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Exhibition Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I

James Alfred Moss. Trench Warfare, by Major Jas. A. Moss, U.S. Army; Being a Practical Manual for the Training and Instruction of Officers and Men in Trench Warfare. . . . Menasha, Wisconsin: Geo. Banta Publishing Company, ca. 1917. General Collections, Library of Congress (044.01.00)

Training for Trench Warfare

By 1917, the Western Front, where the vast majority of Americans troops would serve, had long been the scene of military stalemate, with two intricate webs of fortified trench lines facing one another. Americans were well aware of the bitter losses each side sustained as they struggled through storms of heavy artillery, aerial bombing, and machine-gun fire in largely unsuccessful attempts to break through opposing lines. Yet, the name of this manual notwithstanding, for many months the U.S. Army continued training new soldiers for a war of movement and only gradually and incompletely incorporated new methods for fighting a war stalemated in the trenches.