3.1 What were the trenches like?
The opposing armies of the First World War dug themselves into trenches: the Germans on one side, the British and French on the other. The next four years were slow, with each side launching attacks to break through enemy lines. The films on this page show various examples of these trenches.
TRENCHES TAKEN FROM GERMANY
0 MINS 37 SECS, SILENT, B/W, 1914-1918
Footage from France or Belgium on the Western Front of German trenches that have been taken by allied forces. We see the small hut entrance and take a look inside. It appears to have collapsed during battle.
MECHANICAL TRENCH DIGGER
0 MINS 28 SECS, SILENT, B/W, 1914-1918
Various shots of French soldiers using a mechanical device to dig a trench in France during the First World War. Filmed some time between 1914 and 1918.
SOLDIERS' BATTLE TRAINING
0 MINS 57 SECS, SILENT, B/W, 1917
British soldiers train for battle, learning how to construct trenches with shovels and set up barriers covered with barbed wire. A soldier practices throwing grenades. Probably filmed in 1917.