How far was the Battle of Verdun and Somme turning points on the western front in 1915

Essay by jamespc7High School, 10th gradeA, October 2014

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7th October 2013 James Palles-Clark 4A

How far was the Battle of Verdun and Somme turning points on the western front in 1915-1918.

Over many years, many different historians have debated over whether The Battle of Somme and Verdun were actually turning points in the long, and gruesome First World War. Many historians have agreed with the statement and many haven't; yet both sides have reasonable answers to their view. Over the course of the essay I will provide both sides to the debate and also state my view at the end, that I believe that The Somme and Verdun were turning points in the First World War.

Fighting on the Western front between 1914 and 1918 was dominated by deadlock. In which the lines of the trenches were just a few miles apart. And the reasons why the deadlock occurred and why the trench warfare was so static seem to provide good evidence of how far the fighting of 1916 represents no turning points at all.

The deadlock, which had happened by the end of 1914, remained until the spring of 1918. A great deal has been written by different historians to try and explain why this was and who or what was really to blame for the millions of casualties that occurred in the First World War. Trenches and heavy artillery dominated the deadlock. Breaking through the lines was largely a question of expenditure of highly explosive ammunition. If sufficient ammunition is forthcoming, a way out can be blasted through. This view was widely shared and as a result led to commanders seeking more and more firepower to attempt to smash open a gap that could then be exploited (by advancing infantry and then a breakout into the open country beyond the trench lines, but it failed to...