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WWI "In the Trenches"

Daily Life Trenches Construction Trench Warfare - A Style of Fighting
by

Saif Chatha

on 1 October 2012

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Transcript of WWI "In the Trenches"

Chores and Duties

When Soldiers weren't fighting, soldiers continued to make more trenches and made them safer. Soldiers waited weeks or months to shower. Soldiers put duckboards in trenches to cover mud. Duckboards helped protect feet from dirty wet mud. Soldiers fixed or repaired communication lines, vehicles, kitchen cookware, spoon, fork, knife and other cooking utensil, along with weapons. Soldiers delivered mail and other necessities. Soldiers spent hours to get rid of lice on cloths. Also soldiers tried to train pigeons to carry vital messages. Soldier tried hard to keep from getting injuries. Daily Life Soldiers got food from the military. Soldiers ate canned foods such as stew, pork, beans and bully (corned) beef. About three men shared a fresh loaf or moldy bread with tinned fruit for dessert. A mug of hot tea was a welcomed warm source during winter time. Some soldiers shaved with cold tea when there was fresh water shortages. When time was spent at rest, away from trenches, a man could get treats like bacon and eggs from close by cottages or canteens in the village. Packages received from home were filled with necessities such as soap and homemade socks. Soldiers shared cookies, peppermint drops, cocoa, raisins, and almonds. Food Daily Life Entertainment Men sang along and played ball games within earshot of fighting to get some entertainment. Some soldiers joined bands. There was a military circus or grand circus parade for soldiers to have some entertainment. Men drank, smoked, played cards, and visited to provide or get more relief from the present horrors. Hardships and diseases Soldiers had to face a lot of hardships and diseases to continue on in WWI. Soldiers waited a long time to see a doctor or get medical help. There were some disease such as bronchitis, pneumonia, and influenza which spread quickly. If there were major injuries soldiers were sent to France for better hospitals and medical care. Soldiers carried a little bit of iodine and bandages in their pockets to treat themselves. Four men would pick a wounded soldier on a stretcher and stumble across the battle field trying not to get sniped or shot. Getting rid of lice was what most men wanted, but it was impossible. Because men had lack of fresh vegetable and and therefore vitamins, they were prone to illness or diseases. They also got trench foot, when your feet are in wet trenches for hours and hours without putting dry socks or boots on. The symptoms of a trench foot was toes turning blue or red and becoming numb, a sign that your feet was in wet trench to long. The feet started rotting. One could die and the only way to live was to amputate the foot. Sleeping in the trenches was also uncomfortable. As mentioned above, there were a lot of hardships and diseases in the trenches. Trench Construction There were creative ways to make trenches. Most of the times trenches weren't straight. There were three trench rows. The back trenches called the reserved trench. The middle trenches were called support trench and the front trench was called the fire trench. The trenches was zigzagging sometimes called communication trench. Communication trenches ended up to the fire trench. Zigzagging in trenches was for more support and protection. Trenches were dug/carved deep into the soil, sandbags were also used for more support and protection.The fire trench was about twenty miles long. Trenches were constructed of packed dirt. Usually dirt was wet and there were only eighteen dry days in October through March. About a thousand soldiers drowned in wet mud . Usually wounded soldiers drowned. Soldiers dug deep in earth to avoid getting shot. Holes that soldiers created lasted a long time. They also used barbed wires which were sharp, dangerous and made it impossible for enemy to cross it. Soldiers spent time on it putting tin cans and razor blades to make it extra loud and extra sharp. In the fire trench there were loops of barbed wire and they stretched endlessly along the front of the fire trench. From the fire trench soldiers threw grenades , fired guns, and shot with machine guns. Fire trench were first one to attack their enemy and first one to get attack by their enemy. Funk holes were where soldiers slept. The shelves were scraped into the sides of the trench. Soldiers who looked over the parapet were suddenly killed. Trenches were dug deep enough that men weren't seen. Trenches were at least four inches higher than the men. By making it deeper it helps soldiers from getting shot and protect soldiers from poisonous gas. On the bottom of the trench there were duckboards and wooden planks to keep soldiers feet dry when the trenches were muddy. Some days were good days because few were shot or hit. If the day was quiet it was considered a relaxing day. Sometimes trenches were filled with water but the water was useless, it wasn't drinkable, it was dirty and could not be used for cleaning. Fire trenches got food such as biscuit, canned pork, beef and beans. Rats were very active at night and the soldiers tried to ambush the mice before going to sleep. Soldiers kept on digging to make new trenches. After ten days the fire trenches were relieved and would walk back behind the lines of trenches. British soldiers left every fifteen months. In the support trench communication gears were stored. There were poor planing in the trenches. In the late November in 1914 two lines of trenches stretched to the border of Switzerland north sea , it stretched about five hundred miles. The water sometime went up as high to the soldiers chest. It was hard living in the trenches but also the safest way to live. Snipers and heavy artillery fire killed military doctors. Rifles were fired as long as all of the soldiers stayed in the trenches. Few soldiers were hit. There was no shooting during breakfasts time. When they collected the wounded it smelled horrible. Heavy artillery weapons could kill hundreds of men in seconds. Poisonous gas was first used by Germans in April 1915. Poisonous gas caused soldiers blindness and suffocation. Gas caused burns and blister causing blindness keeping your eye stuck together. If gas got into the lungs soldiers fought for breath as their throat would close and they died from suffocating. There were many weapon such as snipers, rifles, tear gas(this gas feels like pepper in the eyes and throat. It is very painful but has no lasting effects).Chlorine and phosgene(these gases form acid in the lungs, making them fill with body fluids. Victims literally “drown” to death). Mustard gas(this gas blisters the skin and eyes, causing blindness, and burns). Soldiers try to wear gas mask to protect their selves. Some new technology were machine guns, airplanes, Tanks, and submarine. Trench warfare WWI was from 1914 to 1918. The countries involved were German, the Ottoman empire, and Austria-Hungary versus Great Britain, Russia, United states, and France. War is never good but life in the trench was horrible and difficult. Let me tell you more about it. Introduction Conclusion Life in the trenches was very difficult. Many lost their lives from disease, other horrible conditions, and poisonous gases. USA and their allies finally won the war on November 11,1918 with the Treaty of Versailles.
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