Presentation on theme: "(5) William Pressey was gassed on 7th June 1917 at Messines Ridge. He survived the attack and later wrote about the experience of being gassed. I was awakened."— Presentation transcript:
(5) William Pressey was gassed on 7th June 1917 at Messines Ridge. He survived the attack and later wrote about the experience of being gassed. I was awakened by a terrific crash. The roof came down on my chest and legs and I couldn't move anything but my head. I found I could hardly breathe. Then I heard voices. Other fellows with gas helmets on, looking very frightened in the half-light, were lifting timber off me and one was forcing a gas helmet on me. Even when you were all right, to wear a gas helmet was uncomfortable, your nose pinched, sucking air through a canister of chemicals. I was put into an ambulance and taken to the base, where we were placed on the stretchers side by side on the floor of a marquee. I suppose I resembled a kind of fish with my mouth open gasping for air. It seemed as if my lungs were gradually shutting up and my heart pounded away in my ears like the beat of a drum. On looking at the chap next to me I felt sick, for green stuff was oozing from the side of his mouth. To get air in my lungs was real agony. I dozed off for short periods but seemed to wake in a sort of panic. To ease the pain in my chest I may subconsciously have stopped breathing, until the pounding of my heart woke me up. I was always surprised when I found myself awake, for I felt sure that I would die in my sleep.Messines Ridge
CAUSES OF WWI (REVIEW) M A I N “The Spark” Military Build-up Alliance Systems Imperialism Nationalism Assassination of Archduke Ferdinand
Schlieffen Plan Goes Wrong For Germany What was the plan? What went wrong? What happens next? Called for Germany to hold back Russia with few troops, then attack France with the rest through neutral Belgium… After beating France in 6 weeks, turn the army around and defeat Russia. German army moves too slow. Remember, few motor vehicles, most soldiers move on foot. The slow advance gives France and Britain time to defend. Germany stopped 60 miles outside of Paris. Generals on both sides try to “flank” the other but nothing works. For protection, the soldiers begin to dig into the earth. The holes are quickly joined together…Trench warfare is the result.
Diagram of a Trench
Life in the Trenches Trench Foot Gas Attacks
Life in the Trenches Trench Foot Gas Attacks Trench Rats Bad Food Body Lice Fear of Death Some of these rats grew extremely large. One soldier wrote: "The rats were huge. They were so big they would eat a wounded man if he couldn't defend himself." These rats became very bold and would attempt to take food from the pockets of sleeping men. Two or three rats would always be found on a dead body. They usually went for the eyes first and then they burrowed their way right into the corpse..
New Weapons of WWI Machine Gun Poison Gas Airplanes Tanks U-boats