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The Life of a Soilder During the first world war Assignment

1. Trenches were built for numerous reasons the main reason being ‘Protection’. Soldiers would protect them self from the enemies, this gives them a little resting time and some time to plot their next move. Another reason that the trenches were used was to shelter away the healing soldiers. The General would not allow any solider to rest and heal here, only the strong important ones, who will probably make a difference in their eyes. Trenches also had ‘blind alleys’ to confuse the enemy in case of a successful attack.

Running out at right angles from the frontline trenches were saps (narrow, shallow, trenches). These saps were about 30 yards long. Small groups of soldiers were sent to the sap-head (listening post) and were given the task of finding out about the enemy. This would help them to make the next move. Short trenches (saps) were built across ‘No Mans Land’. These were dug towards the enemy trenches and enabled soldiers to move forward without exposure to fire. Several saps would be dug along a section of frontline.

These were then joined together at their far ends to create a new trench. On the western front trenches were useful for throwing shells into the enemy’s trench, even though a small section of the trench would be exposed to the shell poisonous gas would be used to kill the few soldiers standing in that area. Most of the time soldiers were prepared and had a large net over the trench to collect the bombshells before they hit a hard surface.

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2.George Coppard and Brigadier-General H.C Rees have such different interpretations and ideas about what happened this is due to a variety of reasons. Firstly George is a soldier whilst Rees is a General. This makes a large difference because the soldiers actually get out there, on the battle field, and fight, each time they put their life on the line for victory, whilst the General makes commands and dose not actually fight. He doesn’t really know the fear and the danger that the soldiers are experiencing.

So the General has very positive thinking. Another main reason for their different views and interpretations are that the General made his speech before the battle, whilst George described his account of the battlefield one day after. The General didn’t know the outcome of the battle so was very optimistic. Generals are supposed to sound confident like they now what they are doing, they can never think or be unsure, they have to know and be sure about everything. If they act scared and not very confident then the soldiers don’t have any hope to fight. In the text the General sounds very confident like he knows that they can win, he uses very positive and persuasive language to get the soldiers motivated and to give them hope. Firstly he contrasts our advantages against theirs.

‘You are about to attack the enemy with far greater numbers than he can oppose to you…’ and ‘English men have always proved better then the Germans were when the odds were heavily against them.’ He also tells them that they are fighting for a good reason ‘in the most just cause.’ George’s account is after the battle, he has seen the outcome of it. He uses a lot of description explaining what he saw. ‘Hundreds dead were strung out like wreckage washed up to a high -watermark’.

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