Trench Warfare

By: Brandon Gabrielson

Introduction of the Trench

Trench Warfare is a type of battle that could be dated back to the Civil War to a minor extent, but when people hear "Trench Warfare" the first thing to come to head is World War I. WWI was the first war that extensively used trench warfare, and also the last. Trench warfare was a tactic used when the two sides were at a stalemate and were not gaining on each other. Trench warfare also made it much more difficult to gain ground without losing thousands of troops.

Conditions in the Trench

It has been said that, "You'd rather be dead than in a trench." This statement was used by WWI veterans that had to suffer the horrendous conditions of the trenches. The trenches were made of dirt, and for many soldiers it was their home throughout the war; they had no roof over their heads and suffered European weather conditions. Trenches were infested with giant rats, lice, and disease. Bodies of those killed just lied in the trenches and created an even worse environment. Fecal matter covered the floors, making it really one of the worst places to be.

No Mans Land

No mans land is the one place worse than the trenches. No mans land is the distance between the trenches, and received its name for a reason. Due to the new technologies killing off soldiers so rapidly, any man that crawled up onto no mans land was instantly shot down. This concept is what made it so difficult for the armies to move on each other. No mans land was also a place of celebration during the popular Christmas Truces. The two enemies would forget their differences and be united by religion, sing carols and pray together and place games such as soccer and have boxing matches in no mans land. Not long after Christmas these truces would be forgotten and the war would rage on.

New Technologies

Several new inventions led to mass killing and stalemate of the war. Automatic Machine guns were used by both sides to spray gunfire to the enemies. This invention prevented the possibility of running across no mans land. Poison gas bombs were also introduced in WWI, they were tossed into the enemy trenches and would release deadly gas. The gas would sink in the trenches for awhile, and eventually rise out. This led to the need of gas masks. Tanks also shot across the battle field and were used to get an advantage. German U-Boats were the initial problem for the U.S. because these submarines would sink nearly all ships heading to Europe. Airplanes were used from each side for dog fights or to drop bombs on each other. These planes were a minor part of the war, but led to a revolution of air combat.

Works Cited

"Firstworldwar.com." First World War.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Apr. 2013.

"Tanks and World War One." Tanks and World War One. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Apr. 2013.

"The Long, Long Trail." The Christmas Truce of 1914. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Apr. 2013.


"Trenches in World War I." About.com 20th Century History. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Apr. 2013.