Trench Warfare Thursday, July 11, 2013 1. Conditions in the trenches during WW1 were horrendous.The trenches were literally dug into the earth to provide shelter when the fighting wasn't too intense. Other than that there was little shelter. In summer the trench would be exposed to the hot sun and in winter to pouring rain and snow. The rain filled up the trench and water seeped in through the sides leaving the troops up to their knees in thick, stinking mud that made any movement difficult. There was no sanitation and rats were a problem. Diseases were rife such as dysentery and trench foot. There would be no relief for front line troops for weeks on end. Even a near miss from an artillery shell could collapse a trench or cause dugout to collapse burying alive those inside. The nearness of death, the fear of it and smell of it, the horrific sights of shattered bodies, the screams of friend cut in half and the constant shelling combined to send many men insane either at the time or later in life. Conditions in the trenches were literally hell on earth.
2. When the whistle blew it was time for the soldiers to go 'Over the Top.' This meant leaving your trench and climbing over the top of it to 'No Man's Land'. The men would get told the night before so that in the morning they were able to get up early and be ready for the fight on time. You would then go 'Over the Top' to 'No Man's Land'. You would return later on that day if you were lucky. No man's Land was a term applied to the area between the opposing trenches which both sides would jockey for control of and ultimately have to cross in order to conquer the enemy's trenches. The reason it was called No man's Land is that neither side could safely occupy the area, it was too well covered by snipers, artillery, enemy infantry, barbed wire, mines etc. Therefore no man could survive there.
3. Poison gas was probably the most feared of all weapons in World War One. Poison gas was indiscriminate and could be used on the trenches even when no attack was going on. Whereas the machine gun killed more soldiers overall during the war, death was frequently instant or not drawn out and soldiers could find some shelter in bomb/shell craters from gunfire. A poison gas attack meant soldiers having to put on crude gas masks and if these were unsuccessful, an attack could leave a victim in agony for days and weeks before he finally succumbed to his injuries.
4. Depends how long they are there but if it was a year they would spend around 260 days in the trenches and would only rest about 165 days.
Life in the Front Lines
5. The other name they used to call lice was crabs. The methods they used to get rid of lice was unrealistic because they didn't have the right materials to remove all of the lice. Even though they did pick them out and burn them, there would still be more hiding.
6. Trench foot is an infection that is caused when the foot is immersed in cold and wet conditions for a long period of time. This was prevalent in WW1 because soldiers were unable to remove their boots and socks to dry them out or air their feet. The foot becomes numb and then turns red or blue. If it was left untreated the foot could result in amputation of the foot.
Fighting the War on the Homefront
12. They sent many troops over to fight for the