I wondered how did this differ in Eastern Europe. Often described as "open steppe" cut by dry gullies. And then there are the vast forests and marshes. Later I learned the typical village was constructed of wood and roads were generally dirt without gravel. So I imagine the value of the roads and villages was mostly for navigation and aligning hastily assigned defensive lines. Except in winter, hilltops and reverse slopes, along with river lines, may have had more defensive benefit than villages.
In various readings on the war in Eastern Europe, I've come across descriptions of fairly elaborate trench systems used by both sides. A Google image search will yield many photos of German and Red Army soldiers in trenches. For confirmation of this one can read this Tactical Trend issued by the US Army:
Lone Sentry: German Position Warfare Reverts to Trench Lines in the East (WWII Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 51, October 1944)
Still I was curious how this worked in detail and hoped to find some aerial photos of trench systems, similar to those from the First World World. So far no luck, the closest I have come is this sketch from the memoir of a German soldier.
A Kindle edition found here:
Zwischen Nichts und Niemandsland (German Edition): Hans Jürgen Hartmann: Amazon.com: Kindle Store
With this thin piece of evidence I hoped modern satellite and period maps could fill in the details not found on the sketch. Good News: there is fairly good coverage of this area both in satellite and period maps. Bad News: they do not shed much light on the battle, in fact, it is hard to determine what exactly this sketch depicts. Much has changed on the ground -- whole villages seem to have moved -- and maps, even if accurate, rarely match a soldier's ground-eye impression.
More information available here with Google Translate:
A post by Berezina near the bottom of the first page has three modern ground photos. The village is Barishevka (English), the German unit involved is 342.Infanteriedivision around March 1944 along the Pronya River.
Without going into the long search to find this area (involves Google Maps not labeling these small villages and the Cyrillic spelling of their names seems to have changed), I have attached sketches of my best guess interpretation. All open for re-interpretation from anybody with additional information or a better eye.
Any additional information on this action, or any action involving trenches, would be appreciated.