westernfront popular medias
7 hours ago
General Sir Bernard Montgomery passes German POWs while riding in a jeep, shortly after arriving in Normandy, June 8th 1944.
Take a look at the emblem on the lower left side of the Jeep. It’s the British HQ 21st Army Group shield; Montgomery commanded the formation from 1944-1945.
8 hours ago
Fort Loncin Part VI
———————————————————————— Having looked at the history of Fort Loncin, the next few posts will finish the series by providing a brief look at the site itself. Above is the central massif of the Fort that was badly damaged by the explosion on the 15th of August 1914 that knocked it out of action. The central massif was the most protected area of the Fort, yet also the most vulnerable due to its exposed concrete and concentration of turrets and munitions. Loncin’s main armament of two single 21cm turrets, one double 15cm turret, and two double 12cm turrets was concentrated here. Also located here was a troop assembly room where the infantry component of the garrison would await their orders. If the Fort came under attack, a flight of stairs and a hallway led to the infantry parapets surrounding the massif. Surrounding the assembly room was the munitions stores for the turrets, the engine room, the well pump room, and the cisterns. Fort Loncin was also unique amongst the Liege forts in that it’s latrines were located in the central massif. A key design flaw responsible for the surrenders of many of the Forts, although not Loncin, was the putrid air caused by the inability to get rid of waste, with the location of the latrines in the counterscarps making it was impossible to reach them under fire. The top of the central massif was exposed solid concrete with earth running along the sides of the central redoubt parallel to the ditches. (Taken April 2013)
1 day ago
..”There shall be, in that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
a dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware, gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam;
A body of England’s, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home..” #valleyoftheSomme #France #100years #westernfront #worldwar1 #1914 #1918
2 days ago
Fort Loncin Part V
———————————————————————— In finishing the look at the history of Fort Loncin, this post will look at the significance of the sacrifice of its defenders. Above is a very symbolic picture, as it shows the cross that stands about the coffer where the bodies of many of the garrison are interred. A key debate is whether the forts of Liege successfully delayed the German offensive and prevented German victory via the Schlieffen Plan. Liege itself was a bottleneck that blocked the advance of the entire German army except cavalry units, hence its subjugation was essential for the success of the German strategy and its flanking of the French defences via Belgium. Estimates vary wildly as to the effect of the resistance of Liege on the timetables of the First and Second Armies. At the extreme end, it is suggested that Liege delayed the German army for 12 days, during which time the German army sat uselessly on the Meuse with Fort Pontisse hindering the Germans erecting bridges for the main army to cross the Visé river, and Fort Loncin blocking the northern passage until it fell on the 15th. Furthermore, the Germans were in control of the Meuse railway lines but these were useless without the lines running through Liege. In this interpretation the delay was vital as it permitted the BEF to disembark at Boulogne and concentrate at Maubeuge, as well as allow the French army to switch from its concentration on the German frontier so as to meet an assault through Belgium. However, on the other hand the defence of Liege does not seem to have significantly delayed the German timetable. Von Moltke, the architect of Germany’s strategy, envisaged a breakout from Liege on the 13th of August, whereas it would only occur on the 17th. Nevertheless, the German Army would capture Brussels as envisaged in the 20th and reach the French border on the 23rd. Overall it seems that the question of the value of the defence of the Liege is one that will never be settled, yet it is clear that the garrisons of the Forts resisted bravely against the German invading force and certainly inflicted an unexpected bloody nose. (Taken April 2013)
3 days ago
The Sir John Monash Centre in Villers-Bretonneux, France, is a cutting-edge multimedia centre that reveals the Australian Western Front experience through a series of interactive media installations and immersive experiences.
The Sir John Monash Centre App, downloaded on each visitor’s personal mobile device, acts as a ‘virtual tour guide’ over the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, the Australian National Memorial and the Sir John Monash Centre.
Here is @turnbullmalcolm viewing one of the interactive installations at our opening on April 24 this year.
Entry to the Centre is free, bookings recommended: www.sjmc.gov.au
3 days ago
Erich von Manstein (24 November 1887 – 9 June 1973) was a German commander of the Wehrmacht, Nazi Germany's armed forces during the Second World War. He attained the rank of field marshal.Born into an aristocratic Prussian family with a long history of military service, Manstein joined the army at a young age and saw service on both the Westernand Eastern Front during the First World War (1914–18). He rose to the rank of captain by the end of the war and was active in the inter-war period helping Germany rebuild her armed forces. In September 1939, during the invasion of Poland at the beginning of the Second World War, he was serving as Chief of Staff to Gerd von Rundstedt's Army Group South. Adolf Hitler chose Manstein's strategy for the invasion of France of May 1940, a plan later refined by Franz Halder and other members of the OKH. Anticipating a firm Allied reaction should the main thrust of the invasion take place through the Netherlands, Manstein devised an innovative operation—later known as the Sichelschnitt ("sickle cut")—that called for an attack through the woods of the Ardennes and a rapid drive to the English Channel, thus cutting off the French and Allied armies in Belgium and Flanders. Attaining the rank of generalat the end of the campaign, he was active in the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 and the Siege of Sevastopol (1941–1942), and was promoted to field marshal on 1 July 1942. He also participated in the Siege of Leningrad.Germany's fortunes in the war began to take an unfavourable turn later in 1942, especially in the catastrophic Battle of Stalingrad, where Manstein commanded a failed relief effort ("Operation Winter Storm") in December. Later known as the "backhand blow", Manstein's counteroffensive in the Third Battle of Kharkov (February–March 1943) regained substantial territory and resulted in the destruction of three Soviet armies and the retreat of three others. He was one of the primary commanders at the Battle of Kursk (July–August 1943), one of the largest tank battles in history. His ongoing disagreements with Hitler over the conduct of the war led to his dismissal in March 1944. He was died near by Munich 1973.
3 days ago
Fort Loncin Part IV
———————————————————————— By the the time of the explosion of Fort Loncin on the 15th of August, the defence of Liege was in its last throes. On the 16th of August the German Army was finally in control of Liege as the last forts, Flémalle and Hollogne, surrendered as they had realised the futility of any further resistance. The twin of Liege, Namur, fell rapidly between the 18th and 25th of August as its forts were pounded into submission. The Belgians had fought and died defending their obsolete fortifications in the face of the might of the German army. The bravery of the defenders Liege meant that the city was awarded the Legion d'Honneur, which as this point had only previously been awarded to one other city. However, their sacrifice was not in vain. Many historians and writers, including the defender of Liege General Leman, largely agree that the resistance impeded the German Schlieffen Plan and either delayed the arrival of, or reduced the size of, the German Army on the Marne. The result being the Miracle of the Marne, the saving of France and four years of static warfare. Unlike the other Forts of Liege, Fort Loncin was left in ruins after the war. In contrast, eight of the other forts were modified and repaired in the 1930s to provide backup to the Position Fortifée de Liège that was centred around the new forts of Eben Emael, Aubin-Neufchateau, Battice and Tancremont. Nowadays Fort Loncin is open as a museum and memorial to the defenders who remain buried under the fort they once defended. The most moving of these is the crypt at the head coffer, as this is where the remains of those that have been recovered have been reinterred. The above photo is of the inside of the central massif, showing the damage inflicted on the Fort by the magazine explosion. Inside here more than 300 of the 550 garrison remain buried. (Taken April 2013)
3 days ago
Freikorps in Berlin around 1919. Unknown photographer
Freikorps ("Free Corps") were German volunteer units that existed from the 18th to the early 20th centuries, which effectively fought as mercenary or private armies. In the aftermath of World War I and during the German Revolution of 1918–19, the Freikorps consisting largely of World War I veterans were raised as right-wing paramilitary militias, ostensibly to fight on behalf of the government against the Soviet-backed German Communists attempting to overthrow the Weimar Republic. However, the Freikorps also despised the Republic and were involved in assassinations of its supporters. The Freikorps were widely seen as a precursor to Nazism, and many of their volunteers ended up joining the Nazi militia, the Sturmabteilung (SA). An entire series of Freikorps awards also existed.
#history #ww2 #wwii #worldwartwo #greatwar #thegreatwar #military #war #allies #axis #hitler #nazi #nationalsocialist #germany #german #communism #easternfront #westernfront #ww1 #historiansunion #blackandwhite #photograph #photography
3 days ago
The Panzerkampfwagen IV (PzKpfw IV), commonly known as the Panzer IV, was a German medium tankdeveloped in the late 1930s and used extensively during the Second World War. Its ordnance inventory designation was Sd.Kfz. 161.The Panzer IV was the most widely manufactured German tank and the second-most widely manufactured German armored fighting vehicle of the Second World War, with some 8,500 built. The Panzer IV chassis was used as the base for many other fighting vehicles, including the Sturmgeschütz IV assault gun, Jagdpanzer IV tank destroyer, the Wirbelwind self-propelled anti-aircraft gun, and the Brummbär self-propelled gun.The Panzer IV saw service in all combat theaters involving Germany and was the only German tank to remain in continuous production throughout the war. It received various upgrades and design modifications, intended to counter new threats, extending its service life. Generally, these involved increasing the Panzer IV's armor protection or upgrading its weapons, although during the last months of the war, with Germany's pressing need for rapid replacement of losses, design changes also included simplifications to speed up the manufacturing process.The Panzer IV was partially succeeded by the Panthermedium tank, which was introduced to counter the Soviet T-34, although the Panzer IV continued as a significant component of German armoured formations to the end of the war. The Panzer IV was the most widely exported tank in German service, with around 300 sold to Finland, Romania, Spain and Bulgaria. After the war, Syria procured Panzer IVs from France and Czechoslovakia, which saw combat in the 1967 Six-Day War. 8,553 Panzer IVs of all versions were built during World War II, with only the StuG III assault-gun/tank destroyer's 10,086 vehicle production run exceeding the Panzer IV's total among Axis armored forces. #panzer #panzeriv #ww2germanymilitary #ww2 #ww2weapons #nazigermany #wehrmacht #waffenss #1930s #military #war #history #historicalphotos #colourphoto #ww2art #warthunder #wallpaper #ww2germantank #ww2tank #ww2tankbattles #landbattle #tank #easternfront #westernfront #germansoldiersww2 #germanarmy #germany #germansovietwar #operationoverlord #operationbabarossa
4 days ago
Fort Loncin Part III
———————————————————————— Although the Belgian defenders had got the better of the Germans in the earlier phase of the Battle of Liege, as described in my previous post, the days of the Forts were numbered. On the 12th of August the German 420mm howitzers were finally in position to bombard the forts. Within three days the forts of Chaudfontaine, Embourg, Fléron, Boncelles, Lantin and Pontisse had all surrendered after being subjected to a heavy bombardment. Each suffered terribly from the bombardement; exploding magazines, fires and suffocation from the fumes due to their poor ventilation systems. On the late afternoon of the 15th of August it was finally Fort Loncin’s turn to experience the power of the 420mm howitzers as fall of Fort Lantin finally allowed German artillery to begin to target it. Repeated hits by German shellfire caused munitions fires, and made it impossible for the garrison to breathe in the thick, toxic air. On the morning of the 15th of August troops defending the casemate on the right of the gorge front reported that they were unable to breath and, after complying with their orders to remain in case of an infantry assault, all died of suffocation. At 17:20 the fort was shaken to pieces by a massive explosion. A 42cm shell had penetrated the right ammunition magazine, detonating 12,000kg of powder. A mass of concrete and turrets were thrown into the air by the crippling explosion, before coming crashing to the ground. One turret was thrown so far and so powerfully it now stands on its roof. German troops entered and captured the remnants of the fort, finding the lifeless body of General Leman. However he was not dead, just unconscious. Later he regained consciousness and attempted to offer his sword to the German General as a symbolic act of surrender, but this was refused due to the valiant Belgian resistance. Remaining buried beneath the rubble of the fort was 350 of his compatriots. (Taken April 2013)
4 days ago
Reenactors portraying German and American soldiers battle it out at the 2018 #ww1 reenactment in Rockford, IL. The deadlock of the Western Front became the epitome of the #greatwar in western memory. Though it did not start in the trenches, within a short time the landscape was torn with deep ruts and earthen veins in the attempt to get out of the way of modern, industrial weapons. Trench warfare was nothing really new. It was foreshadowed in the Russo-Japanese war of 1904-1905, and even appeared in that napoleonic style conflict the American Civil War. Medieval sieges also knew the trenches, and there was something of a relapse into medieval armor during the #firstworldwar. Germany abandoned the napoleonic-like pickelhaube helmet for the stahlhelm which borrowed from Gothic styling. British and eventually American (Brodie) helmets, nicknamed the salatschüssel (salad bowl) by the Germans, drew inspiration from medieval kettle helms, and even plate armor came back in response to machine guns and shrapnel. Though trenches had been seen before, they became the primary experience of war in the West, and by their nature necessitated hand-to-hand combat. All sorts of grizzly weapons were devised for this sort of battle, some of which again echoed the Middle Ages: maces, clubs, knives, bayonets, grenades, and more. Trying to eliminate these trenches was the primary challenge of #worldwarone, and it led to the use of gas, mining, huge artillery pieces, and the invention of the tank. The Germans also responded by assembling an elite corps of shock troops called sturmtruppen, or stormtroopers, who specialized in the breaching, raiding, and clearing of enemy lines. They were often selected from those without family, noted for their bravery, and who had a particular zest for battle. Trenches would reappear, though much more limited, in the Second World War, parts of the Korean War, and especially in the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-1988 which also saw a return of chemical warfare.
#epicbattlereenactments #trenches #trenchwarfare #history #livinghistory #reenactment #westernfront #stormtroopers #combat #war #battle #battlefield #middleages #medieval
5 days ago
Two smiling Canadians pose in their captured German furs and pickelhaube helmets. These elaborate helmets were a novelty to Canadian soldiers who wore the much plainer (and more practical) Brodie steel helmet.
German troops also changed helmets in 1916 to the "coal bucket" M1916 helmet, but pickelhaubes continued to be worn throughout the war, and remained key prizes for Allied soldiers.
5 days ago
Fort Loncin Part II
———————————————————————— Continuing the series on Fort Loncin, in today’s post I’ll look at the start of the Battle of Liege. This began on the 4th of August 1914 when the German invasion of neutral Belgium began with the encirclement of Liege and its forts. As the Germans advanced they were met with the scorched earth left behind by the Belgians who destroyed the bridges, tunnels and railways that made Liege a vital and levelled villages. The German advance meant on the evening of the 4th they began to attack the forts with infantry assaults, despite lacking the artillery necessary to knock out the forts. This proved an extremely costly decision for the attackers. 10,000 German infantrymen were cut down by the guns of the defenders as they were trapped on the barbed wire and illuminated by searchlights so presented easy targets On the following day the fortress guns and German artillery engaged in an artillery duel, with the German artillery being far too light to have any effect on the armoured turrets or concrete. This was followed up by German infantry advances during the afternoon. Despite attempting to bludgeon their way through the defences, they suffered heavily at the hands of Belgian artillery and small arms fire. Nevertheless, the attacks continued which enabled the Germans to move through the lightly defended spaces between the forts to capture the city of Liege on the 7th of August. The civil authorities consented to the occupation, ordering the Civil Guard to lay down their arms, and called upon the commander of the fortress of Liege, General Leman, to surrender in order to save the city from bombardment. Instead, Leman consented to the withdrawal of the Belgian field army in order to save it from capture and retired to Fort Loncin in order to continue the defence. Up to this point the German siege had been an abject failure. Despite capturing the city, and suffering a total of 42,700 casualties, every Belgian fort remained operational to impede the railways and roads that were so essential to the Schlieffen Plan. Nevertheless, the days of defenders of Liege were numbered. (Taken April 2013)
5 days ago
If I should die, think only this of me:
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is forever England.
Running along the Western Front was an incredibly emotional experience. At times the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end and at others I couldn't hold back the tears. The story of the Western Front section of my 390 mile #FootstepsoftheFallen journey is now on my blog (link in bio).
6 days ago
German Half-tracks of World War II Identification Guide Part 18: Munitionskraftqagen für Nebelwerfer (Sd Kfz 4) and 15cm Panzerwerfer 42 auf Sf (Sd Kfz 4/1)
The to the smoke trails left by the 15cm Nebelwerfer, which would served as the primary armament of the Sd Kfz 4/1, it was decided to order an armored version of the Opel Maultier half-track to carry such a weapon and another version to act as an ammunition carrier for it. The vehicles only differed in appearence due to the lack of the rocket launcher on the ammunition carrier version. The body itself was similar to other German half-track designs in the heavy use of sloping compared with their foriegn counterparts. They both shared a cockpit with two forward vision hatches and one on each side. Another enclosed space was accessible through two doors on the rear of the vehicle which spanned most of the rear. Permanent storage areas were located on each side, with three on each. Some versions mounted smoke grenade launchers on the front of the vehicle. Other versions mounted the 24-rail 8cm R-vielfachwerfer which as the name suggests consisted of 24 8cm rocket launcher rails. Three different types of suspension were also used, while and MG 34 or 42 was often mounted on the top of the crew compartment. Although unmentioned in my source material, the above photo shows a searchlight mounted on top of the crew compartment.
6 days ago
In late April of 1915 the German Army launched its only offensive of the year, concentrated against the town of Ypres. The attack was preceded by the standard artillery bombardment, but as the shellfire lifted on the morning of April 22nd and the Allied troops waited for the Germans to appear, they were greeted with something other than men. A strange grayish-green cloud crawled over No Man’s Land towards the Allied trenches, brought over by a slight easterly breeze.
As a follow up to their barrage, the Germans had launched about 150 tons of chlorine gas against a four-mile stretch of the frontline where two colonial divisions of the French Army and a couple hundred Algerian soldiers were entrenched. Although this hadn’t been the first use of such weapons during the Great War, it HAD been the first use of them on the Western Front.
The Germans would use chlorine gas three more times during the Second Battle of Ypres; on April 24, 1915 against the Canadians and twice during the first week of May against the British.
The men in this photo belong to the 1st Battalion, Cameronian Highlanders and are pictured (with bayonets fixed) on the Ypres front on May 20, 1915 in anticipation of another gas attack.
6 days ago
Fort Loncin Part I
————————————————————————Above is the destroyed remains of Fort Loncin, one of the twelve Brialmont forts guarding Liege. It was at the forts of Liege that the war on the Western Front began with the Belgians defending their neutrality in the face of the German Schlieffen Plan. Liege was particularly important, as its three railway stations, seven rail lines, 17 roads and 12 bridges across the Meuse meant it was known as the ‘gateway to Belgium’. Liege and Namur were defended by rings of forts constructed between 1888 and 1891 by the Belgian General Brialmont to defend Belgian neutrality. The triangular Fort Loncin is located north west of the city. As with all the forts of Liege and Namur, its armament was concentrated in a central concrete massif that enclosed the fort’s turrets. Concentrated here were two single 21cm turrets, one double 15cm turret, and two double 12cm turrets. Also located in the massif was a large assembly room that enabled the infantry garrison of the fort to gather safely before either manning the ramparts or counter-attacking. Further close up defence was provided by four 57mm guns in single turrets, and nine further 57mm rapid fire Nordenfelt guns for the defence of the ditch. Surrounding the triangular fort is a large ditch, with counterscarp casemates at each corner protecting it. Loncin also had important facilities for the garrison located in the counterscarp at the rear of the gorge ditch; something that would prove an issue in all the forts during combat as there was no means of protected access from the fort itself, especially as in many forts the latrines were located there. Overall, by 1914 the forts were vulnerable and obsolete. Even at the time of construction they had been vulnerable as a lack of night time lighting meant that the concrete could only be poured in the day, hence it did not bond properly and dried in layers, making it less resistant to shellfire. Also, the concrete had only been designed to resist shells of up to 21cm in calibre, which at the time was the largest siege artillery gun. (Taken April 2013)
3 weeks ago
"Back to Blighty - The Time of His Life". A British postcard depicting a small boy wearing hospital blues is taken care of by little girls.
Source: The Army Children Archive
1 month ago
A British scout plane, the Airco DH2, after a crash landing in France.
Source: Canadian War Museum
1 month ago
#WarPosterWednesday Feed a Fighter - Eat only what you need - Waste nothing - That he and his family may have enough
Country: United States
Artist: Wallace Morgan
Source: Library of Congress
1 month ago
A poster for a propaganda movie about the exploits of British Tanks.
Source: Canadian War Museum