War has never been easy since time of immemorial. World War 1 saw the death and injury to many soldiers who were doing it to defend their countries interest. In war, it is difficult to predict the overall outcome since both groups would fight against each other with the best skills imparted in them. Superiority of weapons and skill levels plays a vital role in winning the war in the battle field. This paper will analyze a number of aspects from the diary of a World War I soldier and answer a few questions on what the soldiers were able to learn from battle that they had against German soldiers.
In the diary, the word Jerry has been used concessionary throughout the article. A keen analysis of this term indicates that the writer is referring to their enemy whom they are fighting with. It is evident in the write-up that at some point, the writer expresses low levels of fear from the Jerry’s battalion than the menace the rats caused to them. The writer goes further to show how they would lay attacks on Jerry’s battalion and wound their soldiers. It becomes clear towards the end that the Jerry in this context is used to refer to German soldiers. The writer makes it clear when he expresses his astonishment to realize that German soldiers were in the battle field.
Participating in the war had many challenges. These challenges included degraded life through lack of essential and vital commodities like water, food, shelter. Those participating also faced suffered from trauma caused by scenes and inhuman encounters of brutality. It is evident that during this period soldiers were exposed to lot risks of being wounded or even killed. The lack of water was experienced in great levels that soldiers would take unclean water in order to quench the biting thirst. There were also incidents of eating wild and unknown poisonous plants in order to have ones fill. Significantly, they suffered from homesick periods that always left them thinking and on certain instances they would gaze in the blank space on the nature and wellness of their family members. There were very traumatizing scenes in the war to see the victims of war being lined or worse bodies of dead soldiers. These scenes would recur from time to time during the resting period. Psychological challenges were also enormous. The soldiers at times could not fully cope with traumatizing events like seeing their own soldiers killed and wounded. It made them live with hope of seeing another day since they could not fully predict the outcome the war had on them. The other challenges they faced in the war front were lack of amenities like barber services that the writer indicates at times they would stay for 9 days without a shave of a shower. They would spend long spells of hours without sleep as they kept vigilant on their enemy. Social life was greatly affected in the sense that they had to live away from their families, and not being sure of their survival in the war front.
As challenges magnified, the soldiers realized they needed to perceive and react to their enemy in a friendly way. As the writer of this article puts it, it made them realize they were doing a disservice by killing their enemies since it could also happen to them. It ends with a note of the writer being sympathetic and hopes that he didn’t happen to kill anyone during the war. This opinion indicates that they were able to recognize the fact that killing is inhuman, and they should treat even prisoners of war with dignity since even they could have been taken as prisoners of war. They also learnt that they needed not be offensive in the first place, a fact they learnt later on when they were already in the battle field.