Perspectives on Trench Warfare

Trench Warfare was the main way in which World War 1 was fought. Trenches were deep ditches which were primarily built for defense, as troops could hide out in them and be protected from gunfire. They were most commonly used on the western front and were built in zigzag patterns, so that the impact of a shell would result in fewer casualties. Although trenches were popular during the war, they were also highly controversial. In this blog post, I will be addressing different perspectives through looking at guidepost 5, which means that a variety of different perspectives will be distinguished through looking at the historical actors participating in a certain event. In this case, the historical actors that will be discussed are the German and allied military strategists, as well as the German and Allied soldiers who participated in the war.  

Trenches resulted in huge numbers of deaths in WW1, so it comes to no surprise that many soldiers who fought in the war were opposed to trench warfare. Trenches were home to masses of rats and mud. This frequently led to the spreading of diseases such as trench fever and trench foot. The spreading of these diseases amounted to huge numbers of deaths. Soldiers who lived in trenches lived in constant fear of death. Getting in and out of trenches was very difficult without being seen by the enemy and getting shot.

From the perspective of the countries who enforced trench warfare, building trenches might have been seen as a useful strategy as they were ideal for defense from the gunfire above. Troops could hide out in deep trenches and be protected from the gunfire. In addition, trenches were quick, easy and cheap to build, which made them very appealing to use for both the Allies and Germany. The war resulted in huge losses of men, and thus manpower was an issue for both sides. However, trench warfare didn’t require much manpower, which made trench warfare very appealing for military strategists, as countries could be involved in more than one battle at a time without having to recruit more men.

Trenches were also used as a strategy to prevent losing any more ground. During the first battle of Marne in 1914, the Germans were losing territory as the Allies kept pushing them further back. In order to prevent any more ground being lost, the Germans dug trenches. As the Allies couldn’t push the Germans back any further, they also dug trenches. From a German military perspective, digging trenches was probably seen as reasonable because it would prevent large losses in territory.

When comparing the perspectives of military strategists who enforced trench warfare and the perspectives of the soldiers who fought in the trenches, the military perspective was more valuable at the time, as they determined how the war was to be played out. Although the conditions in which the soldiers lived were gruesome, trench warfare was seen as an essential part of maintaining and gaining territory.


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The images above show the trenches in which the soldiers lived. In the image on the left, you can see the muddy ground which caused soldiers to get trench foot. In the image on the right, soldiers are pictured moving through the tight trenches.

Additional Citations:

Daniels, Patricia, Contributing Writer. “History of Trench Warfare in World War I.” ThoughtCo, Aug. 23, 2018,


Perspectives on the battle of the Somme

The battle of the Somme included the British and German armies. The conflict broke out due to France asking Britain to attack Germany where the British and French lines met. France asked Britain to do this as the Germans were holding the historic French town of Verdun, and therefore France wanted to draw Germany’s attention and resources elsewhere. British General Haig’s plan was to bombard the German lines and then advance further into the open country using horseback. On July 1st, the British plan was put into action but it ended up being a failure as most German’s survived the attack by hiding out in trenches. The battle continued on from July 1st, 1916 to November 18, 1016. The British and German armies suffered huge numbers of casualties, and the battle of the Somme is therefore known as one of the bloodiest battles of the first world war.

In this blog post, I’ll be addressing guidepost number 3, which means I’ll be explaining the perspectives of people in the historical context of the battle of the Somme.

For starters, the battle of the Somme resulted in a change in the attitude of the people. At the beginning of the war, Nationalism prevailed throughout Europe, and thousands of men volunteered to go to war. The sheer number of casualties that were a result of the battle of the Somme made people’s attitude change into more of an anti-war stance.  

General Haig’s strategies were also highly controversial. Although Britain wasn’t making much progress, he kept the battle going which resulted in massive numbers of casualties. Many Europeans blamed him for the deaths of the soldiers. Even today, he is commonly referred to as the “butcher of the Somme,” which displays him as someone who sacrificed thousands of lives. However, some may say that he was merely doing what Britain’s ally France expected him to do, thus strengthening their alliance and helping Britain in the future. Although his efforts didn’t result in many gains for the British, the battle succeeded in drawing Germany’s troops away from Verdun and to the battle of the Somme instead, which was the goal of the battle of the Somme.

In conclusion, the perspective people had on the battle of the Somme varied greatly. Some British and German civilians thought the battle resulted in way too many deaths, whereas others believed that the battle was an important part of the war, as France needed to pull Germany away from Verdun.


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McCarthy, Niall, and Felix Richter. “Infographic: There Were over a Million Casualties at the Somme.” Statista Infographics, 11 Nov. 2016,

Condon, Christopher. The Making of the Modern World. PDF.

Perspectives on the Moroccan Crises


The Moroccan Crises of 1906 and 1911 involved France, Germany, and Morocco. The First Crisis broke out due to Germany announcing their support for Moroccan independence, As Germany was unhappy with the amount of influence that France had in Morocco. A conference was held to discuss Morocco’s potential independence in Spain shortly after Germany’s announcement. However, Germany didn’t get her way, as France had more support from the other powers. France was reassured of her position in Morocco and Germany gained nothing. Following the first Moroccan Crisis, the second crisis broke out in 1911 due to France sending troops to Morocco in an effort to protect foreigners from violent uprisings and revolts that were happening in Fez. This action disregarded the agreement that the French had with the Germans. In reaction to this, Germany sent a gunboat to the french congo and took over part of the territory as compensation for the breach in agreement. France and Britain were displeased with Germany’s response, and Britain was readied for action. However, the crisis ended up blowing over by France giving Germany some of its territory in the Congo.

The Guidepost that will be addressed in this point focuses on the perspectives among historical actors participating in a given event. In this case, the perspectives that will be discussed are Germany’s, Britain’s and France’s.

Before Germany announced its support for Moroccan independence, there was a lot of disagreement between members of the German government as to whether or not it was a good idea to challenge France’s influence in Morocco. Some members thought that it shouldn’t be challenged as it might break up the alliance between France and Britain. However, others thought that it was a good time to settle Franco-German disagreements as Germany was the military superior at the time, and the crisis would lead to a successful beginning of a victorious war against the French for Germany. When Germany decided on supporting Morocco’s independence, Germany also hoped that it would weaken the Entente Cordiale and weaken France’s influence overseas.


France wasn’t happy with Germany’s attempt to weaken its influence in Morocco, and the French foreign minister, Théophile Delcassé,  tried to hinder a conference from being held as France didn’t want to risk losing its influence overseas. However, France eventually gave in as they didn’t want to risk an outbreak of a European War.


Britain supported its ally, France, throughout both crises. It was in Britain’s interest to help France out because if a war broke out, Britain would need help from France, and France being powerful overseas as well as in Europe would help out Britain in a war. As both Britain and France became increasingly skeptical of Germany, they started planning a war against Germany in secret.


“The First Moroccan Crisis.” History, A&E Television Networks, 5 Nov. 2009,

“Second Moroccan Crisis.”, A&E Television Networks, 16 Nov. 2009,

Condon “International Crises and the coming of War, 1905 -1914” Condon Chapter 2, p. 19-20.