Trench warfare, Trench cross-section, World War one. On The Western Front, trench systems were developed into a sophisticated network. In 1914, trenches were quickly dug out by both sides, parallel to each other from the North Sea through Belgium and France. The trenches would offer some protection for the troops from overwhelming enemy artillery, and infantry fire. Entrenching was the fast method of creating a trench system by having soldiers dig foxholes. This was dangerous as It would be done in the line of sight of the enemy. A sapper could then transform this into a more sophisticated trench system that was deep enough for a man to safely stand up. As the war went on, the trench systems became more complex for permanent occupation. The wall facing the enemy was called a ”Parapet” which was strengthened with sandbags to protect from enemy fire and wooden planks to strengthen the side of the Trench from collapsing. Here was a “Firestep” that formed a firing position and a way for the soldier to step out on to “No-man’s land”. An “Ammunition shelf” was also dug into the side, the wall facing the back of the trench was called the “Parados”, here wooden dugouts, Where the soldier could eat, sleep, and seek protection from artillery bombardments. More sophisticated protection came In the form of underground bunkers. Which could also be used for storage of ammunition, food, and weapons, as well as command centers for officers to communicate orders with headquarters. On the floor were “Duckboards” to provide secure ground and, aid in Drainage to keep the soldiers feet away from the water, which caused diseases such as “Trench Foot” in the muddy, soggy terrain of the Western Front. Trenches were built in zigzags, instead of straight lines so that if the enemy managed to enter it, they would not be able to shoot down them. A Typical trench system was three lines, Approximately 800 yards or 730 meters apart. The first line, that was nearest to the enemy was the “Fire trench”, This was the most unpleasant and dangerous place to be, it were to be about eight feet or 2.4 meters deep at 6 feet or 1.8 meters wide, the fire trench was the main line of resistance, With machine-gun nests placed at strategic points and barbed wire placed in the front area, known as “No-man’s land”. The “Sapper” would also dig out a “SAP head” which went slightly ahead, into “No-man’s land”, to form a listening post. The second line was the “support trench”, forming the second line of defense, if the first line was taken away by the enemy. A kitchen, and a dressing station kept the men fed, and treated for any wounds. Soldiers were rotated every week, between frontline and support trenches. The third line was the reserved trench. These were connected to each other through communication trenches, Which were used to transport soldiers, ammunition, and food supplies. and, orders from trench line, to trench line. Latrines were also placed along these trenches. Behind these lines, were artillery. German trench systems tended to be better overall in comparison to British trenches, because of a number of reasons. One, was that the British felt the trenches would only be temporary. Whereas the Germans accepted that stalemate would set in, and put the effort into developing better trenches. Including more comfortable bunkers, that were deeper into the ground away from artillery fire. On the Western Front, the Germans were also on higher ground than the British poor in the lowlands, This meant that the British Army would be in unpleasant terrain with high water levels and mud. Watch our other videos to learn more, Get your copy of “Simple History World War One” available on Amazon now! Thank you guys for all your support on the simple history YouTube channel, If you enjoy please consider, Visiting our Patreon page. There you can show us your support for the channel by donating, and make a huge difference in what we’re able to create for you. Plus, you can get early access on upcoming videos. So let’s keep it growing and thank you for being part of this amazing community!