World War I Soldier
World War 1 Soldiers
The second battle of the Marne was forth between July and August of 1918 during the First World War. The war was between The Germans and the French armies. The French army had been pushed across the Marne River, by the advancement of the German troops. Latter Allied forces that included Britain and Italy joined to help the French troops. The entry of American as one of the Allies marked a turning point for the Battle. The American troops had no experience in the wars. However, they were a new energy to steer the exhausted Allied forces to victory (Stouffer, Lumsdaine, Lumsdaine, Williams, Smith, & Cottrell, 1949). The victory of the Marne battle was strategic for it acted as a motivation to defeat the strong German troops, American soldiers were core to the success as explained below.
Role played by American troops in the Second Battle of the Marne and Subsequent American engagement with Germans until 1918 when they surrendered
France had been defeated, Britain and Italy joined to keep the French fighting. They were exhausted too and sorted help from the reluctant America, whose economy was stable to replenish the Allies supplies in the Battle. Americans joined and fought in the Marne river front where Germans had crossed (Owen, 2000). The American troops helped to push the Germans over away from the Marne banks. President Wilson had sent the American troops under General John Pershing, who had outstanding records in previous wars with the Mexicans.
American troops were dived into divisions and were located on different grounds in the battle. The American troops led the resistance against German from the west of and south of Soissons (Stouffer et al., 1949). At this points, they posed resistance to German troops on air and those on Ground. German division had success in the war in the attempt to cross the Marne. With an exceptional on the right wing, where the Americans were positioned.
General Charles Summerall, led into victory the First Division of the American troops. The forces attacked the German entrenchments constantly for four days and night and broke through this German pivot. The American soldiers captured Germans into prisoners and took their armaments alongside other valuables. The entrenchment was important; it was the base for planning the attacks on the Marne salient. The Germans held the Vesle line; the American 32nd division fought for a continuous five days to push the Germans who used their machine guns from a cave. They recovered the village of Juvigny and managed to push Germans away from it. The Germans had been driven from Marne River to Aisne River, where they held some ground, but the American division pushed them out. American troops forced the Germans to retreat even further, and this marked the beginning of German defeat.
The German defeat was brought by its isolation from her allies, which included the Ottoman Empire that signed an armistice in October 1918, Austro- Hungary, Bulgaria signed it in September. In 11th November 1918, the German signed a ceasefire and subsequent surrender that ended the war.
Weaponry used by soldiers in World War I
World War 1 was a unique since it used the modern art of weapons for fighting. The fighting nations were industrialized and used their knowledge and skills to construct weapons of mass destructions. The machines included bayonet, which were small daggers attached at the end of a rifle. Used to charge against an enemy, without contact, and at times was used to dig and open cans of food (Leed, 1981). The British invented it for thrusting and the training on how to use them enhanced their efficiency. Soldiers used machine guns on land or advanced by feet. They were used charge against enemies with more than 500 rounds per minute. They required training for usage and their heavyweights made their mobility cumbersome.
Rifle, this was the standard weapon for infantry soldiers. The British had the better rifle as compared to the Germans (Leed, 1981). The superiority was due to the ability of the British Lee-Enfield, which had a quick bolt action and a relatively bigger magazine as compared to the kar 98 Mauser for the German. Grenades, these are small hand bombs, their explosion was timed or detonated by the impact. German had the best grenades at the beginning but later the British developed efficient mill bombs to hurl by hand or from a rifle. Pistol, during the First World War it was issued to particular individuals for a specific duty (Leed, 1981). Pistols were considered so effective and efficient for their ease to aim and shoot. Germans had the famous pistols known as the Lugar. Artillery, they were used to fire explosives they were massive and simple to use. They were better than the machine guns and tanks in firing for their mass causality after an explosion. Mortars functioned as artillery but were not favored for their short range. During the war, German had more than 120 mortars while Britain had none. They were effective in aiming at machine guns, snipers and soldiers hiding in a nest. Tanks were slow but impervious to machines guns, rifles and pistols (Leed, 1981). The British had the best tanks during the war. Barbed wire, it was used to keep infantry soldiers away from the grenades or was strategically set in a manner that enemies were led to the machine guns. Those who tried to penetrate were entangled to death, kilometers of barbed wire were used. Flame throwers, they were aimed at trenches and nest more than 20 meters away. The flame throwers were handled by one individual who spurts the flaming oil. Germans introduced them, and British came later. Mines, they were explosions placed underground and remotely detonated or by an impact especially by a soldiers feet (Leed, 1981). Some mines were left to float to enemies water lines in contact with a ship it exploded.
Soldier’s experience in the war
The First World War, exposed troops to harsh and devastating war front in history. With new ammunition technology, the art of fighting moved to a different level where within a short span an enormous number of casualties was experienced. Diseases plagued the soldiers as a result of summer and winter climatic conditions. For instance, the influenza pandemic was recorded to have killed more soldiers than the war. Those who fought from the trenches were blown by the mortars and the artillery (Coffman, 2014). The soldiers were weak for they had to fight long without replacement and got minimal food supplies. Medical supplies were not adequate and soldiers died in large number for lack of basic first aid.
The war caused mental disorders by the terrifying weapons used. For instance, the flame thrower pioneered by the Germans was primary to scare the enemy soldiers away, and this caused stress and depression among the Allied soldiers who fought in fear. Despite the heavy weaponry the soldiers had, on command they were expected to lift them across the trenches to go and fight. In the trench lice and rodents attacked them and air-bone diseases were investable (Coffman, 2014). The machine guns, the canon, the artillery among other loud weapons, resulted to noises that lead to hearing problems to some of the soldiers the rest had to endure the loud noises of firing the arms. Some grenades, for instance, the British mark one could easily detonate accidentally and blow the soldiers in the process of hurling it.
The camps where soldiers used as their base was not hygienic and were subtle. They filled the latrines faster, and the result was diarrhea, typhoid, cholera and many diseases. Body lice since water and time for a bath were inadequate, soldiers went for weeks and months fighting without changing clothing. The corpse were rotting and during summer the smell was enhanced and this attracted flies that contributed to the fast spread of diseases (Coffman, 2014). The psychological toll exaggerated the physical hardships and soldiers had to face it.
In conclusion, the war lasted for a short period but claimed a lot of soldiers’ lives. American troop’s entry into the war and the winning of the Marne battle marked the begging an end of World War 1 .with German soldiers retreating and subsequent surrender the Allies won the war. Soldiers had a terrifying experiences with modern weapons at war.
Coffman, E. M. (2014). The War to End All Wars: The American Military Experience in World War I. University Press of Kentucky.
Leed, E. J. (1981). No man’s land: combat and identity in World War 1. CUP Archive.
Owen, J. M. (2000). Liberal peace, liberal war: American politics and international security. Cornell University Press.
Stouffer, S. A., Lumsdaine, A. A., Lumsdaine, M. H., Williams Jr, R. M., Smith, M. B., Janis, I. L., … & Cottrell Jr, L. S. (1949). The American soldier: combat and its aftermath.(Studies in social psychology in World War II, Vol. 2.).