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Soldiers digging a trench as cover
Gas pipe being laid in a trench

A trench is a long, narrow ditch. It is like a tiny valley.

Trench warfare was used in World War I. It was supposed to be a short term barrier so that soldiers would be safe from enemy fire when they could no longer advance. However they ended up as a long term shelter throughout the war as they were easy to defend and neither side could successfully commandeer their oppositions trenches. The trench coat got its name from there.

Several kinds of trench exist: