The first months of the war on the Western Front were mobile, fast and dangerous; casualty rates were higher than with later trench warfare. The Germans were halted by the Allies at the Battle of the Mame, fell back to high ground and dug in. The Allies followed suit. The resulting line of trenches stretched from the Channel to Switzerland. Now 11 million French and Belgian civilians were under occupation. German brutality was no myth. Resistance was ruthlessly surpressed. Civilians, including women and children were massacred, used as human shields, and sent to concentration camps as hostages and forced labourers.