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Topic: WW1 In Photos, A 10 Part Series In The Atlantic...< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: May 07 2014, 7:31 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The 100th Anniversary of The Guns Of August is upon us.

If most wars are pointless, WW1 must stand near the pinnacle of pointlessness. But somehow I've never been able to get enough information or read enough about the conflict. 19th and 20th Century warfare combined, and that on a scale that borders on the unimaginable:

http://www.theatlantic.com/static/infocus/wwi/


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PostIcon Posted on: May 07 2014, 7:38 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thank you Brad, I'll be keeping an eye on the series.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 07 2014, 7:46 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You're welcome Jim...

WW1 is the gift that keeps giving.

2 more dead this March in Ypres:

http://www.express.co.uk/news....Feed%29


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PostIcon Posted on: May 07 2014, 8:35 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(BradMT @ May 07 2014, 7:31 am)
QUOTE
The 100th Anniversary of The Guns Of August is upon us.

If most wars are pointless, WW1 must stand near the pinnacle of pointlessness. But somehow I've never been able to get enough information or read enough about the conflict. 19th and 20th Century warfare combined, and that on a scale that borders on the unimaginable:

http://www.theatlantic.com/static/infocus/wwi/

Thanks for the link Brad.
BBC did a great documentary series a long time ago about WW1, if you're interested.  Goes into detail about all the stuff that got it started.

Here's part 1 of 26.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 07 2014, 8:38 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

ULB thanks, and yes I've seen that!

Was in Sarajevo in August 1983 and had my photo taken on the corner where Archduke Ferdinand was assassinated... my interest in the war started in the 1960's as a wee lad!


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PostIcon Posted on: May 07 2014, 9:34 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(BradMT @ May 07 2014, 7:31 am)
QUOTE
If most wars are pointless, WW1 must stand near the pinnacle of pointlessness. But somehow I've never been able to get enough information or read enough about the conflict. 19th and 20th Century warfare combined, and that on a scale that borders on the unimaginable:

http://www.theatlantic.com/static/infocus/wwi/

It's amazing how few people in the US know anything about WW1 and what little they know is wrong (I cannot count the number of times I have been told the US went over and won the war for Europe).

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PostIcon Posted on: May 07 2014, 9:50 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(BradMT @ May 07 2014, 4:31 am)
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But somehow I've never been able to get enough information or read enough about the conflict. 19th and 20th Century warfare combined, and that on a scale that borders on the unimaginable:

I'm no war buff but I have always been intrigued by the stories of WWI.  I can't put a finger on why exactly but I just find it very interesting.

Thanks for posting.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 07 2014, 11:45 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for the info Brad. WWI and WWII have always fascinated me although they were very different, they were related. Both the beginning of WWI and the aftermath demonstrate more than anything I can think of, the stupidity of man and how pride, arrogance and ignorance can lead to unimaginable consequences.  It was a war no one wanted and after it was concluded, it merely set the stage for an even worse conflict down the road.  My mother is English and my grandfather served with BEF on the Western Front.  While he almost never talked about it (I only saw him occasionally since he remained in England all his life), I did hear him comment on his experiences once.  That was the only time I remember his saying anything about the war.  It's also the only time I ever saw him come close to crying.

IMO, All Quiet on the Western Front remains one of the greatest, if not the greatest, war novel of all time. It should be required reading in all high school and college history classes, and maybe government leaders as well, as should The Guns of August.  I'm looking forward to the Atlantic issue on this.

Thanks again.


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PostIcon Posted on: May 07 2014, 12:05 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Back in the late 70's, I lived and traveled in Wallonie (French speaking Belgium) and northern France, including living in Cambrai, Roubaix, Chalons, and Nancy. There were just enough old folks still living that umbrage towards Germany for both wars was palpable.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 07 2014, 12:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm another who is fascinated by WWI, and it's hard to get good info.  So thanks for sharing!  I've been particularly interested in information about the war from the Canadian perspective, which is really hard to find!

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PostIcon Posted on: May 07 2014, 12:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks.  Surely one of the darkest times in modern history.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 07 2014, 5:53 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

DULCE ET DECORUM EST

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.
Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud  
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest  
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori
.

Wilfred Owen
KIA, November 1918

Owen, Sasson, and other WWI poets have long touched me deeply. I have tears right now, reading Owen's terrible words. I'm glad I wasn't in that one.


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PostIcon Posted on: May 07 2014, 6:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

What a surreal and horrific thing, WWI was. As a young boy I sought out the books in the library that had images and poured over them endlessly so I find these stark and very evocative images are just amazing.

When I was 16, traveling and camping for 100 days and nights that summer on my own and with a friend of the same age, I met a very sickly WWI vet. He was near the end of his life and found in me the one who would stop, sit down, and listen to his story. He told me he was in the third wave and carried the canteens. He would not speak of the mayhem but I could see how it troubled him immensely. Then he gave me his P-38 can opener, might seem like a small gift to some but I was very honored.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 07 2014, 9:05 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Arizona @ May 07 2014, 6:31 pm)
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I was very honored.

As well you should be. What a poignant and telling gift.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 07 2014, 9:06 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(hikerjer @ May 07 2014, 11:45 am)
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It was a war no one wanted and after it was concluded, it merely set the stage for an even worse conflict down the road.  

One of the many tragedies to come out of WW1 was that there was a general sentiment that having the war would be a good thing because it would release all the pressures that were building. General war had been averted at least twice before 1914 and little good had come from it. So when the war started there was an enthusiastic rush to join up so that the young men could experience the thrill and valor of war.

Sadly technology had outpaced tactics and those young men got a taste of hell. Yet another tragedy is that the indicators of advancing technology negating existing doctrine was evident in the Crimean War, the American Civil War, and the Franco-Prussian Wars. But the generals had blindly studied their Napoleon and Jomini and didn't see the need to change.


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PostIcon Posted on: May 07 2014, 10:16 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(buddero @ May 07 2014, 5:53 pm)
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Owen, Sasson, and other WWI poets have long touched me deeply.

I'm not very knowledgeable on the topic, but it seems like WWI inspired more memorable poetry and art (such as the German Expressionists) than many other conflicts.  Perhaps timing mattered for poetry, since it figured more prominently in popular culture than it does now.  Maybe the impact was emphasized by waning of romanticism.

What really stands out for me is that Owen and Sassoon are so prominently featured in almost any history I've read that quotes war-related poetry.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 07 2014, 10:18 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Awesome link Brad ! Thanks for sharing it.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 08 2014, 8:35 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Wow, thanks for all the contributions everyone.

Agreed on the poets of the war. Of course the quality of the young officers in that war was staggering in terms of education, so it's not surprising the quality of writing that came out of the war.

Also, I believe it's impossible to underestimate the effects of the war on the arts, including the rise of modernism, and ultimately a very real trend to nihilism pan Europe.

My favorite general history of the war is John Keegan's The First World War. I like it better than Barbara Tuchman's The Guns of August.

My favorite autobiography is Goodbye To All That by Robert Graves.

I have a nice little library devoted to WW1 I've collected over the years. All my books are still packed after moving last year and this thread has inspired me to dig them out... something that will make my wife happy :D


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PostIcon Posted on: May 08 2014, 11:48 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(BradMT @ May 08 2014, 8:35 am)
QUOTE
My favorite general history of the war is John Keegan's The First World War. I like it better than Barbara Tuchman's The Guns of August.

My favorite autobiography is Goodbye To All That by Robert Graves.

I've read both Keegan and Tuchman, but I'm not familiar with Goodbye to All That.  It's  on my list now.

Thanks again.


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PostIcon Posted on: May 08 2014, 11:53 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

This has made me wonder something about my own family.  I had relatives in WWII, Korea and Vietnam.  To my knowledge (and my dad's research), we can't find any relatives that were active duty during the period of WWI.  It's not really germane to the discussion, but a little surprising to me that my family seems to have somehow missed that one.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 08 2014, 11:55 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My Grandfather was assigned to the MP company of the 37th Infantry (Buckeye) Division in World War I.  He knew how to use a typewriter so he became a clerical specialist and that kept him off of the front lines.  A little over a year ago most of his WWI memorabilia was passed to me and I made an effort to scan all of his letters, postcards, assorted documents, and all the pages of the two journals where he'd recorded his daily thoughts and observations.  The journals started in training at Camp Sheridan, Alabama, went through deployment to France, to the Armistice when they were attacking through Belgium, redeployment and mustering out at Camp Sherman, Ohio.  The details and variety of documents he kept were a surprise, and the journals of an early 20's young man painted quite a different picture of the man that I'd known only in his 70's and later.  The devastation and deprivations (military and civilian) of the war in France and Belgium are well documented, but reading about it in my grandfathers journals made it far more real to me.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 08 2014, 12:37 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

One of my favorite radio programs on WW I is the Forgotten War.  Take a listen.  I found it quite moving.

http://www.yellowstonepublicradio.org/program....how.php

RS


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(JimInMD @ May 08 2014, 11:53 am)
QUOTE
To my knowledge (and my dad's research), we can't find any relatives that were active duty during the period of WWI.  It's not really germane to the discussion, but a little surprising to me that my family seems to have somehow missed that one.

Well the US did have a very small army prior to entry into the war and ended up needing to draft to build up to fighting strength. Plus the US was only in it for about 18 months, so any relatives could have easily missed the whole show.

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(RebeccaD @ May 07 2014, 12:17 pm)
QUOTE
I've been particularly interested in information about the war from the Canadian perspective, which is really hard to find!

Rebecca,

I've found a few websites that have a pretty heavy dose of Cdn content ... I haven't read much of them in full yet, but they might be of interest to you (if you haven't already seen them before).

http://www.warmuseum.ca/cwm/exhibitions/guerre/home-e.aspx

http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/first-world-war-wwi/

http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/history/first-world-war

https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng....ce.aspx

http://www.mta.ca/library/courage/worldwariabriefhistory.html


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(tomas @ May 07 2014, 7:06 pm)
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One of the many tragedies to come out of WW1 was that there was a general sentiment that having the war would be a good thing because it would release all the pressures that were building. General war had been averted at least twice before 1914 and little good had come from it.

You got that right.  There were actually several times that the war could have started prior to 1914.  There were crises in Morocco at least twice, and prior problems in the Balkans 2 or 3 times that could have led to war.  Each time, things went to the brink, and then they backed off.  Sadly, the one person who was most likely to push for resolution was the one who was assassinated.

I'm a member of a history book club, and for our April meeting, we read one called "The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914."  It is a 2013 book by Margaret MacMillan.  It is not a book about the war, but events that led up to the war.


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PostIcon Posted on: May 10 2014, 3:50 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Very cool -thanks for sharing Brad! Anyone interested in a combination of military history and photography should check out the documentary "The Mexican Suitcase", available on Netflix.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2017015/plotsummary?ref_=tt_ov_pl

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The story of three lost boxes known as the Mexican Suitcase that were recovered in 2007. The boxes, misplaced in the chaos at the start of WWII, contained many of the Spanish Civil War negatives by the legendary photographer Robert Capa and fellow photographers Gerda Taro and David "Chim" Seymour.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 11 2014, 11:21 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'll keep track on the series.  A fascinating time for U.S. History but couldn't imagine the trench warfare.   The changes in American society as the doughboys came home from experiencing France were mentioned in my high school history texts.  With the increases in data storage, I would hope the veterans experiences (as well as those back home) would be stored as living history... good and bad.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 11 2014, 12:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for the link.

When I learned about this in grade school it seemed so long ago (50 years), and we did not learn that  much about it anyway.  Now I am older  than that  it does not seem that far away. I never believed it was all about an assassination, though that did start it.

It wasn't that long before WWI though that Germany was formed if I remember right, reading about that and the attitude toward war was interesting as well.

A new book about Lawrence of Arabia is interesting, as he puts it in a much wider context and explains the political events as well.  The idea of starting a front in Turkey made sense to me even though it was a disaster. He shows how dumb the British were about it though. His idea of including a Jew and an American as principle characters I found was not that new - looking at titles in my library.

Two new books on WW1 I have yet to read :

The War That Ended the Peace (might be too slow for me to finish)

"Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes to War"

==============



 A interesting point of view:

http://www.counterfire.org/index.p....britain

http://www.theguardian.com/books....-review

Sounds like most of you already know more about this than me though.

But right now I am trying to finish the Barbarous Years: The Peopling of British North America - slow but interesting


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PostIcon Posted on: May 11 2014, 4:58 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yes, just the title, Goodbye to All That says a lot. A great book.

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I had an interesting conversation with a Brit once about our 'veterans day'. You know that our 'veterans day' was originally Armistice day. Armistice Day was when Germany , Austria, England , and France signed the treaty to end WW1. It was chosen to sign it in a railcar on the 11th day, the 11th month, 11th hour, 11th minute.
Most know that when Hitler conquered France, he made them surrender in the same train car.
It was designed to be a holiday to remember how terrible war is. It was supposed to be a day of the year we remember all who died for a completely pointless war with no victory for anyone. That is how Armistice day is considered in Europe.
Instead what the US did was it changed the day to 'veteran's' day.
We , in effect , changed it's Antiwar message into a PROwar message.
Instead of remembering the pointlessness of war of Armistice Day, we changed it to a day of heroics, where we honor the bravery of our soldiers.
The day now has an implied prowar message and is opposite the original message.
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