Dan Snow writing for the BBC:


3. Men lived in the trenches for years on end

Front-line trenches could be a terribly hostile place to live. Often wet, cold and exposed to the enemy, units would quickly lose their morale if they spent too much time in them.

As a result, the British army rotated men in and out continuously. Between battles, a unit spent perhaps 10 days a month in the trench system, and of those, rarely more than three days right up on the front line. It was not unusual to be out of the line for a month.

During moments of crisis, such as big offensives, the British could occasionally spend up to seven days on the front line but were far more often rotated out after just a day or two.


World War I was one of my favourite events to research (like everybody else) when completing my degree.

Hindsight is 20/20, like always, and The Great War was the tragedy of tragedies. The horrors experienced in Europe at that time were unlike anything human beings had ever imagined.

Or were they?

It turns out that the actual severity of the Versailles Treaty is anticlimactic, especially considering an entire second world war was fought over the treaty.

Whether or not you are a historian, these 10 myths are worth a read.

(Via Kottke.org)