poster WWI

poster WWI
fight for your country and get deep in the trenches ;)

Thursday, 26 May 2011

No Man's Land & Death in The Trenches

Daily Death in the Trenches
Death was a constant occurrence in World War 1, as soon as you arrived at your destination you were under constant attack. You always had to watch your back to make sure you weren’t being targeted by snipers or soldiers throwing shells. Many men were killed when just resting from a hard day and the trenches would cave in, burying them alive.
An estimated third of deaths happened in the trenches, this is why soldiers were warned to not peer over the trenches and into No Man’s Land.
Patrolling No Man’s Land
Patrols were sometimes sent into No Man’s Land to fix barbed wire fences as well as trying to eavesdrop on the enemy. Listening Posts were the army’s way of trying to get valuable information from the enemy.  Enemy Armies sometimes came face to face in No Man’s Land. They were forced to hurriedly run in the opposite direction or engage in a hand to hand battle. While they were patrolling they could not bring hand guns with them, it would attract snipers and put their whole patrol group at risk.

Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

Jeannette Rankin (1880 - 1973)

Sunday, 22 May 2011

This video looks at World War 1 from the ANZACS perspective. It shows how the trenches were completely engulfed by mud from the terrible weather in Somme, France. The soldiers used the trenches as an underground road and travelled in single file. Especially in Winter, life in the trenches were unbearable, as the soldiers had no protection from snow, sleet and rain. The trenches were very damp and muddy; the soldiers were always ankle deep in mud. Rationing enough food to last the war was difficult especially in Somme where conditions were freezing cold and they could not grow their own produce.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Animals & The Smell

If trench life and warfare were a movie, it would be no comedy; it would be a horror. It was filled with creatures of all sorts that included various species of rats, lice, frogs, slugs and horned beetles.

Firstly, the rats were so evil that they gobbled up human remains, especially the eyes and livers; and after their appetising meal they could grow to the size of a cat. Their reign doesn’t just stop there; a single rat couple could produce up to 900 offspring in a year. They spread horrific infections, contaminated the food and ran across the soldiers faces at night. The men, so sick and fed up of the rats, would attempt to kill them by clubbing them, firing at them and even stabbing them with bayonets.
Lice were also a nuisance, they bred on the seams of filthy clothing and caused the soldiers to itch uncontrollably. Even after clothes were washed the lice would remain living in the clothes and when the men wore the clothes again their body heat would cause the eggs to hatch. They also caused Trench Fever, an excruciatingly painful disease that caused severe pain and a very high fever which took twelve weeks to recover.
To top it all off, the stench. It was caused by thousands of rotting carcases lying around, stinky men that hadn’t had a shower in weeks, overflowing toilets, the soldiers feet from being wet all the time and the lingering smell of poison gas.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Daily Life

Daily Life in the trenches was hard work. There were periods of time where both sides would halt fire. They had allocated these times as an unofficial truce, where they could complete their daily inspection, chores and breakfast. When a time out is called soldiers are expected to clean their rifles which are then inspected. Breakfast is served in every line and even the wagons that delivered food would be granted a truce for a period of time. They may sometimes even be served rum. These times do not last long because as soon as the senior officers get this news, they quickly push the soldiers back into the firing line.

Each day the men were assigned chores, such as: refilling sandbags, repairing duckboards on the floor of the trench and draining. When there was particularly heavy rain, the trenches would flood; making it even more miserable for the army, as the walls of the trench would cave in. Since the front line was always being watched by snipers they could only move about during the night, which meant during the day after all the chores were done the men were free to do whatever they wanted, such as writing letters or reading books.  It was essential to sleep whenever it was possible so they also used these times of boredom for that.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Introduction to World War 1

On June 28 1914 the heir to the Austro- Hungarian Throne Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie were assassinated by Gavrilo Princip who was part of the Black Hand. It all started when Britain, France and Russia made an alliance, called the Triple Entente (Allied Forces). Germany felt anxious about being surrounded by potential enemies and decided to form their own alliance with Austria- Hungary and Italy known as the Triple Alliance (Central Powers).
Australia wanted to prove their loyalty to Britain and therefore decided to come to Britain’s aid in World War 1. Australia formed a volunteer army under the commander Major General W.T. Bridges. This new army was known as the Australian Imperial Force a.k.a. AIF. This new opportunity was welcomed in Australia by singing in the streets, the waving of flags and people rushing in to do their part in the war.
By 1914, the population of the AIF had increased to over 20,000 men. They then left on ships for training in Egypt and were accompanied by the New Zealand soldiers. Together they formed the ANZACs, which stands for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. This new army had its first major test waiting in Gallipoli, against the Turks.