WWI. Pictures say more than words
BSSB.BE historyplace.com/ 09.08.2016
An incoming German artillery shell explodes near a British first aid station. Below: British soldiers display a captured German 5.9-inch field gun that will be quickly added to their arsenal.
French soldiers watch as a large contingent of newly arrived Americans pass through a small village. Below: An assembly of U.S. Marines after their arrival in France.
German artillerymen rapidly reposition their gun while others on horseback move a nearby wagon. Below: German reserves in France on the road to Albert, east of Amiens, to keep Ludendorff’s Spring Offensive from faltering
Below: French soldiers in a forward observation post keep a close watch for any German activity
Incoming French wounded are carried from the battlefield to a first aid station located just behind the front line in the Somme. Below: Now bandaged to slow any bleeding, the wounded are placed in a motor ambulance that can hold six men and taken away for further care.
A large scale British advance on Bapaume, France, a key city controlling access to the plains north of the Somme. Bapaume changed hands four times in the war–first taken by the Germans during their initial invasion in 1914; then by the British in March 1917; then by the Germans during their 1918 Spring Offensive; and finally retaken by the British in late August 1918. Below: Additional British troops headed for Bapaume pass through Albert with its damaged cathedral.
Camouflaged German machine-gunners lie in wait for any advancing Allied soldiers. As the faltering German Army exited the trenches of the Western Front and retreated eastward over open ground, rear-guard machine-gunners were left to slow the Allied advance. The units were hard to spot from the air and hard for foot soldiers to see, often until it was too late, and thus took a heavy toll on Allied soldiers toward the end of the war. Below: A German coastal gun at Zeebrugge, Belgium, wrecked upon their retreat.
A French youngster tags along with British troops as they enter the city of Lille in northeast France, liberating it after four continuous years of German occupation. During those years, everything of value had been taken from the city and much of its population, including teenagers, had been sent away for forced labor in Germany. Below: British engineers restore a bridge, a necessary measure as the Germans destroyed virtually all bridges along the Western Front during their withdrawal.
Worn out Germans, now in French captivity and happy to be alive. Below: Exhausted German prisoners sleep on the bare ground. During Ludendorff’s ambitious Spring Offensive, the Germans had pushed forward for days on end without little or no rest, losing much of their combat effectiveness as a result.
British and Americans celebrate the Armistice which halted hostilities after 1500 continuous days of fighting dating back to August 1914. Below: Allied flags are joyfully displayed in Luxembourg. By the war’s end, 26 nations had allied with France against Germany and its three allies; Austria-Hungary, Turkey and Bulgaria.
Former German Kaiser, Wilhelm Hohenzollern, who continued his habit of wearing uniforms even after his downfall. As Emperor of Germany, he had yearned to rule an empire to rival Great Britain, but failed. Below: The ex-Kaiser walks in the garden of a small estate in Holland that he was allowed to live on after his abdication. He left German Army Headquarters in Belgium at 5 a.m. on November 10, 1918, and was reluctantly admitted into Holland. On November 28, 1918, he signed the abdication instrument formally renouncing the Crown of Prussia and the German Imperial Crown, and releasing Germany’s military from its oath of allegiance to him. In March 1919, he gave his only post-war interview to a British reporter, denying all responsibility for the war while pinning the blame on the Russians for the war’s outbreak. In 1922, his memoirs, similarly themed, were published by newspapers in serial format, generating worldwide scorn for him. Forbidden by the Dutch government from engaging in any political activities, the ex-Kaiser lived a quiet retirement until his death in June 1941.
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