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Word Count: 909
These excerpt are taken from the source I have chosen to evaluate a 1929 play called Journeys End It was composed by a British author RC Sherriff who joined the war at age eighteen He served as a captain in the East Surrey regiment from 1914 until the end of the war This makes the play a first hand account so it would be useful to historians studying the soldiers experience of trench warfare Again because Sheriff was actually there the source is far more reliable than one by a writer who hadnt fought in WW1 The play takes place in a British trench and is set in St Quentin which was an area key to the German defence of the Somme line The excerpt I have chosen has characters discussing raids about to be made on the Germans the day before a planned attack by the Allies Lots of raids have taken place along the line today With the attack tomorrow morning headquarters naturally want all the information they can get as early as possible Trench raiding was a mixture of inter-battalion competitive aggression and a search for prisoners and intelligence Raiding parties consisted of 10-200 men and army commanders from both sides would often launch raids The commanders viewed the raids as useful because they restored an offensive spirit and promoted attrition especially since there would be more casualties in the enemys camp than the raiding troops Both the Allies and the Triple Alliance would send their raiders across No Mans land to observe eavesdrop or penetrate the enemy line gathering information which their side could use to their advantage when planning a strike The raiders could also ascertain movements of the enemy which might indicate a forthcoming attack Another role of the raiders was to capture prisoners These prisoners would be interrogated and sometimes tortured to disclose information as to the strategy and plans of the enemy
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