I am currently on the front line and the smell of rotting flesh is unbearable, there are corpses of our own men and also those of the enemy lying not 30 feet from our trench but it is far too dangerous to go and retrieve them. All the men in the trench, myself included, have not had a decent wash for weeks and the
Steinbeck wants the reader to understand the harsh and difficult living conditions the soldiers are living in. Also, Steinbeck wants the reader to feel the emotion and physical pain the soldiers are feeling, “Under extended bombardment…the eardrums are tortured by the blast…your skin feels thick and insensitive. There’s a salty taste in your mouth. A hard, painful knot is in your stomach with undigested food…This is how you feel just after a few days of constant firing.” Steinbeck’s writes such a strong description that the reader can fully understand and even feel the pain the soldiers feel. The essay “Why Soldiers Won’t Talk,” is marked by a clear narrative description of what war is truly like and gives the reader a strong sense of perspective.
He sees his comrades legs, arms, heads being blew apart. To save his own life from a falling shell, one of the soldiers (after getting his feet shoot off) ran into a shell-hole on the bones that were left over from his critically injured feet. During World War I soldiers had to face many poisonous gases that turn your skin blue because of the lack of oxygen. Even when a soldier has a gas mask on they still have to remember that they only have a limited amount air in the mask. In the book, after the area that Paul and his company were fighting was gassed, one of his comrades was losing air in his mask, so he instinctively removed his mask and inhaled the poison, then die immediately.
Conditions of the Trenches The conditions of the trenches in WWI were unbearable. These conditions were unbearable because of the rats and the different gases that were released. Many soldiers died in the trenches due to the conditions, not just from fighting. There were rats down in the trenches. (Remarque 101) The rats ate all of the soldier’s food, and contaminated all of their belongings with droppings.
Estimates say that a third of Allied casualties on the Western Front were sustained in the trenches, a large number of said casualties were due to disease. Trenches were overcrowded and dirty, especially after heavy rain fall. Trenches would quickly be filled with muddy water that could sometimes lead to the trench walls collapsing. The soldiers would stand in the muddy, cold water for days not having a chance to be able to dry their socks or shoes, causing a fungus in which they called trench foot. Then the soldiers that had lost their lives whether from poisonous gases or the bullets flying, their bodies would lay in the trenches, untouched by another human, and only to be eaten by rats and mice.
This is why the British soldiers did not have beds, while the Germans did. Life in the trenches was plagued with death. Death was a constant companion to those serving in the trenches, even when no attack was launched or defended against. In heavily populated trenches the constant shellfire from the enemy brought random deaths, even if the victims were preparing to rush the enemy trench or scouring for cover. Also, rookies were warned on their first day to not look over the parapet of the trench into” No Man’s Land”, because many men died on their first in the trenches from a precisely aimed sniper’s bullet.
There were many rats in the trenches because of the rotting bodies which led to disease spreading like lice. Bodies were everywhere, and the men just had to move on and continue fighting even if it was their own brother. 8 The results of the Battle of Somme was a draw between the two armies. The both side gained very little ground but lost a large amount of men. The casualties were over 650,000 German, 195,000 French 420,000
They got this by the way the soldiers stood up in mud and cold water which caused the feet to go numb and give them trench foot. The only way you could stop from getting this was to constantly change your socks but most soldiers ignored this as it was hard to take their shoes off in such agony. Another condition was the rats which were infested with diseases and sometimes could be deadly. The rats lived off dead bodies and sometimes bit sleeping soldiers giving them illnesses. One of the exciting aspects of WW1 was the use of different types of weapons, the main weapon that every soldier had, another weapon was the gases, poison gas which caused blindness and death by choking, mustard gas which killed you instantly if breathed, they stopped using mustard gas though as a lot of soldiers died from it as if they threw it and the wind went the opposite direction they mostly killed themselves!
Many times, in the chaos of war, the fear and knowledge that others are getting hurt and dying all play a role in a soldier’s ability to think clearly. Even soldiers who come home from war unharmed can still feel the effects of the invisible damages of “combat stress". Shell shock and battle fatigue have long been used to describe PTSD but they are also general terms used to describe the normal physiological, behavioral, and emotional reactions experienced during all times of battle. Many times in the past, it was thought that soldiers experiencing symptoms associated with disorders such as CSR were mentally ill. Knowledge and experience has now proven otherwise.
According to Skwirk.com and Discovering Australian History Australian Prisoners of War were also tortured to gather military intelligence. When prisoners of war got beaten they’re wounds often became infected and because of their poor physical condition and the lack of medical supplies the infection often went unstopped through the body. According to sources from the BBC and Skwirk.com in some cases the bacteria killed the limb, causing gangrene. Medical Personal in the camps then had to perform dangerous, painful amputations just to make sure