Well, that is exactly what it is like living in these trenches. The smell alone is awful. It is a smell of gas, sadness, fear, and rotting flesh. I have no words to explain this horrible stench. I find it very difficult to keep myself strong, watching young men around my age falling on top of each other.
These gases tortured its victims for anywhere from 48 hours to a full 5 weeks before killing them. The crazed victims that lived through these horrible infections would most likely end up in an insane asylum. To further disillusion the troops, the leadership of common soldiers was given to an officer about two miles away from the front line, resulting in extremely poor decisions; Even the commanding officers that were at the front line possessed very poor leadership, especially on the French side. For a good first hand example of the despair, we turn to the work of Wilfred Owen. In Owens’s poem Dulce Et Decorum Est the soldiers are pictured as "Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, knock-kneed, coughing like hags...".
5 The conditions of the battle of the Somme were not ideal. There was had been lots of rain prior and during the battle. The trenches were full of mud, rats and diseases. The mud made moving around in the trenches very hard which led to many cases of trench foot and also the mud made some on the Canadian’s guns not fire. There were many rats in the trenches because of the rotting bodies which led to disease spreading like lice.
In the novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, Paul experiences many atrocious war events which leave him scarred and damaged emotionally, but in the same way other characters carry physical burdens and other such objects. While stranded in a ditch, Paul stabs a French soldier who unsuspectingly falls into the same ditch. Yet as the man slowly dies, Paul regrets this action, wishing “If only he had run two yards farther to the left, he might now be sitting in the trench over there and writing a fresh letter to his wife” and promising “I will help [your wife] and your parents too, and your child…” (Remarque 118). Paul then begins to doubt his action of survival and he allows his mind to become dominated with repentance. This experience leaves him emotionally wounded by the way that the French solider dies and Paul feels responsible for it.
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.
Why almost everyone they loved was getting swept away by the traitorous disease. The symptoms of the Black Death were the worst part. They were extremely painful, emotionally and physically. The Black Death came from fleas, originally from rats that the fleas bit. When the fleas bit the rats they would then go to a human and bite them giving them the horrible disease they so fretfully waited for.
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.
On July 21, 1861 we all lined up on the other side of the Confederate troop. Sweat was dripping down from my face and it smelled of terrible odor. Everyone was dirty and needed water by the time we had arrived there. Looking across the field, someone caught my eye that looked familiar, my brother was on the other side. Cursing under my breath and shaking my head I get ready to meet my fate.
Time slowed down and life was a blur. In the soil of Vinah Chanh, South of Saigon, a booby trap set by the Viet Cong awaited an innocent victim. As the acting squad leader my Uncle, Specialist John Robert Baummer, was leading his platoon when the booby trap went off. This ensuing debacle riddled his legs with shrapnel. Pain like a hot iron on skin flooded his legs causing my Uncle to be taken off the line.
Boom! “ Men gather your weapons were under attack “ still half asleep I scurry across the room to get my boots on , still unstable I hit my toe against a nail but the excruciating pain had to be ignored as I only had 3-7 seconds to get out but on the plus side it got me wide awake. Prepped and ready I dash outside to fight for my country and my pride but it was quickly swallowed as I was intoxicated by the smell of the air, it had completely stifled my nose as it had a mixture of decaying flesh from comrades and other organisms; the smell of the latrines used for human waste well that’s all my nose could pick up and to make matters worse the rain for last night had saturated the soil and so the water in the trenches was at waist height making