in 1914, Germany’s army opened the western front, by first invading Belgium and Luxembourg then gaining military control of important industrial regions in France. Both sides dug in a long a meandering line of trenches, stretching from: the North Sea, to the Swiss frontier with France. This line remained essentially unchanged for most of the war.
World War 1
The western front was where the two bands fought. During World War 1 the western front started from the North Sea at Belgium to the Swiss Frontier with France.
The western front was located in Belgium, northeastern France and Alsace Lorraine.
It was located there mostly because of the Schlieffen plan. It was the German plan to avoid a two-front war by concentrating troops in the West and quickly defeating the French.
Cross section of a trench
Weapons used during the war
Machine Gun: They had the fire-power of 100 guns.
Rifle: 15 rounds could be fired in a minute
and a person 1,400 metres away could be killed
Gas: The German army were the first to use chlorine gas, Chlorine gas causes a burning sensation in the throat and chest pains. Death is painful, you suffocate.
Mustard Gas: Mustard gas was the most deadly weapon used. It was fired into the trenches in shells.
Zeppelin: The Zeppelin, was an airship that was used during the first part of the war in bombing raids by the
Germans. They carried machine guns and bombs
Tanks: tanks were used for the first time in the First World War at the Battle of the Somme. Its maximum speed was 3mph and it could not cross trenches. They were made to cope with the conditions on the Western Front
Planes: Planes were also used for the first time. At first they were used to deliver bombs and for spying work but they became fighter aircrafts armed with machine guns, bombs and some times cannons. Fights between two planes in the sky became known as 'dogfights'.
Torpedoes: Torpedoes were used by submarines. The Germans used torpedoes to blow up ships carrying supplies from America to Britain.
They invented some weapons for this war, those were: Tanks planes and gas
Diseases and health problems in trenches
Life in the trenches was very difficult, not only because of tiny space, the bombing etc, but mainly because of all the diseases, dirt, coldness, and health problems.
Diseases you may get on the trenches:
Not only did soldiers die from battle wounds or rifles in the war, they also died because of diseases that widely spread in the trenches. Some diseases were as small as an innocent cold; however, some were as deadly as the Shell Shock or the Trench Foot.
Also, the scraps of leftover food would be thrown on the ground and littering the trench. As a result of the unhygienic environment in the trenches, rat infestation occurred. "They were hungry and as big as cats".
Another problem that greatly affected the health conditions of the soldier in the trenches is, The Trench Influenza. Lice caused this Influenza.Since there were no washing machines or cleaners at that time, the soldiers would re-wear their cloth many times. The lice would lay there eggs in the seams of the cloth. As a result, the lice, being verily infectious and dangerous, caused the soldiers a lot of pain, and following with a high fever.
Trench foot was another disease that spread to the soldiers in the Trenches. This disease was caused by the cold and wet conditions. For a long time the soldiers would stand in puddles of rain and of their own waste. This caused their feet to numb and swell up.In order to prevent this disease from spreading or occurring the soldiers would have to wear two to three pairs of socks.
Where the trenches effective during the war?
In our opinion the trenches where effective during this war, although they caused a lot of death and different diseases. Trenches were effective because the soldiers could hide in the trenches, staying out of the enemy's view, while being able to shoot without showing too much of the body.
Having that in mind trenches were also easier and cheaper to dig than building a whole wall or barricading an area, therefore it was extremely efficient and effective.