trenches were everywhere

trenches were everywhere

When it comes to the First World War there's one thing that instantly comes to mind - trenches. Muddy, rat-infested hell holes with death around every corner. Places so bad that only going over the top could be worse. Trenches dominate our perspective. But are our perceptions really accurate?   In this episode of IWM Stories we answer three big questions: Why did trenches exist? What were conditions like inside the trenches? And how did trench warfare come to an end?

More trenches

First World War
Rare Personal Accounts of Life in the Trenches in 1917
Explore some of the real life stories of those who served in the trenches in 1917. 
E Company Liverpool Scottish Regiment after vaccination, c. 1914.
First World War
10 Things That Could Have Saved Your Life In The Trenches
Trenches provided relative protection against increasingly lethal weaponry. Soldiers dug in to defend themselves against shrapnel and bullets. On the Western Front, trenches began as simple ditches and evolved into complex networks stretching over 250 miles (402 kilometres) through France and Belgium. 
Trench art jug created by a sapper in the Royal Engineers whilst he was manning an underground telephone exchange in Ypres.
First World War
Beauty From The Battlefield: 10 Pieces Of Trench Art
‘Trench art’ is a term used to describe objects made from the debris and by-products of modern warfare. Trench Art is usually associated with the First World War, although similar items have been produced in other conflicts too.

more IWM Stories

Blitzkrieg Explained Thumbnail
Second World War
Blitzkrieg Explained
In 1940, Hitler did the seemingly impossible. Within a matter of weeks, Germany had managed to take the entirety of France and send the British army back across the channel. This remarkable success was widely put down to their new tactic: Blitzkrieg or 'Lightning War'. So, what is Blitzkrieg and why was it so effective?
Second World War
Why were Atomic Bombs Dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 brought an end to the Second World War, but at a terrible cost to the Japanese civilian population, and signalling the dawn of the nuclear age. What had led to the fateful decision to deploy these new weapons of mass destruction?
Air Chief Marshall Sir Hugh Dowding and a Hawker Hurricane super imposed onto the Filter Room table at Bentley Priory with the words "How Dowding Won"
Second World War
How Hugh Dowding and the RAF won the Battle of Britain
The Battle of Britain is often defined by images of Spitfires and Messerschmitts duelling in the skies. But what if the deciding factor in this fight for air supremacy was actually based on the ground? IWM Duxford Curator Craig Murray takes a look at the Dowding System and explains how it turned the battle decisively in Britain's favour.