Tactics, of W.W.I

“I was so happy in World War II and in Vietnam that they didn’t have
gas, because I have a son in Vietnam. Gas is so terrible. A terrible weapon.
It even burns your armpits. They are so tender that you couldn’t put a
broad stick around your testicles, it burns terribly. Any very sensitive part.
It’s terrible. I thought during my first gas attack, that I was going to die. I
thought of all the things flashed through my mind and my home, my mom
and dad and brothers and I thought I was going. What a way to go.”
-Winston Roche on Gas Warfare
World War One was the first war to use modern weaponry and tactics
in war. Many deaths came from this new modern warfare. Trenches and gas
warfare were just two things that contributed to the massive destruction and
chaos. Tanks and Aircraft were also essential in this war. I am going to be
looking at all of these different types of tactics and weaponry to explain how
this happened.
The Germans unleashed poison gas. It was first deployed in 1915 by
German troops assaulting the Allied forces at Ypres (where it disabled nearly
half of the Canadian troops), chlorine gas had been rendered ineffective by
the development of the gas mask later that year. Upon seeing the clouds of
poison coming their way, soldiers would simply put on their protective
contraptions and continue to fight. But Phosgene gas, introduced at Verdun,
and mustard gas, which arrived in 1917, were invisible and thus came without
warning; the effects in turn were devastating. Winston Roche (quoted above)
went through some of these horrible events and he is relieved that he was the
only one in his family to experience something that bad. Trench warfare was
almost as bad and gas warfare, or at least, it was described by soldiers just as
bad.
The British made trench warfare a science in 1917. They would made
notes of infantry officers on this sort of thing, and they had to learn it. Trench
warfare was mainly a defensive strategy. Soldiers would dig deep holes and
then stay in them for sometimes weeks to defend their army. A good thing
about trench warfare is the fact that neither side had a flack so long as it
remains on the defensive, so that every attack must be frontal. This is a great
advantage in war, not having to worry about being attacked from that side or
the back. Other advantages is that they could utilize higher caliber guns, and
cause more destruction. In the open field high caliber guns were heavy and
unsuitable, but in the trenches they could be used to their full advantages.

“The men found a certain security in the trench, after having fought a
battle. During five or six months, they were located there in the earth,
protected by the earth and consequently, protected from bullets, and
protected from a part of the shells that could fall. That was the trench. Not
only the possibility of defense, but at the same time, the protection.”
-General Bourgois
Trench warfare had many uses. They were designed as to adapt to a
sudden attack by the enemy, but at the same time, facilitate the preparation of
launching of an unexpected assault. Although trench warfare had it’s
advantages, the main disadvantages was the tool it took on the soldiers. The
hardships, discomfort, and dangers of life in the trenches makes great
demands upon the endurance of the troops. A soldier needs to be of good
moral in order to be efficient in the high demands of trench warfare.

“You dig. They say you are digging your own grave. And you dig a hole
that’s deep enough for you to get down in there and pull up. You take you
raincoat and put it down on the wet ground, and you don’t know how long
you’re gonna’ be there. A day, or two days, or three days, or a week. You
don’t know, see. You’re digging your own grave.
-Boysie Hannah


The British expected, along with all the other countries, a lot from the
trenches. In the British notes, they said, “they must be strong, to resist heavy
bombardment; they must be sited and designed to favor, by the utilization of
the oblique and enfilade for of rifles and, above all, of machine guns, the
development of the maximum volume of fire over any part of their front; they
must be protected by a strong and well hidden wire entanglement, in order to
retain attacking infantry under this fire; they