WWI trench system

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by LondonExPlod, Oct 11, 2010.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Good afternoon chaps

    I have a question that I hope someone can shed some light on.I have heard several times that the Western Front trench system ran from the sea to the Swiss frontier. What was at either end ?, did the trenches go out onto the beach and what about the Swiss frontier, did the fighting really extend right up to the border line. This may seem to be a very stupid question, but I have enjoyed this forum for such a long time now and I am sure that some knowledgeable member will be able to assist me. Keep up the good work chaps

    Kind regards

  2. I have a book in the attic which is large format and shows panoramas of the trenches. In Belgium, it did indeed go right to the beaches. Sand in every crevice or what ?!

    If I get a mo' I'll see if i can find the title. IIRC it only covered the Western Front and not the French or Yank trenches. I suspect the trenches went to the actual border fence.

  3. Cheers

    Many thanks, can you imagine sand in your bully beef
  4. I suspect I have the same book D_B.
    The end of the line was Barrel Post on the beach at Nieuport, apart from occansional snipers on the piers there was nothing until you hit Kent.
  5. I once saw a photograph said to be the Swiss Customs Post at the end of the Western Front. It was a rather vulnerable looking two story white building. The terrain looked easy to cross and I wondered at the time why neither side was tempted to nip around it to get behind their opponent. I suppose it was a live and let live location with a "we're a long way from Paris/Berlin" philosophy - and invasion (of Swiss territory) might have affected their overdraft!.

    Did the (Swiss) Customs Officers get "danger money"? Was the equvalent French Customs post operational? Did the Swiss even bother manning it? Was there any crossing into Switzerland by either side for unofficial R & R? Did the Swiss Army spend the war years pointing weapons at both sides?