A description of the first world war as a horrible experience for all sides

World War I Trench Warfare Trench warfare is a type of fighting where both sides build deep trenches as a defense against the enemy. These trenches can stretch for many miles and make it nearly impossible for one side to advance. During World War I, the western front in France was fought using trench warfare.

A description of the first world war as a horrible experience for all sides

Among these, gas was probably the crudest, certainly the French gas attack on German lines Belgium, most capricious - a change in wind direction could spell disaster. Initially, gas cylinders were simply placed along the front lines facing the enemy trenches.

Once the wind was deemed favorable, the cylinders were opened and the gas floated with the breeze, carrying death to the enemy. Later, gas was packed into artillery shells and delivered behind enemy lines.

No matter the method of delivery, its impact could produce hell on earth. Chlorine and phosgene gases attacked the lungs ripping the very breath out of its victims. Mustard gas was worse. At least a respirator provided some defense against the chlorine and phosgene gases.


Mustard gas attacked the skin - moist skin such as the eyes, armpits, and groin. It burned its way into its victim leaving searing blisters and unimaginable pain.

The men and women who served in the First World War endured some of the most brutal forms of warfare ever known. Millions were sent to fight away from home for months, even years at a time, and underwent a series of terrible physical and emotional experiences. The Somme campaign in was the first great offensive of World War I for the British, and it produced a more critical British attitude toward the war. During and after the Somme, the British. T he First World War accelerated the development of new technologies designed to improve the ability to kill an enemy: the machine gun, the tank, the airplane, the zeppelin, and gas to name a few. Among these, gas was probably the crudest, certainly the.

First introduced by the Germans, gas warfare was soon embraced by all the combatants. By the end of the war, one in four of the artillery shells fired on the Western Front contained gas. Enraged by the sinking of the Lusitania and loss of the lives of American passengers, he expected to join an American army to combat the Germans.

When America did not immediately declare war, Empey boarded a ship to England, enlisted in the British Army a violation of our neutrality law, but no one seemd to mind and was soon manning a trench on the front lines.

Emprey survived his experience and published his recollections in We join his story after he has been made a member of a machine gun crew and sits in a British trench peering towards German lines. At the same instant, gongs started ringing down the trench, the signal for Tommy to don his respirator, or smoke helmet, as we call it.

Gas travels quietly, so you must not lose any time; you generally have about eighteen or twenty seconds in which to adjust your gas helmet.

A gas helmet is made of cloth, treated with chemicals. There are two windows, or glass eyes, in it, through which you can see. Inside there is a rubber-covered tube, which goes in the mouth. You breathe through your nose; the gas, passing through the cloth helmet, is neutralized by the action of the chemicals.

The foul air is exhaled through the tube in the mouth, this tube being so constructed that it prevents the inhaling of the outside air or gas. One helmet is good for five hours of the strongest gas.

Each Tommy carries two of them slung around his shoulder in a waterproof canvas bag. He must wear this bag at all times, even while sleeping. To change a defective helmet, you take out the new one, hold your breath, pull the old one off, placing the new one over your head, tucking in the loose ends under the collar of your tunic.

For a minute, pandemonium reigned in our trench, - Tommies adjusting their helmets, bombers running here and there, and men turning out of the dugouts with fixed bayonets, to man the fire step. Reinforcements were pouring out of the communication trenches. We had to work quickly, as Fritz generally follows the gas with an infantry attack.

A company man on our right was too slow in getting on his helmet; he sank to the ground, clutching at his throat, and after a few spasmodic twistings, went West died.

It was horrible to see him die, but we were powerless to help him. Tommy does not sympathize with rats in a gas attack.

A description of the first world war as a horrible experience for all sides

At times, gas has been known to travel, with dire results, fifteen miles behind the lines. A gas, or smoke helmet, as it is called, at the best is a vile-smelling thing, and it is not long before one gets a violent headache from wearing it.

The fire step was lined with crouching men, bayonets fixed, and bombs near at hand to repel the expected attack. Our artillery had put a barrage of curtain fire on the German lines, to try and break up their attack and keep back reinforcements.

I trained my machine gun on their trench and its bullets were raking the parapet. Then over they came, bayonets glistening. In their respirators, which have a large snout in front, they looked like some horrible nightmare.

They went down in heaps, but new ones took the place of the fallen. Nothing could stop that mad rush. The Germans reached our barbed wire, which had previously been demolished by their shells, then it was bomb against bomb, and the devil for all. Then my head began to swim, throat got dry, and a heavy pressure on the lungs warned me that my helmet was leaking.T he First World War accelerated the development of new technologies designed to improve the ability to kill an enemy: the machine gun, the tank, the airplane, the zeppelin, and gas to name a few.

Among these, gas was probably the crudest, certainly the. The Western Front in World War 1, located in France, was fought using trench warfare. WW1 started on 28 June , and by the end of both sides had built trenches that went from the North Sea and through Belgium and France.

New technology made war more horrible and more complex than ever before. The United States and other countries felt the effects of the war for years afterwards.

The popular image of World War I is soldiers in muddy trenches and dugouts, living miserably until the next attack. World War I (often abbreviated as WWI or WW1), also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July to 11 November Contemporaneously described as the "war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history.

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The Western Front was the main theatre of war during the First World War. Following the outbreak of war in August , the German Army opened the Western Front by invading Luxembourg and Belgium, then gaining military control of important industrial regions in France.

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