The First World War became one of the most destructive, large-scale and bloody conflicts in the history of mankind. At the same time, many innovative weapons were tested on the fronts. Accordingly, countermeasures against him appeared. Ordinary brushwood has become one such measure.
Surely many paid attention to the fact that in the films about the war, the trenches are lined with brushwood. This engineering decision is taken when the positions are of a long-term nature. Not only brushwood is used to strengthen trenches (this, by the way, is the worst option). The trenches are also reinforced with sandbags, logs and even cemented. This is necessary so that the earthen fortifications do not fall on the soldiers' heads during the battle. In particular, during the shelling.
However, today we will talk about a completely different way of using brushwood in a trench war. Who exactly thought of this first is hard to say. Some attribute this invention to the Russian army. However, most likely this technique was practiced more or less everywhere. What are we talking about? About the fact that during the First World War, soldiers laid armfuls of brushwood in front of their positions and, at a key moment, set them on fire.
As you know, the First World War was the first armed conflict in the history of mankind with the massive use of chemical weapons. It all started back in 1914, when the French were the first to use grenades with non-lethal poisonous substances on the offensive. After that, the Germans used chlorine. In 1915, it was replaced by phosgene, which was very dangerous due to its lack of color and smell. Since 1917, mustard gas has been actively used in the army. With all this, personal protective equipment at that time was not yet as well developed as it is now. Of course, there were already gas masks, but they were not always enough.
It is for this reason that the soldiers came up with the idea of using ordinary brushwood against gas attacks, which was laid out on fires in front of the positions. When the gas attack began, these bonfires were lit. The bottom line was that the streams of warm air from the fire, raised the poisonous gas upward. At the same time, the soldiers lay in the trenches. This measure made it possible to significantly reduce losses among personnel.
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