The First World War: A Brief History with Documents

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The First World War, also known as the Great War, began in about 1914 and went on until 1918. This brutal war was an extremely bloody time for Europe and the soldiers that fought in it. These men spent their days in trenches holding down bases and taking in attacks from all sides. The soldier's only free time was consumed with writing letters to those on the home front. The letters they wrote contain heart breaking stories of how their days were spent and the terrible signs of war. The War consumed them and many of them let out all their true feelings of war in their letters to loved ones. In The First World War: A brief History With Documents we can find some of these letters that help us understand what the First World War might have …show more content…
He touches on their tragic deaths compared to their hopeful letters of going home and seeing their loved ones. He describes his astonishment as he realizes that none of these men actually showed hatred or abuse towards the German, they simply believed and had conviction in the justice behind their cause. This letter illustrates the feelings of a once happy man, now stuck at war. He says, "War hardens ones hearts and blunts ones feelings…"(p.68). This young soldier has lost all signs of the happy life he led back home. The harshness of war got to him just like the rest of the soldiers out there and if they so much as dreamed about accepting the reality around them, they would have gone either insane or surrendered and he could not give himself that luxury so onward he went. In the fifteenth document we come across this British soldier describing the battle of the Somme, The young soldier, Christian Creswell Carver writes to his brother about the intensive warfare he faced. He illustrates the war by describing the sounds and views of what he sees on different occasions. He describes the sounds of gunfire over the trees as a noise exactly like a great wave. He depicts the battle as being swallowed up by the great wave and being spit up and washed even further away. He then speaks on the gas attacks he had to endure, describing it as a great cloud that formed into lines and slowly made its way to their trenches.

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