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The 20th Century Marine (1917-1918 WWI Trench Display)


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Our group, The 20th Century Marine, recently put up a display at Military History Fest this year.

 

The display depicts a true to scale and historically accurate section of WWI trench. After many months of research and study and construction our result is an accurate 1/1 scale representation which depicts a real life trench built and sized exactly how the real trench was. Ours however is built above ground on a frame so that the public can see 100% of the trench from any angle and so that nothing is obscured from the public's view.

 

We hope our the display will educate and broaden the public's mind and view on the true nature of trench warfare. We incorporate gas attack skits, lifestyle demonstrations, equipment presentations and lengthy Q and A sessions all to the public's benefit.

 

Youtube Video of Our gas Attack and Display:

1st Video: https://www.facebook...421365007948528

2nd Video:

3rd Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6Bzr-3gnbY&list=LLasioUnidKj7DzeaTZOdp-A

 

Our facebook page:

https://www.facebook...3925197?fref=ts

 

Web Site:

http://www.20thcenturymarine.org

 

 

Now for some photos:

 

 

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Virtually all items used are all original WW1 produced pieces of web equipment and weapons as well as certain pieces of our uniforms. The exceptions being one of the 1st aid pouches as well as the M1917 MG, M1918 BAR and M2 gas mask along with two pairs of pants and one USMC wool shirt. Everything else is original.

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Actually, we tried to bring dirt and mud....however the two bags worth of it that we dug up to bring to the event and scatter around ended up freezing into a big freaking block of frozen mud/ dirt and even by the end of the weekend it hadnt thawed enough for us to spread it out. This was all during the big cold snap that hit the chicago land area on Feb 3rd.

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Great display! :) What kind of map case is that hanging on the wall in post #2, 3rd pic down? Also the canvas piece on the second guy from the lefts hip in the black and white photo. And what's the board with the papers on it. Was that an issue piece or what? That's a good way to keep the public away from certain sections...barbed wire. :lol:

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Okie96

 

The map case is the private purchase Mills canvas version of the leather issued officers M1910 map case. The canvas bag on the guy 2nd from the lefts hip is the carrying bag for the French M2 gas mask. Marines carried both the British SBR as well as the French M2. The wood board in the pictures is an original WWI M1917 Sketch Board. Many of these were produced from 1917 all the way through Vietnam and are all virtually the same in make and markings. This one however is an original WWI sketch board found in a WWII metal case with WWI items inside. This was Issued to engineer battalions, however it proved to be an interesting piece to show the public so we decided to use it and we got many questions about it.

 

The barb wire is actually that fake string Halloween prop barb wire you can buy at a party store in October :)

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Thanks for the info. :) I'll have to look for that fake wire. I can string it around my bedroom. :lol: So if the sketch boards were all almost the same, how do you tell if it's a WW1 or WW2. Are they pretty much the same with the date stamped or is there some other way?

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There arnt any dates stamped on them at all. This can be misleading since they are all stamped 1917 sketch board. The only way to tell, from what I have gathered is by what carrying case and associated items you find one with. Mine happened to come in a WWI metal case with WWII style engineer markings. The other items inside the case were all WWI era and dated.

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The lighting we can not control, the trench was set up in a convention center. However the sound effects came across very poor in the video. In real life the bass was so high and the explosions and gunfire so intense that all the sheet metal on the trench was vibrating a reverberating with every explosion and MG burst. Like I said, the audio in the video did not pick up the sound effects very well, however they were nearly over the top intense and loud.

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If anyone happens to have a reproduction of a size 44 through 46 inch chest P1917 Marine Tunic or M1917 army Tunic along with P1917 40 through 42 inch waist pants or M1917 army pants that you want to sell we would be happy to buy them for use in our traveling marine displays.

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