TRENCHES OF WORLD WAR I
The trenches of World War I are one of the most significant topics of study when learning about the First World War. For instance, trench warfare played a key role in the events of the war and daily life for the soldiers in World War I. This is because there were trenches on all of the main fronts of the war, and soldiers spent weeks in the trenches as they fought against the opposing armies. As such, it is important to understand the structure and purpose of the trenches when studying World War I.
TRENCH WARFARE IN WORLD WAR I
World War I was characterized most dramatically by the nature of trench warfare. In general, trench warfare involved two opposing armies digging trenches in the Earth that faced each other. The armies of World War I did this in order to avoid gunfire from the enemy forces and to await their own orders to attack ‘over the top’ of the trench. Trench warfare was most famously used on the Western Front between the Allied Powers of Britain and France against the Central Power of Germany.
The trenches of World War I were highly structured and included several main features. For instance, there were generally three lines of trenches. The first line of trenches was the frontline, which was used for the immediate fighting against the enemy. For example, soldiers in the frontline trench were sometimes ordered ‘over the top’, which saw them cross ‘No Man’s Land’ towards the enemy trenches. As well, soldiers in the frontline trenches were also at the ready for a possible enemy attack from across ‘No Man’s Land’. The second trench, which was positioned behind the frontline trench, was referred to as the support trench. The purpose of the support trench was to act as a new frontline trench if the first trench was taken over by enemy soldiers. A such, the support line was important to the defensive operations of trench warfare. Finally, the third trench, which was behind the support trench, was referred to as the reserve line. This trench was generally placed further back on the battlefield and was used as a place for soldiers to rest and recover from action in the first two lines of trenches. The soldiers of World War I regularly rotated through the three different set of trenches.
MAIN PARTS OF THE WORLD WAR I TRENCHES
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