Friday 23 February 2024

Forthcoming Osprey


This absorbing illustrated study reveals the evolving tactics and techniques used by all sides in the underground war during 1914–18.

Covering the Western Front but also the Gallipoli and Italian theatres, this study explores three aspects of World War I below ground: military mining, attack tunnels and dugouts. In 1914–17, the underground war was a product of static trench warfare, essential to survive it and part of both sides' attempts to overcome it. In 1917–18 it was rendered largely obsolete by the development of the all-arms battle as mobility was restored to the battlefield.

In the stagnant, troglodyte existence of trench warfare, military mining was a hidden world of heroism and terror in which hours of suspenseful listening were spent monitoring the steady picking of unseen opponents, edging quietly towards the enemy, and judging when to fire a charge. Break-ins to enemy mine galleries resulted in hand-to-hand fighting in the darkness. The ingenuity, claustrophobia and tactical importance of the underground war are discussed and depicted in this fully illustrated study from an acknowledged expert. The artwork plates include depictions of the specialized uniforms, weapons and equipment used underground, as well as vignettes that vividly convey the many aspects of subterranean warfare during World War I.

Table of Contents

Underground warfare before 1914
Military mining 1914–15
Mining in 1916
Mining in 1917–18
Underground warfare and technology
Mining on the Italian Front
Dugouts, shelters and attack tunnels

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