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Trench Systems (Cross Section)

Trench Systems (Cross Section)


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!


Reader Comments

  1. In 1918

    British: Aight lads, this is only temporary so lets just build a simple trench.

    Germans: Alright boyz, lets build a 5 star hotel underground in the middle of a war zone

    In 2019

    Papa Jake: 24 Hour Box Fort challenge!!!

  2. Actually they built zig zag to prevent artillary shrapnel from spreading in a certain area of the trench

  3. Completely obsolete form of warfare now days now that there sophisticated targeting systems and paratroopers!

  4. If the German trenches were so different why didn’t you go into the details of their trenches?

  5. Why couldn't they tunnel over to the enemy trench and then release killer dogs or just invade dressed up as their enemies?

  6. yeety yeet yeet yeety yeet yeet yeety yeety yeety reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

  7. I don't understand how a soldier could sleep in that tiny space, knowing that an enemy soldier could literally run across and kill them in their sleep.

  8. You forgot about the hole that they would dig to kick enemy grenades in to reduce the blast radius and power

  9. So germans had better weapons better resources better training better trenches but nothing stops the heart and determination of a stubborn brit

  10. U know Cu Chi underground fortress ?
    200 km tunner 12 m under ground with kitchen , bedroom , bla bla ( vietnam war)

  11. These were dug by the 96000 chinese labour corps, who also fought in France, Finland. The corps also there to repair the ww1 tanks, they also collected used tank artillery shells and made pattern work and art to sell to make money. They did a lot of fight but yet their efforts were unrecognised by today society and hopefully you guys can write stuff about us chinese.

  12. German Soldier: Hey this is actually pretty nice, i thought i was gonna die when i heard i was assigned to a tren-
    German Officer: I want 30 of you to run through the barbed wire filled, littered with mines no mans land while taking heavy enemy infantry and artillery fire to try and overrun the enemy and gain 10 meters of land for the Vaterland
    German Soldier: Uhh….
    German Officer: Oh and if you refuse you die

  13. What about the Frenches trenches, you know, the main participant in the western front alongside from the Germans?

  14. You made some sort of mistake there, the dugg outs were on the other side of the trenches because of the enemy artillery. I know it wasn't done everywhere but it can be told

  15. British: Lets make trenches and dugouts but don’t make em real nice because these are just temporary!
    French: agrees with the british
    Germans: LET’S MAKE 5 STAR HOTELS AND TRENCHES!!!

  16. 中文化是很棒的👍

    但是,你的字幕把許多畫面都擋住了。希望你可以把字幕改小改下面一點

  17. how did the Germans even lose both wars when it seems like they had the better tech and resources but I guess good just triumphs evil in the long run or when most of the world is against you the fight isn't going to favor your side forever

  18. How did the civilized publics, renowned politicians, scientists and great leaders of Europe fall in this madness TWICE!!

  19. Сразу видно на 3:57, что рисовал окоп явный дуралей, не знакомый ни с законами физики, ни с основами фортификации и вообще, строительства…

  20. When it showed the brit and said german trenches were better, I thought he was going to say because it was always raining on the British side

  21. World war 1 in my opinion was The scariest war. Why i think That is becuse Gas, mud That could swallow you whole, artillery, rats, disease, shellshock and german fire troops………

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