A small ledge, known as a fire-step, was added to the trenches so the soldiers could see over the top. It was on this that the sentries stood. Trenches were not dug in straight lines. If enemies got into your trenches, they could shoot straight along the line. Each trench was dug with alternate fire-bays and traverses. Fire-bays were straight sections of trench where the troops did their shooting. Duck-boards were also placed at the bottom of the trenches to protect soldiers from problems such as trench foot.
What were the living conditions in the trenches?? The soldiers in the trenches had to live in filthy, muddy conditions. It was freezing cold in the winter and roasting hot in the summer.
Trench Rats: Rats moved into the trenches with the soldiers and ate the dead corpses left behind. Trench Foot: This was an infection of the feet caused by cold, wet and unsanitary conditions. Lice: The trenches were infested with lice. They carried disease and also created a sour smell in the trenches. Dysentery: Caused by poor sanitation (water, toilets). Vomiting, fever, dehydration-could cause death.
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