WWI Combat Footage of German Trenches Under Artillery Fire

WWI Combat Footage of German Trenches Under Artillery Fire

There is not much authentic World War I combat footage out there so it’s a pleasure to present one to you. This video was filmed by a German photographer in Somme, France in 1916 and shows German soldiers retreating while being under heavy artillery fire. Caption at the end of the video suggests that artillery was the main cause of death in the First World War on both sides. The Western Front in World War I was the most prominent case of trench warfare.

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43 thoughts on “WWI Combat Footage of German Trenches Under Artillery Fire

  1. Nice and rare, thank you Mark.

    WW1, another slaughter between brothers, orchestrated by the selfnominated masters. Oh, we have to reduce the amount of our cattle, some are just useless eaters, send them to the trenches!
    The induced enthusiasm among the people in Germany and France was pathologic, I mean which animal is joyful on its way to slaughter. I know, a large part didnt know about the efficiency of the mechanized destruction and some saw great honor to die for their country, but again the joy was exaggerated trough propaganda.
    I´m sure that feeling cooled down very quickly after the westfront went static and the first mustard gas attacks came, and as the invalids came home, the public treated them like some untouchables. A similar neglect happens with the veterans in the US.

    • more so with Vietnam. young men brainwashed or blatantly forced to serve and all they got for surviving and making it back home was to be treated like shit. homelessness, alcoholism and drug abuse shadowed the survivors of Nam like a stalking cat waiting to pounce….that’s not to say that the American soldiers were fucking saints, but the good guys and scared kids always get lumped together with the monsters.

      • Its easier to generalize and to mix up corporate interests with people who really think they are fighting for the wellbeing of their country, so that others dont have to spill their blood.
        Lets not fool ourselves, soldiers are mean killing machines, but thats the point, thats how it should be. Sure there are sick fucks and opportunists among them, but despite that the rest is fooled by slogans and fairytales, they have a notion in the back of their heads about the true circumstances of their mission. Some do something about it on site in the respective war theaters and some are just ignoring it.
        Well, its hard for me to get to the point, cause I truly dont know a single shit what I´m talking about, and although I´ve served 4 years in the military, I´ve never been in the heat of a combat. I just want to point out, that the condemnation of the soldiers by the public is unjust.
        Its like cursing at your hammer who crushed a head.
        Sure the most wars in the past centuries were avoidable, but the troops are the wrong to blame, we should hang the cowards who send them into this mess instead.
        Damn I hope, I didnt bore you to death, my braincells are just shutting down one after another, zzzzzzz.

      • my dad served in Vietnam with the 25th Infantry Division. I’ve been to one of their reunions. We stayed in these FFA bunks. Several woke up with blood-curdling screams in the night. 2 of them have since committed suicide. Sad thing.

  2. I am suddenly reminded of the Tales from the Crypt episode “Yellow”. Great episode. Anyway…

    World War I… A forgotten war. Outdone by the rare better sequel: World War II. Unfortunately, we didn’t learn who anybody’s father was… RIP, all those who fought.

  3. Yes, artillery was responsible for >70% of WW1 casualties, at least on the western front (the eastern front was a *little* more fluid).

    I highly recommend reading Ernst Junger’s “Storm of Steel”, his first-hand account of being a bad-ass German stormtrooper, wounded in action 14 times throughout the whole war.

    I can only imagine the terror of being on the receiving end of an artillery barrage. I’ve thrown hand grenades, detonated claymores and other small quantities of high explosives, and even that shit makes your heart skip a beat. Having large-calibre rounds detonate in close proximity with little or no cover? No wonder dudes came home with their minds shattered by shell shock.

  4. If you want to learn the truth behind WW1, listen to the speech given by Former Jew, Benjamin Freedman. (youtube his name)

    This is definitely not something that is taught in our schools.

  5. awesome video – thanks mark! I really love this stuff…

    amazing bravery these young men (kids) shown…lets hope they are having a beautiful, blissful afterlife if there is such a thing

  6. cannot see any dead and wounded. but nice vide btw.

    saw another cool ww1 video a few month ago.
    in the video they flew with a strange war plane around and threw the bombs manually with the hands out of the cockpit. haha

    • yep that’s how they bombed back in WWI. And yes while the “Red Baron” and other Aces of the war had spectacular bi-plane fights, it really made no impact on the war. Both sides just started making planes, so they had to go up against each other in doing so.

  7. Amazing video. I am just finishing the book “July 1914″ it is a must read for you history buffs. This book really delves into how Russia and France pushed for this war to happen. It also shows the hapless incompetence of the Austria-Hungarian empire, as well as the disingenuous British government. FYI Churchill did illegal things to get England to jump into the war against Germany. It has totally changed my mind about Germany being the villain in this war. Well worth the read.

    • It’s annoying as fuck how the ignorant believe Germany started both world wars, and even if Germany did start the wars (which they didn’t) it would just be a European war. Britain is the country that always turn European conflicts into global conflicts by recruiting other non-European countries to fight their enemies.

    • Posted without reading earlier haha if you havnt got into war memoirs you should! For wwi ernst junger’s Storm of Steel is just awsome. All Quiet has nothing on that book.

  8. Thanks for posting this Mark. And thanks to the brave cameraman who lost his life to bring us this rare footage from almost a century ago. When men were truly men.

  9. I wonder what soldiers in this day and age would still put up with a situation like this?

    I can see most soldiers radio back to their commander: “I ain’t moving forward into this shit. Get us some drones over here to get this mess sorted out before I move my fine ass any further.”

    Truly brave men.

    • I’ve actually had this conversation with fellow Marines. We talk about the dense jungle terrain here on Okinawa, as well as the storming of Iwo Jima. We joked that if modern Marines hit the beach on Iwo and were told “climb that big-ass mountain, full of Japanese in fortified positions, and plant a flag on top” a significant portion would look at you like you were nuts and get back in the boats.

  10. look at 1:12… You see 3 guys at that shell either getting killed or wounded, or at least blown to the ground. I would guess they were killed but who knows…

  11. My Great-Great Grandfather fought in The Battle of The Somme. He served in the 36th Ulster Division (UVF), he survived the battle, and the war.
    Looking at that video, it’s quite amazing that he made it back home!

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