Trenches are huge open top tunnels dug into the ground, mostly tall enough to stand in without your head being seen over the top. They were very narrow and hard to move around in, especially quickly. The main purpose of digging these trenches was to supply reasonable cover form enemy fire. The sides of these trenches often collapsed inwards causing a series safety hazard. Trenches where often built in Zigzags so when the enemy captured the trench, they could not simply fire straight along the trench killing everyone.
By the end of 1914, trenches stretched all along the 475 miles front between the Swiss border and the Channel coast.
The general conditions of the Trenches fought in during World War 1 were terrible. The trenches were constantly filled with mud, water, blood, urine, shrapnel, body parts and other disgusting items, because of these items constantly filling the trenches the smell was horrendous. Men would stay in these trenches for months on end.
Soldiers would never get good nights sleep because of the shelling, the smell and uncomfortable conditions. The conditions where so bad in the trenches some men would self inflicted wounds into parts of there bodies or deliberately raise an arm or leg over the top of the trench or cover such as sand bags hoping they would be shot at. They did so that they would be sent home to recover and get away from the war.
By Stephanie Hampton year 10