Being a soldier during World War II was hard. They spent most of their time outside for days or weeks on end in trenches.
Artillery destroyed the surrounding landscape, reducing trees and buildings to desolate rubble. Artillery and machine gun fire, both enemy and friendly, could often be heard in the distance. Soldiers spent most of their time waiting around. Front battle was rarely continuous and boredom was common among troops.
There was little of the heroism and excitement many had imagined before the war. Life in the trenches was grim and monotonous for the soldiers. Men ordered to attack had to climb out of their trenches. The objective was to reach the enemy’s front line, where the defending troops would be sheltered in their own trenches, and use rifles or bayonets to attack them directly. In reality, these tactics were often unsuccessful. Successful attacks were rare and casualties were extremely high. Many men were killed and wounded.
The dead could only be buried if there was a suitable break in the fighting.