An informative article from World War I concerning the doctors of all the combatant nations and how they dealt with the filthy conditions of stagnant warfare and all the different sorts of wounds that were created as a result of this very different war:
"This is a dirty war. Gaseous, gangrene, lockjaw, blood poisoning, all dirt diseases... Colonel G.H. Makins of the Royal Army Medical Corps longs for the clean dust of the Veldt, which the British soldier cursed in the Boer War."
The furniture made available for private purchase to British officers during World War One was a far cry from that which their Victorian father's enjoyed; however, the thought of going off to war without camp furniture at all was foreign to them. The page illustrates the simple, collapsible furniture that was approved by the British War Office for use in the field.
The seasoned war correspondent from THE NEW REPUBLIC filed this essay some five months into the war in order to clarify for his American readers the exact nature of trench warfare. His observations are based upon the trench fighting that he witnessed both in France and during the Russo-Japanese War, some nine years earlier:
"There is an illusion that the range and effectiveness of modern arms tend to keep armies far apart. On the contrary, there is more hand-to-hand fighting today than at any time since gunpowder was invented... at this rate the French will not drive out the Germans in months, but on the other hand a frontal attack, and every attack must now be frontal, even if successful would cost several hundred thousand men."
The article was written by Gerald Morgan; by war's end he would serve as General Pershing's press chief (ie.censor).
Baseball as a metaphor for war...
An account of the first all-American trench raid of the First World War. The correspondent noted that the raid, which took place in the Loraine Sector, spanned forty-seven minutes from start to finish.
The participating unit was not named.
Corporal Frank Sears of the American Expeditionary Force put pen to paper and explained for all posterity the unsanitary conditions of in France:
"Life in the trenches is made up of cooties, rats, mud and gas masks."
"We had heard from fellows who had been there before us what we thought were jokes about cooties and trench rats, but it was no joke to me when I looked, for the first time, at a rat as big as a cat... I threw a heavy hobnail shoe at him and he merely changed his position and looked around to see who had interrupted him. But I will say that if it were a matter of choice, I would select a hundred rats in preference to two cooties."
"We became so used to mud up in the lines that if our chow did not have some mud, or muddy water in it we could not digest it. It was just a case of mud all over: eat, drink, sleep and wash in mud."
The manner in which front-line soldiers in a war are able to stave off boredom has been the topic of many letters and memoirs throughout the centuries, and the attached article will show you how one Frenchman addressed the issue - it is a seldom seen black and white photograph depicting an acrobatic stunt being performed above the parapet and in plain view of German snipers.
• The Misery of W.W. I Trench Warfare is Depicted in This Animated Film•