The Northern German
Defence Line 1916-18 (Sicherungsstellung
The trenches and the Infantry Positions.
defense line was never activated and the prepared positions were never
The trenches were supposed to be finished by the
troops who should use
them. Only the first line
finished. 2- 4 lines were only marked in the terrain.
Air photo of the first and second
trench line at Skärbäk
(The Historic Archive of the Royal
trace of the trenches.
The position is constructed with a minimum of 2 lines. The distance between
them was 200-400 meters. The trenches were supposed to
be connected between the lines every 200
meters. The first line of the trenches is normally on front sides of the hills. Normally the second
line would be situated here too, but some are situated on the back of a hill.
the western front
Danish trench. Tune outside Copenhagen
Danish trench, Tune
front of the first line of the trenches, there have been double fences.
Belts of barbed wire fences in a
width of 7-9 meters with 7-9 meters
between the belts. In
front of the second line there was only one belt at a width of 7-9 meters. From
the second belt there was 20-50
meters to the edge of the trench. The
Belts could be zigzag shaped at a total width of 2-300 meters.
different kinds of wire have been found in the position. The most common is
It was 4x4 mm wire with hooks
of a length of 30 mm. There was just 20 mm
between the hooks. In front of the Russian Wire normal wire from the farms have been used.
Even wire without hooks has been used and is rather effective if
mounted correctly. The wire was mounted on sticks of either timber or
The combination of barbed wire and flanking fire from machineguns caused an
enormous amount of lives during WW1, so a great deal of
flanking machineguns has been
Barbed wire at the western front
- and one of its victims
planned defense line is interesting from a historic point of view, because
it was made without any haste and without shelling from the
enemy. And last but least, it was
build on the background of drills and reconosence through 10 years.
Finally the defense line with two
years of modern war experience. This is important, because the
at the time showed, that just 20 years old constructions were
the entire defense line the construction was up to date.
We could learn something about the positions that were not finished by
looking at the Tune Position outside Copenhagen. It
constructed in the same period, following the same war experience.
Blown room at Vedböl North of the
Skovby Battery 1922.
number of bunkers in front of the lines were constructed. They were
primarily meant for machineguns.
machinegun got at break
through in WW1. It is supposed to have caused
up to 5 mills of dead soldiers on both sides. Germany primarily used the Maxim machine
gun, while Denmark among others, used the Gatling gun. England used
Machinegun position with 4 stands at Arrild
infantry was armed with the famous Mauser M/98, one of the best military
rifles of the time. It was effective up to 2000 meters.
The soldier wore the special helmet with at spike upon it. Later Germany
used the characteristic edged helmet.