Trench Warfare- This method of warfare is fought from the protection of deep ditches to defend their position. These trenches can stretch up to Four-Hundred miles. These complex systems are a combination of holes and networks of paths. There are rooms for sleeping and eating, although they are mostly cold, wet, and dirty. Often soldiers got diseases like trench foot or lice. Trench foot is when the soldiers feet rot due to standing in water and mud. No Man\’s Land- The area in between the two opposing trench networks. The fighting usually takes place in No Man\’s Land.
This area belongs to neither alliance, and cannot be gained in war. The size of No Man\’s Land can range from Two-Hundred to One-Thousand yards. Stalemate- A situation in which neither side can win a clear victory. When in stalemate, the war becomes very long and slow. The armies had to begin to be creative with war tactics since neither side would leave their trenches. Things such as grenades, gasses, and small bombs were thrown into the opponents trenches in a hope of killing multiple men at once.
The \”Race to the Sea\” which occurred during 1915 along the Western Front led to both sides being fully entrenched and stalemated until 1917.
P Part of the reason the stalemate occurred in the West and not the East was (as it was again in World War II) because France was not the objective — Russia was. The von Schlieffen plan failed precisely because Germany wished to insure its success – by committing most of its troops to the East, it could hope to defeat Russia. P By fully committing troops early in the war in the West as the plan called for, overrunning France, and redeploying them to the East, Germany could have prevailed against both countries.
But the German High Command feared that committing troops Westward would slow down the main thrust to Russia. P By scaling back, the offensive into France failed, and the Front became defensive on both sides until later in the war. Rather than countering the French trench by trench throughout 1915, the Germans could have fully invaded and won. P Poor generalship in general, and poor appreciation of current weaponry specifically was characteristic on both sides during the whole war.