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WW1 living conditions

            Before World War one the perfect war tactics were cavalry charge with foot soldiers following. But with technology advancing and producing new weapons such as machine guns and heavy artillery, World War 1 was to become a war to change all wars. .
             To battle these knew types of weapons, armies had to "dig in" and build trenches. The British trenches were surely the worst out of the two sides. Built with much haste to halt the imminent German invasion, the trenches set up across Belgium were atrocious. Most trenches were 6-8 feet deep and were constructed with wooden supports against the earth. The German's on the other hand had prepared well and were willing to hold onto what ground they had gained and created solid trenches with concrete walls and deep underground bunkers. When rain came walking conditions became very hard in the trenches, and with only wooden supports, the mud reeked havoc. Soldiers had to wade through knee deep in mud for days. And with the long spells spent in the trenches, this was very uncomfortable. One result of this was trench foot. This was due to the fact that the soldiers boots had not been removed for a long period of time. One of the worst things in the trenches was the stench of dead bodies. Soldiers who had fallen were sometimes left to rot on the trench side or floor. These decomposing bodies attracted rats. These filthy rodents were known to try and eat what minimal food the soldiers had. What was worse was that it was know that some rats tried to eat soldiers in their sleep, while they tried to get a couple hours sleep in the less bombarding daytime hours. These bombardments were not anything good either. The constant sound of exploding shells and vibrations in the ground as shells landed all around the soldiers sent them insane. This was shell shock and men would shake uncontrollably and stammer. This even effected soldiers years after the war was over.

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