Life In The Trenches Of The Western Front
When World War 1 broke out in 1914, a lot of people joined up for the
Army to fight for their country and to fight against the Germans,
Italians and the Austria- Hungarians (mostly the Germans). There are
many reasons why people joined up for the Army. For the people who did
join up for the army they expected the war to last for a couple of
months and that it would be over by Christmas. But if any of them had
known that the war was going to last for 4 years till 1918, the people
who joined up for the army probably wouldn’t of joined the army.
The British and French united together to battle the Germans on the
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The British artillery on White’s sector in the western front fired 21
rounds at the Germans trenches soon after sunrise in honour of the
Time after time each side bombarded the enemy with shells neither side
was winning or losing the war, they were only losing soldiers. So each
side declared that the war on the western front was stalemate (when no
one is winning or losing).
When the trenches where made they consisted of three rows of trenches
the first row was called the ‘front line’. The second row in the
trenches was called the ‘Support trenches’ and the third row of the
trenches was called the ‘Reserve trenches’, there was also trenches
running between each of the trenches these trenches where called
‘communication trenches’. Ever now and again there were ‘dead end
The entire trench system for the triple entente was dug in zigzags so
that when enemy shells dropped onto the trenches it only damaged a
little area and not a massive area that would wipe out several men.
They were also dug in zigzags so that if enemy soldiers captured part
of the trench they could only fire down a little bit and probably kill
a small amount of people and not kill a whole platoon. The trenches
where about 1.8 metres –2.5 metres deep and almost two metres wide,
the trench system was about four hundred metres long (front the front
line trenches to the reserve trenches).
At the front there was no mans land which was 20-30 yard wide and then
there was the barbed wire, which was held in by metal poles, then
there was the parapet (top of the trench), which was covered with
sandbags, so that the soldiers could rest their guns on. There were
then the machine guns and periscopes, the periscopes and machine guns
were only in certain places unlike the sandbags and barbed wire. After
the main trench (the dugout bit) there was the parados (the back of
the trench), which was also covered in sandbags. The parados and
parapet lasted all the way around the trenches. In the trenches there
were duckboards which they walked on because the trenches that the
British where in filled with water because they were lower down than
the German trenches.
[IMAGE] [IMAGE] Duckboard
One soldier looks through the periscope
There were also dugouts in the trenches; these were protective holes
that were dug out of the sides of the trenches that could fit at least
1 man in. The actual size of the dugouts was various, some of the
dugouts could hold up to or over ten men. But a manual brought out by
the British Army suggested that the dugouts should be between two ft.
and four ft. six inches. Wide and that they should be covered by
corrugated iron or brushwood, then covered with a minimum amount of
nine inches deep of earth. But as the war lasted longer the size of