Strong-Point on the Arras-Cambrai Road

In the previous blog post “Tip of the Sword on the Arras-Cambrai Road” one of the positions on the disposition map was conjectured to be a strong-point that was created from an existing structure. Evidence has come to light that indicates that the units of the 4th Canadian Infantry Brigade, comprising the 18th and, possibly … Continue reading Strong-Point on the Arras-Cambrai Road

Untold Misery Has Been the Harvest Now: The Letters of Major George Whitford Nelson

Introduction The intent of this blog post is to expand upon a series of letters diligently transcribed by the Bruce County Archives entitled Correspondence from Lieutenant Colonel George Whitford Nelson to his sister, Mrs. William Kidd, 1914-1916, A99.058.008. This resource was found during research into this soldier and offers an invaluable insight into the feelings, … Continue reading Untold Misery Has Been the Harvest Now: The Letters of Major George Whitford Nelson

10 Facts about WWI Trenches

A good overview of trenches in World War 1.

A Writer of History

In two of my novels, I created scenes set in WWI trenches. To make them as realistic as possible I needed to understand trench layouts and the nomenclature involved. I found a few diagrams on various sites and in one of my non-fiction books.

(1) There are front line trenches and support trenches as well as interconnecting alleyways – called communications trenches.

(2) Artillery is in behind, firing over the heads of their troops.

(3) All trench lines zigzagged in part to prevent explosions from rippling sideways – and hence wounding or killing more soldiers – for more than a short distance.

Trench layout 1

The second diagram (source: Vimy Ridge 1917, Osprey Publishing) sets out the concept of a platoon attack against its objectives.

(4) Troops are deployed in waves. Note the planned 1st Wave and 2nd Wave troop deployment.

(5) riflemen and bombers in front (1st line),

(6) rifle bombers and Lewis gunners in…

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