Presentation on theme: "World War I Trench Warfare & Weapons "The Great War was without precedent... never had so many nations taken up arms at a single time. Never had the battlefield."— Presentation transcript:
World War I Trench Warfare & Weapons "The Great War was without precedent... never had so many nations taken up arms at a single time. Never had the battlefield been so vast… never had the fighting been so gruesome...“ (PBS – The Great War)
A New Kind of Warfare Germans were 1 st to dig trenches, but the Allies soon followed By the war’s end in 1918, each side dug over 12,000 miles of trenches
Types of Trenches: Allied Powers Front-line trenches Support trenches Reserve trenches Communication trenches
Daily Life in the Trenches 1 soldier for every 4” of trench Daily losses of 7,000 men (killed, disabled, wounded)
Daily Routine Attacks took place just before dawn or at dawn At sundown, soldiers left trench to conduct raids, investigate the terrain, eavesdrop on enemy troops, etc.
Life in the Trenches Rations of meat (canned beef), bread or biscuits, pea soup w/lumps of horsemeat “Iron Rations” – emergency supply used only w/permission from officer Contaminated H 2 0 = dysentery Lunch in the trenches at Fort Oglethorpe
Life in the Trenches Waterlogged trenches “duck-boards” Infestations of rats, lice, frogs Trench fever, trench foot
I've a Little Wet Home in a Trench I've a little wet home in a trench Where the rainstorms continually drench, There's a dead cow close by With her feet in towards the sky And she gives off a terrible stench. Underneath, in the place of a floor, There's a mass of wet mud and some straw, But with shells dropping there, There's no place to compare, With my little wet home in the trench. The Trenches: Symbol of the Stalemate Soldiers dug in on the Western Front, used dark humor to lighten the strain of living in a trench. Folklore song which originated from life in the trenches. Sung to the tune of My Little Grey Home in the West.
War of Attrition Wear down the enemy (through loss of troops or supplies) Not one decisive battle to end war
Poison Gas French were 1 st to use poisonous gas as weapon (tear-gas grenades) Germans used chemical irritant (chlorine gas cylinders) – slow death by asphyxiation Mornings were best for poison gas attacks cold air, less wind A French soldier & early gas mask British soldiers - victims of a poison gas attack
Germans were first to use mustard gas in 1917 – more lethal, odorless
Poison Gas Deaths: 1914-1918 CountryNon-FatalDeathsTotal British Empire180,5978,109188,706 France182,0008,000190,000 United States71,3451,46272,807 Italy55,3734,62760,000 Russia419,34056,000475,340 Germany191,0009,000200,000 Austria-Hungary97,0003,000100,000 Others9,0001,00010.000 Total1,205,65591,1981,296,853 British Gas Casualties: 1914-18 DeathsNon-Fatal Chlorine1,976164,457 Mustard Gas4,08616,526