Trench Warfare

Brandon Schmitz

Life in the Trenches

Life in the trenches was hard. Many didn't make it a week. Soliders couldn't put their heads above the trench they were in because of the snipers in the distance. The trenches were infested with rats, lice, worse and frogs. Some rats grew to be the size of cats. They would climb over dead people eating their eyes and liver. A single rat could produce 900 offspring in a year so it was impossible to kill all of them. Lice was also a never ending problem. They would breed in the clothing and keep spreading. This caused a constant itch to all soliders. Lice caused a medical condition called Trench Fever which took more than twelve weeks to cure. Another painful medical condition was Trench Foot which sometimes resulted in amputation of the foot.
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New Technology

World War one was the start of many new form of technology. Snipers caused the men fighting to dig trenches to protect themselves. As soon as the trenches became popular things were about to change. World War 1 brought the first flame throwers, first use of steel helmets, first use of tanks, first fleets of fighting air craft, first aircraft carriers, first chemical warfare, machine guns, and first use of gas masks. The first tank was named "Little Willie" and was operated by a crew of 3 and it's top speed was 3 mph. It could also not cross trenches. A more modern tank was built just before the end of the war and it could hold 10 men. It had a revolving turret and could reach 4 mph. Planes were first used to deliver bombs and spy on the enemy. Later was armed with machine guns, bombs and sometimes cannons to do fighting from the air. Gases were used to poison the enemy. The Germans were the first to use chlorine gas. Chlorine gas caused a burning sensation in your throat and chest area. The problem with this kind of gas is that the weather has to be right. If the wind is blowing in the wrong direction it could end up killing your crew and not the one you were actually trying to kill. Mustard gas was the most deadly weapon of all. It was fired into the trenches in shells. It is colorless and takes 12 hours to take effect. Men got blistering skin, vomiting, sore eyes, internal and external bleeding. They could suffer and die in 5 weeks. Machine guns were another. They needed 4-6 men to work them and had to be on a flat surface. They had to fire power of 100 guns.

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