WWI Trench Warfare Survival Guide Sierra McHugh pd.2

Entrenching Tool

Military shovel, front view by Karol Głąb is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

The entrenching tool would help you survive in World War 1 because it was a tool used to dig basic, shallow trenches. These trenches provided respective protection against the deadly weapons. Soldiers dug in to defend themselves against shrapnel and bullets. They were also sometimes used as weapons in hand-to-hand combat. The entrenching tool can be stored on the soldiers equipment belt when they are not in use (Brosnan).

Steel Helmet

M1 Steel Helmet Shell - Side view by Graham Sherwood is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

The development of new weapons and the improved performance of existing ones forced armies to develop better protective equipment. Before the steel helmet, the British Army used soft cloth caps that offered no protection. When it comes to protection in a trench, a soldier's most vulnerable area was his head. The British steel helmet was designed for increased protection from shrapnel and other projectiles falling from above. Although it could still break, the helmets reduced head injuries by 75 per cent ("10").

Gas Masks

An image of a soldier of WWI with a gas mask for protection in battle by Luz28 is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.

Gas masks were needed when the use chemical weapons increased. The first gas masks were simple cotton pads soaked in chemicals or canvas hoods with glass eyepieces and a rubber tube where a soldier could breathe. The Small Box Respirator mask is an advanced gas mask that was first introduced in August 1916 and became standard issue the following year. Although death rates from gas were relatively low, the physical effects were awful and it remained a pervasive psychological weapon (Brosnan).

Lee-Enfield Rifle

Short Magazine Lee-Enfield Rifle by York Museums Trust is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

The Short Magazine Lee-Enfield rifle was standard issue to British and Empire forces. It could withstand the wet and muddy conditions of the Western Front proving to be a successful weapon. A benefit to the rifle was that a sword bayonet could be attached to the barrel for close quarter combat (Brosnan).

Field Dressing/Emergency Kit


This British First Field Dressing pack was a part of a soldier's kit. It contained two field dressings. When medical personnel were not close by, it gave men the resources to provide limited medical care to themselves or others. In order to use it, soldiers were given instruction on how to apply these dressings to limit blood loss. Having this pack out in the field would help keep men alive until they could be treated by trained medical staff (Brosnan).

Works Cited (Info)

Brosnan, Matt. “Life at the Front in 14 Objects.” Imperial War Museums, www.iwm.org.uk/history/life-at-the-front-in-14-objects. Accessed 27 Mar. 2017.

“10 Things That Could Have Saved Your Life in the Trenches.” Imperial War Museums, www.iwm.org.uk/history/10-things-that-could-have-saved-your-life-in-the-trenches. Accessed 27 Mar. 2017.

Works Cited (Pictures)

First Field Dressing Pack. Imperial War Musuems, www.iwm.org.uk/history/podcasts/voices-of-the-first-world-war/podcast-29-wounded. Accessed 27 Mar. 2017.

Two British Soldiers Standing in a Flooded Trench during World War One. BBC, 20 Jan. 2014, www.bbc.co.uk/schools/0/ww1/25626530. Accessed 27 Mar. 2017.

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