German "pill boxes" and "strong points" which cost many lives to conquer


German "pill boxes" and "strong points" which cost many lives to conquer

Alternative Title

German "pill boxes"


The section of white cylinder in the fore-ground is what is left of a German machine gun shelter. The top has been knocked off by a direct hit. Our soldiers called these shelters "Pill Boxes", and had a wholesome respect for them. They were made of concrete usually two inches thick, and the tops were rounded so that shells striking at an angle would glance off. Rifle bullets made no impression upon them. Unless attacked by artillery fire, or rushed by numbers, the gun crew within was safe from harm. The Germans constructed thousands of these pill boxes, hiding them in hollows or behind rocks or under brush whenever possible. They formed one 3of the strongest features of their system of defense, impregnable except to a direct hit, and so cunningly hidden that it was difficult for the gunners to locate them. The crews which manned the guns in these "pill boxes" were picked men, who in thousands of instances stuck by their weapons unto the end, fighting until our men burst in and bayoneted them at their posts. They were men stationed their to delay the attack, to break it tip if possible, but in any event to stick to the last so that the balance of their army could get away. It was shelters such as this, and tactics of this type that made the Argonne battle the bloodiest of the war. This particular sector has been under terrific fire. Even the trees stand gaunt and bare, like stripped poles, the ground is pitted with shell holes and strewn with debris.



1 stereograph : b&w
1 gelatine silver print stereograph (8 x 15 cm) mounted on card (9 x 18 cm)


Copyright. The Keystone View Company
No known restrictions on publication


World War through the stereoscope

Download File(s)


Keystone View Company, “German "pill boxes" and "strong points" which cost many lives to conquer,” Monash Collections Online, accessed May 30, 2024,

Item Relations

This item has no relations.