French infantry manning a forward line of trenches in Lorraine, January 1915.
One of the lessons learnt in 1915 and 1916 was that holding forward trenches like this. Packing the firing trench with men was a sure way to get men killed during the artillery barrage that preceded an attack. Doctrine took time to catch up to the reality of war and none of the armies on the Western Front in 1915 knew what would work.
Some German generals would continue to attempt to hold the front line in strength well into 1917, despite official orders stating otherwise. Goes to show that personal tendencies of local commanders sometimes mattered more than doctrine.
Lord Horatio Kitchener and Lieutenant General William Birdwood inspecting ANZAC from Russell’s Top, 13th November 1915.
Trooper A M Maxwell (later Captain Maxwell), sniping up Dead Man’s Gully from Quinn’s Post, Gallipoli, August 1915.
A ruined chateau at Hollebeke, near Ypres, showing a trench leading to shelters in a cellar, November 1916.
Baroness Elsie de T’Serclaes (aka Elsie Knocker) and her colleague, Mairi Chisholm in a Belgian reserve trench near Nieuport, 1917.
German soldiers on look-out duty in an armoured sentry post, c1917.
German troops digging trenches around Argonne, November 1915.
British soldiers killed during the German Spring Offensive, 1918.
Interesting that the face has been censored. That and the obvious blood on the trench walls aren’t things you often see in First World War photography.
Troops of the 246th Wurttemberg Reserve Infantry Regiment emerging from their dugouts upon receiving the alarm signal. Albert, May 1918.
Turkish troops manning an advanced firing trench somewhere in Palestine, c1916.