Presentation on theme: "The battlefields of WWI Life in the trenches for ordinary soldiers."— Presentation transcript:
The battlefields of WWI Life in the trenches for ordinary soldiers
This is an entry in the diary of Harold Saunders, a soldier during World War One. He describes trench life as he knows it. open and I was blinded and half-choked with its contents.
“When I made my debut in the line I had a cheerful conviction that nothing would hit me. And I remember standing on the fire-step for the first time and saying to myself exultantly: "You're in it at last! You're in it! The greatest thing that's ever happened! “Lice and wind-up came into my life about the same time. At stand-to one morning a flight of whizz-bangs skimmed the top of the trench. The man next to me went down with a scream and half his face gone. The sand-bag in front of me was ripped open and I was blinded and half-choked with its contents.”
The soldiers had very little decent food, and what food they had was often attacked by rats. These rats were the size of small rabbits because they had fed on the decomposing bodies of dead soldiers.
Original film footage Life in the trenches
Trench Construction diagram from 1914 British Army Manual
Aerial View of Trenches in WWI
PHOTOS OF THE TRENCHES
The intensity of World War I trench warfare meant about 10% of the fighting soldiers were killed.
Medical services were primitive and life-saving antibiotics had not yet been discovered. Relatively minor injuries could prove fatal through onset of infection and gangrene. The Germans recorded that 12% of leg wounds and 23% of arm wounds resulted in death, mainly through infection.
Diseases in the Trenches TRENCH FEVER TRENCH FOOT
Sanitary conditions in the trenches were quite poor, and common infections included dysentery, typhus, and cholera. Many soldiers suffered from parasites and related infections. Poor hygiene also led to fungal conditions, such as trench mouth and trench foot.
Rats and Lice Two types – black and brown Soldiers made games of killing them Lice were an even worse problem
For British and Dominion troops serving on the Western Front, the proportion of troops killed was 12%, while the total proportion of troops who became casualties (killed or wounded) was 56%.
What Else? Novice Death The Trench Cycle “Stand To” and “The Morning Hate” The Breakfast Truce Inspection and Chores Patrolling No Man’s Land
GAS First used by the French Second Battle of Ypres CountryCasualties Deaths ITALY 60,000 4,627 USA 72,807 1,462 AUSTRIA- HUNGARY 100,000 3,000 BRITISH EMPIRE 188,706 8,109 FRANCE 190,000 8,000 GERMANY 200,000 9,000 RUSSIA 419,340 56,000 OTHER 10,000 1,000
Soldiers returning from battle with Mustard and Chlorine gas wounds
DIARY ENTRY of Anthony Hossack on THE FIRST GAS ATTACK