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Fritz

Trench Raiding Party

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Found this picture by coincidence and thought it so impressive and typical of the Great War. A raiding party, one of whom is carrying a trench club, of which there were many variations. This weapon originated in the Middle Ages. These were improvised in the workshops behind the front, and typically, boot nails and selfmade steel spikes were used.

There are some examples in the Imperial War Museum.  Seldom seen in collections.

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Another example of a trench weapon, sometimes called a "lifesaver", and usually more for a defensive situation, these were mainly weapons that were offered by commercial firms and soldiers could buy these from their own money. Not always  official issue.

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Interesting photo Paul, I see the soldier on the left is wearing Fernglas 08 binoculars and case attached to his belt, looking at the other soldiers at least

four other soldiers look to be wearing binocular cases on their belts, were all soldiers issued with binoculars in the front lines or just officers?

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Yes, the soldier on the left seems to be wearing a Fernglas 08 and the belt pouch for this - all other soldiers are wearing the normal M.1908 cartidge pouches
The soldier on the left is also an Unteroffizier - see collar - these are the shortened version of the collar Unteroffizierstresse, no longer all way round, just the corners, saving material. The binoculars have a fieldgrey tone rather than black. All soldiers were certainly not issued with binoculars - only the leaders - this Unteroffizier was a leader of his section. N.C.O.s were by definition "Unterführer". His other pouch is probably the old issue cartridge box. See also my earlier article under Imperial German equipment, there were the M.95 box and earlier types adapted for use with the new S-Patrone for Gew.98 and Gew.88

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A German trench after a gas attack, the gasmasks seem to have been of no avail. Unfortunately no further details or info on photo.

 

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That's a mad photo, and as you say the gasmasks don't seem to work, must have been terrifying for them. 

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They could have been killed during a bombardment or a trench raid.

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Just found the answer, it's from the film War Horse, very realistic though, and why there are no blood and guts from a bombardment or clutching of throats from a gas attack. 

 

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Very realistic scene. But there can be no answer to something that happened over 100 years ago. It is unlikely that a handgrenade (Splitterwirkung) could have caused so much destruction in a larger trench, more likely to have been the results of a massive concussion from a nearby explosion of a larger shell, causing the lungs to explode (Lungenriß), outwardly no wounds.

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What I meant was the photo is actually from the film, it's not a period photo but a still from the movie, if you look in these screen shots you can see the same barbed wire posts,  the Germans wearing gas masks, also in the last photo you can see what look like tank traps,although I think just posts for the barbed wire at the top of the photo, same ones but from a slightly different angle.    

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