Der Aufsteigende Sturm (The Rising Storm)
By January 1918 the Allied armies on the Western Front - those of England, France, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada - were in terrible shape. By the new year the British Army was 80,000 men understrength, and the French could only replace one third of their monthly losses. The final months of 1917 had brought many changes to the war in the West, all consequences from actions in the East. In September, the Imperial Russian Army suffered its final defeats to the Germans. In October, Revolution overthrew the government and ushered in communism. And in December, a peace treaty between the Germans and Russians. With the Eastern Front silent, Germany was now able to give full attention and priority to the Western Front, and immediately the transfer of divisions commenced.
It had to be done quickly, however, as Germany was in a desperate race against time. Furthermore German high command was planning a great offensive in the beginning of 1918 – an offensive they hoped would change the tide of the war, and break the horrific stalemate that had lasted for 3½ years. Fresh German fighting men poured into France and Belgium from the east by the trainload, bringing with them a renewed sense of fighting spirit and morale. They, too, were eager for a war of movement once again.
The first photo depicts an Austro Hungarian sniper. Snipers were used all throughout World War I because of there ability to inflict damage on the enamy from a distance. Snipers where widely used in the trenches along the western front. The sniper in the image apears to be using a mannlicher m1895 with a scope.
----------------------------------------------------The second image is of a paper meche sniper dummy. These fake heads would be used to draw the attenchon of enemy snipers. when an enemy sniper shot at a dummy it was easy to tell where they were locatated.
3 511February 14, 2018
In November of 1917 the revolution within the Russian Empire ended with the dissolution of the Russian Empire and the creation of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. The following month an armistice was signed by the new Russian government and each member of the Central Powers, thus de facto taking Russia out of the First World War. However, an official peace treaty would not be signed for another three months, and during that period, fighting on the Eastern Front continued.
Formal peace talks began in late December 1917, but soon stalled after the Bolsheviks refused German demands regarding territory acquisition (which included Poland, Lithuania, & western Latvia). Head Russian delegate Leon Trotsky eventually pulled the Soviets out of talks entirely by January 1918, announcing that Russia considered the war with Germany over. This, of course, did not sit well with the Germans. Chief of Staff General Max Hoffman fired back by signing a peace treaty with Ukraine & in mid-February nullified the cease-fire agreement with the Soviets. The day after, on February 18, 1918, the Germans spearheaded an offensive into the Baltic States, Ukraine, and western Russia.
It was Operation Faustschlag (Fist Punch) and consisted of 53 divisions from the German and Austrio-Hungarian armies striking deep into northeastern Europe with a three-pronged assault. No serious opposition by Soviet troops was encountered anyway along the front, and by the end of the first week Central Powers armies had advanced 149 miles, capturing places such as Minsk, Zhitomir, Pskov, and Narva. Hoffman bristled at the success, writing just four days into the offensive: "It is the most comical war I have ever known. We put a handful of infantrymen with machine guns and one gun onto a train and rush them off to the next station; they take it, make prisoners of the Bolsheviks, pick up few more troops, and so on. This proceeding has, at any rate, the charm of novelty." By now Vladimir Lenin intervened, persisting, with the support of high ranking officials including Joseph Stalin, that Soviet leadership accept Germany's terms, which had only worsened since the offensive began. [Continued ↓]
6 20682 days ago
Trying out a new load for the Broomhandle. Got some pretty decent grouping, but it definitely needs some work.
5 2982 days ago
Thich Quang Duc, a Buddhist monk, burns himself to death to protest against religious persecution. Saigon, 1963.
Thích Quảng Đức (1897—11 June 1963, born Lâm Văn Túc), was a Vietnamese Mahayana Buddhist monk who burned himself to death at a busy Saigon road intersection on 11 June 1963. Quang Duc was protesting the persecution of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government led by Ngô Đình Diệm. Photographs of his self-immolation were circulated widely across the world and brought attention to the policies of the Diệm government. John F. Kennedy said in reference to a photograph of Đức on fire, "No news picture in history has generated so much emotion around the world as that one." Malcolm Browne won a Pulitzer Prize for his photograph of the monk's death.
Italian soldiers with a captured Austro-Hungarian machine-gun during the Seventh Battle of the Isonzo, September 14 - 18, 1916.
Following the Italian defensive successes in the Austro-Hungarian Trentino in June and the offensive successes in the Sixth Battle of the Isonzo in August 1916, the Italians began a limited assault on the Austrians in September.
The Italians were successful in wearing down the Austro-Hungarians in terms of manpower and artillery, and had captured several mountain peaks, but had failed to move the front line any further. In the 4 day assault the Italians had suffered 17 - 21,000 casualties while inflicting 15,000 on the Austro-Hungarians.
The Italians would soon follow up with the Eighth Battle of the Isonzo in October, 1916. This battle was a bloody failure for the Italians - 50 - 60,000 casualties in just 3 days.
Our latest exhibit-A View from the Trenches tells about the day-to-day life of a soldier fighting in France during World War I through images and his diary.
On this day 100 years ago Austin Oberwetter wrote:
Showers and Cold. We passed through Dijon, where women are running the street cars. Beaucoupe grapes and hops are grown in this section of the country. We then proceeded to Jean De Home, where we had more coffee. We had supper in the train at Is-sur-tille about 7:00pm.
Helmet and gas mask on loan from Rice University, Woodson Research Center.
Manfred von Richthofen (1892 - 1918) 🇩🇪 The Red Baron
Manfred von Richthofen, also known as the « Red Baron », was a fighter pilot in German Air Force during World War I. He is the most famous WWI flying ace. He is considered, with René Fonck, the ace-of-aces of the war, being officially credited with 80 air combat victories.
Manfred von Richthofen quickly learns to fly and to train in aerial hunting. He has broken a number of planes and passes for a clumsy before embarking on a dazzling career.
His fame is linked to his Fokker Dr.I Triplan dyed in bright red instead of the traditional camouflage colors, which earned him his nickname The Red Baron.
Like an hunter, he was collecting trophys of his enemys. As soon as an airplane was shot down, he landed quickly to see it.
For each of his victories, he contacted a jeweller in Berlin and ordered a silver cup engraved with the date and the type of enemy aircraft.
His last mission was on April 21, 1918 when a Canadian pilot, Wilfrid May pursued his cousin, causing the Red Baron to pull away & chase May across the Somme.
Ordinarily, he took care not to go behind enemy lines, which he did that evening. The plane was immediately spotted and attacked.
The plane landed intact, but the Red Baron succumbed quickly to his wounds at 25 years old. The mystery remains about who has really managed to bring down the ace of aces.
His piloting talents were so impressive that hen he died, Manfred Van Richtofen was already a legend and the Allied buried him on French soil with the same honors than for one of their own air officers !
For The Red Baron we chose Botanics' le Café 💨✈️☕️ #manfredvonrichthofen#theredbaron#legend#aeronautic#WWI#flyingace#german#pilot#pioneer#aviation#fly#history#vaponaute#hero#eliquid#botanics#café#vape#vaping#frenchvapers#paris#instavape#vapeporn
0 314:06 PM Feb 22, 2018
Decorated Austro-Hungarian Kaiserjäger troops.
(Correction: Landesshützen/Gebirjäger troops, royal Austro-Hungarian mountain and alpine specialized troops)
Opposed to the German Jäger troops, who were elite scouts and sharpshooter, the Kaiserjäger troops of Austria-Hungary were well-trained regular infantry troops in peacetime, being the Imperial Royal soldiers.
The Kaiserjäger suffered heavy losses in the First World War, being sent in against the Russians in Galicia and the Carpathians, as well the Italians on the Isonzo and Trentino.
In the Austro-German Gorlice-Tarnów Offensive in May and June of 1915, a Kaiserjäger regiment suffered 80% casualties. During the same offensive through May 2 - 3, another Kaiserjäger regiment suffered 1,300 casualties.
The Kaiserjägers were disbanded in 1918 after the breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
#Kingdom of #Prussia: 1870 Iron Cross 2nd Class w/25-Year #Oakleaves. Unmarked cross shows light wear and deep patination, featuring a 25-year jubilee spange and original ribbon in five-sided formation. Excellent example circa 1910 manufacture.
1 1712:55 PM Feb 22, 2018
On the clear morning of February 21, 1916, more than 1,200 German guns vomited jets of flame as they hurled high-explosive and poison gas shells into French defences along the River Meuse, not far from the city of Verdun. The guns continued firing for the next ten hours, expending nearly a million shells.
Shortly before 5 pm, German infantry advanced towards the French lines, probing them for weaknesses. Four days later, German soldiers captured the critical strongpoint of Fort Douaumont without firing a shot. For a brief moment it seemed Verdun might fall, but the French recovered and held their ground. The new commander of Verdun’s defences, General Philippe Pétain, brought in reinforcements and set up a supply route on which thousands of trucks plied daily.
None of this dismayed the German chief of staff Erich von Falkenhayn, who estimated he could kill five French soldiers for every two Germans he lost. In Verdun, Falkenhayn believed, France would ‘bleed to death’. A horrific battle of attrition followed. Over the next ten months, both sides sought to bury the other in an avalanche of artillery, machine gun fire, and infantry assaults. Verdun came to be know as the ‘Mill on the Meuse’ for it turned men into mince. To pre-empt any further German initiative, the British launched their own offensive around the River Somme that summer. The first day of that battle, July 1, became the bloodiest in British history, with 60,000 casualties.
By December, the French at Verdun had taken 542,00 casualties, and the Germans, 434,000. Falkenhayn failed to achieve his optimistic kill ratio and made no territorial gains. The fighting at Verdun finally came to an end on December 18.
The bloody stalemate of 1916 turned out to be a crucible of military innovation. Over the remaining two years of the war, the combatant armies would experiment with new tactics and technologies that would transform land warfare- and history. In 1940, Nazi Germany overran France in just six weeks. The man who would collaborate with the Nazis to set up the Vichy regime in France was the hero of Verdun himself, Philippe Pétain.
Image Credit: @imperialwarmuseums#verdun#somme#WWI