The Ypres Salient - CWGC

129th Baluchis in trenches near Wyteschaete, October 1914.Although French Territorial units had constructed some lengths of continuous trenches at Langemarck, the hastily dug British defences around Ypres were, for the most part, discontinuous lines of shallow scrapings, often less than four feet deep, offering very little cover from German artillery fire. These positions lacked dug-outs, communication trenches and a second line to which men could retire. Barbed wire was in extremely short supply. This improvised defence line had been made with great difficulty by tired men, exhausted by constant movement and night fighting, with inadequate supplies of digging equipment. This was particularly the case for British IV Corps troops who had lost, through action and movement, a considerable numbers of vital picks and shovels.

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