The Northern German Defence Line 1916-18 (Sicherungsstellung Nord)
The trenches and the Infantry Positions.

 The defense line was never activated and the prepared positions were never finished.  The trenches were supposed to be finished by the
 troops who should use them. Only the first line
was finished. 2- 4 lines were only marked in the terrain.

  WW1, Sicherungsstellung Nord, German stronghold in Denmark. The Trench Lines af Skärbäk
    Air photo of the first and second trench line at Skärbäk
 (The Historic Archive of the Royal Danish Airforce)

 The 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.

                            German trench,
                          the western front
     WW1, Sicherungsstellung Nord, German stronghold in Denmark. Danish Trench at the Tune Position      
Danish trench. Tune outside Copenhagen

 Danish trench, Tune

 The barbed wire:
In 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.

 Four different kinds of wire have been found in the position. The most common is occupied  Russian  wire.  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 prepared.

Barbed wire at the western front

   - and one of its victims

 The 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
 history at the time showed, that just 20 years old constructions were
 useless. Over 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 was
 constructed in the same period, following the same war experience.

  WW1, Sicherungsstellung Nord, German stronghold in Denmark. Blown Bunker at Vedböl 1926
Blown room at Vedböl North of the Skovby Battery 1922.

 A number of bunkers in front of the lines were constructed. They were primarily meant for machineguns. The 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 the Vickers.


    Maxim 1908

              Maxim 1910
        WW1, Sicherungsstellung Nord, German stronghold in Denmark. Machinegun Position at Arrild
                      Machinegun position with 4 stands at Arrild

 German 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.


           The modern helmet