The Ypres Salient - CWGC

The unique characteristics of 'trench warfare' were not slow in arriving on the Western Front and an important aspect of the Battle of the Aisne (13 September - 14 October 1914) was the speed in which improvised 129th Baluchis in trenches near Wyteschaete, October 1914.shallow holes, scrapings and entrenchments were converted into more permanent field fortifications. More like the siege warfare of earlier centuries 'the trenches' were the complete opposite of the grand war of movement with which the war began.

For infantry trained in the tradition of open warfare the necessity to remain stationary and unobserved for long periods in squalid trenches whilst enduring the attentions of enemy artillery significantly affected morale. The stalemate and its attendant miseries were certainly factors in the request of Field Marshal Sir John French, British Commander-in-Chief, to remove British forces, wedged in between French formations, from the close confines of the Aisne front to the perceived freedom to manoeuvre represented by Flanders in October 1914.

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