First Battle of Aisne - Trenches That Characterize WW I are Dug for First Time Hot

First Battle of Aisne - Trenches That Characterize WW I are Dug for First Time

German Trench on the Aisne, 1915

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First Battle of the Aisne: Trenches, which would become symbols of the type of warfare that will characterize the First World War, are dug for the first time. This isn't the first time that trenches are used in warfare, but they are used now on a scale never before seen.

The reason for this change is that the technology behind firepower has progressed much further than the technology for mobility and defense. This forces both sides to dig down into the earth in order to protect themselves from the withering machine-gun fire of the enemy.

The First Battle of the Aisne began on the evening of September 13 when the German army, being pursued after the First Battle of the Marne, turns to face the Allies. This morning the Germans slaughtered advance elements of the British Expeditionary Force in machine-gun crossfire.

Sir John French orders the entire BEF to "entrench," but they haven't been equipped with proper digging equipment and haven't had any training in stationary warfare. The Germans adapt quickly, using mortars and hand grenades to inflict at least as many casualties on the British in the trenches as they did on the British in the open fields.


World War I: Trench Warfare Begins

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