Great War tour with Gaurav

Great War tour with Gaurav

A French soldier lies dead after being killed while he ate at Bois de Spandau in north-east Bois Sabot on October 27, 1915.

During the same year between May 9 and June 18, the Artois Offensive cost 300,000 French lives and wounded men.

Color by Frederic duriez


German soldiers, wearing gas-masks, manning a Maxim Flak M14 light anti-aircraft gun, ca.1915-18.

The QF 1 pounder, universally known as the pom-pom due to the sound of its discharge, was a 37 mm British autocannon, the first of its type in the world. It was used by several countries initially as an infantry gun and later as a light anti-aircraft gun.

Hiram Maxim originally designed the Pom-Pom in the late 1880s as an enlarged version of the Maxim machine gun. Its longer range necessitated exploding projectiles to judge range, which in turn dictated a shell weight of at least 400 grams (0.88 lb), as that was the lightest exploding shell allowed under the St. Petersburg Declaration of 1868 and reaffirmed in the Hague Convention of 1899.


Otto Frank (Anne Frank's father) in WW1 1916. He Was just one of the 100,000 German-Jewish soldiers to fight for his country in WW1.

An estimated 100,000 German Jewish military personnel served in the German Army during World War I, of whom 12,000 were killed in action. The Iron Cross was awarded to 18,000 German Jews during the war.

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German Stormtrooper Somewhere On The Eastern Front, 1918

Eastern Front, major theatre of combat during World War I that included operations on the main Russian front as well as campaigns in Romania. The principal belligerents were Russia and Romania (of the Allied and Associated Powers) versus the Central Powers countries of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Bulgaria.

More than 1.5 million German soldiers were killed, wounded, or captured on the Eastern Front.

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Wounded french soldier on March 13, 1916 in Verdun by a shrapnel.

During WW1, tens of thousands of men were permanently disfigured.The only way to return to society was to wear face masks.For those who survived but were horribly disfigured some were lucky enough to be given tailored face masks to help their rehabilitation back into civilian life.

Sculptor Derwent Wood mooted the idea of portrait masks after joining the Royal Army Medical Corps in April 1915 as an orderly at the 3rd London General Hospital in Wandsworth, south London, along with several members of the Chelsea Arts Club
The mask-making process began with a plaster cast of the face and then a clay or plasticine squeeze would be taken to reflect the healed face and missing features like a cheek, eye socket, nose or jaw - would be cast.
A copper mask, 1/32in thick, was created from the final cast, which was coated in silver and painted - usually a cream-coloured spirit enamel to match Caucasian skin, and topped with varnish to give a complexion.

Wood would then match the contours of the face, the pigmentation and texture of the patient's skin and if an eye was missing he would either paint on the reverse of a glass blank or directly on to the plate.
Dr Biernoff said: few of the masks have survived and none of the surviving masks were made at the 3rd London General Hospital.
"So we don't know whether the patients discarded the masks because they were uncomfortable,whether they didn't like wearing them, whether they were worn temporarily possibly between surgeries, because of course these were patients who would usually have several operations often over several years.

"It's possible as well that the masks were kept and buried with their owners so this will probably remain a mystery".

The Rhetoric of Disfigurement in First World War Britain
Dr Suzannah Biernoff

Henry : Art and Surgery, University College London, 2 October 2002–28 March 2003. Gillies Archives image collection

Color by - Frederic deuriez

Photos from Great War tour with Gaurav's post 21/08/2021

Inflation in post war Germany

A one legged German veteran from the Great war begging on the streets of Berlin, 1923.
Photograph taken by Georg Pahl
Color by .colorization

In 1923, when the battered country was struggling to recover from war, cash became very nearly worthless

Children can be seen making kites out of cash and playing with huge stacks of money instead of toy bricks

Women can be seen with dresses made out of banknotes, while other people burned cash instead of firewood

One effect of the disaster was the destruction of middle class people's savings - which Adolf Hi**er exploited

Germany was hit by one of the worst cases of hyperinflation in history with, at one point, 4.2 trillion German marks being worth just one American dollar.

The country gradually descended into a full-blown economic catastrophe that, by November 1923, had so degraded the German Mark that it took 200 billion of them to buy a loaf of bread.

The inflation began during the First World War, when the German government printed unbacked currency and borrowed money to finance its dream of conquering Europe. The plan was to pay off the debts by seizing resource-rich territories and imposing reparations on the vanquished Allies. But when Germany was smashed in 1918 it ended up with enormous debts alongside huge, punitive reparations owed to the Allies under the Treaty of Versailles. The economy soon collapsed.


Canadian soldier with burns caused by mustard gas. Mustard gas, introduced by the Germans in 1917, blistered the skin, eyes, and lungs, and killed thousands. Military strategists defended the use of poison gas by saying it reduced the enemy's ability to respond and thus saved lives in offensives.

The gas reacts quickly with water in the airways to form hydrochloric acid, swelling and blocking lung tissue, and causing suffocation. ... The most widely used, mustard gas, could kill by blistering the lungs and throat if inhaled in large quantities.

The British Army first used mustard gas in November 1917 at Cambrai, after their armies had captured a stockpile of German mustard gas shells. ... Entry into the war by the United States allowed the Allies to increase mustard gas production far more than Germany

The ammonia in the urine neutralized the chlorine gas. ... Mustard gas was heavier than chlorine gas, less likely to be dispersed by wind and its effects in the battlefield persisted longer. It has no known uses beyond being a weapon of mass destruction.

Photo source - Wikimedia Commons



THE HARLEM HELLFIGHTERS, 1919, c.New York, United States (US National Archives)

The 369th Infantry 'Harlem Hellfighters' consisted mainly of African Americans and several Puerto Ricans fighting in France during WW1, where they spent more time in the trenches than any other American unit, and given the nickname Hommes de Bronze (Men of Bronze) by the French and the Höllenkämpfer (Hell-fighters) by the Germans. The regiment's origins came from an opportunity for black and brown Americans who initially were turned away from military service due to their race. The Selective Service Act of 1917 rectified this situation and many black Americans signed up, believing that fighting in the armed forces would help end racial discrimination. Following basic training, the unit was seconded to the French Army as many white American soldiers refused to fight alongside their black compatriots. The French welcomed them with open arms – the 369th's performance was so effective the entire unit was awarded a citation as well as the Croix de Guerre to 170 individuals. The US Army awarded Distinguished Service Crosses and one Medal of Honour.

Original caption reads, 'Soldiers of the 369th (15th N.Y.), awarded the Croix de Guerre for gallantry in action, 1919. Left to right. Front row: Pvt. Ed Williams, Herbert Taylor, Pvt. Leon Fraitor, Pvt. Ralph Hawkins. Back Row: Sgt. H. D. Prinas, Sgt. Dan Storms, Pvt. Joe Williams, Pvt. Alfred Hanley, Cpl. T. W. Taylor.'


English Tank, destroyed on the 23rd of August 1917 by the assault company of 34th Infantry-Division. Herenthage Park.

This photograph was taken by an officer of Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 145. The original caption reads:

“English Tank, destroyed on the 23rd of August 1917 by the assault company of 34th Infantry-Division. Herenthage Park”.

Details are horrible and fascinating, its intriguing that the dead soldiers lying in the mud in front of the tank seem to be german. Lots of the equipment scattered around are german as well, a Gewehr 98, lots of Stick grenades, a steel helmet. On the right there seems to be an Enfield rifle and someone placed a German bayonet and its scabbard at the rear of the tank.

This site must be a place of horrible scene some hours before this image was taken.

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Photos from Great War tour with Gaurav's post 19/08/2021


Though horse-drawn carts, cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles played a major role in evacuating wounded soldiers, bicycles were also often used for ambulance duty. Various configurations of bicycles and stretcher were used.

Three or four cycles with a stretcher in the centre was the ideal set up, though enough soldiers might not always be available for such duty. Two bicycles side by side joined by a solid.

One cyclist is stationed at each corner of the stretcher upon which their unfortunate comrade is reclining, secured to the saddles of the two leading bearers and upon the handlebars of those in the rear. In cases of emergency, when the staff stretcher is not available, a hurdle or gate is improvised.

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A half-buried co**se of a Russian soldier in 1916
" i went with the guide to inspect my new quarters. The [captured German] trench was an abomination—a charnel house—with dead piled upon dead, on the ground where you walked, above the parapets, in the walls of the trench, half buried, with either their heads sticking out or their feet or their hands or their knees
In the end, one gets used to living beside co**ses, or “maccabees,” as we call them. They not only cease to make us uncomfortable, but they even make us laugh. Beyond the parapet there were two or three co**ses, in the drollest attitudes. One looked as if he were invoking Allah, another was in the midst of a back somersault. One of my [soldiers] hung his canteen to a foot that was projecting over the wall; the others laughed and followed his example. The true French spirit was to the fore—an extreme adaptability, and, above all, good humor.

The odor of the co**ses was nauseating, but pipes soon got the better of it. Meanwhile, shells and grenades kept pouring in on us. We were obliged to use the greatest care, and keep as near the side of the trench as possible. The shells were not very dangerous when they fell in the mud, for they either did not burst at all, or they exploded without much force; but when they went from one end of the trench to the other and landed farther on, they were indeed deadly. Toward noon a messenger came to bring orders from the captain. He was standing in front of me, nearly up to his waist in mud. Suddenly he was without a head; he tottered but did not fall; two streams of blood spurted violently from the headless body and bespattered me. It is hard sometimes not to have the right to have feelings; my men were all around me and I did not want them to see me blanch. I simply told them to cover his body with a tent sheet that was lying near, and sent word to the captain.

These various shocks hardened me. After that, I was more or less indifferent to the terrible things that happened. I even ate with good relish in the company of the head that was sticking out of the trench.

Originally titled “The Lieutenant’s Story”

Photo Source - ADOC/Corbis

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A French boy introduces himself to Indian soldiers. Marseilles, 30th September 1914.

Colorization by marina Amaral. :

In the First World War, Indians were not allowed to be officers. ... They had some Viceroys Commissioned Officers, but the highest Indian officer was still lower than a low-ranked English officer. The other discriminatory rule was that white English nurses could not treat injured Indian soldiers

More than 1 million Indian soldiers served in World War I as part of the British India Army, and more than 74,000 died in the conflict

In 1914 Indian Expeditionary Force A was sent to reinforce the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) fighting in France.
In France it formed the Indian Cavalry Corps and Indian Corps composed of 3rd and 7th (Meerut) Divisions.

Despatch from India was delayed by the activities of the German raiders Emden and Königsberg operating in the Indian Ocean, and by the slow speed of the transport vessels. Lahore Division began landing at Marseilles on 26 September 1914, but there were further delays while the troops were re-armed with the latest pattern rifle, and the supply train could be improvised, using tradesmens' vans procured locally. The corps finally got into action at the Battles of La Bassée, 1st Messines and Armentières in October–November 1914.


At Cambrai, France, German soldiers load a captured British Mark I tank onto a railroad, in Nov 1917. Ironically, it was actually the Germans who would go on to use tanks to greater effect in future conflicts, with the Panzer division often dominating the battlefield in the Second World War.

The British Mark I was the first ever tank to see combat.

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150 were built, divided into male and female types with 75 of each. Male tanks had sponsons, each one mounting a 57mm, six-pounder gun. Female tanks, on the other hand, each mounted two cumbersome sponsons, designed to carry two Vickers, water-cooled, heavy machine guns instead, with tiny escape doors at the back. Both had a wheeled tail assembly at the back which could be used for steering and as a counter-balance when going over a ridge or even additional support when crossing a wide trench.

Mark I tanks went into action for the first time on 15 September 1916 on the Somme. Eight others were shipped out to Palestine and saw action at Gaza, the first time tanks were ever used in a desert setting. Later in 1916 the wheeled tails, which were proving more trouble than they were worth, were removed and it was found that the tanks ran just as well without them. Other modifications included fitting stronger brakes and better track rollers and removing the teeth from the idler wheels at the front. Some minor actions took place later in the year and fifteen Mark I tanks were earmarked to take part in the Battle of Arras in April 1917.


1920. A great war veteran runs next to the carriage of King George V outside London.

Color by Christos Kaplanis

In comparison to mental health services available today, there was little expectation of recovery once a Great War veteran was institutionalised. Containment, rather than cure, remained the focus of district asylum care. In an attempt to prevent the Great War veterans who suffered mental health problems from being tainted with the stigma of pauper lunacy, the Ministry of Pensions funded the ‘Service Patient’ scheme throughout British asylums from the summer of 1917.

The scheme enabled ex-servicemen to be dressed in private clothing, receive a small weekly allowance of pocket money, and be buried outside the asylum walls (and spared a pauper’s grave) if a man died while under treatment.

In 1922, county and borough asylums throughout England and Wales hosted almost 5,000 Service Patients. The population of each asylum correlated with regional enlistment figures with asylums near densely-populated urban areas accommodating the bulk of veterans.

Despite the scheme being launched to prevent ex-servicemen being treated akin to pauper patients, the practicality of this ambition remains doubtful.

The stigma of mental health problems was seemingly not avoided. For example, due to public dissent over the lack of segregation between mentally ill veterans and general patients, two Ministry of Pensions hospitals dedicated to ‘the hopeful type’ were founded in the mid-1920s.


National archives , UK

Fiona Reid, Broken Men: Shell Shock, Treatment and Recovery in Britain, 1914-1930 (London, 2010).

Alice Brumby, ‘A Painful and Disagreeable Position


Freikorps members with one of the two improvised tanks (The n° 54 "Heidi") which were used during the Spartacist uprising in Berlin. 1919

Freikorps (German: [ˈfʁaɪˌkoːɐ̯], "Free Corps") were irregular German and other European military volunteer units, or paramilitary, that existed from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. They effectively fought as mercenary or private armies, regardless of their own nationality.

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The Spartacist uprising (German: Spartakusaufstand), also known as the January uprising (Januaraufstand), was a general strike (and the armed battles accompanying it) in Berlin from 5 to 12 January 1919. Germany was in the middle of a post-war revolution, and two of the perceived paths forward were social democracy and a council republic similar to the one which had been established by the Bolsheviks in Russia. The uprising was primarily a power struggle between the moderate Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) led by Friedrich Ebert and the radical communists of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD), led by Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg, who had previously founded and led the Spartacist League.


How do you fix a face that’s been blown off by shrapnel?

The development of cosmetic and reconstructive surgery in World War One.

The First World War saw a huge rise in the number of drastic facial injuries. Surgeon Harold Gillies developed a new method of facial reconstructive surgery in 1917. His work marked the dawn of plastic surgery as we know it today.

Gillies knew that healthy tissue needed to be moved back to its normal position. After this, any gaps could be filled with tissue from elsewhere on the body. Surgeons already had a degree of experience with skin grafts. And after the work had been completed on the bone structure of a man’s face, they were ready to reconstruct the soft tissues

One of the most successful skin grafting techniques was to release and lift a large flap of skin, called a pedicle, from near the wound. Still connected to the donor site, the free end of the skin flap would then be swung over to the site of the injury, without completely severing the connection to the body.

Maintaining the physical connection ensured that blood was supplied to the skin, increasing the chances of the graft being accepted by the body

Today, Gillies is often referred to as the 'father of plastic surgery'. Many of the techniques he developed during the First World War are still used in modern reconstructive surgeries.

Source - national army museum.


Blind World War I veteran selling newspapers on sidewalk in WashingtonDC.
I gave my eyes." World War Veteran. 1932, USA.
He gave his eyes in the "war to end all wars."

Photos from Great War tour with Gaurav's post 08/08/2021

We are quite exhausted. After a terrible 48 hours’ (on and off) bombardment, we came out and marched to bivouac in reserve. I went to sleep several times on the road and bumped into the man ahead! Comic, that, but it was one of the few times I’ve been so done that I had difficulty in keeping going.’

Lieutenant Evelyn Southwell, pictured (right) with cigarette in his mouth ( 5th photo in this post) among exhausted colleagues resting in a field. Shortly before his death in September 1916, he wrote to his mother to say how tired he and his comrades were after spending weeks in and out of the front-line trenches.

This year marks the 105th anniversary of the first day of the Battle of the Somme, which began on the 1st July 1916.

This day is also known as the beginning of the Battle of Albert (1st – 13th July), the name given by the British to the first two weeks of the Battle of the Somme.

This first day of the Battle of the Somme is known to be the bloodiest day in the history of the British Army and one of the most infamous days of World War One, with the British forces suffering 57,470 casualties, including 19,240 fatalities. They gained just three square miles of territory.

For on July 1, 1916, following a seven-day British bombardment, some 120,000 men clambered from their trenches and went ‘over the top’ — to be met by a hail of German machine-gun fire that mowed down half of them.

With 20,000 dead and 40,000 wounded, it was the bloodiest single day in British military history.

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Fiat 2000,
Most powerful tank of WW1.

The Fiat 2000 was a true heavyweight, well armored, well armed and well conceived. (Fiat 2000 Prototype 2). Source: Museo Storico Italiano della Guerra di Roverto

The Fiat 2000 was an Italian heavy tank designed and produced by Fiat during World War I. Only two were built as it never entered serial production. It was one of the largest designs of its time.

The driver sat in the front center of the tank in a bulbous nose which afforded a very good view of the route ahead via a periscope or from the large hatch which could be opened to improve visibility and airflow. Access to the fighting space was by means of a large door on the left side of the fighting compartment and the plans and photographs show what appears to be a circular ventilation fan in the front left-hand side of the vehicle on No.1, another feature sorely needed on WW1 tanks.


Two sisters selling flags in London to raise money for the Indian soldiers at the front, World War 1

This forgotten pilot from India was just 19 when he shot down 9 German planes during WWI 14/05/2021

This forgotten pilot from India was just 19 when he shot down 9 German planes during WWI Indra Lal Roy, 'the boy who came back from the dead' once, was posthumously awarded Britain's third-highest gallantry award — the Flying Cross.

Photos from Great War tour with Gaurav's post 17/04/2021

Russian boy soldiers of WW1.

Thousands of children aged as young as nine dropped out of school to go and fight. They came from both cities and villages, alone and in groups. Cadets, seminarians and ordinary schoolchildren were all desperate for frontline action. “Once again, after so many centuries, there is another Children’s Crusade!” wrote Korney Chukovsky in 1915 in his essay Children and War, referring to the youth movement of 1212 at the time of the Crusades.
Child volunteers were among the most committed soldiers in the ranks of the Russian army in the Great War.

It wasn’t only in the Russian Empire that children were eager to fight. Thousands of British teenagers lied about their age to become soldiers. 12-year-old Sidney Lewis fought in the Battle of the Somme. Adding five years, 13-year-old George Maher joined the army and successfully concealed his true age until one day he burst into tears during heavy shelling

If a boy managed somehow to be accepted by the soldiers as a “son of the regiment,” his main duties were to carry cartridges, deliver reports to other units and help the wounded.

Other child volunteers had more dangerous jobs. They performed invaluable tasks as scouts in enemy territory, since they were less likely than adults to be suspected of espionage. Some also saw action on the battlefield. 15-year-old cadet Georgy Levin not only carried out successful a reconnaissance mission and incapacitated a German artillery gun, but even saved the life of an officer, for which he was awarded the Cross of Saint George

Research and references.

Mangolia box media


A Bosnian Serb nationalist (possibly Gavrilo Princip, more likely bystander Ferdinand Behr), is captured by police and taken to the police station in Sarajevo, on June 28, 1914, following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian-Hungarian throne, and his wife.


Inside of Mark I great war Tank


A steam powered allied walker used during the first world war.

The armies of 1914-1918 faced the challenge of supplying millions of men in theaters scattered around Eurasia and Africa with, essentially, 19th century technology. Steam powered walkers were the prime movers of supply for much of the war.

This all terrain walker Standing over 20 meters tall with blast-impervious armor , these massive constructs are used as much for psychological effect as they are for tactical advantage during the battle .


Experimental WW1 Body armour.


A WW1 selfie .😁


WW1 Wings of Glory – Giants of the Sky: Zeppelin Staaken R.VI.
The giant bomber Zeppelin Staaken R.VI.. gives you an idea of its tremendous size!

The Zeppelin Staaken R.VI was the largest bomber in service on the Western front during the World War I, with its 42.2 meter (138.5ft) wingspan and a maximum bomb load of 4,400 lbs. It was powered by two pairs of engines, and had a maximum range of 500 miles. In flight, it normally had a crew of seven - commander, pilot, copilot, radio operator, fuel attendant and two mechanics. When on the ground it was attended by a 50-man crew, including a great range of specialists.

Of the 13 R.VIs who saw action during the war, four were shot down in combat, while the majority of the losses were from crashes during landing, most due to reduced visibility, at night, or in foggy weather. Six of the 18 units built survived the war or were completed after the armistice.


Last photo of Red baron.
After being shot, Richthofen was hurled face-first into the butts of his twin machine guns, causing a broken nose and numerous bruises to his face.

Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen, known in English as Baron von Richthofen, and most famously as the "Red Baron", was a fighter pilot with the German Air Force during World War I. He is considered the ace-of-aces of the war, being officially credited with 80 air combat victories.


The Royal Marines stand guard over the Dardanelles, the narrow strait that forms part of the border of Europe and Asia.

(Image: Mirrorpix)

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WW1 Christmas truce . Credit - Joex Nuel movie
Colorized and amazing footage of Imperial German army in great war .
Forensic Lip-Reader Recovers the Words of Those Who Fought at The Somme
Lest we Forget
German spy is shot dead by French soldiers in France.
Shell Shock- Verdun.