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2013-04-10 20:11:08
HON 122

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  1. I.                   1916-1917: The Great Slaughter

    • a.      Eastern success enabled Germans to move west
    • b.      Trenches were a regular system of defense, both lines of which were protected by barbed wire, machine-gun nests, and mortar batteries, supported by heavy artillery
    •                                                               i.      Troops lived in holes in the ground, separated by “no man’s land”
  2. Trench maneuvers
    • a.      Trench maneuvers puzzled military leaders
    •                                                               i.      Since they didn’t know what to do, they sent soldiers against enemy lines, thinking they could breakthrough and return to the regular way of war
    • 1.      They would order an offensive, allowing soldiers to climb out of trenches and work way toward enemy
  3. Successful?
    • a.      UNSUCESSFUL since machine gun killed them
    •                                                                                                                                       i.      German offensive at Verdun in 1916: British campaigns on the Somme in 1916 and Ypres in 1917 and the French attack in Champagne proved the stupidity of this ploy: 700k lives lost
  4. Life in Trenches
    •                                                               i.      Confusion when attacking soldiers entered no man’s land due to gunfire and exploding shells that caused  panics
    • 1.      They charged only due to momentum
    •                                                             ii.      Battles not orderly; hellish landscapes of barbed wire, shell holes, mud, injured/ dying men; poisons
    •                                                           iii.      Trenches had numerous deaths since combat occurred for monthsà stench of decomposing bodies and rats that grew fat from eating them
  5. Soldiers on the Western Front
    •                                                               i.      Soldiers on Western Front didn’t spend a lot of time on front line or in combat when they were on the front line
    • 1.      Infantryman: 1 week of every month in front, one in reserve, and two behind lines
  6. Daily life
    •                                                               i.      Daily life in trenches was predictable
    • 1.      30 minutes before sunrise: stand to,r ready to repel attack
    • a.      If none, then breakfast, inspection, duty, restore trenches, personal care, etc. = boring
  7. Development
    •                                                               i.      Development of “live and let live” based on realization that neither side was going to drive out the other
    • 1.      Arrangements such as not shelling the latrines or attacking during breakfast and even some agreements
    •                                                             ii.      Development of humorous magazines ot pass time and song
    • 1.      British trench magazing: BEF Times: defining military terms