The trench-coat originated from the raincoats that soldiers wore during the First World War. Indeed, a trench was the symbol of the world war. With the German troops and the Allied forces fully confronted against each other, around ten layers of trenches and barbed wires were installed in their front lines. While trenches had been used from the medieval years, things were quite different for WWI. The incredible advancement of field artillery gave rise to massive guns with over 200mm caliber as well as railway guns. The giant artillery often left huge craters, and they were deep enough to drown soldiers when inundated.
They began to dig trenches deeper to find refuge from the barrage of fire. The shelters were 10 or 20 meters deep. While it was a safe place from the gun fire, soldiers would get buried en masse when the entrance of shelters collapsed. Rain was the biggest enemy to the soldiers. A rainy day meant their quarters, dining places and everything else were flooded inside the trench. It would brim with excrements and trash after rain.
The trench had to suffer even after it stopped raining. The floor was muddy just like the lifestyle imposed upon the soldiers living inside the trench. Unlike the military raincoats used today, the trenchcoat looks like a daily fashion item. What is the reason behind it? Was it because it was a romantic time when fashion trumped function? This journalist does not have a clear answer. The constantly muddy floor of the trench might be the reason why the trench coat took the form of a daily wear as soldiers had to live on the wet, muddy ground during the rainy season even when it was sunny.
Despite the advancement of military technologies of today, it would make little difference when it is applied to the battles under the trenches from the WWI era. No matter how advanced water-proof technology becomes, it would hardly make any meaningful difference to the soldiers who have to sleep in a bed of mud. Better technology does not always serve the comfort of our servicemen. That is why the public needs to understand and appreciate the sufferings that our soldiers endure to protect our country.