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Why Did Trench Warfare Develop On The Western Front And Why Was It So Hard To Break The Deadlock Of Trench Warfare?

931 words - 4 pages

During the Great War 1914-1918, much of the fighting was done in the vicinity of trenches; it was attrition warfare where the opposition was slowly worn down to reach victory. It was extremely laborious to break the deadlock of trench warfare as there were bad attack strategies and exceptional defense techniques, the great military revolution in firepower was not met with inventions that encouraged mobility. The main cause of trench warfare was the failure of the Schlieffen Plan.

General Schlieffen’s plan was designed for a quick war however it was war by timetable that did not work out leading to the building of trenches. The Germans were instructed to walk through Belgium and the ...view middle of the document...

Not only did the soldiers have to walk, they had to walk over in groups to appear civilized and orderly! The preposterous idea ended up in millions of dead men as the opposition used machine guns and killed them even as they emerged, as they were in group it was even easier to kill them as they were all packed together and not spread out. The heavy packs and trench repair equipment proved to be useless as it only slowed them down more and they could not get past the barbed wire. The barbed wire was incredibly tangled up as they were bombed by artillery beforehand, another bad strategy from the high command. In their hopes of cutting up the wire and making it more loose, the artillery bombardment in reality made it worse as it merely threw up the wire making it even more tangled than before. Soldiers are often referred to as “lions lead by donkeys” which seems entirely appropriate as they have the bravery to follow nonsensical orders. These weak attack and counter-attack strategies were seen during one of the major battles at the Western Front: the Battle of Verdun. The French won as they had higher ground however it was mainly an artillery battle as approximately 40 million artillery shells were utilized, leaving behind devastating shell craters. The high command’s inefficient attack strategies such as walking across in groups and carrying unnecessary equipment were factors in the difficulty to break trench warfare as they lead to the same results: thousands of dead men and no land gained.

Thousands of men also survived however as the defense systems are very effective, however this prolonged the war even more. The designs of the trenches were very impressive as they had...

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