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WWI Soldiers Describe What It Was Like To Go 'Over The Top' In Trench Warfare

Updated 8 Nov 2019 9.3k views11 items

Life in the trenches during WWI was miserable. Projectiles flew overhead, rain drenched the men, and the rotting stench of human remains carried in the air. But the trenches were paradise compared to going over the top. In WWI, troops dug into trenches in France, Belgium, Italy, and Turkey, creating a perilous "No Man's Land" separating the two sides. Anyone who entered was ripped to shreds by enemy fire and barbed wire. Officers ordered their troops to go "over the top" and rush the enemy lines through barbed wire, blasting artillery shells, and a hail of enemy fire armed with only standard-issue gear.

Just as photos from the WWI trenches capture the destruction, the men who fought left detailed accounts of what it was like to receive their orders and go "over the top." They witnessed comrades left on the battlefield to perish as trench warfare took its human toll. Nine million servicemen lost their lives in the conflict, but it's hard to fully grasp the extent of the loss and destruction without hearing from the men who survived to tell their vivid stories.

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