Friday, January 4, 2019

Guide to WORLD WAR I in FRANCE posts






WORLD WAR I in FRANCE


The following links take you to the post about the sites along The Western Front of World War I.

On the occasion of the centenary of World War I in 2018, I traveled The Western Front from Belgium to the Swiss Border and remembered the Armistice of 11 November 1918 at the Cenotaph in London, England.


Pozières The Windmill honouring Australian troops in Northern France
Pozières Tank Corp memorial near the first use of tanks

Lochnagar Crater and the British offensive known as the Battle of the Somme. The mine blasted ground when the Battle of the Somme began 1 July 1916


Beaumont Hamel Newfoundland Memorial Park honouring British troops from

     Newfoundland

Thiepval Memorial, Visitor Centre, and Museum The memorial honours British

     and South African troops


Compiegne —the site of the 1918 Armistice


Meaux Museum —an extensive battlefield museum

La Ferté-sous-Jouarre British war memorial including monuments to the

     Royal Engineers

Belleau Wood and the American Monument – remembering U.S. Marines who fought here
      in 1918

Chateau-Thierry and the American memorial —impressive memorial 
     atop a hill by the Marne River

Les Fantômes Memorial Sculpture by Paul Landowski— creative sculpture 
     located at the Second Battle of the Marne 1918

Soisson The British Memorial honouring about 4,000 British Commonwealth troops,
     who died in the Battles of the Aisne and Marne.

Aisne —Cerny en Loannois — picturesque village with a chapel and cemetery
     in the area known as Chemin des Dames

Aisne and the Monument to the Crapouillots French artillerymen 
     honoured in a monument shaped like a mortar shell

Tank Corp Memorial   This memorial includes several large scale tanks.

Le Main de Massiges and the impressive reconstructed trenches


Hill of Vauquois and the devastation of mine warfare. A village is obliterated.

Romagne a small town with an interesting museum on the way to the

     American cemetery of the Meuse-Argonne battle

Meuse-Argonne —an impressive American Memorial near Verdun


Voie Sacrée Memorial on the way to Verdun the sacred supply route

The Battle of Verdun —Verdun and the nearby Museum

Trench of Bayonets memorial and the Battle of Verdun

Douamont Ossuary  and Cemetery and the Battle of Verdun

Romanian (aka Rumanian) Military Cemetery at Soultzmatt France

Le Ligne Museum and Trenches located in the beauty of the mountains.

Ilfurth—a German Cemetery

Vieil Armand Battlefield also known as Hartmannswillerkopf—National Monument

Pfetterhouse at the Swiss Border


See also...



*****

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Trench of Bayonets World War I France




Not far from Douamont is the memorial to the soldiers in the Trench of the Bayonets. A German offensive resulted in men completely covered in their trenches. What was visible was their bayonets sticking up through the ground.

The memorial remembers the French soldiers. Because of the theft of bayonets, crosses now mark the sacred soil.


My World War I Travels



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The Battle of Verdun France




The Battle of Verdun was the longest battle in recent history, which began 21 February and extended until 15 December 1916.

The city of Verdun is located on the River Meuse. The Germans has gained control of the high ground on the east side of the river.



The plan of attack was devised by German Chief of Staff, Erich von Falkenhayn. The attack, following bombrdment, was led by Crown Prince Whilhelm. The plan was supposed to quickly take the French out of the war before the British Empire could become fully engaged. But later in the year, the British drew German troops away to the Battle of the Somme.



The nearby Verdun Memorial Museum was modernised, expanded, and reopened in 2016, which was the centenary of the First World War battle.

Visitors can view artefacts from the battlefield and learn the history of the Battle of Verdun in the context of the War.

The French and their allies held their ground despite the use of gas.



A marker reminds visitors of the crucial supply line along the Voie Sacrée.


Dioramas attempt to help visitors glimpse the battlefield terrain.



A simple plane represents the changes coming to modern warfare.






Not far away is the impressive hilltop American Memorial to the Meuse-Argonne offensive.


The Battle of Verdun included fighting at Fort Douamont and Vaux on the right bank. Many are buried at the Douaumont Ossuary and cemetery.


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Douamont Ossuary and Cemetery France World War I



The Battle of Verdun resulted in some 700,000 casualties with 230,000 killed. Many unidentified soliders are among those whose bones lie within the ossuary.


The ossuary is atop a hill near the town of Verdun, which is known for the longest battle of the Great War.



Below the hilltop is a cemetery.


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Voie Sacrée Memorial France


When the Germans attacked Verdun, the French depended not only on their troops but also on those who supplied the army with millions of tons of supplies along with millions of fighting men.

It's worth stopping at the monument to remember the massive effort required to defend the West from invasion.

Soliders, trucks, and horse drawn wagons constantly passed this way.




Large storyboards display photographs of the historic effort, which can be compared to the same countryside a hundred years later.





















It is hard to imagine the swift pace of the flow as trucks headed to Verdun at the rate of one every 14 seconds during "regular" supply times and one every five seconds during the height of conflict.




It's easy to see why this route is a scared way--truly an important stop on the way to Verdun.

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 Geoff W. Sutton

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Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Vieil Armand Battlefield - Hartmannswillerkopf National Monument France



Hartmannswillerkopf was the site of many battles between 26 December 1914 to 9 January 1916. It is a national monument to the Great War.




It is located in the Alsatian plain. Hartmannswillerkopf is also known at the Vieil Armand in French.











About 30,000 soldiers died in this area.


My World War I Travels




Ilfurth German World War I Cemetery France


This German cemetery contains the graves of 1964 German soldiers of World War I.



One grave identified the first German soldier who died 2 August 1914, Lieutenant Albert Mayer.




My World War I Travels