In our past few posts we have been focusing on the impact WWI had on the development of style. In particular, it is very apparent that trench warfare is responsible for the construction of the garments we have featured. The trench is a defining feature of WWI.
The origin of trench warfare dates back to the 17th century when Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban, a French military engineer, conceived the idea for attacking fortresses. Militaries would resort to trench warfare when the firepower of the defense is so strong that the offense would sacrifice its mobility for more coverage. WWI is responsible for the true developments in trench warfare because weapons like machine guns made defensive fire extremely lethal.
Soldiers built the trenches to be approximately 12 feet deep and constructed them in a zigzag fashion to eliminate the chance of an enemy entering the fortress and opening fire on the entire span of the particular trench. In addition, the soldiers used loopholes to see out of the trenches without exposing their heads. Soldiers built dugouts in the back of the trench for a location to sleep and escape the elements. Though construction improved with developments such as elevated floors to help with drainage and more sophisticated dugouts, life in the trenches was still extremely dangerous, miserable and trialling.
The introduction of the tank marked the decline of trench warfare but the garments that live on because of it are definitely a reminder of its significance to the war.
*we hold no rights to these images