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Shell Shock:

In WW1 shell shock was also known as battle fatigue. It is a mental health condition and according to the UK National Health Service can occur after experiencing or witnessing traumatic events such as the stress of military combat.A At the time of WW1 sufferers may have been stigmatised as cowards however shell shock is now much better understood and is known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).A,B It can affect anyone who has been in a stressful situation and has no link to bravery or cowardice.B A UK charity which deals with PTSD known as Combat Stress states the following in their FAQ:B

"PTSD is a psychological response to the experience of an event (or events) of an intensely traumatic nature. These type of events often involve a risk to life - one's own or that of one's colleagues. It is a condition that can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender or culture."

"Some people are more resilient than others, but every individual has their breaking point. Exposure to multiple and sustained trauma, and lack of supportive structures (peer group and/or family support) increase the risk of developing PTSD."

There are also autobiographical reports from SAS soldiers (members of UK special forces - so about as tough and brave as it gets) who have suffered from PTSD and have spoken out in the media.C This has helped to reduce the stigma of PTSD and to remove the false impression that it is something that only affects "cowards".

Trench Warfare:

WWI is widely known for the type of warfare the soldiers used. They fought using trench warfare tactics. The opposing armies would dig a trench in the ground and then lob explosives at each other using howitzers, trench mortars, and other early weapons.

For more info on the WWI weapons see the related links.

Conditions:

All around the soldiers there was constant death and noise. One would have to get used to short naps in between attacks. Animals such as rats, lice, and frogs would spread disease and soiled food. Latrines were either nonexistent or normally overfilled. The air always reeked of carcasses, unwashed men, poison gas (thrown by the opposing army) and filth (as in overflowing latrines)

For more info on the conditions and the basic parts of a trench go to:

http://www.harris-academy.com/departments/history/Trenches/Jedidiah/jed2.htm

Sources:

A Post-traumatic stress disorder: NHS Website

B FAQs: Combat Stress website

C Ex-SAS soldier Bob Paxman talks about PTSD: Sky News Website

Please see related links.

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14y ago
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16y ago

it is very hard to be a soldier because you havr to see your friends die so you want to save them but you also want to keep yourself alive... you miss your family a lot and you become emotionless

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16y ago

It was so hard going to war, and being a soldier. The only thing that kept them going was the fact that they were fighting for there country and Queen.

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15y ago

i guess it would have been hard to live in with all the distractions around you. i do not think you would be able to sleep incase somethind happened to your house!

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15y ago

it is demanding, tiring, painful, and the food don't taste too good

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15y ago

its like you never know, coz youre already dead...

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15y ago

There is no wold war 1!!!

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13y ago

Bad...

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Q: What was it like on the frontline in wold war 1?
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