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1000 Men Dugout


Whiskey Company

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I have recently been looking through soldier's WWI diaries from the IWM archive and came across a number of references to the '1000 Men Dugout'. These references were in relation to the Third Battle of Ypres and in particular to the attack on Capricorn Trench. Has anyone else come across similar references in their research?

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Hi

The below is an extract from;

War Memorial: The Story of One Village's Sacrifice from 1914 to 2003 by Clive Aslett

On arrival in April 1916, von Fabeck ordered that every German dugout should be ... the largest of these complexes at St. Pierre Divion could house 1,000 men.

Regards,

Graeme

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Hi

Thanks for replying. Okay, so I can assume then that the one mentioned in my source refers to a very large former German dugout near the Graventafelstraat Road, and this is because the German's had by 1917 extended the internal dimensions of all their dugouts where possible.

I will dig out my trench maps and see if I can see anything on there.

Thank you again.

Paul

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Rats Alley calls it Capricorn Trench, Support and Keep, map ref St Julien, 28 NW 2 C 18 c,d.

Regards

John

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British one under the road at wieltje, that could collapse at any time as the wood rots :w00t:

called I think pheasant dugout

Biff :poppy:

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I'll take the liberty of asking a follow-up question; are there any sources describing fighting taking place in these massive systems? The clearing of ordinary dug-outs with a bomb or grenade is well documented (mostly on raids, I think), so I take it the attackers had reason to expect resistance.

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I discuss this in a chapter of my book on the tactics used to attack and capture tunnels and dugouts and the changes that the Germans made to their defensive doctrine as the British and French became more proficient at it. The changes were insufficient to prevent some very heavy German losses indeed in their extensive tunnelled dugout systems. You can download the book for a ridiculously low price of which I receive less than 10%, so please don't think I am trying to cash in.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Underground-Warfare-1914-1918-Simon-Jones/dp/1473823048

Simon

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