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February 29, 2024

35 Incredible Photos Capture Inside the Trenches During WWI

Trench warfare is a type of land warfare using occupied lines largely comprising military trenches, in which combatants are well-protected from the enemy’s small arms fire and are substantially sheltered from artillery. It became archetypically associated with World War I (1914–1918), when the Race to the Sea rapidly expanded trench use on the Western Front starting in September 1914.

Trench warfare proliferated when a revolution in firepower was not matched by similar advances in mobility, resulting in a grueling form of warfare in which the defender held the advantage. On the Western Front in 1914–1918, both sides constructed elaborate trench, underground, and dugout systems opposing each other along a front, protected from assault by barbed wire. The area between opposing trench lines (known as “no man’s land”) was fully exposed to artillery fire from both sides. Attacks, even if successful, often sustained severe casualties.

The development of armored warfare and combined arms tactics permitted static lines to be bypassed and defeated, leading to the decline of trench warfare after the war. Following World War I, “trench warfare” became a byword for stalemate, attrition, sieges, and futility in conflict.

These incredible photos were found by Haverkamp that show inside the trenches during the First World War.

"Brunnenwache" (literally "Fountain Guard"), 9. Kompanie, Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 78, 1916

"Eben gestürmter französischer Graben." - "A French trench that has just been stormed."

"Im Mienenfeuer" - "Under mortar fire"

"Sentry at the front. 15.6.16" An unusually deep and unusually elaborate trench. Either a very quiet front section or a training area 

"Telefon Unterstand [...] Absch. [...]. Mai 1915." - "Telephone dugout [...] May 1915."

A French trench in the sector Steenstrate - Boezinge just after the gas attack of 22 - 24 April 1915 by German troops

A German soldier holding a bouquet of flowers. An unexpected sight in the trenches

A good portrait of four soldiers of the Königin Augusta Garde-Grenadier-Regiment Nr. 4. Two of them wear Stirnpanzer attachments to their helmets

A good selection of improvised musical instruments

A medic fetches food from a kitchen dugout in the trenches

A road junction near Broodseinde in Flanders, probably in 1915. The area was thoroughly destroyed during the battles for Ypres

An MG 08 used against aircraft. Probably not a very effective weapon in this role

English trench

German soldiers and their kittens

Group portrait from the front line

Mailed as Feldpost in June 1915 by a soldier of the Brandenburgisches Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 3: "Im Kampfgraben 40 m. vor dem Feinde" - "In the front trench 40 meters from the enemy"

Note on reverse: "Buchenkopf Dez. 1914. Feindstellung ca 10 Meter gegenüber" - "Buchenkopf December 1914. Enemy position about 10 meters opposite"

Note on reverse: "Communication trench from Middelkerke to the front line via Westende. 8. III. 1916. NCO Böhm." A photo taken at the northernmost end of the Western Front

Note on reverse: "Nach dem 19/VII 17 Russisches Baonskommando" - "After 19 July 1917, Russian battalion command."

Note on reverse: "Omiecourt / Chaulnes. 1917. Battle of the Somme. Rear position. Trench full of mud. X marks the entrance to our very wet, unhealthy dugout, 12 m deep. Near Chaulnes."

Note on reverse: "Sprengtrichter mit Drahtverhau, unsere Stellung wo ich bin." - "Explosion crater with wire entanglements. Our position, where I am."

Note on reverse: "Zur Erinnerung an mein Schützengrabenleben bei Ypern (Belgien). 28.9.16. - 10.12.16." - "In memory of my life in the trenches near Ypres (Belgium). 28.9.16 - 10.12.16."

Note on reverse: "Zusammengeschossener Unterstand unserer M. Stellung" - "Shot-up dugout of our M. position"

Off duty activities at the front, 1917/18: Doing nothing, personal hygiene, handicrafts (here basket weaving), eating, reading

Officers' dugout: 1 - Major Weber, 2 - Lt. Stange, 3 - Stabsarzt Dr. Hartmann, 4 - Oberleutnant Rauff, 5 - Oberarzt Dr. Mühlberger

Soldiers of Landwehr-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 68 in a well-built position. Sent as Feldpost in February 1916: "Dear sister. I'm sending you a picture of the place where we're waiting for the French day and night. ..."

Soldiers of Landwehr-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 68 in their well-built position, early 1916. Obviously a relatively quiet part of the Western Front

Soldiers of the 5. Artl. Mun. Kol. (16. A. K.) pose in front of their dugout named "Villa Warschau", September 1915

Soldiers of the Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 126, Easter 1916

Stützpunkt Vogelnest

The cemetery of Fromelles with dug-outs built into a pile of rubble that once had been the church

The suspension railway in the dunes

This photo supposedly shows the aftermath of the first use of poison gas at Langemarck in April 1915

Trenches in a cemetery near Halicz (Ukraine), March 1917

Working in the trenches

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting photos. Special thanks for captures.




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