Nearly a century after they were buried alive, the bodies of 21 German soldiers have been discovered in a World War I tunnel in France.
The men, killed in March 1918, were found in Alsace, in what was once part of a labyrinth of passageways that troops used to try to avoid shelling during the 1914-18 conflict.
Kilianstollen was located about 500 feet behind the German front line. It was six feet high, nearly four feet wide and more than 20 feet beneath the surface. Thought to be bomb proof, the tunnel could offer up to 500 soldiers a break from the trenches.
For two years Kilianstollen survived Allied shelling unscathed, but one March afternoon in 1918, the Germans’ luck ran out. After a particularly heavy mustard gas attack – a chemical weapon which releases a powerful skin irritant – from the German army, the Allies retaliated with force as they rained explosives down on the area.