WWI Trench Excavation

Saw some on this a couple of weeks ago without as many photos. I strongly encourage and of our aspiring SOF and other wannabe's to read up on exactly how horrific trench warfare got when it became up close and personal. I know it certainly put me in the right mindset for what might need to be done on the battlefield. All of those Warriors who were in the trenches were men of a completely different order than walk upon the Earth these days.


Hey, Free did you find the coins you dropped when you first dug that trench? I can't believe you waited this long to look for them.:p

I did, thank you.

Oh, Congress called (Continental, 1 ea.), if you could come in and work this Saturday at Fort Ticonderoga that would be greeeaat. Smallpox has them a little short-handed this winter.
I thank you for the post it has always fascinated me this trench warfare and no mans land. I watched the movie war horse and thought it was accurate to the books I have read. The gas canisters were terrible for both sides I guess. may they rest in peace undisturbed any more.
I saw this on the BBC & read the story online before. Although it is regarding WWII & a Spitfire:

Archaeologists working up in Donegal excavated a Spitfire that had crashed into a hillside bog back in 1941, after encoutering a mechanical failure. Despite crashing at around 300mph the soft bog land acted pretty well as a cushion so that some parts of the plane survived relatively intact. Also the clay and peat acted amazingly well at preserving the articles including the paper manual and the 6 browning machine guns. Because these were considered ordinance and still had full belts of ammunition the Irish Army was called in.

One of the Irish officers, Lt. Col Sexton looked at the relatively intact guns and had a 'crazy idea'. He retrieved and cleaned the best preserved parts from the 6 guns, put them together into one, 'straightened out' a few bent bits and decided to fire it off to see if it worked. The video is in that clip.

Incidentally the Spitfire that went down was being flown by an American volunteer to the R.A.F. called Roland 'Bud' Wolfe. All this lead onto one of the more bizarre episodes in The Emergency here. Because he came down in the Free State, Bud was interned in the Curragh, Army Camp in County Kildare. Security here was lax to say the least and Officers like Bud were given free reign to move about upon the honour of their word. Very soon after arriving in the Curragh, Bud simply walked out, had dinner in a local hotel and jumped a train to the North and on back to his squadron.

The Irish Government complained to the British that this was ungentlemanly and unfair as he'd given his word not to leave and amazingly the British agreed, arrested Bud and sent him back. He tried to escape again but was caught. In 1943 the Irish shut down the Curragh internment camp for WWII prisoners and just sent him and the rest of the Allied interns back.



Truly amazing to see that gun in action again nearly 70 years later.
The engineering, manpower and sheer horror of trench warfare as practiced in WWI is horrifying - it's essentially siege warfare with light tanks, gas, bayonnets, trench knives and machine guns - and run very like a Napoleonic Campaign.

BWT Some battlefields of the Civil War had trench warfare. If anyone is in the vicinity, the Ware Memorial is so impressive and as current as yesterday, as there's a battle damaged SAS patrol vehicle from the Stan, plus UN missions. It has such a profound sense of humanity and reverence.
BWT Some battlefields of the Civil War had trench warfare.

Mainly in the West during the Atlanta Campaign. In the East I think Petersburg was the closest example. The nature of the US at that time meant that trenches weren't really used. Generally speaking if a unit went on the defensive it could rely on stone walls and sunken roads for cover and concealment. In lieu of barbed wire many positions were fronted with...


An abatis.

Static warfighting wasn't the "in" thing then and to be honest, I think the machine gun really created trench warfare.
The Civil War was really the first use of Automatic Weapons (the Gatling Gun) and did create a new type of warfare that, for a short time, created a hybrid of what we consider modern warfare and the Napoleonic model of warfare... a mix of rifle phalanges, swords, rifle and sabre cavalry, marched engagements and then static/dynamic (trench) engagements that included elements of all of the above plus a siege mentality.
I recently watched this documentary about an archeological dig of some WWI trenches. What I found very interesting was the different styles of trenches between the British and Germans, and the elaborate drains in the British trenches.