An explosion on the battlefield in France was heard in London




The secret tunnelers of World War One


While the war raged on in the mud and trenches, a very different war was taking place beneath the soldiers’ feet. A group of miners, operating in total secrecy, dug tunnels up to 100ft underground, to plant and detonate mines beneath the enemy’s trenches. Their biggest success was at Messines Ridge in Belgium where over 900,000lbs of explosives were simultaneously detonated in 19 underground tunnels. Much of the German front line was destroyed, and the explosions were heard 140 miles away by the British prime minister in Downing St.

from the BBC’s “12 Amazing Facts About World War One You Probably Did Not Know.”


Comments Charles McCain “This wasn’t a new tactic. For example, miners on both sides in the American Civil War dug tunnels under enemy lines. The miners then filled the tunnels with explosives and someone lit the fuse. The Battle of the Crater in the Civil War was precipitated by such an explosion.”

Published by

Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website: