Charge of the Light Brigade and’Dulce et Decorum Est
The Crimean war started in 1853 and ended three years later in 1856. It was fought between Russia on one side and Turkey, France, Britain and Sardinia on the other. The fighting took place mainly in Turkey. The technology of the Crimean war was not that good. They used gunpowder, as it was one of the best fighting resources that they had. The main problem though with using gunpowder was that it caused a lot of smoke and that made it very hard to see on the battlefield. So because of this they wore bright red uniforms so that they could see each other.
But the only problem with that was that the enemy could also see them quite clearly so they would be fairly easy targets. Another main resource in the Crimean war was the use of horses. Horses were used very widely in battles by both the officers and the cavalry. No machine guns were used as they were not invented until the first world war, so this made fighting quite difficult, and also this was one of the reasons why they relied so heavily on gunpowder. The British army in the Crimean war was not very professional. They treated being in the army like a game, they acted as though the army was just for fun.
The army was run like a public school. Most of the officers were from the upper class as they could buy their position in the army. This often meant that they were not specially trained, so the army was not run very well. The lower class of the army were treated very poorly by the upper-class, they were looked down on and the officers didn’t care about them. Recruitment to the army was not compulsory, as there was no compulsory military service at the time of the Crimean war. Officers would try to find people to join the army and most of these people were poorly educated and were also not very well off.
They often joined the army just s that they would be given nice clothes to wear and so they would have a good job. Young men also joined the army as they were promised glory when they went out to war and most men liked the sound of that. People’s attitudes to war were mainly that it was a game and just a bit of fun. They also thought that war would be a glorious adventure, and they also thought that being in the army and going to war would give them a chance to help their country. They also thought that going to war would prove themselves a man, as it would be brave and they would have to be brave and strong.
The military strategy that the British army used in the Crimean war was very simple. The leaders and officers were untrained so they really had no idea of how to go about fighting a war. The British army were often called the ‘thin red line’, as they would march in lines slowly towards the enemy. The First World War started in 1914 and ended four years later in 1918. The technology had greatly improved since previous wars. The First World War was the war were lots of new technology came into use, so it became more advanced, as new things were used and different things were tried out.
Lots of new weapons were used like machine guns, high powered rifles and gas, all of these things were very efficient at killing, so more troops died. Also towards the end of the war planes and tanks started to come into use. Horses were not used that much in World War 1 as they were well out of date and they would not have been much use as they could just be shot very easily, with all the new technology. The British army wore new uniforms, they were khaki, instead of bright red, as they did not need to be bright because the battle field was not as Smokey as it was in the Crimean war, because they used smokeless bullets.
This helped, as it was not so easy for the enemy to see them. Even with all the new technology their military strategy was still out of date, as it was still based on 19th century war. All the soldiers believed that they had to do their duty to their country. They believed that it was their duty to fight to save their country. They also thought that it was a sweet and honorable thing to die for their country. They believed that god was on their side and that he was willing them on to go out and to be brave and fight. They knew that they were fighting for king and country and that they had to do their best.
It was not compulsory to join the army during the First World War but massive numbers of soldiers were needed so a big campaign was launched to get men to sign up for the army. People were told that their country needs them. In 1914 the British army only had about 250,000 members and 24,000 French soldiers had died in one day, so unless they got more people to join, the army wasn’t going to last for very long. People were pressurized to join, psychology was used, and at a football match lots of people were persuaded into joining.
Many factories and villages competed to see who could send the most men to war, groups of men were told that they could stay together, if they joined the army. Some people really wanted to join the army, so they would lie about their age, many were only 16 when they really had to be 19. The role of women in getting men to go to war was very important. Women would pressurize men to join by giving them a white feather, if they wouldn’t go, this was to say that he was a coward. This would make the men feel very stupid, so they would probably then sign up.
Women were also told not to date a man unless he was a soldier. Their attitude to war was mostly that it was fun and exiting. They thought that war would prove that they were a real man, they thought that war would make a man of them. They all wanted to do their bit, and they also wanted a chance to prove themselves. They thought that war would be a lot of fun, many even hoped that the war would not be over before they got there. They thought that they were big and strong and that by wearing the uniform they looked brave and attractive. Many of the soldiers thought that the war would be over in six months.