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Soldiers Making a Home Out of Dugouts and Trenches During Wartime

Amidst the unimaginable horrors of war, soldiers try to customize their dreary dugouts and trenches with make-shift furniture, flower pots, decorative accents and just about anything that would remind them of the comforts of home.

These photos give us an entirely different perspective on war, they let us see that the soldiers fighting at the front, no matter what side they’re on, are also men missing a wife, a child and a family. They're missing home.

 
German troops reading “The Daily Mail” in a dugout at Wieltje, East of Ypres, 1915.
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Photo: Denise Follveider/Reuters

 
World War I: Mustard gas-proof dugout, “Bungalow for Two (Wipe your Feet)”
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Photo: Otis Historical Archives National Museum of Health and Medicine.

 
A German observation post on the Yser Front in Belgium, 1917
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Photo: REUTERS/Archive of Modern Conflict London

 
Commander Rumpf, writing at a desk outside his German-built WWI dugout
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Photo: Drake Goodman

On the German front: Soldiers built miniature dioramas of Lilliput and Blefuscu - the two fictional islands from the book Gulliver's Travel
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Photo: Drake Goodman

A medical officer’s dugout, complete with an elaborate garden, 1917
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Photo: Drake Goodman

Landwehr Regiment Officers and NCOs gathered around a table on which sits a portrait of a Saint Nicholas and a vase of flowers, 1915.
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Photo: Drake Goodman

 
“Headquarters”, Kgl. Sächsisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 351
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Photo: Drake Goodman

 
German trench, 1916
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Photo: Drake Goodman

 
Two postcards from one. Landsturm Infanterie Bataillon ‘Rastatt’. Probably somewhere in the Vosges, circa 1917 or later.
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Photo: Drake Goodman

Soldiers of Reserve Infanterie Regiment 31 mooch about in a small annex which adjoins their dugout.
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Photo: Drake Goodman

 
The company commander’s bullet-proof bunker or hut is called “Zur Wildsau” (The Boar’s Head) to match the stuffed wild boar’s head above the entrance.
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Photo: Drake Goodman

 
This one is captioned "Heavy artillery in the East"
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Photo: Drake Goodman

 
Theater in trenches: Landwehr infantrymen enjoying an outdoors performance by a mobile theatre company and military band.
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Photo: Drake Goodman

 
What looks like a German communication trench with phone wires running into the dugout
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Photo: Drake Goodman

A rare photograph of Adolf Hitler and his colleagues from Bayer of the Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 16 in a pleasant garden setting during WWI.
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Photo: Drake Goodman

 
The interior of an officer’s dugout at Christmas time.
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Photo: Drake Goodman

 
A Field Artillery Regiment communications bunker named the “Villa Georg” by its occupants.
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Photo: Drake Goodman

 
A popular commercial postcard printed and published by Verlag von Gustav Liersch & Co. of Berlin, taken near Avricourt, France.
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Photo: Drake Goodman

 
Bavarian NCO outside his dugout in a well established WWI trench system
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Photo: Drake Goodman

German soldiers playing cards next to a garden built in the trenches, circa 1914 - 1918
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Photo: Tumblr

 
The French Front:soldiers bring the amenities of the Parisian metro to war, 40 meters from the German trenches
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Photo: Del Campe

 
French WWI dugout
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Photo: Del Campe

 
Showertime in the French trenches, 600 meters from German lines, 1914
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Photo: Del Campe

 
On the American and British fronts: Fred Dickinson is photographed right inside a dugout in France with the 1st Cameronians, part of the British Expeditionary Force
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Photo: Telegraph

 
A British officer in his hut dug into the side of a trench, 1915
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Photo: British Library

 
Fast-forward to 1943: Two US marines in Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands, November 1943 dubbed their dugout "The Lousy Lousy Lounge"
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Photo:

H/T messynessychic

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