Subterranean Sappers

The first history of a military tunnelling company published since the 1920’s, Subterranean Sappers is a comprehensive survey of the 177 Tunnelling Company and the crucial role that they played during World War I. It details the entire history of the Company, from its formation on the Western Front in 1915 to the reasons for its eventual disbandment after the war. There is also a close study of the men of all ranks who made up the Company, including where they were from and what specific roles they played in tunnelling operations. Iain McHenry focuses heavily on the daily struggle the Company faced underground, due to the ever-present mine threat from the Germans, and details the tunnel systems and dugouts they constructed, with accompanying color plans. He also includes tense first-hand accounts of hand-to-hand altercations with German soldiers that occurred underground. Most important, Subterranean Sappers explains the vital role of tunneling companies in the greater scheme of the war and offers fascinating details on an understudied military tactic, which will be of interest to war historians and tourists alike.