The History Place - World War I

British troops in a frontline trench--waiting for whatever will happen next. Below: A German hiding in a shell crater in No Man's Land prepares to toss a hand grenade. The distance between opposing trenches varied greatly along the Front from as little as 60 feet to as much as a mile. Both sides routinely conducted trench raids, usually done in the middle of the night by small units. The objective was to silently scurry across No Man's Land, cut through the barbed wire, dash into the enemy trench, engage in lethal hand-to-hand fighting with fists, clubs and knives, then quickly exit the trench with any prisoners before enemy reinforcements or artillery could reposition to fend off the attack. The sporting atmosphere surrounding such raids, particularly among the British, helped to overcome battlefield boredom during lulls and provided useful intelligence from interrogated prisoners.

Return to World War I Timeline - 1917

The History Place - World War I Index Page
The History Place Main Index Page

Copyright © 2009 The History Place™ All Rights Reserved

Terms of use: Private home/school non-commercial, non-Internet re-usage only is allowed of any text, graphics, photos, audio clips, other electronic files or materials from The History Place.