PDF Trench Warfare WWI (2) 1916-1918

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British First World War Trench Maps, - National Library of Scotland

New Releases. Description The years from to saw a whole series of complex and very rapid changes in infantry tactics, which fundamentally altered the way wars had been fought for years. This two-part study describes and illustrates the development: of infantry equipment and weapons; of support weapons; of field fortifications; and, most importantly, exactly how these items and techniques were all employed in attack and defence.

The texts are illustrated with contemporary photos and diagrams and with colour plates combining details of uniforms, equipment and weapons with bird's-eye views explaining their use in battle.

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This second volume concentrates on the men who fought in such important battles as those of Ypres and the Somme. Product details Format Paperback 64 pages Dimensions x x 6. Other books in this series. Add to basket.

Battles of the Western Front 1914-1918

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No, it still hasn't made me an expert on World War I, but has increased the knowledge base a little in a simple, easy to understand format. The opposing systems of trenches are usually close to one another. A trench system may begin simply as a collection of foxholes hastily dug by troops using their entrenching tools.

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These holes may subsequently be deepened so that a soldier can safely stand up in one of them, and the individual foxholes may be connected by shallow crawl trenches. From this beginning a system of more permanent field fortifications may be constructed. In making a trench, soil from the excavation is used to create raised parapets running both in front of and behind the trench.

Within the trench are firing positions along a raised forward step called a fire step, and duckboards are placed on the often muddy bottom of the trench to provide secure footing. Trenches remained merely a part of siegecraft until the increasing firepower of small arms and cannon compelled both sides to make use of trenches in the American Civil War — The trench lines of the Petersburg—Richmond theatre of operations in the final months of that war were the foremost example of trench warfare in the 19th century. Trench warfare reached its highest development on the Western Front during World War I —18 , when armies of millions of men faced each other in a line of trenches extending from the Belgian coast through northeastern France to Switzerland.

The sheer quantity of bullets and shells flying through the air in the battle conditions of that war compelled soldiers to burrow into the soil to obtain shelter and survive. The typical trench system in World War I consisted of a series of two, three, four, or more trench lines running parallel to each other and being at least 1 mile 1.

Each trench was dug in a type of zigzag so that no enemy, standing at one end, could fire for more than a few yards down its length. Each of the main lines of trenches was connected to each other and to the rear by a series of communications trenches that were dug roughly perpendicular to them. Food, ammunition, fresh troops, mail, and orders were delivered through these trenches.

The intricate network of trenches contained command posts, forward supply dumps, first-aid stations, kitchens, and latrines.

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Most importantly, it had machine-gun emplacements to defend against an assault, and it had dugouts deep enough to shelter large numbers of defending troops during an enemy bombardment. The first, or front, line of trenches was known as the outpost line and was thinly held by scattered machine gunners distributed behind dense entanglements of barbed wire.

The Germans soon became known for effectively mounting nighttime incursions behind enemy lines, by sending highly trained soldiers to attack the trenches of opposing forces at what they perceived as weak points.

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If successful, these soldiers would breach enemy lines and circle around to attack their opponents from the rear, while their comrades would mount a traditional offensive at the front. The brutality of trench warfare is perhaps best typified by the Battle of the Somme in France. British troops suffered 60, casualties on the first day of fighting alone. German soldiers lying dead in a trench after the Battle of Cambrai, With soldiers fighting in close proximity in the trenches, usually in unsanitary conditions, infectious diseases such as dysentery, cholera and typhoid fever were common and spread rapidly.

Constant exposure to wetness caused trench foot, a painful condition in which dead tissue spread across one or both feet, sometimes requiring amputation. Trench mouth, a type of gum infection, was also problematic and is thought to be associated with the stress of nonstop bombardment.