The start of the usage of trench warfare began during the Civil War. War technology, guns and cannons, became more accurate. This resulted in the digging of trenches to keep men below ground and to decrease casualties. The most common battle trenches were used in was the Battle of Petersburg. As World War I started, trenches became deeper and more elaborate, but they also became a hazard.
Life in the Trenches
Life in the trenches were horrific. Lice and rats had infested the place along with the long lasting odor of poisonous gas. Corpses laid in the trenches for days which caused disease and infection to spread through the trenches. If one had as much as raised a hand over the trench, it would be shot. Snipers were always on duty. Men had to duck and crawl just to move across the trench to ensure they did not get shot. Over 200,000 men died just living in the trenches.
Weapons and Trenches
Because of the trenches, war technology advanced. Planes would fly over enemy trenches and bomb them. Poison gas would be thrown into the trenches. Machine guns would be used to shoot any who dared go into no man's land. All of these advances made World War I that much more gruesome. At the end of World War I, technology had so much advanced that using trenches were nonstrategic to the new weapons used in World War II.