Trench warfare

trenchestrenchentrenchmententrenchmentsentrenchedover the topfield fortificationsgoing over the topstatic defensetrench lines
Trench warfare is a type of land warfare using occupied fighting lines largely comprising military trenches, in which troops are well-protected from the enemy's small arms fire and are substantially sheltered from artillery.wikipedia
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Western Front (World War I)

Western FrontFranceFrance and Flanders 1914–18
Trench warfare lasting for several years took place on the Western Front in World War I.
Following the Race to the Sea, both sides dug in along a meandering line of fortified trenches, stretching from the North Sea to the Swiss frontier with France, which changed little except during early 1917 and in 1918.

World War I

First World WarGreat WarWorld War One
Trench warfare lasting for several years took place on the Western Front in World War I.
The German advance into France was halted at the Battle of the Marne and by the end of 1914, the Western Front settled into a battle of attrition, marked by a long series of trench lines that changed little until 1917 (the Eastern Front, by contrast, was marked by much greater exchanges of territory).

Barbed wire

barbed-wireGalfanwire
On the Western Front in 1914–1918, both sides constructed elaborate trench, underground, and dugout systems opposing each other along a front, protected from assault by barbed wire.
It is also a major feature of the fortifications in trench warfare (as a wire obstacle).

Armoured warfare

armouredarmoredarmored warfare
With the development of armoured warfare and combined arms tactics, emphasis on trench warfare has declined, but it still occurs wherever battle lines become static.
The doctrine of armoured warfare was developed to break the static nature of World War I trench warfare on the Western Front, and return to the 19th century school of thought that advocated manoeuvre and "decisive battle" outcomes in military strategy.

Siege of Petersburg

PetersburgRichmond-Petersburg CampaignBattle of Petersburg
North American armies employed field works in the American Civil War (1861–1865) — most notably in the sieges of Vicksburg (1863) and Petersburg (1864–1865), the latter of which saw the first use by the Union Army of the rapid-fire Gatling gun, the important precursor to modern-day machine guns.
The campaign consisted of nine months of trench warfare in which Union forces commanded by Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant assaulted Petersburg unsuccessfully and then constructed trench lines that eventually extended over 30 mi from the eastern outskirts of Richmond, Virginia, to around the eastern and southern outskirts of Petersburg.

Gallipoli campaign

GallipoliBattle of GallipoliDardanelles Campaign
Trench warfare also took place on other fronts, including in Italy and at Gallipoli. At the "Quinn's Post" in the cramped confines of the Anzac battlefield at Gallipoli, the opposing trenches were only 16 yd apart and the soldiers in the trenches constantly threw hand grenades at each other.
The war of manoeuvre had ended and been replaced by trench warfare.

Battle of Verdun

VerdunVerdun 1916First Offensive Battle of Verdun
To the French, the equivalent is the attrition of the Battle of Verdun in which the French Army suffered 380,000 casualties.
The Germans built field fortifications to hold the ground captured in 1914 and the French began siege warfare to break through the German defences and recover the lost territory.

Periscope rifle

rifles
A number of armies made use of the periscope rifle, which enabled soldiers to snipe at the enemy without exposing themselves over the parapet, although at the cost of reduced shooting accuracy.
The device was independently invented by a number of individuals in response to the trench warfare conditions of the First World War, and while it is not clear which army was the first to use periscope rifles, the weapons were in use by the end of 1914.

Trench railways

trench railwayex-military equipmentFrench trench railways
In the forward zone, the conventional transport infrastructure of roads and rail were replaced by the network of trenches and trench railways.
Trench railways represented military adaptation of early 20th century railway technology to the problem of keeping soldiers supplied during the static trench warfare phase of World War I.

Salient (military)

salientpocketre-entrant
When one side's front line bulged towards the opposition, a salient was formed.
In trench warfare, salients are distinctly defined by the opposing lines of trenches, and they were commonly formed by the failure of a broad frontal attack.

Defence in depth

defense in depthdefence-in-depthelastic defence
While the armies expected to use entrenchments and cover, they did not allow for the effect of defences in depth.
For example, poorly trained troops may be deployed in static defences at the front line, whereas better trained and equipped troops form a mobile reserve.

Grenade

hand grenadegrenadeshand grenades
At the "Quinn's Post" in the cramped confines of the Anzac battlefield at Gallipoli, the opposing trenches were only 16 yd apart and the soldiers in the trenches constantly threw hand grenades at each other.
Improvised grenades were increasingly used from the mid-19th century, being especially useful in trench warfare.

Traverse (trench warfare)

traversedtraversetraverses
They lacked traverses, and according to pre-war doctrine were to be packed with men fighting shoulder to shoulder.
A traverse in trench warfare is an adaptation to reduce casualties to defenders occupying a trench.

Trench raiding

trench raidtrench raidstrench raiders
Pioneered by the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry in February 1915, trench raids were carried out in order to capture prisoners and "booty"—letters and other documents to provide intelligence about the unit occupying the opposing trenches.
Trench raiding was a feature of trench warfare which developed during World War I.

Trench foot

trenchfootfoot infectionsNonfreezing Cold Injuries
Although not an infectious disease, trench foot was a common fungal ailment affecting many soldiers, especially during the colder winters of the war.
The use of the word trench in the name of this condition is a reference to trench warfare, mainly associated with World War I.

First Battle of the Aisne

Aisne 1914Battle of the AisneAisne
After the Battle of the Aisne in September 1914, an extended series of attempted flanking moves, and matching extensions to the fortified defensive lines, developed into the "race to the sea", by the end of which German and Allied armies had produced a matched pair of trench lines from the Swiss border in the south to the North Sea coast of Belgium.
Trench warfare was also new for the Germans, whose training and equipment were designed for a mobile war to be won in six weeks, but they quickly adapted their weapons to the new situation.

Eastern Front (World War I)

Eastern FrontRussian FrontEastern
On the Eastern Front and in the Middle East, the areas to be covered were so vast, and the distances from the factories supplying shells, bullets, concrete and barbed wire so great, trench warfare in the West European style often did not occur.
While World War I on the Western Front developed into trench warfare, the battle lines on the Eastern Front were much more fluid and trenches never truly developed.

Periscope

periscope depthperiscopesperiscopic
Another means to see over the parapet was the trench periscope – in its simplest form, just a stick with two angled pieces of mirror at the top and bottom.
Periscopes, in some cases fixed to rifles, served in World War I (1914-1918) to enable soldiers to see over the tops of trenches, thus avoiding exposure to enemy fire (especially from snipers).

Enfilade and defilade

enfiladedefiladeenfilade fire
Each redoubt could provide supporting fire to its neighbours, and while the attackers had freedom of movement between the redoubts, they would be subjected to withering enfilade fire.
For instance, a trench is enfiladed if the opponent can fire down the length of the trench.

Frontal assault

frontal attackattacking from the frontattacked
To attack frontally was to court crippling losses, so an outflanking operation was the preferred method of attack against an entrenched enemy.
During World War I, advances in machine guns and artillery greatly increased defensive firepower, while trench warfare removed almost all options for battlefield maneuver.

American Civil War

Civil WarU.S. Civil WarUnited States Civil War
North American armies employed field works in the American Civil War (1861–1865) — most notably in the sieges of Vicksburg (1863) and Petersburg (1864–1865), the latter of which saw the first use by the Union Army of the rapid-fire Gatling gun, the important precursor to modern-day machine guns.
While Lee was preparing for an attack on Richmond, Grant unexpectedly turned south to cross the James River and began the protracted Siege of Petersburg, where the two armies engaged in trench warfare for over nine months.

Royal Munster Fusiliers

The Royal Munster Fusiliers1st European Bengal Fusiliers2nd Royal Munster Fusiliers
British regular divisions habitually named their trenches after units, which resulted in names such as "Munster Alley" (Royal Munster Fusiliers), "Black Watch Alley" (Black Watch Regiment) and "Border Barricade" (Border Regiment).
From 15 November, as snows began, they drove off further attacks, with trench warfare now becoming dominant.

Russo-Japanese War

Russian-Japanese WarRusso Japanese WarRusso–Japanese War
Trenches also featured in the Paraguayan War (which started in 1864), the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899–1902), and the Russo-Japanese War (1904–1905).
The Japanese were on the offensive for most of the war and used massed infantry assaults against defensive positions, which would later become the standard of all European armies during World War I. The battles of the Russo-Japanese War, in which machine guns and artillery took a heavy toll on Russian and Japanese troops, were a precursor to the trench warfare of World War I. A German military advisor sent to Japan, Jakob Meckel, had a tremendous impact on the development of the Japanese military training, tactics, strategy, and organization.

Siege

besiegedsiege warfarebesiege
Following that war, "trench warfare" became a byword for stalemate, attrition, sieges, and futility in conflict.
Mainly as a result of the increasing firepower (such as machine guns) available to defensive forces, First World War trench warfare briefly revived a form of siege warfare.

Combined arms

combined-armscombined arms tacticscombined
With the development of armoured warfare and combined arms tactics, emphasis on trench warfare has declined, but it still occurs wherever battle lines become static.
Early in the Western Front, fighting descended into stagnant trench warfare.