The trench warfare of WW1 was …

The trench warfare of WW1 was a nasty and horrible place that left the soldiers with scars that transcended the physical plane.

Disease, mud, lice and boredom were some of the worst things soldiers recount about the life in the trenches on the Western Front. Mud is the chief enemy and the chief misery of the soldier…It clings to men’s bodies and cracks their skins and the slimy horror of it soaks their souls and sucks their courage.”-Sergeant P Boyd, Salvage, Australian War Memorial Facsimile Editions ,Canberra, 1918 is one account of the horror of the mud in the trenches on the Western Front that was in North Eastern France and Belgium, an area that receives frequent rain mixed with constant military bombardments and the clay of the trenches resulted in mud. Men and horses were at constant risk of being stuck in a quicksand of slime.

Weighed down by equipment, getting stuck in the mud would lead to death. The mud would dry on the soldiers skin and crack it, causing oozing blisters that would get quickly infected by the rampant disease slime that had decaying bodies, human waste and lice. The thigh high muddy sludge that soldiers on both sides lived in lead to trench foot.Trench foot is painful swelling of the feet caused by the constant immersion in the filthy muddy sludge. It would lead to the toes rotting off and would lead to gangrene, which would require amputation though it didn’t always work. Diarrhea and dysentery were common among the soldiers and the floating corpses in summer would attract flies creating an area perfect for bacteria and lice.Lice is another factor that made life in the trenches hell.

They would latch onto mens uniforms and lay eggs. They would torment them day and night which would lead to men breaking their skin leading to infection. Men would go crazy over the itchiness that plagued them all hours of the day, in fact australian soldiers in Gallipoli would risk death by running into the ocean in the middle of the night to find any relief from the lice. Rats had a nasty habit of entering the trenches and nibbling on soldiers fingers, toes and noses. It wasn’t uncommon to wake up and find one eating your toes.Another horror faced in the trenches in the shell shock. It would greatly disturb all around and and it wasn’t uncommon for victims to forget the whole war that they have experienced so far.

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