Tunneling wasn’t new to warfare. It had been in practice for many centuries, and when gunpowder was invented it was also used to create and place mines under the position of the enemy.

On the Western Front there are still many places where minecraters can be seen. In Flanders along the Messines Ridge, from the Allied offensive of 1917. In the Somme region, with the famous Lochnagar crater. Near Verdun the Butte de Vauquois was undermined during the four years of war resulting in the butte actually being lower then it was before the war, completely destroying the village of Vauquois which was build on top of the hill.

Tunnels were also dug to go from the rear to the front, with side tunnels and rooms for the men to stay. In Arras and on the Chemin de Dames these tunnels can be visited. In the Champagne there are many tunnels left, called ‘carrieres’. Most of these places are on private ground but some can be visited.


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