WWI Trench Systems written by Douglas Hardy and published by Pen & Sword Books – £14.99 – Softcover – Pages 136

Although it was a global conflict, for many WW1 is synonymous with the war in the trenches of the Western Front. For anyone wargaming these battles a good trench system is a must.

Douglas Hardy is a very experienced wargamer and terrain modeller and a member of the Western Front Association who has walked the battlefields many times. From the initial choice between stand-alone pieces on a mat or a fixed, bespoke layout, through to final detailing, he shares his experience, giving practical advice on building your own trench system.

He considers the differences between British, German and French trenches, which differed in design and construction, as well as developments in defences through the phases of the war. A trench system is not just the trench itself of course, but also the dugouts, barbed wire entanglements, sandbags, gun emplacements and pillboxes. Shell holes and shattered forests are also covered. Each element is explained in step-by-step detail, illustrated with numerous colour photos and there are also reference photos of real trenches.

What a fascinating little book about the WWI Trench System, from making your own in miniature model form to the latter-day refurbished trenches of today. The book is written in order and explains to the reader how to exactly create from scratch a model trench system and looks at the various types of trench used by different nations such as the British, French and German. There is actually a difference between them which some might be surprised at with many having differing benefits and problems. Douglas Hardy is clearly an expert on the subject and writes a good book which I think would benefit both the beginner and regular modeller. The photos in the book are varied and easy to follow whether it be models or the real thing. An excellent book and even if you are not into modelling there is still plenty to learn.