Experiencing the Centenary
Discovering the Centenary
Understanding the Centenary
Experiencing the Centenary
Discovering the Centenary
Understanding the Centenary
The Main de Massiges Association

The Main de Massiges Association

Tranchées de Massiges
© Mission du centenaire de la Première Guerre mondiale
Image locale (image propre et limitée à l'article, invisible en médiathèque)

The Crater is a dominant position located to the East of the Main de Massiges, and was a pivotal position between the Champagne and Argonne fronts. A major site of the war of the underground mines, two funnels, thirty or so metres in diameter bear witness to the violent fighting at the start of 1915. This position was taken and lost several times between 

September 1914 and September 1915, and as such we can find German trenches overlapping the French trenches and vice versa.

It is for these reasons that the “Main de Massiges” association decided to restore this part of the battlefield over an area of 3 hectares.

As a result, the network of trenches and tunnels, which had largely been filled in by farmers after the war, has been opened and restored to its former state by the association. Thanks to the aerial photographs of the time, it was quite easy to find its layout and today it’s possible to observe the difference between the trenches:

  • the trenches  from the beginning of the war are very narrow and not very deep;
  • the trenches which were used right up to the end of the conflict; are a lot deeper and more extensive.

The same goes for the underground shelters.

The site, which is constantly changing, can now be visited by the public without appointment. We recommend that bookings are made in advance for groups or school visits.

Contact: Eric MARCHAL, telephone 06 67 13 41 58  or by mail.