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Dan Kelchner English......Mr Krucli
journal 3
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all quiet on the western front
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RESEARCH

Trenches were dug into clay and sand.  Water couldn’t permeate the clay and the sand absorbed it, so the trenches were waterlogged when it rained.  Some trenches even collapsed because of this. Dysentry also struck soldiers because of a lack of proper sanitation and contaminated water supplies. Corpses and scraps of food attracted large trench rats, which would swarm the trenches.  To end their time on the front line, many soldiers also endured self-inflicted wounds, either to get excused from the front line or to end life altogether.  Lice also attacked the soldiers, bringing with them trench fever (pyrexia) that accounted for 15% of disease-related deaths.  Amputations due to injury or disease wasanother risk.  Trench foot was another problem, caused by cool temperatures and dampness.  Drying off their feet and changing their socks was the only way to avoid it, which by the end, the British were ordered to do at least twice a day.  Shell-shock was another issue, causing death, insanity, and suicide.

One of the best words to describe what life in the trenches sounds like is miserable.  Being wet and having no way to dry off, first of all, is an extremely horrible experience, even in everyday life. Being sick, as well, is never an exciting experience.  These things coupled with rats that steal food and literally feed off the flesh of corpses and former peers would be horrifying.  The people who actually survived trench life are among the strongest around, though I’d not be willing to say that any of them escaped with all of their sanity remaining.  They’re admirable but torn apart. 

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