Extra Credit: Trench Warfare Questions

WWI Extra Credit Assignment: Life in the Trenches

Read the article on trench warfare. Answer the questions below and upload your answers when you are completed.

I. Daily Death in the Trenches

  1. What risk was there of looking over parapet into No Man’s Land?
  2. What percentage of Allied deaths were estimated to have occurred in the trenches?

II. Rat Infestation

  1. Why was the brown rat more feared than the black rat?
  2. What methods were used by men to kill the rats? Was it successful?
  3. What problems did the rats bring to the troops in the trenches?
  4. Did the rats give any clues that could help soldiers?

III. Frogs, Lice and Worse

  1. What disease was caused by lice?
  2. Click the link for Trench Fever. What were the chief symptoms of the disease?
  3. What other bugs and animals were found in the trenches?
  4. What were the affects of trenchfoot?

IV. The Trench Cycle

  1. What was the cycle of duties that a soldier would rotate through in the trenches? Approximately how many days would a soldier spend in each role?

V. Stand To and the Morning Hate

  1. Click the link for Stand To. What was Stand To? What purpose did it serve?
  2. Why do you think Stand To came to be known as “morning hate?”

VI. Rum, Rifles and the Breakfast Truce

  1. At the conclusion of Stand To, what was a typical morning like for soldiers in the trenches?

VII. Inspection and Chores

  1. What type of chores were soldiers assigned?
  2. Click the link for preparation of latrines. What were latrines? Whose job was it to maintain them?
  3. Why was the smell from the latrines such a problem for the troops?

VIII. Daily Boredom

  1. What did men do to kill time in the trenches?

IX. Dusk: Stand To, Supply and Maintenance

  1. Why did troops have to go back on Stand To at dusk?
  2. What type of supply and maintenance activities occurred during night?
  3. What was the punishment for falling asleep while on sentry (guard) duty?

X. Patrolling No Man’s Land

  1. What jobs were men assigned in No Man’s Land?
  2. Click the link for listening posts. What were listening posts? Where were they located? How close were listening posts located to the enemy’s front line?
  3. What would happen when two patrols would meet at night in No Man’s Land?
  4. Why couldn’t night patrols use their handguns if they encountered an enemy patrol?

XI. …And the Smell

  1. What were the causes of the various smells found in the trenches?