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World War I Soldier

World war I, heralded as one of the bloodiest wars in history, claimed the lives of nearly 16 million soldiers and civilians combined and involved almost all major powers at the time. The war went on for four years and mostly consisted of a tactical stalemate sustained by the opposing sides. One reason for this is the advancements of technology without the advancements of battlefield tactics and during this war, both sides continuously invented new strategies for warfare.

What kept the war going on

Compared to wars waged in the centuries before, the soldiers of World War I had access to many new technologies and arms, including machine guns and artillery. Because of these advances, the strategies of wars past were no longer relevant. A general could no longer march an army of soldiers across an open field to engage the enemy because of barbed wire and artillery fire. New tactics had to be developed to break through an entrenched position without heavy casualties and this would come with the development of new technologies.

What a soldier faced

Being a soldier on the lines of this war must have been the most horrible thing any human ever experienced. Watching a person get blown to pieces from artillery fire right next to you, or witness crowds of soldiers falling to the ground as a result of airborne poison weapons. The moans of dying men and the stench of rotting bodies accompanied by orders from superiors to march to your death could not have been a pleasant experience. At this time in history, our medical capabilities were not as advanced and many died of injuries that could be easily cured and discharged by any physician today.

Surviving the war

The men and women that survived this war are sure to have been changed and most had extremely hard times getting reacquainted with a normal life. The effects of waking up to mortar fire or the smell of toxic gas on a daily basis, never knowing if you will survive the day, has lasting effects and many veterans were not provided with proper support upon returning home.

Despite the reasons for the war, society should have taken better care of the survivors pf these wars. It is often too easy for governments to dismiss the brave, selfless individuals that give their lives for what is often the political agenda of the ruling party, the least they could do is take care of them when they return home.

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