Lecture 17 - War in the Trenches

author: John Merriman, Department of History, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: April 16, 2010,   recorded: November 2008,   views: 3186
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)
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With the failure of Germany's offensive strategy, WWI became a war of defense, in which trenches played a major role. The use of trenches and barbed wire, coupled with the deployment of new, more deadly forms of artillery, created extremely bloody stalemate situations. The hopelessness of this arrangement resulted in a number of mutinies on the French side, motivated neither by defeatism nor by ideology, but rather by the sheer horror of trench warfare. Due to the unprecedented scale of casualties, WWI impressed itself irresistibly upon the cultural imagination of the combatant nations.

Reading assignment:

Merriman, John. A History of Modern Europe: From the Renaissance to the Present, pp. 973-1016

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