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WWII trench warfare

The Story

"Is your man in the infantry? Do you know what it is like?" asks Capt. Athol Stewart in Holland, 1944. "Of course you don't. You have never slept in a hole in the ground which you have dug while someone tried to kill you...A trench is dug just wide enough for the shoulders, as long as the body, and as deep as there is time. It may be occupied for two hours or two weeks."

Medium: Radio
Program: CBC Radio News
Broadcast Date: Nov. 21, 1944
Reporters: Lt. Jack Scott, Capt. Athol Stewart
Duration: 4:28

Did You know?

• Soldiers hid in slit trenches to attempt to escape enemy bullets or artillery shellfire. Though the trenches offered little protection, some soldiers felt like they were safe from everything except a direct hit. Many prayed, or resigned themselves to fate.

• Slit trenches also served as graves, or as latrines. They are sometimes still used on today's battlefields.

Photo: Daniel Guravich / Canada. Dept. of National Defence / National Archives of Canada PA-133168



1939-1945: A Soldier's War more