A Soldier's Life in World War I
By Paige Henry
Below: A picture of soldiers training to fight in World War I
Defenders were stationed in their trench and shot at the enemy that was pursuing them. It was important that all of the defending soldiers stayed down low because otherwise there was a large possibility of them getting shot.
Below: A picture of what a typical trench looked like
Millions of men and women were sent to fight away from home for months, or even years at a time. These soldiers also faced some of the harshest forms of warfare ever known. Because of these developments, they had to deal with a series of physically and emotionally scarring experiences. Technological advancements during the time period made machine guns remarkable weapons. Machine guns were able to fire off more rounds than ever before. The use of poison gas began in 1915, and the use of tanks in 1916. All of these tools were more effective, therefore causing mass casualties.
Things of Importance
Time away from the frontlines did offer the opportunity for soldiers to get clean. Baths would be set up and clothing that contained lice would be steam-cleaned. Something that was even more important to soldiers than cleanliness was food. Germany and Austria-Hungary made a large effort to keep their troops fed. Even if soldiers could find food, it was almost always less than desirable. If troops couldn't find food, they often starved to death. Tobacco was also a key part of most European soldier's lives. Pipes or cigarettes offered a calming comfort that people needed during battles. Communication with home was another valuable thing to the servicemen. Letters from friends and family kept soldiers in touch with the life that they used to live. Writing home could also be mentally healing for some soldiers.
Below: An example of a letter to a soldier in France from his father
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