The war that will end all war? By Antonaya McMillian

How Did World War 1 Change Warfare?

World War 1 changed warfare because of all the things they went through. Supposedly this all happened because of the notion of “peace”. Well what I found was interesting was basically how trenches were used to make this a more horrifying journey, they had to face a lot of slaughter, and how it all ended up happening or beginning through the world.

One way is how it all began. The war began from the invasion of Luxemburg and Belgium. We were only involved because we were bound by treaty. The war began plan 17 (they called it) with the plan of the French military and immediate offensive attack by the French army. Every since Germany had inflicted defeat upon France in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71, the major nations of Europe had busied themselves with plans for the next war. “Schlieffen’s plan involved using 90% of Germany’s armed forces to attack France. Fearing the French forts on the border with Germany, Schlieffen suggested a scythe-like attack through Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg. The rest of the German Army would be sent to defensive positions in the east to stop the expected Russian advance” (http://spartacus-educational.com/FWWschlieffenP.htm). So in my opinion that’s what started the war because of the hate from two countries   

The second way World War 1 is that they had to live within these dirty trenches that had contaminated feces, rotten or dead bodies around, there were pools of blood surrounding them, it was just the worst living conditions from 1914-1918. “Death was a constant companion to those serving in the line, even when no raid or attack was launched or defended against.  In busy sectors the constant shellfire directed by the enemy brought random death, whether their victims were lounging in a trench or lying in a dugout” these trenches dealt with death every time you turned around. There were literally dead bodies in your face, where you slept and ate. It was a very hard and struggling time for them. “Rats in their millions infested trenches.  There were two main types, the brown and the black rat.  Both were despised but the brown rat was especially feared.  Gorging themselves on human remains (grotesquely disfiguring them by eating their eyes and liver) they could grow to the size of a cat.” Rats were included there. They feasted on human’s livers and eyes. Not even including the body. Rats were by no means the only source of infection and nuisance.  Lice were a never-ending problem, staying in the seams of filthy clothing and causing men to itch all the time. Even when clothing was always washed and dried, lice eggs remained hidden in the seams; within a few hours of the clothes being re-worn the body heat generated would cause the eggs to hatch. This was definitely a hard time for the men inside those trenches, living with other living creatures not even meaning humans, is ridiculous. (  The History Channel– http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-i)

The last reason why World War 1 changed warfare forever is they had to face slaughter. Slaughter is the killing of animals for food. They had nothing really else to do. They basically had to hunt for food while still trying not to die from the bombing and shooting. “A total of 3,240,948 tons of food was sent from Britain to the soldiers fighting in France and Belgium during the First World War. The British Army employed 300,000 field workers to cook and supply the food. At the beginning of the war British soldiers were given 10 ounces of meat and 8 ounces of vegetables a day. As the size of the army grew and the German blockade became more effective, the army could not maintain these rations and by 1916 this had been cut to 6 ounces of meat a day. Later troops not in the front-line only received meat on nine out of every thirty days. The daily bread ration was also cut in April 1917. The British Army attempted to give the soldiers the 3,574 calories a day that dieticians said they needed. However, others argued that soldiers during wartime need much more than this.” (http://spartacus-educational.com/FWWtrenchfood.htm) a lot of the people often complained saying there wasn’t enough food. Honestly it wasn’t because you’re fighting a war for 4 years, you should deferentially have more than enough food to survive. They don’t need people dying from hunger as well.

In my conclusion, I feel like during this time in war was a life threatening, heart breaking time for many people around the war. They said “this was the war to end all war” which for me didn’t work only to know that we had a following up war called World War 2. So for me the trenches played a huge part in the change of warfare, so did slaughter and basically the plan of the whole entire war, or even the start.

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