I love a dog. He does nothing for political reasons. — Will Rogers

Great War - Journal #10

Over the Top
An officer of the 10th Scottish Rifles leads his men over the top as shells burst around them on 24 March 1917.

What is your first name?

What is your last name?


The First World War was ironic in that it combined both modern technology and medieval tactics. One created the other. Why did the soldiers of the First World War develop such an elaborate system of trenches and fortifications?
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Robert Graves describes the smell of front line trenches.

The smell was a compound of stagnant mud, latrine buckets, chloride of lime, unburied and half-buried corpses, rotting sandbags, stale human sweat, fumes of cordite and lyddite. Sometimes it was sweetened by cigarette smoke and the scent of bacon frying over wood fires, sometimes made sinister by the lingering odor of poisonous gas.

  • Define cordite.
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  • Describe the contrast present.
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  • Would you stay sane in such an environment? Explain.
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