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Why did World War I evolve from a war of rapid movement to a war from the trench

  1. profile image46
    CHIMCCOILUVSLYFEposted 7 years ago

    Why did World War I evolve from a war of rapid movement to a war from the trenches?

  2. W.W. Wickett profile image36
    W.W. Wickettposted 7 years ago

    Short answer is that the offensive technologies used to fight the war (tanks, chemical weapons, automatic weapons, planes, etc...) far outpaced both the defensive technologies and strategies used. The more nuanced an answer you go from there simply will flesh out the approximate percentages of importance and history and implication of each of the technologies and strategies. Consult Wikipedia or Google to get started on a more in depth answer if you want/need it.

  3. profile image0
    Old Empresarioposted 7 years ago

    Trenches only developed in France on the Western Front. The main theatre of the war was in Russia and there were few to no trenches used there. Trench warfare was not a characteristic of the fighting that took place between the allies and Ottomans in the Middle East. Trench warfare developed because the German troops marching or riding across France were stopped by the concentrated machine gun fire and Howitzer artillery of the French and British armies. The Germans, refusing to retreat, dug defensive trenches, and stopped using horse cavalry. New technologies emerged as a means of breaking through the trenches on one side or another, such as tanks, chemical weapons, or aerial bombers.

  4. profile image56
    smnmcshannonposted 7 years ago


    In effect, the lack of tactical strategy of the period, combined with the rapid advances in technology from 1815 was the main reason as to why it became a war of rapid movement to a war of trenches.

    For example, the strategy of 1914, in looking at the German Schleiffen Plan, was to make a rapid advance on Paris.  This concept/strategy was from a bygone era when vast armies moved at rapid speed against another army also travelling at speed across vast areas of land.  The development of the Machine Gun and the quick firing rifle put an end to the 'vast advance' principal.

  5. jaskar profile image70
    jaskarposted 6 years ago

    I'd say it was the technology. i outlined my theory in a hub a while back...
    http://hubpages.com/hub/The-Jump-in-the … of-Warfare

  6. UnnamedHarald profile image97
    UnnamedHaraldposted 6 years ago

    One of the main reasons the war of maneuver degenerated into trench warfare on the western front was because the armies ran out of room to outflank each other. In the south they ran into the Swiss Alps and in the north, they ran into the English channel. Once the trenches were dug, barbed wire strung and machine guns placed, forward movement (attacking) also became problematic.