Trench Warfare and Weapons

By Brody Hackbarth

Trench warfare was one of the the most important aspects of World War I and the weapons used to secure the trenches made it possible to hold these lines.


Over 12,000 miles of trenches were used by both sides. All the trenches had a role some were the front line where fighting took place while others held supplies. Further back there were trenches used for rest and command centers also there were trenches for communications. The systems for both sides were quite different. The Germans had elaborate trenches that could reach 50 feet deep and some included electricity, toilets and other comforts of modern life. While the allies were more on the crude side with just what was needed to fight. What really mattered to both sides was the fact that the trenches provided cover from shells being fired.


Weapons and the timing of when to use them was a big part of the war. Machine guns were used to fire on anyone moving in the “no mans land”. this was the area between both sides that was bombed and had no vegetation. Both sides laid down barbed wire to slow the other side from advancing. In this area sniper long range rifles were used to kill the other side. Also attacks were timed during dusk or dawn because during day light it was almost impossible to move without being seen and fired upon.


At dawn and dusk the tanks and aircraft played a big role in support for the ground troops.

Missions on both side would plan attacks to try to gain ground and try to penetrate the trenches of the other side. The tanks would try to blast through the barbed wire and create holes for the troops to go through while the air craft would try to backup and protect the tanks.


As you can see the trenches and the weapons used, along with the timing of the attacks and how the battles were carried out was what made this war like no other. The first World War taught the whole world what it would take to disrupt peace. At no other time in history did so many countries help others and at no other time before this war was the world so mobile.