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When And Why Were Trenches Built?


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#1 jcpedestall

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 10:24 PM

Ive got a history project and im wondering if any of you teachers can help me out.

Ive concluded most of my project but i need help on some trench stuff

Firstly when was the first trench built and why

And secondly how hard was it to win a trench war (how long did it normally take) :unsure: :unsure:

#2 Miss Buxton

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 11:16 PM

Firstly when was the first trench built and why?

After the Battle of the Marne in September 1914, the German army were forced to retreat. They had failed in their objective to compel France into an early surrender.

Rather than give up the territory which they already held, the Germans dug in to protect themselves from the guns of the advancing Allies. The Allies couldn't break the German trench lines and so followed the German example. The trench lines soon spread from the North Sea to Switzerland.


And secondly how hard was it to win a trench war (how long did it normally take)


Stalemate: The trenches on both sides were protected by lines of barbed wire with No-Man's Land in-between. The shelling churned the landscape into a sea of mud and craters. As machine guns could bring concentrated fire to bear on any attacking troops, few attacks were successful.

Most military offensives ended with few gains and enormous casualties. On the first day of the Battle of the Somme in 1916, the British Army lost around 20,000 men. The offensive cost the Allies over half a million casualties but only penetrated 12km at most into German lines.


Try: www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwone/#the_trenches:_virtual_tours

www.firstworldwar.com/atoz/racetothesea.htm

wiki/Trench_warfare

#3 jcpedestall

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 01:38 AM

Thanks thats going straight into my project i think im about finished now :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :) :) :) :) :) :)

#4 Miss Buxton

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 09:24 PM

pleased it was of use.... :)

#5 Mr. D. Bryant

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 08:42 PM

And secondly how hard was it to win a trench war (how long did it normally take)


Stalemate: The trenches on both sides were protected by lines of barbed wire with No-Man's Land in-between. The shelling churned the landscape into a sea of mud and craters. As machine guns could bring concentrated fire to bear on any attacking troops, few attacks were successful.

Most military offensives ended with few gains and enormous casualties. On the first day of the Battle of the Somme in 1916, the British Army lost around 20,000 men. The offensive cost the Allies over half a million casualties but only penetrated 12km at most into German lines.


I'm going to slightly disagree with this part of the answer. The stalemate couldn't have been total, because eventually the Germans and their Allies lost. The reasons for this were many and varied but among them was the fact that both sides discovered ways to break the stalemate. For example, in March 1918 the German 'March Offensive' tore a massive hole in the Allied lines. From August 1918 the Allies beat the Germans in a series of battles, starting with what Ludendorf called 'the Black Day of the German Army' at Amiens (August 8th 1918).

Also, the First Day of the Somme is not a good example of a typical offensive; it was the worst day in the war for the British Army. Artillery killed more men and was more influential on the course of battles than machine-guns. For lots more on this, do a forum search on 'stalemate' and see what has been done before, this thread for example.

So, in answer to the second part of the original question:

Very hard and about four years.




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