Encyclopedia - Scorched Earth Tactics

Hindenburg Line at Bullecourt By no means a modern strategy, so-called 'scorched earth' tactics were deployed to some effect during the First World War.  Specifically the German Army adopted a scorched earth policy - that is, to devastate all useful facilities in a given area to deny their use by enemy forces - in February/March 1917 during their successful retreat to the Hindenburg Line (otherwise known as 'Operation Alberich').

Aside from destroying existing facilities during their withdrawal the Germans made effective use of booby traps and similar tactics - as did other armies at various stages of the conflict, including the Russian Army during their great retreat from Poland during the summer of 1915.

Photograph courtesy of Photos of the Great War website

A Kite Balloon was an observation balloon controlled by a cable from the ground.

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