HISTORY Life in the Trenches in the First World War WARM-UP VOCABULARY PAIR WORK Collegate i termini inglesi alla loro traduzione. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 50 Homeland Fight Troop Shell Ration Fuel a. b. c. d. e. f. Granata Razione Patria Battaglia Truppa Carburante World War I was a war of air and ground : air because airplanes were massively used; ground because on the Western Front of the war (between Northern France and Belgium) trenches were used in the battles between German troops and Allied Forces (France, Britain and, later, the US). What was a trench? Trenches were long, narrow ditches dug in the ground where soldiers lived and fought. They were used as a protection and to make it difficult for the enemy troops to advance. Life in the trenches was very bad for soldiers, who were often very young: trenches were very humid, uncomfortable and dirty and these conditions caused severe medical problems. One of the typical diseases was the trench foot : mud and humidity deformed soldiers feet. Shell shock was another: it was a mental illness similar to posttraumatic stress caused by the explosion of shells. Between the two lines of trenches there was an area called no man s land , where the two troops fought. In this area of terrible fighting and gunfire, on Christmas Day 1914 British and German soldiers met and played football, exchanged food and sang Christmas carols. On that day, they were not enemies, but had fun together as simple, young men. 2 WRITING READING Leggi la lettera che un soldato australiano scrive alla sua famiglia da un ospedale inglese. Completa con le parole mancanti. head scream hearing trenches shock capture 1 READING Rispondi alle seguenti domande. 1. What was a trench? 2. How was life in the trenches? 3. What happened on Christmas Day in 1914 between the German and the British troops? 4. What did soldiers usually do during rest time in the trenches? You may be a little surprised to hear that I am in the hospital suffering from shell 1. , which has taken away my speech and 2. . It is some sixteen days now since it happened. [ ] We were in the 3. and fighting for our life, when two of us saw a German soldier in a hole, so we made up our minds to 4. him, and I just remember getting to him when a high explosive shell burst at my head; it seemed as if it burst inside my 5. ; everything went black. I tried to 6. and couldn t and I could not hear my mates only just a terrible bursting in my head all the time. Adapted from: https://encyclopedia.1914-1918-online.net/article/war_ psychiatry_and_shell_shock