Analysis: All Quiet On The Western Front: Trench Warfare

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All Quiet on the Western Front: Trench Warfare Max Shepherd Professor Pender 20th Century March 24, 2011 Trench warfare contributed to the length of time the war took. “Not that there wasn't movement at all on the Western Front during 1914-18; the war began dramatically with sweeping advances by the Germans through Belgium and France en route for Paris. However stalemate - and trench warfare soon set in - and the expected war of movement wasn't restored until towards the close of the war, although the line rippled as successes were achieved at a local level (Duffy).” Trench warfare resulted in high loss of life and little land gained by either side. In trench warfare two forces meet and dig themselves in. Each side would…show more content…
The soldiers were often infested with lice. “Lice were a never-ending problem, breeding in the seams of filthy clothing and causing men to itch unceasingly (Duffy).” The soldiers also had to deal with rats that would often carry and spread disease and infection. The rats were larger than the typical rat and often ran free throughout the trenches. “Men, exasperated and afraid of these rats (which would even scamper across their faces in the dark), would attempt to rid the trenches of them by various methods: gunfire, with the bayonet, and even by clubbing them to death (Duffy).” Another problem that soldiers faced was trench foot. This resulted from the foot being left in water, which often accumulated at the bottom of the trenches, for long amounts of time and could sometimes cause the skin to fall right off the bone. Kemmerich, who is one of Paul’s classmates and comrade, has a similar situation happen to him in “All Quiet in the Western Front” when his foot became infected with gang green because of an artillery wound he suffered in battle which ultimately had to be amputated off. Kemmerich would lose the fight for his life. The conditions were so real and miserable that his fellow comrades tried to persuade him to give away his boots. It was then that Paul realized the true agonies of war—surviving the agony of war forces one to learn to disconnect oneself from emotions like grief, sympathy, and fear. All of these conditions combined greatly affected the mental and physical health of the soldiers in World War

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