Western Civ II Final Paper

Western Civ II Final Paper - Prf Don Mohr HIST...

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Prf. Don Mohr HIST A102 8/8/02 “Describe the WWI concept of attrition. Can any government’s request for such a sacrifice be justified? Why do you think so?” At the beginning of the Great War, the leaders were in love with the idea of a “short, victorious war…” as espoused by V.K. Plehve before the Russo-Japanese war, but when the Allied and German/Austro- Hungarian troops fortified their positions with trenches in 1914, they essentially damned themselves to a war of attrition. Most Generals of WWI believed that with modern weapons, any conflict would be quick and glorious. They found the truth was far from glorious, or quick. On both sides a line of defensive trenches and breastworks was developed as the western front stabilized. The trenches were usually organized in a web like warren of defensive trenches, communications bunkers, supply trenches, sleeping/living areas, command bunkers, and reserve trenches. These trenchworks were often kilometers deep, and included hundreds of miles of trenches. Between the Allied and German trenchworks lay a no man’s land of barbed wire and mud. Machine guns and artillery were sighted in on this area to prevent an enemy breakthrough. At this point in time, machine guns were heavy and unwieldy, making them almost useless for advancing infantry. Early machine guns were water cooled, and weighed between 80 and 130 lbs., which is hardly portable. They were also highly unreliable as jams and
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This note was uploaded on 04/27/2008 for the course HIST 102 taught by Professor Donmohr during the Spring '03 term at Alaska Anch.

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Western Civ II Final Paper - Prf Don Mohr HIST...

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