Now when most folks think of Trench Warfare . (If they think at all about any things.) What usually pops to mind is WWI & The Western Front of France.
Which is usually not too bad an example.
But Trench warfare has been with Man really for a lot longer than that. It is also still with us today. Like the War between Iraq & Iran back in the late 20th Century.
Its history also goes way back too! As the Romans being a very hard nosed and sensible lot. Refused if at all possible to fight at night. So every night at the end of a march in Hostile country. Would dig in and set up a temporary camp.
This would guarantee a good nights rest for most of their Army. It would also be a great place to retreat to if things went wrong on the battle field.
Also a lot of Modern European Cities have their origins due to the this habit of the Roman Army.
But let us move on to a time closer to us. Now This kind of Warfare really got started in the late US Civil War. When both Armies had discovered that modern Rifles and Cannon fire, Had made frontal assaults almost suicidal to commit to.
So they discovered that the spade was just as important as their Rifles. Like shown here.
So as Western European Country’s began seriously to improve their fire power. It quickly became obvious that at least to the troops. that frontal assaults were out of fashion. That and because of the huge sizes of Armies now being deployed in the field.
It became almost impossible to flank or attack and armies exposed side now. What then followed was your basic blood bath on a scale never seen before.
Now rightfully this is something that any Leader wants to avoid at all cost.
So means of getting out of this mess was quickly looked into. Of course making an early peace treaty was not one of them!
Gas – This did not work for a lot of reasons. It also just pissed folks off a lot and make the Grunts life just that much worse.
The Big Guns- All right we will just blow a hole thru the trench.
Nope that won’t work either.
It also almost bankrupted the British Empire and the French. As by the time of the Battle of Somme. The British had fired off as much gunpowder as they had in all of their wars before this one.
Tanks- Now this is one of Churchill’s best ideas ever. While these early tanks were slow and liable to break down quickly. They in the end would break the stalemate.
Trench warfare in WWII and later Wars
This kind of war did not go away completely. As it happened again in Italy & the Pacific. When the Allies started to roll back the Axis Powers.
This was mostly what the Army and the marines did in their Island assaults like Tarawa, Peleliu and at Iwo Jima.
This would also happen again at places like at Pork Chop Hill in the Korean War and to the French at Dien Bien Phu.
God alone knows where it will happen again.