Trench network (World War I)

Trench network (World War I)

Static warfare was one of the characteristics of WWI

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Keywords

trench, machine gun nest, world war, Central Powers, Triple Entente, military operation, artillery, static warfare, cover, infantry, barbed wire

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Narration

Although both military blocks drew up plans for an offensive war at the beginning of World War I, in a few months the age of lightning warfare would be replaced by the age of static warfare.

Development of military technology, especially the appearance of machine guns and cannons with high fire power, made defense more effective. Armies were literally entrenched, having found safety in ditches, or trenches, that provided shelter against the enemy's artillery fire. Barbed wire fencing was erected in front of the trenches to slow down the enemy's movement.

Several support trenches and reserve trenches were also dug, and these were linked with communication trenches. These trench networks occasionally measured several hundred meters in width. Soldiers fired at the enemy from machine gun nests or from behind parapets in the trenches with successful attacks resulting in huge losses, while stepping out into 'No Man's Land' meant almost certain death.

Soldiers fighting on the front lines lived under inhumane conditions but actually only spent 15% of their time in combat. Those who were resting or wounded were sheltered in deep underground dugouts.

Soon, however, the age of static warfare would come to an end when a new weapon, the tank, appeared, which had the power to pass through trench networks.

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