Category: trenches

French troops resting in a trench near the village of Margival, 18 September 1918.

Australian infantry and light-horsemen in a trench on the Gallipoli Peninsula, May 1915.

French and British troops digging trenches together on Pilckem Ridge, 19th August 1917.

French troops digging in with their entrenching tools. North of Courville, 29 May 1918.

British soldiers digging reserve trenches at Oudezeele, 1 June 1918.

Captain Macauley, in Bovril Alley, an old, French communication trench, August 1916.

French troops in front line trenches in the Pepiniere sector, south of Loos, 22 November 1915.

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.