Originally posted 2016-03-01 14:06:05. Republished by Blog Post Promoter
A day in the trenches would begin with the Stand-to-Arms, a process observed by both sides in the Western Front. Before dawn, the soldiers would be roused by their commanding officers, and they climed onto the firestep to gaurd against raids by the other side.Afterwards, the troops would fire in front of them into the early-morning mist in a ritual dubbed the “morning hate,” to doubly unsure their safety at dawn.
Sometimes, rum would then be issued, and soldiers used this time to clean their rifles, a feat in the many trenches were muddy and dirty. Officers inspected the rifles, and then breakfast would be served. In quieter sectors of the war, the two sides would have a “breakfast truce,” in which breakfast could be peacably eaten.
After breakfast, the company commander inspected his men, and assined duties to each man. These may include repairing duckboards, refilling sandbags, and draining trenches using pumping equipment.
At dusk, the ritual of Stand-To-Arms is repeated again, as it was thought that enemies launched surprise attacks at dusk and dawn. Afterwards, supply and maitenance duties were undertaken, such as the fetching of rations and water, or the patrol of No Man’s Land. Some soldiers were put on sentry duty: standing on the fire step of the trench and observing the enemy.
At night-time, the army might rotate their troops. This process could take several hours