WWI Trench Warfare

Colten Kersky

What is Trench Warfare?

Trench warfare is the act of warfare between two different sides, but both sides being dug into long narrow holes called trenches. The purpose of Trench Warfare is to protect your soldiers from being shot, as the dirt, and sandbags creating bunkers, will take the hit for the soldiers. The most common way that this worked, is that one side would jump out of their trench and into a open area called "no man's land", where most of the soldiers died, and after this there was a retreat and the other side would charge the enemy trench. This style of warfare became very popular during World War 1 and caused many less deaths then the practically free for all style warfare.
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Photo of soldiers firing their weapons out of a trench

Size and Structure of a Trench

Trenches from WW1 were typically around 7 feet deep, and 6 feet wide. This is just about a foot more than the typical average adult man, which is good since then when the soldiers are standing straight up, they are fully unexposed. The average trench went on for about 400-500 yards, and were built in zagged patterns. This was to avoid shrapnel from explosives from traveling down the whole trench, because it stopped it from hitting others once it hit the dirt on the zig zag.
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diagram of the typical WWI trench.

Where Were Trenches Used in WW1?

Trench warfare was most common on the Western Front near Belgium and France. This kind of warfare lead to very small amounts of land being conquered, and lost in bunches. This was because it was hard to advance long distances since the trenches were just a designated area that this warfare was happening in. One of the most well known wars competing in Trench Warfare was the Germans against the French soldiers. As was stated above, there was very minimal land advancement, and casualties compared to the eastern front and other areas of war.
World War One Trench Warfare
An accurate representation of what Trench Warfare from the movie "All Quiet on the Western Front"

My Reaction

When we watched "All Quiet on the Western Front" the trench warfare looked like something that I wanted to learn more about, so therefore I chose to do my project on Trench Warfare. I thought it was interesting how much thought and strategy went into creating, and structuring just a single trench. I also liked watching some YouTube videos prior to creating this project, on what the warfare looked like in action, and what living conditions inside of a trench were like. Overall, trench warfare seemed like a very smart thing to do by military leaders, and shaped the first World War.

Works Cited

  • "Spartacus Educational." Spartacus Educational. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2015.
  • Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2015.
  • "World War 1." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2015.