Presentation on theme: " World War I can only be described as a senseless war, it was unlike any war fought before or since. On the Western Front each side dug trenches facing."— Presentation transcript:
World War I can only be described as a senseless war, it was unlike any war fought before or since. On the Western Front each side dug trenches facing each other with a small stretch of 'no-man's land' and barbed wire between them. For the most part of four years these armies hardly moved at all. Trench Warfare
The Western Front
Trench Warfare When men were ordered to go 'over the top', tens of thousands of lives could be lost over a couple of days, just to win a hill or a few kilometres of ground. Mostly though they sat in the cold mud with the smell of death firing shots and mortars across to one another.
Trench Warfare On both sides, those commanding were mostly incompetent men who had gained their positions because they had been born into the class that officers and politicians came from. In many cases they had only minimal, if any, training for the roles they played They had no idea of strategy or tactics
Trench Warfare 65 million men served in World War One. 8 million were killed and over 30 million were wounded. Neither side could not cope with the number of wounded. They had few doctors, nurses or other health professionals Insufficient personnel and resources to feed, clothe, transport and care for soldiers
Trench Warfare - Conditions
The conditions in these trenches were horrific. Aside from the fear of bombardment, soldiers also had to contend with mud, flooding, lice, vermin, and disease associated with living in such an unhealthy environment. German Soldiers
Australian lighthorsemen, Anzac Cove, The man on the right is using a trench periscope to take a quick look at the Turkish lines while another sights a periscope rifle
Charles Bean – Australia’s Official WWI historian
Trench foot – a condition similar to frost bite. A result of standing for days in icy cold mud and water. Trench foot could result in gangrene which could lead to amputation of feet and toes and even death.
Mustard gas attacks were common features of trench life and could blister the skin, cause blindness and lung disease. Phosgene caused a slow and painful death by choking or drowning in fluids on the lungs