The Characteristics And Methods Of Trench Warfare In World War I

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Throughout history, battle tactics have always been a pivotal aspect of winning a war. For example, the utilization of the infantry and the usage of propaganda in gaining a larger enlisting population for the infantry have always been fundamental to a battle plan. However, some aspects in how a war is conducted have actually evolved over time. In 1914, the tactic of trench warfare was heavily utilized during World War I where defensive fighting in entrenched positions was favored. This style of warfare was not always used to fight a war. In 1775, the American Revolutionary War was fought using an entirely different style of warfare which involved “formal battle tactics.” During this period of time, firing a rifle from any concealed position …show more content…
During this period of time, the musket was favored as the primary weapon for the infantry. Unlike the automatic machine gun, the musket was very difficult to reload after a single shot and failed to stop an infantry advance with the efficiency of WWI technology. Due to this lacking capability of technology of the time, a very different style of conducting a battle was utilized. Instead of trench warfare, which was implemented solely to counter the automatic machine gun, “formal battle tactics” were used to fight the war. Purely due to the fact that weapons were so inefficient during this time period, codes of honor, such as lining up in front of the enemy, could still be followed by the participating armies, because the infantry force could not be completely decimated by the current technology of that period. If automatic machine guns had been available, “formal battle tactics” would never be followed, because the lack of cover would cause far too many soldiers to lose their lives instantly. Therefore, the inefficiency of muskets actually made following codes of honor feasible. In addition to allowing “formal battle tactics” to be practiced, the musket’s inefficiency also led to an increased level of movement by both the American and British armies. As aforementioned, the musket failed to stop enemy advances successfully in many cases, which allowed advancing towards an enemy firing squad …show more content…
Ultimately, the advances in military technology caused the fighting styles to drastically change as the effectiveness of a gun dictated the success of an infantry’s advance greatly. In the American Revolution, the weakness of the musket in its slow reload speed caused the feasibility of “formal battle tactics” to be increased and thus followed by the participating armies. Furthermore, they also allowed the war to be made more mobile as infantry advances were possible despite the existence of guns. However, the military advancement of the automatic machine gun during WWI prevented such tactics from being followed. The automatic machine gun was simply too powerful to allow a similar code of honor to be followed as they could kill entire groups of people instantly. Instead, trench warfare was adopted as a mechanism to prevent the automatic machine gun from being too powerful by providing cover for the troops. Ultimately, the defensive entrenched positions proved to be very powerful and hard to conquer. Consequently, WWI was a much less mobile war compared to the American Revolution. Clearly, WWI and the American Revolution were fought with very different styles of warfare. However, they had some similarities when it came to

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