The Crucial Fighting Tactics Used in the World War I
WW1 started due to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in June, 28, 1914. The assassination took place in Austria Hungary. The assassination was done by a terrorist group that is called the Black Hand. They succeeded in killing Archduke Franz Ferdinand which started WW1 and then lead to the battle of somme. The battle of Somme or the Somme offensive is a fight that took over 141 days and the fight was an offensive by the british and the french armies along with the german were locked into small area with a lot of firepower was shot off. That fire power was used for attacking the german soldiers that were positioned there after being ordered to by General Max von Gallwitz. The fighting at Somme began on July 1 1916 and took place in northern france at the time of 7:30 am and the fighting lasted from July 1 to November 1 1916 and it will go down as one of the bloodiest battle in history. Due to all of the gruesome week of heavy artillery strikes from the british and french armies. The British had approximately 3, 000 artillery pieces and the French had more than 900 heavy guns in all of this they both launched over 1600000 shells over those next eight days. Most of the artillery shells were duds that usually never exploded.
The british used a field gun and a 18. 5 pound projectile and the range could hit up to 5966 which gave the british some of an advantage because they are able to bomb the Germans trenches. The british army had 11 different divisions and the french had even less than that. The Germans only had 7 divisions to fight at the battle of Somme. The fighting went of for a 15 mile stretch or 24 km near the Somme river. The fighting of somme started up because The british had to change their plans due to the Germans going onto the offensive and then attacked the French in the battle of Verdun. When the French troops were sent to Verdun they were ordered to hold off the Germans. The French also demanded that the British would have to move up the on the attack in the Somme from August 1 to July 1 in hopes that German forces would be diverted from Verdun to the Somme. Leading to all of the fighting that took place the style of the time and that was trench warfare and trench warfare was used to keep most of the soldiers out of enemies firing at them and out of artillery fire. Trench warfare is were a bunch of soldiers would dig down and form a about seven feet deep and six feet wide trenche and on them were sandbags to deflect bullets and shell fragments and barbed wire to keep out enemy soldiers. The condition of the british and french trenches were terrible compared to the german trenches but they weren’t that much better there because it was still the trenches and because there were many dead bodies in the trenches and the bodies fed the diseased rats which fested on human remains causing diseases and spreading to more of the soldiers.
The most common disease was Trench Foot and that was where a soldier would be in mud or water for a long period of time and was the main cause for amputations in the trenches. During the fighting many of the Allied soldiers had trouble getting into the Axis trenches due to the barbed wire so the british created the all terrain heavy armored tank. So the tank’s allowed for most of the allied to break into the german trenches and breaking up all of the barbed wire. Allowing the Allied to take control of german trenches by driving through no mans land past the bombs and creators left behind from heavy artillery and then allowing british and french soldiers to get into the german trenches. But all of the tanks were still in early stage of development and could only go up to about the speed of 4 miles per hour. That was the top speed of the tank and the model of tank was mostly the model used was the british mark V tank. Most tanks after hitting their top speed would break down becoming useless in the remaining fights. Tanks did play an important role and that role was increasing the mobility in the western front. The tank also allowed the allied to break the stalemate during the fighting at the trenches.
In the battle the French and British had committed all of themselves to fight on the offensive at the battle of Somme. during Allied discussions at Chantilly Oise December of 1915. All of the Allies agreed on a strategie for the central powers in 1916, by the French, Russian, British armies. Most of the plan was for the french to take part of the main offensive. supported on the northern flank by the Fourth Army of the British Expeditionary Force. During the fighting there were casualties and the casualties at the Battle of the Somme were massive with the British witch had suffered about 423, 000 casualties the French army suffered 200, 000 casualties and the germans have 57, 470 casualties there were so many casualties because the allied were becoming easy targets due to them looking for gaps in the the barbed wire and getting clustered at the openings and getting gunned down. The main generals of the German were commanders were General Rupprecht, General Max von Gallwitz, and Prussian General Fritz von Below. The Commander of the allied forces was British commander Sir Douglas Haig. Many of the military commanders had no respect for human life and did not care about casualties one of the many General’s was Sir Douglas Haig but they were only carrying out government policies. Most of the gear that they issued for infantrymen at the battle of Somme were the most common weapons which was the rifle. For the British this would be the. 303in Short Magazine Lee Enfield and the gun fired with such speed and and the best accuracy some of the German commander’s reported and thought they were armed with machine guns.
Most of the majority of German infantry was armed with the Gew 98 Mauser rifle and was also one of the most accurate weapons of it’s day and for the French the rifle of their choice would be either the 1886 Lebel or the 1907 Berthier. The soldiers were also issued with a canteen a pistol and food. This did not matter because when the fighting the Germans had better defense strategies then the british did. With the strategies the germans had they were able to cause heavy damage to the british troops during the ground assault. But most of the German army were warned of the bombardment. They took shelter and waited. But Little real damage was done to the German fortifications plus many of the British shells were duds and never exploded. But the Allied commanders refused to take warning that the bombardment didn’t work. After those eight days on july 1 1916 they were ordered to attack. Thousands of British soldiers got out of their trenches and began to advance on the German lines. Which resulted In the germans getting out of their shelters manning their guns and killing 19, 000 British soldiers. 20, 000 were killed on the first day of the attack with an additional 40, 000 were injured or dead Despite the heavy losses of the first day of battle the allies continued on for several more months making it the worst battle in british history. Which lead into the second part of the battle of Somme. The second part of the battle of somme did not change the battle took place at the hills of nomidy near the somme river.
The fight lasted from August to early September, in the basin of the river. The Second Battle of the Somme was launched on March 21, 1918, by German forces under the command of Ludendorff; it marked the last great series of German offensives of World War I. During the fight the British trenches were shelled and gassed before a massive morning attack in a very dense fog. Which took the British army by surprise. The british first and second lines quickly got destroyed out and by March 22 the most of the Britishes 5th Army was shattered and had lost all contact with the French armies off to the south. Causing the German army to move quickly forward in hoping to drive a permanent wedge which was the major objective of the germans assault in the Allied lines. The germans wanted to capture Amiens before moving on to Paris. In all of this the British and the French forces were joined by a Belgian and American troops. All four were commanded individually until March 26. But by March 28 the most of the Allied had assembled more troops that checked the German advance in the east of Amiens. The German commander which was General Erich Ludendorff believed that it was essential for Germany to use the troops that were freed from the Eastern Front by the collapse of Russia and to achieve victory at the battle of the Western Front.
In the spring 1918 before American troops arrived in huge numbers and were able to effectively reinforce all of the beaten Allies. His first offensive was directed against the rather weak British armies north of the Somme River between Arras and La Fere. After the fighting The German offensive had obtained one of the single largest territorial gain in the Western Front since the early months of the war in late 1914. During World War I the Second Battle of the Somme was one of the first major German offensive in more than a year, begins on the western front. After five hours of bombardment from more than 2, 000 pieces of German artillery. The poorly prepared British Fifth Army was forced into a retreat in France’s Somme River region. For a week, the Germans pushed toward Paris, shelling the city from a distance of a some of at least 80 miles with their Artillery and the soldiers there nicknamed the artillery Big Bertha. However, the poorly supplied German troops soon became exhausted, and the Allies halted their advance as French artillery knocked out the German guns that were attacking on Paris and that costed the allies time and resources due to all of the man power that went into it. On April 2 the U. S. General John Pershing sent American troops down into the trenches to help repulse the German offensive.
So it was the first major deployment of U. S. troops in World War I. A well known strategy in the fighting was called tunnel warfare and tunnel warfare got its name by tunneling in to the earth. Tunnel warfare was known as the most barbaric part of ww1 due to all of the deaths that happened in the tunnels. The chances of surviving in the tunnels were slim to none. It was called the most barbaric warfare because they way you had to find people. The way to find someone in the tunnels was to send people after them and these people were called tunnel rats. Tunnel rats would go in to the tunnels with a pistol and a flashlight. The main use for the tunnels were to attack or defend an area. If caves were found they would be used for military purposes. Tunnel warfare were used by soldiers in the trenches at the battle of Somme. It was also another way in trying to get past no man’s land into enemies trenches. The germans were unaware of this and it was mainly done in secrecy. Later in the battle the germans caught on the the tunnel warfare and started blowing up the ground and sending people after them. Trench warfare is resorted to when the superior firepower of the defense the is opposing forces to dig in so extensively and wanted to sacrifice their mobility in order to gain protection.
A trench system may begin simply as a collection of foxholes hastily dug by most of the troops using their entrenching tools. These holes may be deepened so that a soldier can safely stand up in one of them and the individual foxhole but most foxholes were connected by shallow crawl trenches. Allowing for field fortifications to be constructed the dirt from the digging went to the trenches above providing cover. In the trenches were firing positions lined along a raised forward step called a fire step and they laid something called a duckboard which were placed on the ground of the trench to provide secure footing for the soldiers so they wouldn’t slip. Throughout most of World War I, the opposing armies on the Western Front tried to break through the enemy’s trench system and they did that by using heavy and costly ground assaults assisted by heavy artillery. Most of the attacks usually failed partly because the preliminary bombardment alerted the germans to the threat of an attack. By the british doing that it allowed the german to bring up bring up reserves for a counterattack. Between the opposing sides into rough shell blown up terrain that slowed down the attacking infantry.
The crucial elements in attacking a trench system, surprise and overwhelming numbers of infantry. The british and germans fought for months and they battle seemed like it would never end and it took months to for a break and for a solution to be found until the british and french were forced into a retreat from the germans. Failing in breaking the german’s lines and not being able to retake control of the western front. Resulting in the britishes lose at the battle of Somme losing most of britain’s 5th infantry. When the british started to retreat they left behind equipment mostly guns, food and ammo which was important at the time for the germans because they were running short on ammo. Food and water were all most gone and so were also running out of troops. The battle of Somme ended in defeat for the british and the french because the germans switched from the defensive to the offensive raining bombs down and pushing on the british and french trenches capturing many unsuspecting soldiers and forcing them to stand down taking their weapons and destroying everything that isn’t useful to the german army which in the end was a german victory one of the very first victories for the country of germany.
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