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The Great War

The Great War, The War to End All Wars, and then finally World War One was arguably one of the most influential wars fought in the last century. With such a tremendous loss of life as well as a huge impact on modern warfare it's a wonder we don't study it more. Let's not sit and let this war be forgotten and skipped over. There is so much this time period has to offer and I want everyone to get excited about learning something about this war. If you're curious at all about anything please ask.
Oct 21 '14

greatwar-1914:

October 19th, 1914 - Departure of the Anzac Convoy

Pictured - Fond farewells at the pier of Albany, & the Japanese battlecruiser Ibuki.

The convoy system was first used to a large extent in World War One.  Troopships and supplies, rather than depart singly, traveled with more heavily armed support for protection.  The first great convoy was the Anzac Convoy.

Australia and New Zealand rallied to their mother country in 1914, thousands of men patriotically volunteering.  In October 1914, ten troopships full of spirited New Zealanders departed from Wellington, guarded by the Japanese battlecruiser Ibuki,  They traveled to Albany in Australia, where a further 28 troopships joined them, crowded with eager Australian troops.  Following their Japanese leader, all 38 troopships steamed for the gulf of Aden, the Japanese cruiser Chikuma joining them in the Indian Ocean. 

The convoy reached Aden on the 25th, and while the British government badly needed the troops from the Dominions, since the murderous Battle of Ypres raged in October and cut down the majority of the pre-war British Army, it was decided to leave the Australian and New Zealand troops in the Mediterranean for the time being.  Arriving Canadian troops had to spend a miserable drizzly English autumn quartering at Salisbury Plain, so it was decided to divert the Australian and New Zealand troops to Egypt rather than subject them to an English winter.  Originally, the formation was to be named the Australasian Army Corps, but irritated Kiwis protested, and so it came to be known as the ANZAC (Australia & New Zealand) Army Corps. 

The Japanese contribution to Australia’s war effort has been largely ignored in light of the “Yellow Peril” and bad blood from the Second World War, but Japanese ships were vital in guarding Anzac troop convoys and also to protect Australian waters during the war.

Image Source: (http://anzaccentenary.vic.gov.au/firstconvoy/)

Oct 21 '14
humanoidhistory:

The Empire Needs Men! — Great Britain’s Parliamentary Recruiting Committee produced this First World War poster, designed by Arthur Wardle, to encourage the men of the colonies to enlist in the war effort.
(Swann Galleries)

humanoidhistory:

The Empire Needs Men! — Great Britain’s Parliamentary Recruiting Committee produced this First World War poster, designed by Arthur Wardle, to encourage the men of the colonies to enlist in the war effort.

(Swann Galleries)

Oct 21 '14
Oct 17 '14
tedbunny:

German soldiers wearing gas masks playing cards, c. 1917.

tedbunny:

German soldiers wearing gas masks playing cards, c. 1917.

Oct 17 '14
scrapironflotilla:

Snow scene near Mametz - Frank Crozier, 1919.

scrapironflotilla:

Snow scene near Mametz - Frank Crozier, 1919.

Oct 15 '14
Oct 12 '14
greatwarincolour:

A French soldier poses in the Argonne forest, circa 1915.
Original image source: Bibliotheque nationale de France

greatwarincolour:

A French soldier poses in the Argonne forest, circa 1915.

Original image source: Bibliotheque nationale de France

Oct 11 '14
greatwar-1914:

October 11th, 1914 - Siege of Przemysl Lifted
Pictured - The Austro-Hungarian garrison sallies out to fight.  
The crown jewel of Austrian fortresses had been enduring a Russian siege since early October.  Originally intended as the key supply depot for the Austro-Hungarian armies, the fortress ended up on the front lines of the fight in August.  Several divisions intended to guard the position had been transported to Serbia at the beginning of the war, then sent back by a very uncertain and indecisive General Staff. 
The Dual Monarchy did not have competent logistics system. (Nor a very competent military.  Indeed, German general Max Hoffman commented that: “They have saved money over their army for twenty years, and now they are paying for it.”) The troops were detrained far at Prsemysl and then forced to walk their way to the front.  In an encounter battle along the way, the divisions were pushed back in the general Austrian rout beginning on September 11th.  
Prezemysl had been cut off and besieged since then by Russian General Selivanov’s Eleventh Army.  However, the diverse garrison of 120,000 men proved sterner stuff then some of their compatriots.  The Russians could not take the fortress.  In October the German Ninth Army was formed and sent to reinforce its Austrian allies.  The Austrian Chief of the General Staff, Franz Conrad von Hotzendorf, marched on Przemysl immediately.  Seliavanov lifted the siege and retreated for the time being.  
Conrad immediately evacuated the civilian population of the town.  But Przemysl’s woes were not over.  Within weeks it would face a second, much more grueling siege. 
Image source: R.v. Meissl

greatwar-1914:

October 11th, 1914 - Siege of Przemysl Lifted

Pictured - The Austro-Hungarian garrison sallies out to fight. 

The crown jewel of Austrian fortresses had been enduring a Russian siege since early October.  Originally intended as the key supply depot for the Austro-Hungarian armies, the fortress ended up on the front lines of the fight in August.  Several divisions intended to guard the position had been transported to Serbia at the beginning of the war, then sent back by a very uncertain and indecisive General Staff.

The Dual Monarchy did not have competent logistics system. (Nor a very competent military.  Indeed, German general Max Hoffman commented that: “They have saved money over their army for twenty years, and now they are paying for it.”) The troops were detrained far at Prsemysl and then forced to walk their way to the front.  In an encounter battle along the way, the divisions were pushed back in the general Austrian rout beginning on September 11th.  

Prezemysl had been cut off and besieged since then by Russian General Selivanov’s Eleventh Army.  However, the diverse garrison of 120,000 men proved sterner stuff then some of their compatriots.  The Russians could not take the fortress.  In October the German Ninth Army was formed and sent to reinforce its Austrian allies.  The Austrian Chief of the General Staff, Franz Conrad von Hotzendorf, marched on Przemysl immediately.  Seliavanov lifted the siege and retreated for the time being.  

Conrad immediately evacuated the civilian population of the town.  But Przemysl’s woes were not over.  Within weeks it would face a second, much more grueling siege.

Image source: R.v. Meissl

Oct 11 '14
thegreatwardaybyday:

16 September 1914 - The Germans enter Valenciennes.

thegreatwardaybyday:

16 September 1914 - The Germans enter Valenciennes.

Oct 11 '14
historywars:

German soldiers equipped with a flamethrower on the Eastern Front.

historywars:

German soldiers equipped with a flamethrower on the Eastern Front.

Oct 11 '14
scrapironflotilla:

Informal portrait of members of the 38th Battalion AIF
 returning from the trenches through Houplines, a village on the outskirts of Armentieres. Leading is 1228 Corporal (Cpl) John Charles Lewis, followed by 486 Lance Corporal (LCpl) William James Leslie Newell, Sergeant (Sgt) Harold Pankhurst and 1975 Private (Pte) George Alexander Loader. Sgt Pankhurst, a bank clerk from Tongala, Vic prior to enlistment, embarked with the rank of Private with the 19th Reinforcements, 6th Battalion from Melbourne on HMAT Themistocles on 28 July 1916. On 16 October 1917, and having attained the rank of Lance Sergeant, he died aged 21, of wounds received in action and was buried in the Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium. Pte Loader, a farm hand from Ballarat Vic prior to enlistment, embarked with the 2nd Reinforcements from Melbourne on HMAT Orontes on 16 August 1916. On 28 August 1918 he was killed in action aged 29 and was buried in the Hem Farm Military Cemetery, Hem-Monacu, France. Cpl Lewis and LCpl Newell both returned to Australia at the completion of the war.

scrapironflotilla:

Informal portrait of members of the 38th Battalion AIF

returning from the trenches through Houplines, a village on the outskirts of Armentieres. Leading is 1228 Corporal (Cpl) John Charles Lewis, followed by 486 Lance Corporal (LCpl) William James Leslie Newell, Sergeant (Sgt) Harold Pankhurst and 1975 Private (Pte) George Alexander Loader. Sgt Pankhurst, a bank clerk from Tongala, Vic prior to enlistment, embarked with the rank of Private with the 19th Reinforcements, 6th Battalion from Melbourne on HMAT Themistocles on 28 July 1916. On 16 October 1917, and having attained the rank of Lance Sergeant, he died aged 21, of wounds received in action and was buried in the Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium. Pte Loader, a farm hand from Ballarat Vic prior to enlistment, embarked with the 2nd Reinforcements from Melbourne on HMAT Orontes on 16 August 1916. On 28 August 1918 he was killed in action aged 29 and was buried in the Hem Farm Military Cemetery, Hem-Monacu, France. Cpl Lewis and LCpl Newell both returned to Australia at the completion of the war.

Oct 10 '14
scrapironflotilla:

Members of B Company 3rd Battalion, in the ‘jumping off’ trench at Clapham Junction, from which the Australian troops of the 1st Division commenced their opening attack in the Third Battle of Ypres

scrapironflotilla:

Members of B Company 3rd Battalion, in the ‘jumping off’ trench at Clapham Junction, from which the Australian troops of the 1st Division commenced their opening attack in the Third Battle of Ypres

Oct 10 '14
scrapironflotilla:

An officer of the 30th Battalion in the trenches near Zonnebeke, in the Ypres Sector, making the daily inspection of his mens’ feet during the Third Battle of Ypres.
After the tortuous winter of 1916-17 and the large number of preventable casualties from trench foot the AIF instituted strict measures to combat the menace.

scrapironflotilla:

An officer of the 30th Battalion in the trenches near Zonnebeke, in the Ypres Sector, making the daily inspection of his mens’ feet during the Third Battle of Ypres.

After the tortuous winter of 1916-17 and the large number of preventable casualties from trench foot the AIF instituted strict measures to combat the menace.

Oct 10 '14
historywars:

Austrian soldiers mete out punishment to Russian prisoners. Austria-Hungary took over a million prisoners of war during the Great War, the vast majority being Russians. Using POW labour, the Austro-Hungarians built large internment camps, usually near major railway lines, which supported the transporation of prisoners and supplies…

historywars:

Austrian soldiers mete out punishment to Russian prisoners. Austria-Hungary took over a million prisoners of war during the Great War, the vast majority being Russians. Using POW labour, the Austro-Hungarians built large internment camps, usually near major railway lines, which supported the transporation of prisoners and supplies…

Oct 10 '14
scrapironflotilla:

Medical details of the 45th Battalion sheltering in a trench at Anzac Ridge, in the Ypres Sector.

scrapironflotilla:

Medical details of the 45th Battalion sheltering in a trench at Anzac Ridge, in the Ypres Sector.