Axel Reflection

The interdisciplinary unit I believe is a great way to learn and expand subject specific knowledge. It is great when you look at two different views of one specific event. I believe it helped my to understand how different types of language can be used to influence and manipulate people in one way and into leading them to make decisions that you want them to make. In history, I believe it is nice to understand how political leaders applied their knowledge of language and used that to rule.

 

The benefits are that we learn in a broader way, meaning we tackle more components of one subject. Instead of learning just what happened, we learn more how it happened, what lead up to it happening, etc. One thing that I believe is difficult to do though is to formulate a research question that is specific enough for both English and history.

 

I believe that the subject lessons and the exhibition has largely contributed to new interdisciplinary understandings because we got to understand both subjects from a different perspectives. In history, we looked at what happened during the war and in English we look at how literature affected the first world war. When we looked at it from such different perspectives I believe we learnt more about the two subjects.

 

The excursion to Ypres was great. We learnt a lot by looking at the different memorials and cementaries, for example the Tine Cot Memorial. Flanders museum was great for my research since it contained a lot of information about weaponry and technology and how/when they were used. I wish we would have looked at more museums instead of only looking at the different memorials and remembrances.

Bibliography

This is a list of all the source we used to gather research:

Source Analysis

Source 1

Dulce et Decorum Est

Website: http://www.warpoetry.co.uk/owen1.html

Origin: Poem written by Wilfred Owen between 8th October 1917 and March in 1918. Wilfred Owen was a soldier during the first world war and experienced many of these tragedies and devastations first hand. This means that the poems that he write are usually accurate and display the situations in the trenches in a way that no other poet will.

Purpose: The purpose of this poem was to show everyone how really terrible the trenches were. The name, Dulce et Decorum Est means that it is sweet and honourable, which is all of the things the war did not turn out to be. This poem shows that the war wasn’t glorious, but terrible. It also talks about gas;                      “Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling, Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.” This quote shows how terrible the gas attacks were and that the death was excruciating.

Value: Since Wilfred Owen was a soldier of the war himself, it is the closest you can get to a soldier’s point of view on the war. It is good because it shows how soldiers felt about the war and everything they had to go through. This is good for our exhibition because we want to look at the effect of certain weapons on the battles and trenches, and this one explains the effect of gas.

Limitations: It only talks about gas and not any other weapons. This is not exactly a limitation since we still get and understanding of the effect of gas.

Source 2

website: http://www.firstworldwar.com/weaponry/

Origin:

  • The website is secondary source
  • written by Michael Duffy
  • Published at Saturday 22 august, 2009

Purpose:

This document exist to people that want to use and understand about weapons in ww1. The aim for this website is to go find out about the weapons that was used in the ww1 and development of the weapons. The intended audience is the people that want to know about the weapons that was used in the war. The website say about the the use of the weapons in ww1 and development and which country used it.

Value:

From the website the author knows about the ww1. The the period is 1914 to end of the  war. This has a value of information that we have to make our part of the project. But there are limitation to this.

Limitation:  

From this document it can tell in depth of the weapons not that depth. We could verify the source by checking with other sources to see if it is right source or not and get more info of the weapons.this source tells the accurate information that we needed to know about with some extra source to see in depth and back up the information that we had.

Source 3

Origin:

This source is a secondary one written close to present day, however the source does not state when the articles were published. It can still be seen that the source was written a long time after the first world war took place. The articles were published by the Canadian War  Museum and gave an overview of the weapons used throughout the war.

Purpose:

The purpose of this source is to provide information about all of the different types and categories of weapons that were used throughout the First world war. Not only does it talk about how the weapon categories developed as a whole, but it also gives a lot of detail and analysis about the individual weapons such as how they were used, what their strengths and weaknesses were and also when and by who they were used.

Values:

The biggest value and thing that I took away from this source was the individual weapon descriptions. The reason why this was so helpful was because it really allowed me to see how the different weapons developed throughout the war and what weapons were used when. An example of this that I found very helpful was in the grenade category of the website, it shower how the german stick grenade was improved and refined throughout the war and how it became a more effective weapon. Another value of this source was the amount of weapons that were talked about and described, it gave an extremely good overview of the different weapons that were used in trench warfare, which allowed to have a better understanding of the research question and sub questions.

Limitations:

The biggest limitation that this source has, is the fact that it did not really discuss the impact that the weapons had on the war and battles from both sides. Another thing was that regarding some of the weapons, it did not give a lot of detail about who pioneered and used the weapon and also about when and where in the war they were being used.

Research Question Answer

How did trench warfare spark inventions and innovations in weaponry from the beginning of the first world war till the end?

Due to the constant change in trench warfare and technological advancements, new weapons and tools had to be created to be given the upper hand. All fronts were making developments and they were on ‘the same level of advancement’ for most of the time. When the gas was introduced by the Germans it gave them a huge advantage for a short period of time until the other forces also started using it. The spark was like a butterfly effect: if one country had made an advancement, then the other countries had to make an advancement to be able to keep up and not be completely overthrown by the weaponry of someone else. The only thing that separated a front was the weapons; even though the weapons had the same purpose, they were slightly different and had slightly different characteristics.

English Poems

These are three poems that we wrote displaying the effect of some weapons from a soldier’s point of view.

Gas:

Green clouds sneaking over the fields

Our masks will be our shields

It causes one thing: death

And will lead to our last breath

Thousands upon thousands dies

Our ears are filled with many cries

As the soldiers scream their last goodbye

 

Bombs/Grenades:

Creating large holes in the ground

And coming in with a dreadful sound

Causing nothing but destruction

To survive this we were given little instruction

A master of chaos and fear

Devastating everything far and near

 

Machine Gun:

The ability to kill people faster than lightning

This weapon is truly frightening

Mowing you down,

It can take out a whole town

Putting fear into the eyes of every attacker

This sounds like a firecracker

 

Impacts of Weapons

Machine Gun

One weapon that had a significant effect on battle and trench warfare was the machine gun. The machine gun was a fully automatic gun that could fire many bullets very quickly. It had a large magazine and a lot of ammunition so it could fire constantly for minutes on end. The machine gun was a large and heavy weapon so it was not carried around or moved a lot. It was used mainly in the defence since when one trench would rush another, they would run in a line. This meant that the machine gunners could easily ‘mow’ down the enemy forces without having to be very accurate. This weapon gave the defensive side a much larger advantage than the attacking side because the defensives could kill the attackers much faster than the attackers could kill the defensives.

Gas

Gas attacks was an effective, strategic but devastating way of attacking. This is because it could easily kill the enemy; it was toxic and would kill them quickly. The gas is heavier than air, so it would sink into the trenches and kill everything in them. The gas would however kill all living things that it would come across: plants, animals and even bugs. It was also difficult to set up, since there would have to be a row of gas canisters that were to be opened at the same time, and the wind had to be blowing in the right direction so that it would reach the enemy’s trenches and not go into your own.  When the conditions were right, the gas was one of the most effective ways of taking out many people at once and changed warfare. After gas, war became chemical warfare. All sides would use gas to try to kill the enemies and it destroyed landscapes and environments.

Our Exhibition Plan

For our exhibition we are going to have 3 boards set up with pictures of different weapons. We are going to have no text on the boards, because this will be too distracting for the audience. We want there to be a desk with a laptop on it, and on that laptop we are going to have an interactive trivia game where the audience can drop and drag different pictures of weapons onto a timeline. We will then tell them what the weapons were and when they were made. This is a fun interactive activity that will teach the audience and keep them interested.