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Trenches were constructed by soldiers with a shovel. As you could imagine, this was a hard and laborious task. There were three standard ways to dig a trench: entrenching, sapping, and tunnelling. Entrenching involved men digging from the top downwards. This was, by far, the quickest way to dig a trench. However, it left those working on it exposed, so this method could only be used at night or on a trench further back. Sapping involved extending the trench by digging away at the end. The diggers were not exposed, but only one or two men could work on the trench at a time.

Tunnelling was like sapping except that soil above the trench was left in place and then removed when the trench was ready to be occupied. This provided plenty of cover for the diggers, and it made the position of the trench hidden until it was ready to be used.

The corridor leading through the trenches was too low to fire from. Raising it any higher would make soldiers who were not firing vulnerable to enemy fire. The fire step was dug into the trenches so only those who were firing were vulnerable to the enemy. The banked earth on the trench facing the enemy was called the parapet. This often included sandbags to cover soldiers on the fire step and barbed wire to slow the enemy's advance if they neared the trench. The paradoe was the slightly raised ground at the back of the trench. This protected soldiers from shells landing behind the main trench. The floor of the trench was usually covered by wooden duckboards. In some trenches, the floor was on a wooden frame to provide a drainage ditch underneath.

Dugouts of were built in the rear of the trench. This was where soldiers slept, read, wrote and spent all of their spare time. Dugouts varied in luxury and size. British dugouts were usually 2.5 to 5m deep, whereas German dugouts were much deeper, usually a minimum of 4m. Sometime German dugouts were much deeper and more complex than normal, going up to three storeys down.

It was considered suicide to attack a trench head-on, as the opposing forces in the trench could easily pick off attacking soldiers with rifles or machine guns. A strategy was adopted by both sides to flank the trenches. Attacking them from the side would result in fewer casualties. However, since both sides used this strategy, they continued to try and outflank each other until their trenches stretched from the North Sea to the Swiss border.

Each side had many different trenches. Both sides had a front line trench, which was backed up by several other trenches further back. The objective of trench warfare was to take the enemy's front line trench and then use it to give covering fire as soldiers advanced to take the next trench. However, both sides lost and gained trenches continuously, resulting in a stalemate.
Trench warfare is a form of occupied fighting lines, consisting largely of trenches, in which troops are largely immune to the enemy's small arms fire and are substantially sheltered from artillery. It has become a byword for attrition warfare, for stalemate in conflict, with a slow wearing down of opposing forces
Trench warfare is a form of warfare where both combatants have fortified positions and fighting lines are static. Trench warfare arose when a revolution in fire power was not matched by similar advances in mobility, resulting in a slow and grueling form of defense-oriented warfare in which both sides constructed elaborate and heavily armed trench and dugout systems opposing each other along a front, with soldiers in both trench lines largely defiladed from the other's small arms fire and enclosed by barbed wire. The area between opposing trench lines (known as "no man's land") was fully exposed to small arms and artillery fire from both sides. Attacks, even successful ones, often sustained severe casualties as a matter of course. Periods of trench warfare occurred during the American Civil War, the Russo-Japanese War, the Second Anglo-Boer War and reached peak bloodshed on the Western Front of World War I. Trench warfare is often a sign of attrition warfare.

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โˆ™ 2015-12-28 02:51:20
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Q: What was trench warfare in World War 1?
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