How WWI soldiers created a 'live and let live' system | Green Left Weekly
Trench warfare is a type of land warfare using occupied fighting lines consisting largely of military trenches, in which troops are well-protected from the enemy's. Machine guns were new at this time and really caught military leaders unawares. See wikipedia for further details. Just don't tell your teacher. The fact that Canada was automatically at war when Britain was at war in the 1st Canadian Division reached France and was introduced to trench warfare by.
German trenches at the right and bottom, British at the top-left. Temporary trenches were also built.
When a major attack was planned, assembly trenches would be dug near the front trench. These were used to provide a sheltered place for the waves of attacking troops who would follow the first waves leaving from the front trench. They fulfilled a variety of purposes, such as connecting the front trench to a listening post close to the enemy wire or providing an advance "jumping-off" line for a surprise attack.
When one side's front line bulged towards the opposition, a salient was formed. The concave trench line facing the salient was called a "re-entrant. Behind the front system of trenches there were usually at least two more partially prepared trench systems, kilometres to the rear, ready to be occupied in the event of a retreat. The Germans often prepared multiple redundant trench systems; in their Somme front featured two complete trench systems, one kilometre apart, with a third partially completed system a further kilometre behind.
This duplication made a decisive breakthrough virtually impossible. In the event that a section of the first trench system was captured, a "switch" trench would be dug to connect the second trench system to the still-held section of the first.
What is Trench warfare?
The Germans, who had based their knowledge on studies of the Russo-Japanese War made something of a science out of designing and constructing defensive works. They used reinforced concrete to construct deep, shell-proof, ventilated dugouts, as well as strategic strongpoints. They were more willing than their opponents to make a strategic withdrawal to a superior prepared defensive position. They were also the first to apply the concept of "defence in depth", where the front-line zone was hundreds of metres deep and contained a series of redoubts rather than a continuous trench.
Each redoubt could provide supporting fire to its neighbours, and while the attackers had freedom of movement between the redoubts, they would be subjected to withering enfilade fire.
The British eventually adopted a similar approach, but it was incompletely implemented when the Germans launched the Spring Offensive and proved disastrously ineffective. France, by contrast, relied on artillery and reserves, not entrenchment. Trenches were never straight but were dug in a zigzagging or stepped pattern, with all straight sections generally kept less than a dozen meters yards.
Later, this evolved to have the combat trenches broken into distinct fire bays connected by traverses. While this isolated the view of friendly soldiers along their own trench, this ensured the entire trench could not be enfiladed if the enemy gained access at any one point; or if a bomb, grenade, or shell landed in the trench, the blast could not travel far.
The banked earth on the lip of the trench facing the enemy was called the parapet and had a fire step.
The embanked rear lip of the trench was called the parados. The parados protected the soldier's back from shells falling behind the trench. The sides of the trench were often revetted with sandbagswire meshwooden frames and sometimes roofs.
The floor of the trench was usually covered by wooden duckboards. In later designs the floor might be raised on a wooden frame to provide a drainage channel underneath. Dugouts of varying degrees of comfort would be built in the rear of the support trench. British dugouts were usually 2. Australian light horseman using a periscope rifleGallipoli To allow a soldier to see out of the trench without exposing his head, a loophole could be built into the parapet.
A loophole might simply be a gap in the sandbags, or it might be fitted with a steel plate. German snipers used armour-piercing bullets that allowed them to penetrate loopholes.
Another means to see over the parapet was the trench periscope — in its simplest form, just a stick with two angled pieces of mirror at the top and bottom. A number of armies made use of the periscope riflewhich enabled soldiers to snipe at the enemy without exposing themselves over the parapet, although at the cost of reduced shooting accuracy. The device is most associated with Australian and New Zealand troops at Gallipoli, where the Turks held the high ground.
There were three standard ways to dig a trench: Entrenching, where a man would stand on the surface and dig downwards, was most efficient, as it allowed a large digging party to dig the full length of the trench simultaneously. A visit to Naours was among the proposals offered as a distraction," said Prilaux. He and Prilaux decided to leave all as is and open a small stretch of the tunnel to visitors.
Last year, 45, people came, 40 percent from English-speaking countries. Story continues The site has already moved at least one Australian school group who made a recent "pilgrimage" ahead of Anzac Day, and "half the students ended up in tears", said Beuvin.
WWI soldiers live on in cave graffiti near Battle of the Somme
Another 3, Australians were in nearby Villers-Bretonneaux on Monday to mark the 98th anniversary of the battle that liberated that town.
The valour shown by Anzac troops has played a role in forging Australian national identity. Many German soldiers had worked in London hotels before the war and so language barriers were easily broken, with news shouted out across the lines.
Music played a big part. One British soldier remembered a German violinist who played selections from operas in the evenings. One thing that bound both sets of combatants together was their hatred of their own higher commands. This was even true among frontline officers.
One regimental officer said: When it was noticed, for example, that casualty figures were unusually low in a sector, bombardments were ordered to shatter the peace.
Or, more usually, night raids were called for. Night raids were stealth attacks where soldiers would sneak across to the opposite trench and bayonet as many people as possible before withdrawing. The intention of the commanders was to drive their troops to become savage in the same way that a psychopath may deliberately mistreat a pet dog.
There are suburbs, streets and parks named after these generals all over this country. Soldiers hated the night raids and found ways around them. So, canny soldiers collected lengths of wire and cut off bits to send up the chain of command, while not leaving their trench.
However, Ashworth records instances where opposing patrols met enemies and simply marched by each other without hostility.
It has little about, for example, the near-collapse of the French army when nearly half the army were late returning from leave, deserted or mutinied. He also does not touch on the Russian front.