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Estonian and French Trench Warfare Training

Trench Warfare Training [© NATO Multimedia]

Soldiers from the Estonian Defence League and the French Army drilled in the demanding art of trench warfare during a recent exercise.

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Reservists from the Estonian Defence League and paratroopers from the French Army drilled in the demanding art of trench warfare during an exercise on 14 and 15 October.

The bilateral training was held in a series of trench networks in northern Estonia, which were built to let troops practise fighting from and against entrenched positions. The exercise culminated in a simulated attack on a trench network.

The training was run by soldiers from the French Army’s 1st Parachute Chasseurs Regiment [1er Régiment de Chasseurs Parachutistes], which arrived in Estonia in early September to train with Estonian reservists in military operations in built-up areas. While the French paratroopers are operating separately from NATO’s multinational battlegroup in Estonia, the French military has also deployed a contingent of Marines to bolster the battlegroup.

[© NATO Multimedia]

This NATO Multimedia footage, filmed 14 October and released today, includes shots of Estonian and French troops running training attacks on a trench, and interviews with a French officer.

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Shot list:-

  • 00:00 ~ French soldiers training in trenches
  • 00:58 ~ French soldier being lifted out of trench
  • 01:02 ~ French soldier debriefing other soldiers
  • 01:09 ~ Estonian soldiers training in trenches
  • 01:28 ~ French soldiers clearing trench in simulated assault
  • 01:42 ~ French soldiers
  • 01:50 ~ French soldier guards intersection before moving on
  • 01:58 ~ Estonian soldiers clear bunker
  • 02:09 ~ French soldiers moving down trench line
  • 02:26 ~ French soldiers clearing bunker
  • 02:37 ~ Estonian soldiers moving down trench line
  • 02:46 ~ various drone shots (mute) – French soldiers clearing trenches
  • 03:16 ~ Estonian soldiers clearing trench
  • 03:25 ~ French soldier clearing trench
  • 03:32 ~ Soundbite (French) French Army Lieutenant Gauthier, platoon leader, 1st Parachute Chasseurs Regiment: “Today we’re in Rutja, in the north of Estonia, with the EDL (Estonian Defence League), Allied Estonian soldiers, and we’re doing an exercise focused on trench combat.”
  • 03:43 ~ Soundbite (French) Lieutenant Gauthier: “Trench combat is a kind of warfare that we see reappearing in modern conflict today, so it is important for NATO Allies to work together on this fight so that everyone can learn the different processes of each army.”
  • 03:57 ~ Soundbite (French) Lieutenant Gauthier: “So actually, initially it allows us to work on what we call interoperability. So if one day a conflict against NATO breaks out, it will allow the different allies to work more effectively with each other. And in addition to that on specific combats like trench combat, the different armies will have different feedback, different procedures that we will be able to share and learn from each other.”

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