Peperangan kubu parit

Daripada Wikipedia, ensiklopedia bebas.
(Dilencongkan dari Perperangan parit)
Lompat ke: pandu arah, cari

Peperangan kubu parit adalah bentuk peperangan di mana kedua-dua pihak yang berperang mempunyai garis pertahanan statik yang digali ke dalam tanah yang bertentangan sesama sendiri. Peperangan parit timbul apabila berlaku revolusi dalam kuasa tembakan tanpa kemajuan yang sejajar dalam pergerakan dan komunikasi. Peperangan parit berlaku semasa Perang Saudara Amerika (1860-an) dan Perang Jepun-Rusia pada tahun 1904-1905 dan mencapai kemuncak keganasan dan pertumpahan darah di Perbatasan Barat semasa Perang Dunia I.

Latarbelakang[sunting | sunting sumber]

Membina kubu adalah sama usia dengan peperangan itu sendiri; bagaimanapun, dari segi bandingan saiz tentera yang kecil dan ketiadaan senjata jarak jauh, secara tradisinya kubu tidak mungkin dapat dipertahankan kecuali untuk garisan pertahanan yang pendek atau kubu kuat yang terasing. Kubu panjang dalam dunia silam, seperti Tembok Besar Negeri Cina atau Pagar Hadrian, merupakan pengecualian kepada kebiasaannya dan walaubagaimanapun ia tidak direka bagi menghalang pihak musuh sepenuhnya, tetapi sekadar menyukarkan musuh menyerang secara besar-besaran. Tembok besar negeri Cina, sebagai contoh, tidak bertujuan untuk mengekalkan penyerang di luar, sekadar menghalang mereka membawa kuda mereka masuk.

Walaupun kedua-dua seni perkubuan dan seni senjata maju dengan banyaknya pada separuh abad, kemajuan busur panjang longbow, musket isi hadapan muzzle-loading, dan juga artillery tidak menukar hukum tradisi bahawa kubu memerlukan sejumlah besar tentera untuk mempertahankannya. Sejumlah kecil tentera tidak mampu mengekalkan jumlah tembakan yang mencukupi bagi mematahkan serangan yang bersungguh-sungguh.

Peperangan pengepungan Siege warfare[sunting | sunting sumber]

Kebanyakan taktik yang digunakan dalam peperangan parit telah wujud bertahun lamanya dalam peperangan pengepungan. Ia adalah perlaksanaan teknik ini antara dua tentera di lapangan yang merupakan perkara baru.

Julius Caesar dalam Peperangan Gallic menggambarkan bagaimana semasa Pertempuran Alesia, legion Roman membina dua dinding pertahanan mengelilingi bandar. The inner circumvallation, 10 batu, mengurung pasukan Vercingetorix, sementara kepungan circumvallation luar menghalang pasukan penyelamat dari sampai kepada mereka. Pihak Rom menguasai lapangan antara kedua dinding. Pasukan Gauls, mengalami kebuluran, akhirnya terpaksa menyerah dengan pasukan penyelamat mereka melihat tanpa dapat berbuat apa-apa.

Apabila meriam pertahanan dimajukan, teknik menyerang bandar atau kubu menjadi biasa mengikut istiadat ritualised. Tentera yang menyerang akan mengelilingi bandar yang akan diminta menyerah. Sekiranya mereka enggang, tentera yang menyerang akan mengelilingi bandar tersebut dengan kubu sementara untuk menghalang sallies dari kubu tersebut atau pasukan bantuan dari menembusi masuk. Kemudian pasukan penyerang akan membina parit selari dengan kubu pertahanan dan diluar artilleri pasukan yang bertahan. Mereka kemudian akan menggali perit kearah bandar dalam pola berkeluk-keluk agar ia tidak dapat di enfilade oleh tembakan musuh. Apabila sampai kedalam jarak artilleri parit selari tambahan akan digali dengan tapak meriam. Jika perlu, tembakan meriam pertama akan digunakan untuk melindungi proses ini yang diulang sehinggakan meriam diletakkan cukup hampir untuk membuat bukaan pada tembok pertahanan. So that the forlorn hope and support troops could get close enough to exploit the breach more zigzag trenches could be dug even closer to the walls with more parallel trenches to protect and conceal the attacking troops. Selepas setiap peringkat dalam proses ini, penyerang akan meminta mereka yang bertahan menyerah. Sekiranya forlorn hope berjaya menembusi pertahanan musuh, tiada belas kasihan akan diberikan.

Pas orang Maori[sunting | sunting sumber]

Orang-orang Maori di New Zealand telah membina kubu stockades di bukit dan semenanjung kecil selama berabad lamanya sebelum berlaku pertembungan dengan orang-orang Europah, yang dikenali sebagai Pa. Ia menyerupai kubu zaman Besi kecil yang terdapat di sekitar mukabumi British dan Irish. Apabila orang-orang Maori bertembung dengan pihak British mereka memajukan Pa menjadi sistem pertahanan perparitan, lubang rifle, dan kubu yang amat berkesan, mendahului kemajuan di Amerika dan Europah. Dalam Perperangan Maori untuk tempoh yang lama Pa moden berkesan terhadap kelebihan senjata dan tentera. Di Pa Ohaeawai pada tahun 1845, di Rangiriri pada 1864, dan sekali lagi di Gate Pa pada tahun 1864 Pasukan Kolonial (Colonial Forces) dan British mendapati serangan berhadapan terhadap Pa yang dipertahankan tidak berkesan dan amat membebankan.

Di Pa Pintu Pagar (Gate Pa) semasa Kempen Tauranga, pada 1864 pihak Maori menahan pengeboman sepanjang hari dalam perlindungan bom mereka. Seorang pakar membuat pengiraan bahawa Pa Pintu Pagar menyerap dalam satu hari bahan letupan lebih banyak setiap meter berbanding kubu parit Jerman dalam pengeboman selama seminggu sebelum Pertempuran Somme. Apabila pallisade hampir musnah, tentera British bergerak memasuki Pa, dengan mana pihak Maori menembak mereka dari perparitan tersembunyi, membunuh 38 dan mencederakan ramai lagi dalam pertempuran paling merugikan bagi Pakeha dalam Perperangan Maori. Pihak Maori kemudian meninggalkan Pa Pintu Pagar. Pihak Maori membangunkan reke bentuk Pa sendiri dalam tempoh masa yang singkat, daripada zaman batu kepada tahap Perang Dunia I dalam tempoh lebih sedikit 30 tahun.

Perkembangan[sunting | sunting sumber]

Perkembangan pertama yang dianggap kritikal berkaitan peperangan kubu parit bermula apabila konsep tentera kerahan pukal (mass-conscripted armies) diperkenalkan ketika Revolusi Perancis dan Perang Napoleonik. Sebelum ini, bala tentera masih terbentuk dalam bilangan askar yang kecil di mana keadaan ini tidak mampu mempertahankan kawasan besar untuk tempoh yang lama—iaitu sama ada pertarungan berlaku dalam tempoh yang amat singkat atau bertukar kepada pertempuran kepongan. Dengan adanya kelompok bala tentera yang besar (large armies), keadaan ini menyulitkan bagi satu bala tentera untuk mengepung bala tentera lawan. Namun begitu, satu bala tentera boleh memecah benteng bala tentera lawan sekiranya kaedah serbuan langsung (direct assault) dilaksanakan dengan menggunakan serbuan kavalri dan infantri. Satu contoh awal yang menggunakan benteng panjang yang diperkasakan (fortified military line) iaitu Jalur Torres Vedras di mana benteng tersebut dibina supaya ukurannya mencecah beberapa batu panjang, telah dibina oleh pihak Portugis dibawah arahan Jurutera DiRaja pihak Tentera British semasa Perang Semenanjung.

Taktik ini dianggap lebih menjurus kepada 'membunuh diri' apabila teknologi senjata api terus dimajukan pada pertengahan abad ke-19. Ketika Perang Saudara Amerika bermula pada 1861, taktik yang sama telah digunakan pada era Napoleon dan terus digunakan untuk beberapa abad seterusnya. Apabila perang yang dianggap amat berdarah tersebut hampir di penghujungnya, ia telah menjadi seolah-olah satu paparan Perang Dunia I, lengkap dengan kubu-kubu parit, mesingan-mesingan, kubu-kubu medan (field fortifications) dan bilangan kecederaan yang amat tinggi. Merujuk kepada Peperangan Petersburg yang berlaku di akhir-akhir Perang Saudara Amerika, telah wujud kubu-kubu parit dan formasi pegun, di mana keadaannya berbeza sekali dengan perang-perang awal seperti Peperangan Bull Run yang Pertama yang membayangkan pergerakan (manuever) masih boleh dilakukan, dan serbuan-serbuan masyhur seperti Serbuan Pickett di Peperangan Gettysburg, membuktikan tindakan melancarkan serbuan terus terhadap benteng lawan adalah suatu tindakan yang merugikan pihak yang menyerbu.

Pengawal Rejimen Cheshire dalam parit berhampiran La Boisselle semasa Pertempuran Somme, Julai 1916

Dua faktor utama bertanggungjawab bagi perubahan tersebut. Pertama, senjata api muat belakang (breech-loading) —yang agak menghairankan tidak diendahkan oleh kedua pihak sehingga pertengahan pertelingkahan tersebut—membolehkan sejumlah kecil tentera mengekalkan tembakan yang banyak. Sekumpulan kecil tentera yang bertahan di dalam parit atau di belakang halangan yang diperbaik mampu menghalang sejumlah besar penyerang tanpa had masa. Kedua kemunculan mesingan, yang menggandakan kuasa tentera bertahan lebih lanjut tetapi tidak menyumbang kepada penyerang (asalkan hanya tentera bertahan mampu berlindung).

Dua faktor lain juga memainkan peranan. Yang pertama adalah kemajuan pagar kawat berduri, yang secara sendiri tidak mencederakan sesiapapun tetapi —paling penting—mampu memperlahankan kemaraan tentera yang mara, dengan itu memberi masa bagi tentera bersenjatakan mesingan dan rifel mengenakan kerugian teruk.

Yang kedua muncul pada akhir Perang Saudara Amerika, dengan ciptaan meriam artileri muat belakang (breech-loading) berkelajuan tinggi. Artileri dalam satu bentuk atau yang lain telah menjadi sebahagian perperangan semenjak zaman klasik, dan dari perkembangan ubat bedil sehingga perkembangan perperangan parit pada 1860-an telah menjadi pembunuh utama. Dengan pembangunan artileri moden oleh Krupp, bagaimanapun, artileri kembali menjai kuasa pembunuh penting sebagaimana dahulu (sebagaimana ditunjukkan dengan jelas dalam Perang Perancis-Prussia 1870 hingga 1871). Artileri akan mencapai kemuncak semasa dua Perang Dunia, di mana ia menjadi senjata penentu di medan pertempuran.

Perlaksanaan[sunting | sunting sumber]

Walaupun teknologi senjata api dan tentera kerahan menukar bentuk perperangan secara mengejut, kebanyakan tentera tidak menyedari mengenai pertukaran ini dan tidak bersedia bagi menerima akibatnya. Pada permulaan Perang Dunia I, kebanyakan tentera bersedia bagi pertempuran singkat yang strategi dan taktik biasa digunakan oleh Napoleon.

Bagaimanapun, apabila peperangan meletus, Jerman dan Allied (dan kebanyakannya tentera Perancis dan British) mempelajari bahawa dengan senjata moden, lubang di tanah boleh dipertahankan oleh sejumlah kecil infantri. Untuk menyerang secara berhadapan hanya mengakibatkan korban nyawa yang tinggi, dengan itu operasi serangan sisi adalah penting. Selepas Pertempuran Aisne pada September 1914, beberapa siri cubaan menyerang sisi, dan pemanjangan barisan pertahanan bagi mematahkan cubaan ini bertukar menjadi "perlumbaan" ke laut "— Jerman dan pihak Berikat menggali apa yang pada asasnya sepasang parit menjulur daripada perbatasan Swiss di selatan sehingga ke Laut Utara di persisiran Belgium. Perperangan kubu parit berkekalan di Perbatasan Barat semenjak 16 September 1914 sehingga "Serangan Musim Bunga" Jerman, Operasi Michael, pada 21 March 1918.

Di Perbatasan Barat, parit-parit yang pada bulan-bulan awal kecil dan serba kekurangan, dengan pantas berkembang menjadi bertambah dalam dan kompleks, beransur-ansur menjadi kawasan hasil kerja pertahanan memanca yang luas. Ruang diantara parit-parit pihak yang bertentangan dikenali sebagai "no man's land" dan mempunyai jarak yang berbeza bergantung kepada medan pertempuran. Di Perbatasan Barat, lazimnya ia di antara 100 dan 300 ela, tetapi hanya 30 ela di Rabung Vimy. Selepas pengunduran Jerman ke Garis Hindenburg pada March 1917 ia menjalar lebih dari satu kilometer di beberapa tempat. Di "Pos Quinn" yang terkenal dalam keadaan sempit menghad medan pertempuran Anzac dalam pertempuran Gallipoli, parit bermusuhan hanya 15 meter jarak dan perang bom tangan berlangsung tanpa henti. Di Perbatasan Timur dan Tengah-Timur, kawasan yang dirangkumi begitu luas, dan jarak dari kilang yang membekalkan peluru, konkrit, dan kawad duri begitu jauh, sehinggakan perperangan kubu parit stail Eropah sering kali tidak berlaku.

Sistem pertahanan[sunting | sunting sumber]

Parit perhubungan British, Somme, 1916

Awal perperangan doktrin pertahanan British mencadangkan sistem parit utama yang terdiri daripada tiga garis selari dengan setiap parit dihubungi oleh parit perhubungan. Titik di mana parit perhubungan bersambung dengan parit hadapan adalah amat penting dan biasanya dipertahankan dengan kuat. Parit hadapan dikawal ringan dan biasanya hanya diduduki dengan kuat semasa "bersedia - (stand to)" antara subuh dan maghrib. Antara 70 dan 100 ela di belakang parit hadapan terdapat parit sokongan (atau "kembara"") kemana garison akan bergerak apabila parit hadapan dibedil. Antara 300 dan 500 ela kebelahang lagi terletak parit simpanan ketiga di mana askar simpanan boleh berkumpul untuk serangan balas sekiranya parit hadapan ditawan. Tatarajah pertahanan ini menjadi usang apabila kuasa meriam meningkat; bagaimanapun di sektor tertentu di hadapan, parit sokongan dikekalkan sebagai umpan bagi menarik bedilan musuh jauh dari baris hadapan dan simpanan. Api dinyalakan dalam parit sokongan agar kelihatan sedang diduduki dan sebarang kerosakan akibat bedilan meriam akan dibaiki serta merta.

Gambaran udara parit pasukan berlawan. Parit Jerman di atas, British di bawah.

Parit sementara turut dibina. Apabila serangan utama dirancang, parit pengumpulan akan digali berhampiran parit hadapan. Ini digunakan bagi memberikan perlindungan bagi gelombang tentera penyerang yang akan mengekori gelombang pertama melompat dari parit hadapan. "Saps" biasanya sementara, tidak diduduki, seringkali mati, parit utiliti digali kearah tanah rebutan. Ia memenuhi pelbagai matlamat seperti menghubungkan perparitan hadapan dangan pos mendengar hampir dengan kawad duri musuh atau memberikan baris "tapat menyerbu" hadapan bagi serangan mengejut.

Apabila baris hadapan membengkak kearah musuh, "salient" terbentuk. Baris parit cembung berhadapan dengan salient dikenali sebagai "re-entrant". Salient yang besar amat merbahaya bagi penghuninya kerana mereka boleh diserang dari tiga penjuru.

Belakang dari sistem perparitan hadapan biasanya terdapat sekurang-kurangnya dua lagi sistem perparitan separa siap, beberapa kilometer kebelakang, sedia untuk diduduki sekiranya terpaksa berundur. Pihak Jerman sering kali menyediakan sistem perparitan bertindan-tindan; pada 1916 garis hadapan Somme mereka mempunyai dua sistem perparitan lengkap, pada jarak satu kilometer, dengan sistem separa siap ketiga satu kilometer lagi kebelakang. Gandaan ini menjadikan penembusan mutlak mustahil. Sekiranya seksyen perparitan utama ditawan, parit "lencongan" akan digali bagi menyambungkan sistem perparitan kedua dengan seksyen perparitan pertama yang masih dipegang.

Pihak Jerman menjadikan reka bentuk dan pembinaan kerja-kerja pertahanan sebagai satu sains. Mereka menggunakan konkrit diperkukuh bagi membina kubu diudara dengan baik, tahan peluru meriam dan dalam termasuk kawasan kukuh yang strategik. Mereka lebih rela berbanding saingan mereka bagi melakukan pengunduran strategik kepada kedudukan pertahanan yang dipersiapkan dan lebih baik. Mereka juga lebih terdahulu menggunakan konsep "kedalaman bagi pertahanan" di mana zon hadapan selebar beratus-ratus ela dan mengandungi beberapa siri kedudukan kukuh berbanding parit yang berterusan. Setiap kedudukan kukuh mampu memberikan tembakan sokongan kepada jirannya dan sementara penyerang sering kali memiliki kebebasan puntuk bergerak antara kedudukan kukuh ini mereka akan terdedah kepada tembakan bertindanan yang membunuh. Pihak British akhirnya mengunapakai pendekatan yang serupa tetapi iperlaksanaannya tidak sempurna semasa pihak jerman melancarkan "serangan Musim panas" 1918 dan terbukti tidak berkesan.

Pembinaan perparitan[sunting | sunting sumber]

Diagram pembinaan perparitan dari buku panduan tentera pejalan kaki British tahun 1914.

Perparitan tidak pernah digali lurus tetapi digali dalam bentuk empat persegi yang memecah garis kepada ruang disambung oleh parit laluan. Ini bererti bahawa tentera tidak dapat melihat 10 meter atau lebih sepanjang perparitan, dengan itu keseluruhan perparitan tidak dapat ditawan sekiranya pihak musuh dapat menembusinya pada satu bahagian atau sekiranya bom atau peluru meriam gugur dalam perparitan, serpihannya tidak dapat bergerak jauh. Bahagian perparitan yang menghadap musuh dikenali sebagai parapet dan mempunyai tangga menembak. Bahagian belakang perparitan dikenali sebagai parados. Parados melindungi bahagian belakang tentera daripada serpihan dari peluru meriam yang jatuh di belakang perparitan. Sekiranya musuh menawan perparitan parados akan menjadi "parapet" mereka. Bahagian sisi perparitan disokong dengan guni pasir, dinding kayu dan sangkar besi. Bahagian lantai perparitan biasanya ditutupi dengan kayu (papan tunduk - duckboards).

Parit dengan pelbagai tahap kemewahan digali di belakang perparitan sokongan. Parit British biasanya sedalam 8 hingga 16 kaki, sementara parit Jerman biasanya lebih dalam, biasanya minima 12 kaki dan kadang kala 3 tingkat di bawah tanah dengan tangga konkrit untuk sampai ketingkat atas.

Tentera berkuda Australia menggunakan rifle berperskope, Gallipoli 1915

Untuk membenarkan tentera melihat keluar dari perparitan tanpa mendedahkan kepalanya, lubang tembak akan dibina pada tembok parapet. Lubang tembak mungkin celah antara beg pasir atau ia mungkin dilengkapkan dengan kepingan besi. Penembak tepat Jerman menggunakan peluru perobek perisai yang membenarkan mereka menembusi lubang tembak. Cara lain bagi melihat melalui tembok parapet adalah periskop parit — dalam bentuk paling ringkas, hanya ranting dengan dua keping cermin bersudut pada bahagian atas dan bawah. Di perparitan Anzac di Gallipoli, di mana tentera Turki menduduki kawasan tinggi, rifle berperiskop dibangunkan bagi membenarkan tentera Australia dan New Zealand untuk menembak tepat musuh tanpa mendedahkan diri mereka atas tembok parapet.

Terdapat tiga cara piwaian bagi menggali perparitan; gali parit, sapping dan mengorek terowong. Entrenching, di mana seseorang berdiri dipermukaan dan menggali ke bawah, merupakan paling berkesan kerana ia membenarkan pihak menggali untuk menggali sepanjang perparitan serentak. Bagaimanapun, penggalian parit mendedahkan penggali di atas permukaan tanah dan dengan itu hanya boleh dilakukan apabila bebas dari pemerhatian seperti di kawasan belakang atau pada waktu malam. Penggali membabitkan memanjangkan parit dengan menggali pada hujungnya. Penggali tidak terdedah tetapi hanya seorang atau dua boleh bekerja menggali parit sesuatu masa. Mengorek terowong sama seperti sapping kecuali "bumbung" tanah ditinggalkan ketika perparitan digali dan dikeluarkan apabila perparitan sedia untuk diduduki. Garis panduan bagi pembinaan parit British menyatakan bahawa ia akan mengambil masa 450 orang 6 jam (pada waktu malam) bagi menyiapkan 250 meter sistem perparitan barisan hadapan. Selepas itu perparitan memerlukan pembaikian berterusan bagi menghalang kemerosotan akibat cuaca atau pembedilan.

Kerja tanah "perparitan", Armentières, 1916

Medan tempur Flanders, yang menyaksikan pertempuran paling teruk, memberikan banyak masaalah bagi amalan perperangan kubu parit, terutama bagi pihak British, yang sering kali terpaksa menduduki tanah rendah. Di kebanyakan tempat, tahap air hanya satu meter atau sekitarnya dari permukaan, bererti sebarang perparitan yang di gali akan dipenuhi air dengan pantas. Akibatnya, kebanyakan "perparitan" di Flanders sebenarnya di atas tanah dan dibina dari kerja benteng beg pasir (sebenarnya diisi dengan tanah liat). Pada awalnya, both the parapet and parados of the trench were built in this way, but a later technique was to dispense with the parados for much of the trench line, thus exposing the rear of the trench to fire from the reserve line in case the front was breached.

Geografi Perparitan[sunting | sunting sumber]

Dengan keadaan di bawah tanah, statik, terkurung, menyebabkan perperangan kubu parit membangunkan bentuk geografinya tersendiri. Di kawasan hadapan, infrasturktur pengangkutan biasa seperti jalan dan landasan kereta api diganti dengan jaringan perparitan dan laluan tram ringan. Kelebihan penting yang boleh didapati dengan menguasai tanah tinggi bererti bukit kecil dan rabung memberi kelebihan besar. Banyak bukit rendah dan lembah begitu cetek sehinggakan tidak bernama sehinggalah baris hadapan menduduki mereka. Sesetengah bukit dinamakan sempena ketinggiannya, seperti Pertempuran Bukit 60 Perbatasan Barat. Rumah ladang, kincir angin, kuari, tunggul pokok akan menjadi tumpuan pergelutan sepenuh hati kerana ia merupakan ciri paling besar untuk dikenalpasti. Bagaimanapun, ia tidak mengambil masa yang lama bagi artileri menghancurkannya, dengan itu, selepas itu ia hanya tinggal sebagai nama pada peta.

Fail:German stormtroops Sedan May 1917.jpg
Stormtrooper Jerman disokong dengan penyembur api berhampiran Sedan, Perancis, May 1917

Ciri-ciri medan pertempuran boleh diberikan nama gambaran ("Hutan Polygon" berhampiran Ypres atau "[[Pertempuran Lone Pine"), nama seseka hati ("Lembah Sausage" dan "Lembah Mash" di Somme), satu unit bernama ("Inniskilling Inch" di Helles dinamakan sempena Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers) atau nama seorang tentera ("Lembah Monash" di Anzac di namakan sempena Jeneral John Monash). Ciri awalan dengan "Orang Mati - Dead Man's" juga popular keranay yang jelas, seperti "Jalan Orang Mati - Dead Man's Road" menarah ke Pozières atau "Rabung Orang mati - Dead Man's Ridge" di Anzac. Terdapat banyak jaringan perparitan yang dinamakan "Papan Catur - The Chessboard" atau "The Gridiron" kerana pola yang mereka gambarkan. Bagi tentera Australia dalam Pertempuran Ladang Mouquet, kemaraan amat pendek dan muka bumi tidak bertanda sehinggakan mereka terpaksa menamakan matlamat mereka sebagai "titik" pada peta, seperti "Titik 81" dan "Titik 55".

Perparitan musuh, yang akan menjadi sasaran dalam serangan, perlu turut dinamakan. Banyak yang dinamakan bagi kejadian yang dipantau seperti "Parit Pegawai jerman" di Anzac (di mana beberapa pegawai Jerman dilihat) atau "Parit Bekalan" di Somme (di mana kumpulan Jerman membawa bekalan dilihat). Pihak British turut memberikan perisa beralkohol kepada parit Jerman di perbatasan Ginchy; "Parit Bir", "Parit Pahit - Bitter", "Parit Hop", "Lorong Ale" dan "Parit Pilsen". Objektif yang lain dinamakan menurut peranan mereka dalam sistem parit seperti "parit Suis" dan "Parit Perantaraan" di Somme.

Sesetengah seksyen bagi sistem parit berbunyi seperti papan permainan Monopoli, dengan nama seperti "Park Lane" dan "Bond Street". Division biasa British sering menamakan parit mereka menurut unit, yang menghasilkan nama seperti "Parit Munster ("Royal Munster Fusiliers"), "Black Watch Alley" (Black Watch Regiment) dan "Border Barricade" (Border Regiment). Anzac cenderung menamakan berciri sempena tentera ("Plugge's Plateau", "Walker's Ridge", "Quinn's Post", "Johnston's Jolly", "Russell's Top", "Brind's Road" and so forth).

Kehidupan di perparitan[sunting | sunting sumber]

Tempoh individual tentera di baris hadapan biasanya singkat; sependek satu hari sehingga dua minggu sebelum digantikan. Batalion Australia ke-31 pernah menghabiskan masa selama 53 hari di garis di Villers Bretonneux tetapi tempoh sepanjang itu adalah pengecualian yang jarang. Setahun tentera British yang nbiasa boleh dibahagikan seperti berikut:

Perparitan Perancis di Côte 304, Verdun, 1916
  • 15% garis hadapan
  • 10% garis sokongan
  • 30% garis simpanan
  • 20% rehat
  • 25% lain-lain (hospital, mengembara, cuti, latihan, dll.)

Walaupun di medah hadapan, biasanya tentera hanya perlu terbabit dalam pertempuran sejumlah kecil setahun — membuat serangan, mempertahankan dari serangan atau terbabit dalam serbuan. Kekerapan bertempur akan meningkat bagi mereka yang dalam division tempur "elite" — di pihak Berikat; division British biasa, Kor Kanada, Kor XX Perancis dan Anzac.

Sesetengah sektor di garis hadapan hanya terbabit sedikit aktiviti sepanjang pertempuran, menjadikan kehidupan di parit agak mudah. Ketika kor I Anzac pertama tiba di Perancis pada April, 1916, selepas pengunduran dari Gallipoli, mereka dihantar ke sektor agak aman di selatan Armentières untuk "menyesuaikan diri". Sektor lain berada dalam aktiviti ganas sepanjang masa. Di Perbatasan Barat, Ypres hampir sentiasa bergolak, terutama bagi pihak British dalam kedudukan terdedah, berdepan. Bagaimanapun, sektor sunyi masih mengalami korban harian akibat tembakan penembak tepat, artileri dan gas. Dalam tempoh enam bulan pertama bagi tahun 1916, sebelum pelancaran Serangan Somme, pihak British tidak terbabit dalam pertempuran penting di sektor Perbatasan Barat tetapi masih mengalami korban seramai 107,776.

Salah satu sektor yang akan diberikan kepada kor tentera, biasanya memiliki tiga division. Dari ini dua akan menduduki seksyen bersebelahan dengan baris hadapan dan yang ketiga akan berehat di baris belakang. Bagi setiap perbatasan baris brigade, biasanya mengandungi empat batalion (regimen bagi Jerman), dua batalion akan menduduki baris hadapan dengan dua sebagai simpanan. Dan begitu seterusnya bagi kompeni dan platon. Jauh ke bawah struktur pembahagian tugas berterusan, lebih kerap unit unit digilir dari tugas hadapan bagi menyokong atau simpanan.

Hutan Chateau, Ypres, 1917

Pada hari itu, snipers and artillery observers in balloons made movement perilous so the trenches were mostly quiet. Consequently, the trenches were busiest at night when cover of darkness allowed the movement of troops and supplies, the maintenance and expansion of the barbed wire and trench system, and reconnaissance of the enemy's defences. Sentries in listening posts out in no man's land would try to detect enemy patrols and working parties or indications that an attack was being prepared.

Raids were carried out in order to capture prisoners and "booty" — letters and other documents that provide intelligence about the unit occupying the opposing trenches. As the war progressed, raiding became part of the general British policy, the intention being to maintain the fighting spirit of the troops and to deny no man's land from the Germans. Such dominance was achieved at a high cost and a post-war British analysis concluded that the benefits were probably not worth the price.

Early in the war, surprise raids would be mounted, particularly by the Canadians, but increased vigilance made achieving surprise difficult as the war progressed. By 1916, raids were carefully planned exercises in combined arms and involved close cooperation of infantry and artillery. A raid would begin with an intense artillery bombardment designed to drive off or kill the front trench garrison and cut the barbed wire. Then the bombardment would shift to form a "box", or cordon, around a section of the front line to prevent a counter-attack intercepting the raid.

Death in the trenches[sunting | sunting sumber]

The intensity of World War I trench warfare meant that about 10% of the fighting soldiers were killed. This compared to 5% killed during the Boer War and 4.5% killed during World War II. For British and dominion troops serving on the Western Front, the proportion of killed was 12% while the total proportion of troops who became casualties (killed or wounded) was 56%. Considering that for every front-line infantryman there were about 3 soldiers in support (artillery, supply, medical, etc.) it was highly unlikely for a fighting soldier to survive the war without sustaining some form of injury. Indeed many soldiers were injured more than once during the course of their service.

Medical services were primitive and life-saving antibiotics undiscovered. Relatively minor injuries could prove fatal through the onset of infection and gas gangrene. The Germans recorded that 12% of leg wounds and 23% of arm wounds resulted in death, mainly through infection. The Americans recorded that 44% of casualties that developed gangrene died. Half of those who were wounded in the head died and only 1% of those wounded in the abdomen survived.

Three quarters of the wounds inflicted during the war came from shell fire. The wound resulting from a shell fragment was usually more traumatic than a gunshot wound. A shell fragment would often introduce debris making it more likely that the wound would become infected. These factors meant that a soldier was three times more likely to die from a shell wound to the chest than from a gunshot wound. The blast from shell explosions could also kill by concussion. In addition to the physical effects of shell fire there was the psychological damage. Men who had to endure a prolonged bombardment would often suffer debilitating shell shock, a condition that was not well understood at the time.

As in many other wars, World War I's greatest killer was disease. Sanitary conditions in the trenches were quite poor, and common infections included dysentery, typhus, and cholera. Many soldiers suffered from parasites and related infections. Poor hygiene also led to conditions such as trench mouth and trench foot. Another common killer was exposure, since the temperature within a trench in the winter could easily fall below zero degrees celsius.

Burial of the dead was usually a luxury that neither side could easily afford. The bodies would lie in no man's land until the front line moved, by which time the bodies were often unidentifiable. On some battlefields, such as at the Nek in Gallipoli, the bodies were not buried until after the war. On the Western Front, bodies continue to be found as fields are ploughed and building foundations dug.

Stretcher bearers, Passchendale, August 1917

At various times during the war—particularly early on—official truces were organised so that the wounded could be recovered from no man's land and the dead could be buried. Generally though, the higher commands disapproved of any slackening of the offensive for humanitarian reasons and so ordered their troops not to permit enemy stretcher bearers to operate in no man's land. However, this order was almost invariably ignored by the soldiers in the trenches, who knew that it was to the mutual benefit of the fighting men of both sides to allow the wounded to be retrieved. So, as soon as hostilities ceased, parties of stretcher bearers, marked with red cross flags, would go out to recover the wounded, sometimes swapping enemy wounded for their own. There were occasions when this unofficial cease fire was exploited to conduct a reconnaissance or to reinforce or relieve a garrison.

Weapons of trench warfare[sunting | sunting sumber]

Infantry weapons[sunting | sunting sumber]

The common infantry soldier had three weapons at his disposal in the trenches: the rifle, bayonet, and grenade.

The standard British rifle was the .303 Short Magazine Lee-Enfield, which was originally developed as a cavalry carbine and had an effective range of 1400 yards, though in the hands of the average soldier, 200 yards was about the limit of accurate fire. British infantry training emphasised rapid fire rifle shooting rather than accuracy. Early in the war, the British were able to defeat German attacks at Mons and the First Battle of Ypres using massed rifle fire, but as trench warfare developed, opportunities to assemble a line of riflemen became rare.

The British soldier was equipped with a 21-inch sword bayonet, which was too long and unwieldy to be particularly effective in close quarters combat. However, bayonet use was safer than firing the rifle which, in a melee, might strike an ally instead of an enemy. British figures recorded that only 0.3% of wounds were caused by bayonets, however, a strike from a bayonet was highly likely to result in death. A bayonet charge could be effective at inducing terror in an opponent, encouraging them to flee or surrender. The bayonet was used to finish off wounded enemy during an advance, saving ammunition while reducing the possibility of being attacked from the rear.

Many soldiers preferred a short handled spade or entrenching tool over a bayonet. They would sharpen the blade to a knife edge so it was just as effective as a bayonet and the shorter length made them handier to use in the confined quarters of the trenches. These tools could then be used to "dig in" after they had taken a trench.

The grenade came to be the primary infantry weapon of trench warfare. Both sides were quick to raise specialist bombing squads. The grenade enabled a soldier to engage the enemy indirectly (without exposing himself to fire) and it did not require the precise accuracy of rifle fire in order to kill or maim. The Germans and Turks were well equipped with grenades from the start of the war, but the British, who had ceased using grenadiers in the 1870s, entered the war with virtually none, such that soldiers had to improvise bombs with whatever was available. By late 1915, the British Mills bomb had entered wide circulation, and by the end of the war 75 million of them had been used.

Machine guns[sunting | sunting sumber]

The machine gun is perhaps the signature weapon of trench warfare, with the image of ranks of advancing infantry being scythed down by the withering hail of bullets. The Germans embraced the machine gun from the outset -- in 1904, every regiment was equipped with one machine gun -- and the machine gun crews were the elite infantry units. After 1915, the MG 08/15 was the standard-issue German light machine gun; its number entered the German language as an idiomatic expression for "dead plain". At Gallipoli and in Palestine the Turks provided the infantry, but it was usually Germans who manned the machine guns.

The British high command were less enthusiastic about machine gun technology, supposedly considering the weapon too "unsporting", and they lagged behind the Germans in adopting the weapon. However, by 1917, every company in the British forces was equipped with four Lewis guns, which significantly enhanced their firepower.

The heavy machine gun was a specialist weapon, and in a static trench system was employed in a scientific manner, with carefully calculated fields of fire, so that at a moment's notice an accurate burst could be laid upon the enemy's parapet or at a break in the wire. The British water-cooled Vickers machine gun required a 16 man crew and cost £30 a minute to operate. Each belt of ammunition had to be hand loaded with 250 rounds and the barrel of the gun had to be changed after two belts were fired. It was a fragile and difficult weapon to maintain and operate, but was very effective.

Mortars[sunting | sunting sumber]

Mortars, which lobbed a shell a relatively short distance, were widely used in trench fighting for harassing the forward trenches and for cutting wire in preparation for a raid or attack. In 1914, the British fired a total of 545 mortar shells. In 1916, they fired over 6,500,000 shells.

The main British mortar was the Stokes mortar, which was the precursor of the modern mortar. It was a light mortar, but was easy to use, and capable of a rapid rate of fire by virtue of the propellant cartridge being attached to the shell. To fire the Stokes mortar, the round was simply dropped into the tube, where the cartridge was ignited automatically when it struck the firing pin at the bottom.

The Germans used a range of mortars. The smallest were grenade-throwers (granatenwerfer) which fired "pineapple" bombs. Their medium trench-mortars were called mine-throwers (minenwerfer), dubbed "minnies" by the British. The heavy mortar was called the ladungswerfer which threw "aerial torpedoes", containing a 200 lb (90 kg) charge, over 1000 yards. The flight of the missile was so slow and leisurely that the men on the receiving end could make some attempt to seek shelter.

Artillery[sunting | sunting sumber]

Artillery dominated the battlefield of trench warfare in the same way the air power dominates the modern battlefield. An infantry attack was rarely successful if it advanced beyond the range of its supporting artillery. In addition to bombarding the enemy infantry in the trenches, the artillery would engage in counter-battery duels to try to destroy the enemy's guns.

Artillery mainly fired shrapnel, high explosives or, later in the war, gas shells. The British experimented with firing incendiary "thermite" shells to set trees and ruins alight.

Fail:15in howitzer.jpg
Loading a 15-in howitzer

Artillery pieces were of two types; guns and howitzers. Guns fired high velocity shells over a flat trajectory and were often used to deliver shrapnel and to cut barbed wire. Howitzers lofted the shell over a high trajectory such that it plunged into the ground. The biggest artillery were usually howitzers. The German 420 howitzer weighed 20 tons and could fire a one ton shell over six miles.

A critical feature of modern artillery pieces was the hydraulic recoil mechanism which meant that the gun did not need to be re-aimed after each shell was fired. Initially each gun would need to register its aim on a known target, in view of an observer, in order to fire with precision during a battle. The process of gun registration would often alert the enemy that an attack was being planned. Towards the end of 1917, artillery techniques were developed enabling guns to be aimed accurately without the need for registration.

Gas[sunting | sunting sumber]

See main article: Use of poison gas in World War I

Tear gas was first employed in August 1914 by the French but this could only disable the enemy. In April 1915, chlorine was first used by Germany at the Second Battle of Ypres. A large enough dose could kill but the gas was easy to detect by scent and sight. Those that were not killed on exposure could suffer permanent lung damage.

Phosgene, first used in December 1915, was the ultimate killing gas of World War I — it was 18 times more powerful than chlorine and much more difficult to detect. However, the most effective gas was mustard gas, introduced by Germany in July 1917. Mustard gas was not as fatal as phosgene but it was hard to detect and lingered on the surface of the battlefield and so could inflict casualties over a long period. The burns it produced were so horrific that a casualty resulting from mustard gas exposure was unlikely to be fit to fight again. Only 2% of mustard gas casualties died, mainly from secondary infections.

The first method of employing gas was by releasing it from a cylinder when the wind was favourable. Such an approach was obviously prone to miscarry if the direction of the wind was misjudged. Also the cylinders needed to be positioned in the front trenches where they were liable to be ruptured during a bombardment. Later in the war, gas was delivered by artillery or mortar shell.

Helmets[sunting | sunting sumber]

During the first year of the war, none of the combatant nations equipped their troops with steel helmets. Soldiers went into battle wearing simple cloth or leather caps that offered virtually no protection from the damage caused by modern weapons. German troops were wearing the traditional leather pickelhaube (spiked helmet), with a covering of cloth to protect the leather from the splattering of mud. Once the war entered the phase of trench warfare, the number of lethal head wounds that troops were receiving from shrapnel increased dramatically.

The French were the first to see a need for greater protection and began to introduce the first steel helmets in the summer of 1915. The Adrian helmet (designed by August-Louse Adrian) replaced the traditional French kepi and was later adopted by the Belgian and Italian armies.

At about the same time the British were developing their own helmets. The French design was rejected as not strong enough and too difficult to mass produce. The design that was eventually approved by the British was the Brodie helmet (designed by John L. Brodie) This British helmet had a wide brim to protect the wearer from falling objects but offered less protection to the neck of the wearer.

The traditional German pickelhaube was replaced by the stahlhelm or "coal-scuttle helmet" in 1916.

Other[sunting | sunting sumber]

The fundamental purpose of the aircraft in trench warfare was reconnaissance and artillery observation. The role of the fighter was to protect his own reconnaissance aircraft and to destroy those of the enemy, or at least deny them the freedom of his airspace. This involved achieving air superiority over the battlefield by destroying the enemy's fighters as well. Spotter aircraft would monitor the fall of shells during registration of the artillery. Reconnaissance aircraft would photograph trench lines, monitor enemy troop movements, and locate enemy artillery batteries so that they could be destroyed with counter-battery fire.

The Germans employed flame throwers (flammenwerfer) during the war but the technology was not mature so they were more effective at inducing terror than inflicting casualties.

Mining[sunting | sunting sumber]

All sides would engage in vigorous mining and counter-mining duels. The dry chalk of the Somme was especially suited to mining but with the aid of pumps it was also possible to mine in the sodden clay of Flanders. Specialist tunnelling companies, usually made up of men who had been coal miners in civilian life, would dig tunnels under no man's land and beneath the enemy's trenches. These mines would then be packed with explosives and detonated, producing a large crater. The crater served two purposes; it could destroy or breach the enemy's trench and, by virtue of the raised lip that they produced, could provide a ready-made "trench" closer to the enemy's line. When a mine was detonated, both sides would race to occupy and fortify the crater.

If the miners detected an enemy tunnel in progress, they would often drive a counter-tunnel, called a camouflet, which would be detonated in an attempt to destroy the other tunnel prematurely. Night raids were also conducted with the sole purpose of destroying the enemy's mine workings.

The British detonated a number of mines on July 1, 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme. The largest mines—the Y Sap Mine and the Lochnager Mine—each containing 24 tons of explosives, were blown near La Boiselle, throwing earth 4,000 feet into the air.

At 5.10 am on June 7, 1917, 19 mines were detonated by the British to launch the Battle of Messines. The average mine contained 21 tons of explosive and the largest, 125 feet beneath St. Eloi, was twice the average at 42 tons. The combined force of the explosions was supposedly felt in England. As the Chief of Staff of the British Second Army, General Sir Charles Harrington, commented on the eve of the battle:

I do not know whether we shall change history tomorrow, but we shall certainly alter the geography.

The craters from these and many other mines on the Western Front are still visible today. Three further mines were laid for Messines but were not detonated as the tactical situation had since changed. One blew during a thunderstorm in 1955, the other two remain to this day.

Trench battles[sunting | sunting sumber]

Strategy[sunting | sunting sumber]

The fundamental strategy of trench warfare was attrition; the process of progressively grinding down the opposition's resources until, ultimately, they are no longer able to wage war. This did not prevent the ambitious commander from pursuing the strategy of annihilation—the ideal of an offensive battle which produces victory in one decisive engagement. The British commander, General Douglas Haig, was constantly seeking a "breakthrough" which he could exploit with his cavalry divisions. His major trench offensives—the Somme in 1916 and Flanders in 1917—were conceived as breakthrough battles but both degenerated into costly attrition. The Germans actively pursued a strategy of attrition in the Battle of Verdun, the sole purpose of which was to "bleed the French Army white".

Tactics[sunting | sunting sumber]

The popular image of a trench warfare infantry assault is of a wave of soldiers, bayonets fixed, going "over the top" and marching in a line across no man's land into a hail of enemy fire. This indeed was the standard method early in the war and successful examples are few. The more common tactic was to attack at night from an advanced post in no man's land, having cut the barbed wire entanglements beforehand.

In 1917, the Germans innovated with the "infiltration" tactic where small groups of highly trained and well equipped troops would attack vulnerable points and bypass strong points, driving deep into the rear areas. The distance they could advance was still limited by their ability to supply and communicate.

Passchendaele village, before and after the 3rd Battle of Ypres

The role of artillery in an infantry attack was twofold; firstly in preparation by killing or driving off the enemy garrison and destroying his defences, and secondly in protecting the attacking infantry by providing an impenetrable "barrage" or curtain of shells to prevent an enemy counter-attack. The first attempt at sophistication was the "lifting barrage" where the first objective of an attack was intensely bombarded for a period before the entire barrage "lifted" to fall on a second objective further back. However, this usually expected too much of the infantry and the usual outcome was that the barrage would outpace the attackers, leaving them without protection. This resulted in the use of the "creeping barrage" which would lift more frequently but in smaller steps, sweeping the ground ahead and moving so slowly that the attackers could usually follow closely behind it.

Capturing the objective was half the successful battle—the battle was only won if the objective was held. The attacking force would have to advance with not only the weapons required to capture a trench but also the tools—sandbags, picks & shovels, barbed wire— to fortify and defend from counter-attack. The Germans placed great emphasis on immediately counter-attacking to regain lost ground. This strategy cost them dearly in 1917 when the British started to limit their advances so as to be able to meet the anticipated counter-attack from a position of strength.

Communications[sunting | sunting sumber]

The main difficulty faced by an attacking force in a trench battle was reliable communications. Wireless communications were still in their infancy so the available methods were telephone, semaphore, signal lamps, carrier pigeons and runners, none of which were particularly reliable. Telephone was the most effective but the lines were extremely vulnerable to shell fire so would usually be cut early in a battle. In an attempt to counter this, telephone lines would be laid in a ladder pattern to provide multiple redundant paths. Flares and rockets were used to signal an objective was reached or to call for pre-arranged artillery support.

It was not unusual for a battalion or brigade commander to wait 2 or 3 hours for word on the progress of an attack, by which time any decision made based on the message would probably be long out of date. A similar period would pass when transferring the news to the division, corps and army headquarters. Consequently the outcome of many trench battles were decided by the company and platoon commanders in the thick of the fighting.

Obsolescence[sunting | sunting sumber]

With the withdrawal of Russia from World War I, the Germans were able to reinforce their western front with troops from the eastern front. This allowed them to take units out of the line and train them in new methods and tactics as stormtroopers. The new methods (involved men rushing forwards in small groups using whatever cover was available and laying down covering fire for other groups in the same unit as they moved forwards. The new tactics, (which were to intended to achieve tactical surprise), were to attack the weakest parts of an enemy's line and bypass his strongpoints, and to abandon the futile attempt to have a grand and detailed plan of operations and control it from afar, instead junior leaders on the spot could exercise initiative. These tactics proved very successfull in the attack the German 1918 Spring Offensive against British and Commonwealth forces.

During the last 100 days of World War I the British forces broke through the German trench system and harried the Germans back towards Germany using infantry supported by tanks and close air support. Between the two world wars theses techniques were used by J.F.C. Fuller and Liddell Hart to develop theories about a new type of warfare. The ideas were picked up by the Germans who developed them further and put them into practice with the use of Blitzkrieg. Blitzkrieg relied on the concentration of armour launched at a narrow front to make the break through followed by a high speed encirclement of the enemy's front line. The armour was supported by close air support with airmen inserted into army units to direct tactical air strikes.

The stunning victories by the Germans early in the World War II war using blitzkrieg showed that the investment in fixed fortifications like the Maginot Line were not cost effective. The amphibious landing by the Western Allies in 1944 smashed through the Atlantic Wall with relative ease. The fight inland through the bocage proved far more of an obstacle than the fixed fortifications of the Atlantic Wall.

Combined arms warfare, where infantry, light artillery, and (if possible) tanks and aircraft operated in close cooperation made trench warfare obsolete. The basis of modern land warfare remains based in semi-autonomous small teams such as the fire team and still places a large emphasis on rapid communication and allowing smaller units to exercise initiative.

This is not to say that entrenchment is redundant. It is still a vary valuable method for reinforcing natural obstacle for creating a line of defence. At the start of the last large major assault of World War II, the Russians attacked over the river Oder against German troops dug in on the Seelow Heights which are about 50 [Km]] east of Berlin. Entrenchment allowed the Germans, who were massively outnumbered, to survive a barrage from the largest concentration of artillery in history and to inflict tens of thousands of casualties on the Soviets, thanks to the marshy land which lay between the river and the heights, before (after a few days,) being driven west by weight of numbers.

Perperangan parit kini[sunting | sunting sumber]

Perperangan parit amat jarang semenjak akhir Perang Dunia I. Apabila dua tentera berperisai bertembung, kebiasaannya hasilnya adalah pertempuran bergerak seperti yang berlaku dalam Perang Dunia II.

Contoh perperangan parit yang sering disebut selepas Perang Dunia I adalah Perang Iran-Iraq di mana kedua tentera terdiri daripada tentera infantri dengan senjata ringan moden, tetapi kekurangan perisai, kapal terbang atau latihan dalam senjata gabungan. Hasilnya sama seperti Perang Dunia I dengan parit dan kimia digunakan. Satu lagi contoh seri parit (trench stalemate ) adalah EritreanEthiopian Perang 19982002. Baris hadapan di Korea dan baris hadapan antara Pakistan dan India di Kashmir, adalah dua contoh garis pembahagi yang mampu bergolak bila-bila masa. Ia terdiri daripada berbatu-batu parit menghubungkan titik kubu kukuh dan di Korea dikelilingi oleh berjuta-juta periuk api.

Sumber[sunting | sunting sumber]

Lihat juga[sunting | sunting sumber]

Pautan luar[sunting | sunting sumber]