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.
Photo: Denise Follveider/Reuters
World War I: Mustard gas-proof dugout, “Bungalow for Two (Wipe your Feet)”
Photo: Otis Historical Archives National Museum of Health and Medicine.
A German observation post on the Yser Front in Belgium, 1917
Photo: REUTERS/Archive of Modern Conflict London
Commander Rumpf, writing at a desk outside his German-built WWI dugout
On the German front: Soldiers built miniature dioramas of Lilliput and Blefuscu - the two fictional islands from the book Gulliver's Travel
A medical officer’s dugout, complete with an elaborate garden, 1917
Landwehr Regiment Officers and NCOs gathered around a table on which sits a portrait of a Saint Nicholas and a vase of flowers, 1915.
“Headquarters”, Kgl. Sächsisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 351
German trench, 1916
Two postcards from one. Landsturm Infanterie Bataillon ‘Rastatt’. Probably somewhere in the Vosges, circa 1917 or later.
Soldiers of Reserve Infanterie Regiment 31 mooch about in a small annex which adjoins their dugout.
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.
This one is captioned "Heavy artillery in the East"
Theater in trenches: Landwehr infantrymen enjoying an outdoors performance by a mobile theatre company and military band.
What looks like a German communication trench with phone wires running into the dugout
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.
The interior of an officer’s dugout at Christmas time.
A Field Artillery Regiment communications bunker named the “Villa Georg” by its occupants.
A popular commercial postcard printed and published by Verlag von Gustav Liersch & Co. of Berlin, taken near Avricourt, France.
Bavarian NCO outside his dugout in a well established WWI trench system
German soldiers playing cards next to a garden built in the trenches, circa 1914 - 1918
The French Front:soldiers bring the amenities of the Parisian metro to war, 40 meters from the German trenches
French WWI dugout
Showertime in the French trenches, 600 meters from German lines, 1914
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
A British officer in his hut dug into the side of a trench, 1915
Fast-forward to 1943: Two US marines in Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands, November 1943 dubbed their dugout "The Lousy Lousy Lounge"