Experiences Of Soldiers On The Western Front And Crew Members Onboard Submarines During World War One

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The experiences of soldiers on the Western Front and crew members onboard submarines during World War One [WWI] included both physical and psychological challenges. Whilst there were many differences between their experiences there were also many similarities. Neither the health of the soldiers or the crew onboard the submarines were deeply considered due to the prioritisation of battle and combat. The conditions in the trenches were horrific with many soldiers getting diseases such as trench foot and trench fever. Submariners did not experience such conditions, however they still were forced into cramped conditions and were also subject to widespread disease. Both soldiers and submariners experienced severe psychological distress, funnily …show more content…

(Australian War Memorial, 2023) states “HMAS Australia had a complement of 820 and the ship was only 180 m long”. These cramped conditions helped incubate diseases which were then quickly spread through ships due to the tightly packed soldiers who were in close proximity and also shared facilities. Similarly, soldiers also experienced widespread disease due to the unsanitary and harsh conditions in the trenches, prolonged exposure to cold, muddy environments and limited access to medical resources. (Laurence Thomas Cummins, 2018) writes “Many men got trench foot and trench fever…we lost more that way than we did from wounds”. Soldiers and submariners similarly experienced a constant risk of death and injury. Despite this the nature of the risk was quite different. Gas attacks were a commonly used tactic in WWI due to their ability to inflict casualties and break through enemy lines. As a result, soldiers were at constant risk of being killed or receiving serious health issues. (Stewart & Fitzgerald, 1987) writes “I have also been gassed… One has to be pretty quick with them…A man without a helmet may as well stand upon the …show more content…

Soldiers endured periods of incessant stress and pressure while submariners endured prolonged periods without excitement eventuating in a repetitive lifestyle. A source from the Australian War Memorial (2023) states “Of actual fighting, of visible enemy, not a trace”. Due to the prevalent naval strategies of avoiding head-on battles during that time, submariners often faced prolonged periods of monotony, frustration, and disappointment due to the lack of excitement and the repetitive nature of their day-to-day life. In stark contrast, soldiers had to face the unpredictability of war. Laurance Thomas Cummins (2018) states “No one could comprehend it, no could control it, and no one could predict its course from hour to hour.” This shows how soldiers had to endure constant uncertainty, where circumstances and dangers could drastically change at any given time. While submariners experienced a dull and monotonous lifestyle, soldiers experienced constant stress, trauma and unpredictability. Furthermore, submariners were able to return home much more easily than soldiers who prayed to get shot just so they could see their loved ones again. According to the (Australian War Memorial, 2023) leading signalman Stanley Gedling recalled being surprised by a visit from his mother. This shows how while it was uncommon submariners did get to return home and

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