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World War I Game of cards in a German trench Ca 1916

WW1: A rather pensive British laddie caught by the photographer near Mons, undated. Trench warfare was brutal and unforgiving, Hundreds of thousands returned home with what is today identified as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, yet the literature contains scant information about postwar psychological troubles with violent outcomes. Different times, different people.

The Battle of Pilckem Ridge, nr. Boesinghe, North of Ypres. British soldier giving a "light" to a badly wounded German lying in a ditch. Pilckem, 31st July 1917.


The first colour photographs from the German front line during World War One

When the battle was over, the Allied lines around Ypres formed a salient—that is to say, a bulge, surrounded on 3 sides by the Germans. Movement in and out of the Ypres Salient was hampered by the Yser Canal, which cut across the base of the bulge. Finally, the low-lying terrain was unsuitable for trench warfare. The water table was less than a meter below the surface and, as a result, the troops had to build up walls of sandbags known as breastworks to protect themselves from enemy fire.