Learning Curve, The Great War
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Useful notes: Source4
Report detailing deliveries of trench warfare supplies, September 1915
(Catalogue ref: MUN 2/30)
  • Britain had not fought a major land war in Europe for almost 100 years when the Great War broke out in 1914.
  • As well as building up an army, the army had to be supplied with food, equipment and ammunition.
  • This was the job of the quartermasters. It was an extremely important and responsible job.
  • This document gives a tiny snapshot of the vast job the suppliers had to do in 1915. At this stage of the war the British Army was still comparatively small. By 1917 it was much larger and so lists of supplies like this would have been much larger.
  • The document gives an insight into the type of fighting taking place. When the war broke out it was expected to be a war of movement with cavalry charges. This did not happen because of the power of artillery and machine guns.
  • Trenches appeared early in the war and stalemate followed. Much of the fighting involved raids by small teams of soldiers on enemy trenches to get information or simply kill enemy troops.
  • Grenades and small hand-held bombs were extremely effective in this kind of warfare. Soldiers could hide in shell holes and throw bombs with a good chance of not being spotted.
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