The Trench of Death in Diksmuide, Belgium is a haunting memorial to the fierce resistance of the troops who fought and died there. Most of its history deals with the years from 1914-1918 where hundreds troops (in fact the entire Belgium army) fought to stay alive and quell the advances of the enemy. They did a credible job and were so happy at the glorious offensive of September 28th, 1918. For four years this trench was alive with the sounds of artillery, mortar shells, heavy gunfire, incessant income fire alerts, grenades and sudden attacks. This narrow gallery saw many a death and protected as many men as it could. But the nickname of the trench of death is well suited to it.
The Trench of Death was started in 1915 so the Belgians could retake a heavily defended German occupied machine gun base on the left banks of the river. All this work had to be done right out in the open under heavy fire. So, discretion being the better part of valor, they went at it in steps. Things were progressing relatively well when it was discovered the Germans were doing the same thing on their side of the river. Both sides had to stop when they came a few yards from each other. It's a totally amazing story and one really worth reading about. The trenches will make you realize just what people went through to give us our current rights and freedoms.
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