When the men where out of the line for a rest they stayed in villages or camps. In the Argonne and Vosges the camps (Lagers in German) were build on slopes facing away from the enemy. The slopes had a terraced structure.

Although conditions were not always good, in time the camps became a home away from home. There were cantines, postoffices, showers, delousing facilities, farmacies and so on. The huts where the men slept also could have a little ‘front room’ where there was a table and some chairs and the men hung pictures on the walls to make themselves feel more at home.

In the Argonne forest two camps are being rebuild by local groups. The Association “Argonne Meuse Patrimoine” is rebuilding a French camp called “Ravin du Genie” near Lachalade. The “Comité Franco-Allemand” is rebuilding a German camp called the “Moreaulager” after the Moreau river which flows through the camp. They give a good look into what life was like for soldiers taking a rest from the harsh conditions in the trenches.


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