|A German machine-gun crew fires from a solid defensive position, taking advantage of the high ground and 25 yards of barbed wire along a river bank. In choosing to go on the defensive all along the Western Front, the Germans selected ideal terrain, leaving the Allies at a constant disadvantage. Below: A German trench dugout 15-feet below ground, supported by heavy log construction and sand bags. German trenches were generally much more elaborate than British or French trenches. Allied commanders thought a lack of comfort would preserve the offensive spirit needed to win.
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