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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

No-Mans Land


Guest kabooga

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Guest kabooga

Hi everyone, my son is studying WWI in social studies this month, and when we were going over his chapter for the test, they talked about No Mans Land, being the area between the trenches of either side.. it said the the land in between the trenches belonged to neither side......the book said that it was full of barbed wire and land mines. Now my son, age 10 and I were thinking, if this land belonged to neither side..WHO planted the land mines..and the barbed wire?

Thank you so much for taking the time out to respond to this...I hope it does not come off as a stupid question. He even asked his teacher who thought it was good..but had no idea either.

I appreciate your help!

Thanks to all and any on here that have served our country!

Sincerely, Kim

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Guest kabooga

Thankyou Garth..that was awesome...I have printed a lot of that information off from the site you sent me to, so he can take it to school. It helped my curiosity also!

Have a fabulous day...my son will apprecitate it too!

Kim

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Please note that land mines were not really a feature of First World War trench fighting. The 'mines' referred to in the literature were tunnels dug under No-Man's land to a position beneath an enemy strongpoint then detonated at a set time, e.g at the start of a big attack. This was very much in the tradition of medieval siege warfare and is where the expression 'undermining' comes from.

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Guest Ian Bowbrick

Mark,

Thanks - I never knew that 'undermining' came from that - I learn something every time I visit this forum.

Ian :)

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A graphic display of medieval 'undermining' , with parallels to Great War mining operations, was given in last week's edition of the Channel 4 series Castles. They recreated the attack on Rochester Castle in the 13th Century. The siege was eventually resolved when a mine was ignited underneath one of the towers, destroying its foundations. Instead of Ammonal however, the 'explosive' (or rather incendiary) charge was made from the fat of 40 freshly-slaughtered pigs!

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The allied generals would disagree with the remark that "no mans land" belonged to neither side. They would say it belonged to them as far as the german wire.

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The German generals would disagree with the remark that "no mans land" belonged to neither side. They would say it belonged to them as far as the allied wire. Ups - uhoh <_<

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Egbert and Steve are both right, so long as it was dark.

At night both sides tried to dominate no-man's land with patrols, raids, wiring parties and listening posts. Both sides also tried to disrupt enemy activity by sweeping no-man's land at irregular intervals with machine gun fire and sending up parachute flares.

By day it reverted to being truly no-man's land (other than when being crossed in an attack or raid). It was constantly watched over by snipers and sentries using periscopes and to venture into it would be to court instant death from a sniper's bullet. (The only exception to this seems to have been the odd drunk who was treated with amused tolerence - see seperate earlier thread on this subject! )

Tim :P

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