header photo

World War 1 Head Quarters


In World War 1, trenches were used in fighting and living. By far the Germans had the best trenches because of how they made them for living.


Millions of rats infested the trenches. The two types of rats were the brown rats and the black rats. The brown rats were especially feared because they gorged on humans and could grow to the size of cats. Soldiers tried to get rid of them with gun fire, with the bayonet,and even tried clubbing them to death. The rats would spread infection and contaminate food. 


Lice would breed in the filthy seams of the men's clothing and cause men to itch unceasingly. Even if the clothing was washed periodically, lice eggs still remained hidden in the seams and within a few hours of the clothes being re-worn, the men's body heat generated would cause the lice eggs to hatch. Lice caused trench fever which was a painful disease that began with severe pain and followed by a high fever.


Frogs was another big problem in trenches. They were found in shell holes covered in water and were also found in the base of trenches. Slugs and hornets crowded the sides of the trenches. Also, many men chose to shave their heads entirely to avoid another issue which was nits.


Daily boredom was a problem during trench warfare because each side's front line was constantly under watch by snipers and look-outs during daylight, so too much movement was restricted until night fell. To pass time, some men would write letters, play card game, clean weapons, talk about home to other men, and make trench art. 

Trench Foot

Trench foot another medical condition that was a fungal infection in your feet. It was caused by standing in cold, wet, and unsanitary conditions for a large amount of time. Also, it could get so bad that it would result in feet amputation. Trench foot was more of a problem at the beginning of trench warfare and as conditions improved by 1915, it rapidly faded. 

The Smell

The smell of trenches were awful. Rotting carcasses lay around everywhere. Over flowing latrines would give off a most offensive stench. Men would not be able to afford the luxury of a bath in weeks or months and would smell like dried sweat. The feet were generally accepted to give off the worst odor. Trenches would also smell of chloride of lime, used to keep away the constant threat of disease and infection. Other smells were cordite, the lingering odor of poison gas, rotting sandbags, stagnant mud,  and cigarette smoke, yet many men grew used to the stench.