westernfront popular medias
6 minutes ago
Sandbags Seemed to Float "A company man on our right was too slow in getting on his helmet; he sank to the ground, clutching at his throat, and after a few spasmodic twistings, went West (died). It was horrible to see him die, but we were powerless to help him... The trench started to wind like a snake, and sandbags appeared to be floating in the air. The noise was horrible; I sank onto the fire step, needles seemed to be pricking my flesh, then blackness." - Arthur Guy Empey (Western Front, 1916). Pictured: Arthur Guy Empey, from Over the Top, 1917.
#eyewitness #firstworldwar #story #lifeofasoldier #arthurguyempey #history #westernfront #1916 #gaswarfare #chemicalwarfare
15 hours ago
We found this .50 caliber bullet on a former us tank spot from the Battle around Nijmegen. The .50 caliber bullet should probably belonged to the browning M2 on the roof of the sherman tank. This .50 caliber was produced by Des Moines Ornance Plant in Ankeny, Iowa, USA. Produced in the year 1943. Ofcourse we left it back in the hole because it was a life round. We only wanted to let you guys see this small piece of history. #marketgarden #ww2 #metaldetecting #relic #westernfront #history #nature #worldwar2 #relics
1 day ago
Men of Iron.
The 3rd Infantry Division wasn’t the only American unit that made a stand on the Marne. Another division pulled off a similar and equally impressive standoff.
On July 14, 1918 the 28th Infantry Division, one of seventeen National Guard units in the American Expeditionary Force at the time, moved up to occupy the second line of defense south of the Marne River and just east of the town of Château-Thierry in anticipation for the forthcoming German attack. They were lead by Maj. Gen. Charles H. Muir, who was three days shy of his 59th birthday. Four of the division’s companies were attached to an adjacent French division, while the rest of the outfit occupied their independent defensive line. The 109th Infantry Regiment was the main unit entrenched in the area, and two of its companies (L and M) were made up mostly of what had once been the old 1st and 13th Pennsylvania Regiments.
The regiment was still digging in when the Germans came pouring across the Marne on the morning of July 15, 1918, the 36th Division spearheading the attack in the immediate area of the Americans. The nearby French units were quick to capitulate and in no time had fully withdrawn. This ultimately left both L and M Companies from the 109th Infantry Regiment completely surrounded by the Germans. The companies stood firm and began to hold off what seemed like endless waves of attacking soldiers. The men of the 28th Division, who had not yet seen combat in the war, quickly transitioned to veterans.
By 8:00am what remained of the two companies began to fall back to the 109th Regiment’s main line. Only 150 men from the initial count of 500 officers and men remained. The fight was far from over though. The Germans pressed on with their attack, and much to their dismay the Americans continued to put up a dogged defense. The 109th Infantry Regiment managed to successfully defend their positions for three full days, eventually repelling the Germans on July 18th. For its staunch defense near Château-Thierry, the 109th earned the nickname of “Men of Iron”, and the 28th Division as a whole was dubbed the “Iron Division”.
📷: Artist Don Troiani’s “Men of Iron”.
1 day ago
Rock of the Marne.
The U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Division took up positions on the south bank of the Marne River on the evening of July 14, 1918. Its 4th, 30th, and 38th Infantry Regiments were dug in on the main line of resistance. The Germans began their attack after midnight on July 15th and waisted little time in overrunning the French. Maj. Gen. Joseph T. Dickman‘s 3rd Division held its ground. The weight of the blow fell on the 38th Infantry, which was under the command of Col. Ulysses G. McAlexander, near Mézy.
By 10:00am the area directly ahead of the regiment was more or less clear, but the flanks soon came under intense fire. G Company repelled a heavy attack in the rear as well as a lighter attack on the left flank, which itself had been penetrated. These actions reduced the company to just 52 men from 251.
Capt. Jesse Woolridge, presumably a member of the company, recalled the fighting, “The enemy had to battle their way through the first platoon on the river bank – then they took out the second platoon on the forward edge of the [Metz-Paris] railway where we had a thousand times the best of it – but the [Germans] gradually wiped it out. My third platoon [took] their place in desperate hand to hand fighting, in which some got through only to be picked up by the fourth platoon which was deployed simultaneously with the third...By the time they struck the fourth platoon they were all in and easy prey. It’s God’s truth that one company of American soldiers beat and routed a full regiment of picked shock troops of the German Army...At 10:00...the Germans were carrying back wounded and dead [from] the river bank and we in our exhaustion let them do it. We had started with 251 men and five lieutenants...I had left 51 men and two second lieutenants.” The 3rd Infantry Division’s steadfast defense on the banks of the Marne on July 15, 1918 was the only instance where the Germans were checked and unable to cross the river. It earned them their now famous and lasting nickname: “Rock of the Marne”. General John Pershing called their actions “one of the most brilliant pages in the annals of military history.”
1 day ago
In preparation for the Second Battle of the Marne, a conflict that seemed to be the most imperative engagement of World War I since the battles of 1914, the French Fourth Army in the east had constructed their main lines of trenches 2-3 miles behind the actual frontline, which put the soldiers well out of range of German artillery. Between the frontlines and the main lines of trenches were two lines of strong points.
The German bombardment began at 11:30pm on July 14, 1918, despite a time originally set for 12:10am on July 15th. The bombardment struck mostly the unoccupied front line and vacant gun pits. 23 German divisions from the First and Third Armies, as well as 17 divisions from the Seventh and Ninth Armies, were poised and prepped for what was hoped to be a major blow towards Paris. The Germans entered the Allied front lines unopposed and made their way towards the first line of occupied French trenches under a creeping rain of artillery. The advanced was halted when the troops reached the main trenches, and they were ordered to rest and reorganize while field artillery in the rear was moved forward into range. The Germans renewed their attack at 8:30 that morning. Disciplined French shelling prevented them from gaining much ground, and a second attempt at an attack by the Germans at noon was also stopped.
In the west, the Sixth Army entrenched on the southern bank of the Marne endured a barrage that lasted for three hours. Stormtrooper units rushed in when the shelling ceased and began to cross the river quickly, erecting makeshift bridges at twelve locations and even attempting to cross over in canvas boats and rafts. Eight divisions of the American Expeditionary Force – 85,000 men in total – were also mixed into the defense, and the British Army’s XXII Corps soon joined arrived as well.
Heavy fighting ensued all across the front, but by July 17th the Allies had managed to stop the German advance and keep them from crossing the Marne in strength.
St. Étienne Mle 1907 machine gun crews are pictured in during the first few days of the battle.
1 day ago
The Kaiserschlacht – 7
Several months of fighting had left the Imperial German Army with hardly any substantial success on the Western Front by July of 1918. The great Spring Offensive which General Erich Ludendorff had committed so much effort to was stalling time and time again. Ludendorff was nonetheless still determined to draw Allied reserve forces away from the northern sector of the Western Front, and he still believed a large-scale attack through the Flanders area of Belgium was the best way to bring Germany the decisive victory over the British Expeditionary Force. In order to achieve success there, he would need to mount another large offensive elsewhere to divert Allied attention. This was the Marneschutz-Reims/Friedensturm Operation – or what would come to be known as the Second Battle of the Marne.
Ludendorff planned to have a main thrust by the First and Third Armies, under the commands of Generals Bruno von Mudra and Karl von Einem, respectively, east of the of city of Reims. A second attack by the Seventh and Ninth Armies was launched west of Reims, under the respective commands of Generals Max von Boehn and Johannes von Eben. Combined, the attack involved several hundred thousand men in 52 divisions. Scheduled to begin on July 15, 1918, it was to be Germany’s last offensive action of World War I.
French wounded are pictured here being escorted to presumably a dressing station behind the lines, c. July 1918.
1 day ago
Sometimes we find some Mas-36 stripper clips (Mas-36 is a French rifle). This is a little bit strange because these are found in the Netherlands and not in France. The German soldiers probably got these weapons captured during the invasion of France in 1940. The Germans used all the weapons they could get their hands on at the end of the war. I personally like the beutewaffe finds, small pieces of history you dont find every day. #marketgarden #ww2 #metaldetecting #relic #westernfront #history #nature #worldwar2 #wehrmacht #relics
1 day ago
Japanese Invasion Of China: The war was the result of a decades-long Japanese imperialist policy to expand its influence politically and militarily in order to secure access to raw material reserves, food, and labor. The period after World War Ibrought about increasing stress on the Japanese polity. Leftists sought universal suffrage and greater rights for workers. Increasing textile production from Chinese mills was adversely affecting Japanese production. The Great Depression brought about a large slowdown in exports. All of this contributed to militant nationalism, culminating in the rise to power of a militarist fascist faction. This faction was led at its height by the Hideki Tojo cabinet of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association under edict from Emperor Hirohito. In 1931, the Mukden Incident helped spark the Japanese invasion of Manchuria. The Chinese were defeated and Japan created a new puppet state, Manchukuo; many historians cite 1931 as the beginning of the war. The view has been adopted by the PRC government. From 1931 to 1937, China and Japan continued to skirmish in small, localized engagements, so-called "incidents".
Initially the Japanese scored major victories, capturing both Shanghai and the Chinese capital of Nanking in 1937. After failing to stop the Japanese in the Battle of Wuhan, the Chinese central government was relocated to Chongqing (Chungking) in the Chinese interior. By 1939, after Chinese victories in Changsha and Guangxi, and with Japan's lines of communications stretched deep into the Chinese interior, the war reached a stalemate. The Japanese were also unable to defeat the Chinese communist forces in Shaanxi, which waged a campaign of sabotage and guerrilla warfare against the invaders. While Japan ruled the large cities, they lacked sufficient manpower to control China's vast countryside. During this time, Chinese communist forces launched a counter offensive in Central Chinawhile Chinese nationalist forces launched a large scale winter offensive.
#ww2 #history #germanww2 #britishww2 #wehrmacht #soviet #franceww2 #easternfront #westernfront #churchill #stalin #fdr
3 days ago
Prime minister Winston Churchill leaves the old Roman amphitheatre with lieutenant general Kenneth Anderson after addressing British troops. Carthage, Tunisia. 1st June 1943.
#WW2 #Tunisia #1943 #WesternFront
4 days ago
‘I see from your gravestone you were only 19, when you joined the great fallen in 1916’
I don’t think anything prepares you for the vastness of Tyne Cot Cemetery. 12000 graves. Over 8000 holding an unknown soldier of the war to end wars. Killed in the surrounding rolling fields. You can’t help but me moved by row upon row of names of those who marched into the guns. How many were slaughtered from that one little hole in one pillbox? #lestweforget #ypressalient #ypres #ww1 #westernfront
4 days ago
•A Harrowing Struggle•
“The Otago Daily Times of New Zealand tells a grim story of the destruction of one of Germany’s recent U-boats. It was one of the last to leave Zeebrugge before that port was bottled up”
“Out of a crew of 40, only two survived, after a terrible struggle with death for 90 minutes 20 fathoms below the surface, where the vessel foundered after striking a mine. A number of the crew committed suicide, believing they had no chance of leaving the submarine alive. The commander was one of the most experienced in the German submarine service. The explosion caused by the mine threw the U boat's delicate machinery out of gear, and a portion of the vessel was plunged in darkness. The engineer succeeded in putting the submarine in a horizontal position and prevented her turning turtle.Water poured in aft. An attempt to ``blow out'' the tanks proved unsuccessful, and the vessel would not rise to the surface. The inrush of water increased, and the only chance of escaping was to force open the conning tower and the forward hatches, and trust to the compressed air driving each man torpedo-like to the surface. The effort to open one of the torpedo hatches proved futile, the outside pressure being too great. The water mounted higher and higher, creeping up the men's legs. The sea water, mixing with the chemicals in the accumulators, created poisonous gas, and the crew were faced with suffocation. Conditions became so terrible that some of the men began to lose their reason, and threw themselves headlong into the water to die. One tried to shoot himself, but his revolver missed fire, and he also jumped into the water at the bottom of the vessel.
After superhuman efforts the forward hatch of the conning tower was forced open and those still alive escaped through the hatch. As they reached the surface the compressed air in their lungs burst their lungs, and 20 of them sank with blood-curdling yells. A British trawler picked up the two survivors” *Second photo shows the Intrepid and Iphigenia blocking the main channel at Zeebrugge. The British ship Thetis can be seen in the background*
*Otago Daily Times: “Submarine horror”