War as a condition
The widespread use of new technologies and changes in war tactics took a hitherto unseen high toll in lives. Mobile warfare was increasingly replaced by long and attritional static warfare with trenches and fortifications. The trench warfare on the western front lasted for four years. War became a permanent condition without any significant shifts in the position of the fronts. The immobility changed the traditional notion of war, leading to the dehumanisation of the individual, who, like the weapons being used, became simply materiel. It ended simply in the hope of being able to outlast the enemy. Pictures of trenches, devastated countryside and huge military cemeteries with unending rows of crosses, as at Verdun, are the abiding historical legacy.