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Experiences of the Great War

Trench maps

Our website 'British First World War Trench Maps, 1915-1918' features 307 trench maps of the Western Front.

You can view them as a clickable map, as georeferenced overlays (where the maps are overlaid on modern maps) and as an ordered list. It is also possible to compare the georeferenced maps side-by-side to each other, and compare them to modern satellite images and maps.

View these and other trench maps on the 'British First World War Trench Maps' site:

Studying major battlefields

Trench maps are a primary source for studying the major battlefields of the Great War.

They show in detail the changing front line and its associated communication trenches, as well as the location of enemy positions and defences including artillery gun emplacements, machine guns, mines, wire entanglements, and observation posts. They record the names that soldiers gave the trenches, as well as the names of nearby farms, villages, woods, and other landmarks. These are often referred to in the written histories of the war, including personal war diaries and official regimental accounts.

Accurate locations, and the distances and bearings between trenches were essential for the artillery, and all the maps show the British Trench Map Grid System as a prominent overlay — a unique referencing system often used in associated written records.

Trench maps illustrate the innovative survey, compilation, and printing technologies that advanced rapidly during the conflict. Comparing trench maps to each other over time, and to the present day, allows a detailed and fascinating graphic insight into the changing topography of the Western Front.

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