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"WW1 trench construction " Topic


9 Posts

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800 hits since 15 Dec 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP15 Dec 2017 11:36 a.m. PST

Cool!

picture

picture

picture

Main page
link

Amicalement
Armand

Golgoloth Inactive Member15 Dec 2017 12:10 p.m. PST

Wow! I have no idea of the accuracy (or any reason to doubt it!), but that's some damned nice modelmaking!

Vigilant15 Dec 2017 12:54 p.m. PST

What a terrific idea, and very well executed.

Colonel Bogey15 Dec 2017 2:39 p.m. PST

Nice – and instructive.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP16 Dec 2017 10:44 a.m. PST

Happy you enjoyed it my friends!. (smile)

Amicalement
Armand

Lion in the Stars18 Dec 2017 6:57 p.m. PST

That's really cool!

And I wasn't aware that the edges of the trenches were raised that much higher than the surrounding terrain…

ScottS18 Dec 2017 7:32 p.m. PST

They usually weren't. Raised trenches like that are generally harder to construct, more exposed, and more vulnerable to collapse.

As the text on the second profile says, that sort of construction was done in areas with a relatively high ground water level to keep the trenches from flooding.

Interestingly, there are photos of the trenches built in the sandy soil near the coast; these are almost entirely above the natural ground level and are built from huge piles of sandbags.

Lion in the Stars20 Dec 2017 5:12 p.m. PST

I meant even the 'typical' and 'ideal' trenches are only about waist deep relative to the ground level, the remaining "depth" of the trench is the excavated soil.

Modern foxholes are dug deeper than that (and the excavated soil is packed down).

ScottS20 Dec 2017 6:55 p.m. PST

I don't think that's the case. Obviously it did happen, but that doesn't seem to be typical.

You displace soil from the trench, then pile it up on the sides. You aren't going to end up with more soil – to make two parapets – than would come from inside the excavated trench. You'd have to get soil from somewhere else, presumably from the surrounding area, and that's both dangerous and inefficient. You'd also have to compact that soil in order to keep it from sliding back into the trench. Sandbags are one option here, but they have their own limitations.

I can see doing this where you have no choice, but when the ground is stable enough to support trench sides and the ground water is low enough, why not just dig down further?

As it is, there are plenty of photos of trenches out there that are deep, certainly deeper than waist-high – with no sign of parapets that are taller than the depth of the trench from natural ground down. For example:

That said, yes, many photos don't really always present a clear picture, as the photographer – for obvious reasons – isn't sticking the camera up high enough above the upper edge of the trench to show the surrounding area.

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