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Trench Warfare in World War I....

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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Sep 2014 21:21    Onderwerp: Trench Warfare in World War I.... Reageer met quote

Trench Warfare in World War I Was a Smarter Strategy Than You Realize

History remembers trench warfare as wasteful, futile, and uninspired, but in reality it was a deeply thought-out system that underwent constant revision. Here's how it worked during World War I.

Top image: A painting by Captain Kenneth Keith Forbes shows a Canadian 6-inch howitzer supporting British troops in the attack on Thiepval on 16 July 1916 during the Somme offensive. Via Canadian Artillery in Action.

It was around this time 100 years ago that the mobile battlefield along the Western Front ground to a screeching halt ó a 440 mile stretch that barely moved in the ensuing four years.

As the war raged and spread in 1914, a curious development occurred on the Western Front. Owing to exhaustion, dwindling reserves, and the horrific loss of life, both sides dug in and assumed a defensive posture. The appalling battles of August showed that moving troops on open ground was a prescription for mass suicide. Once things settled after the First Battle at the Marne, troops were ordered to seek cover in trenches. It was meant to be temporary, but the realities of 20th century warfare would prove otherwise.

Trench warfare ó or what could also be referred to as siege warfare ó was forced upon the combatants for a number of other reasons. Unlike the situation in the East, the Western Front settled along a relatively short stretch of land. On either side of this bitterly fought over line were massive accumulations of armies ó and the combined industrial strength of the primary combatants. But perhaps most importantly, the necessity of trench warfare emerged owing to the state of technology in the second decade of the 20th century.

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