World War One Trench Warfare


Rubber Boots

One tool that was crucial to the soldiers were their rubber boots. The trenches that the soldiers were in, were dug in the ground so therefore they had walls or dirt. When it rained, that dirt turned into mud. It was hard to move in and gave the soldiers something called "Trench Foot". Trench foot is when your feet got infected due to constantly being cold and wet. It often wasn't treated and lead to amputation ("Simon").


Another important factor in surviving the trenches is socks. They not only kept your feet warm, but dry as well. In May, 1918, twenty soldiers wrote the same note addressed to "Madame" all of them thanking the Women of the Salisbury Branch of the Queen Mary's Needlework Guide. for sending them socks ("James"). Without socks soldiers would not have been able to survive out in the trenches.


The third tool is rat poison. A huge problem in the trenches were the rats. They would eat the soldiers food supplies and even bit them in their sleep. One soldier said they were as big as cats. Rat poison would really help the soldiers because they wouldn't have to worry about being bitten or lack of food. They would also stop wasting time trying to catch the rats and focus on the war.

("US WWI")

The fourth crucial survival tool in the trenches was a gas mask. Although tear gas was the most common, phosgene, chlorine, and mustard gasses were also used. The tear gas blinded many soldiers and some of the others killed them. Chemical warfare played a huge role in World War I and ended up having 1.2 million casualties ("Reddy").


The final tool that was important to soldiers in WWI was an entrenching tool or an E-tool. They were used by the soldiers to dig trenches, graves, and latrines. Some soldiers even used them for close quarter fighting since the bayonets were sometimes to long. Almost every soldier had one and occasionally they were even considered more important to the soldiers than their riffles and bayonets ("Beith").

Work Cited

Beith, Ian H. "Modern Battle Tactics." 9 Apr. 1917. Speech.

"Engineer Knee High Rubber Boots." 44th Collectors Avenue, 23 Mar. 2017.

E-Tool from WWI. Pandelov's Blog,, Accessed 27 Mar. 2017.

James, Kate. "On the Importance of Socks..." Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre,Swindon Burough Council, 19 Sept. 2013, Accessed 24 Mar. 2017.

Rat Poison. Accessed 24 Mar. 2017.

Reddy, Chris. "The Growing Menace of Chemical War." Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Accessed 27 Mar. 2017.

Simon, John. "Trench Foot." Spartacus Educational, FWWfoot.htm. Accessed 23 Mar. 2017.

"Soldiers in the Front Line." The Long, Long Trail, Milverton Associates, life-in-the-trenches-of-the-first-world-war/. Accessed 23 Mar. 2017.

Standard Issue Socks during First World War. Shropshire Rememberers, Shropshire Council, 23 May 2016, Accessed 24 Mar. 2017.

US WWI Gas Mask with Bag. Wikipedia Commons, MediaWiki, Accessed 24 Mar. 2017.

Created By
Allison Vysotsky

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.