¨By the early 1917, the landscape near Ypres has been pounded into desolation by long-range, heavy artillery¨(30).
Signpost; Numbers and Stats
Signpost; Quoted words
¨´All attacks are to be pushed to extreme´ wrote French general Joesph Joffre, ´with the firm resolution to charge the enemy with the bayonet, in order to destroy him¨(37).
¨While these raids often provided valuable military information, they rarely succeed in the driving the enemy from the trenches and almost always resulted in casualties¨(43).
¨An unthinking mass pushing forward until they were literally annihilated by the insuperable density of the opposing firepower¨(43).
The author used this number to show when the war had taken over places and destroyed so much. It also showed that so much land is destroyed that it would be had to come back and live there because the land had been so destroyed.
Word Gap; Annihilated
This person is quoted because he witnessed and was a general in the war. It matters because the French were trying so hard to win and they are going to go to the max.
If the British learned from what they failed and how they did it wrong then they might be more successful in the future and not have many casualties. The British were in persited in the face of setbacks because they kept having these raids and they were failing.