Behind the Front

When remembering World War One we mostly tend to think of the fighting in the trenches, soldiers walking across No Mans Land or destroyed landscapes. But of course the soldiers, ammunition, food etc. had to be brought up to the areas where the fighting took place. So behind the front logistics systems were developed and railway systems were put into place.

When the men where out of the frontline in reserve or for rest they stayed in villages or in camps in wooded areas.  The men where very religious so little places of worship where created. This could be a tiny wooden or stone chapel or altar.  Fountains were build for drinking water. Houses in villages were used for hospitals. For the missing huge monuments have been build after the war, but during the war the soldiers themselves made small monuments to remember their comrades, and many of these have survived. Cemeteries were created to bury and honour their fallen comrades. Swimming facilities were created near rivers and sometimes small swimming pools were build. One such swimming pool in the Vosges even had its own heating system.  All efforts were made to create a place as comfortable as could be in the circumstances, to relieve the stress of battle and to give the men a sense of a home away from home.

The Border

Fearing an attack from the rear, defences were put up along the coast and the border with Holland, which remained neutral througout the war. An extensive line of bunkers was build of which many remain, despite urban development.

Many of these places can still be found behind the former frontlines today.

Stellung Antwerpen

Bunkers near Vrasene








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