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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

What was a Switch Line?


Jerrymurland
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I keep reading about the Drocourt - Queant Switch - I'm aware it was part of the Hindenburg Line but am a little confused as to what exactly a Switch line was, I'm sure someone must know.

Jerry

Edited by Jerrymurland
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Normally trenches ran in (roughly) parallel lines. Switch lines joined them together. From above, they look like the switch lines used on railway tracks, which allow a train to switch from one line to another. Their function was to contain any attack that broke through the first line of defence, preventing the enemy from expanding the attack laterally and rolling up the trench lines.

Robert

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Ahhhh! Thanks, a simple explanation for a simpleton like me, now I understand the importance of the Drocourt - Queant Switch. thanks

Jerry

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The Drocourt-Queant Switch has to be seen in the broader context of the Hindenberg Line. As you will appreciate, it was a much more significant affair than the simple trench-trench switch line. The Drocourt-Queant Switch was a recognition that the British could make headway into, and potentially through, the 'impregnable' Hindenberg Line. So I think it was quite important from that point of view.

Robert

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