What was the Western Front ?

Discussion in 'World War 1' started by liverpool annie, Dec 24, 2008.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    The Western Front was the name the Germans gave to a series of trenches that ran 700 kilometres from the Belgian coast to the Swiss border !

    Annie :)
  2. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    In their efforts to break through the opposing lines of trenches and barbed wire entanglements, the opposing forces employed huge artillery bombardments followed by attacks of tens of thousands of soldiers. Battles typically lasted for months and lead to casualties measured in the hundreds of thousands for attacker and defender alike, such as the Battle of the Somme, wherein 20 000 men died on the first day. Battles on this front were also typified by poor advance planning and the application of 19th century warfare tactics, such as direct frontal assaults on enemy positions, that were doomed to failure in the face of modern technology, such as the machine gun. The general result of these huge expenditures of effort was only a small shift, measured in a few kilometres, in a short section of the front.

    The principal adversaries on the Western Front, who fielded armies of millions of men, were Germany to the East against France and the United Kingdom to the West, with sizable contingents taken from the Allied empires, especially the British Dominions. The United States entered the war on the side of the Entente Powers in 1917 and by the summer of 1918 had an army of around half a million men, this rising to a million by the time the Armistice was signed on November 11, 1918.

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