10 Stories of Chivalry and Compassion from the Battlefields of World War One (1

There are ten of these stories but I’m only going to share one at a time. This makes for an easy post, read, and retention of each story. I’ll try to put the remaining 9 up–one a day for 9 days.

War has changed a lot over the centuries, but one thing that hasn’t altered is its spirit. War is bloody and brutal, fought from the cold, muddy trenches, won and lost by men – and women – miles and miles away from their homes and their families. War is countless lives, extinguished in a heartbeat, buried in mass graves that are often forgotten. Many of those who die in war… their names and their faces are forgotten, too. But occasionally, there are moments on the darkest, bloodiest days that remind us even in war, there is still chivalry, there is still compassion. There is still humanity.
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The 6 Scariest Military Vehicles Of WWI And WWII

When the military needs to get where they’re going, they climb into some of the most intimidating vehicles on the planet.

Gun turrets, heavy armor, and aggressive stylings all make sure enemies know death is bearing down on them. But in the World Wars, many of the vehicles of industrial warfare were just getting started. These are six of the scariest military vehicles that generation served in.

Diesel Submarine

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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Image of the Day: 25 December 2014

Mail, Christmas Truce of 1914

‘We Don’t Want to Fight Today’: 1914 Christmas Truce

A German and British Soldier during the Christmas  truce of 1914
A German and British Soldier during the Christmas truce of 1914

I posted the [text version] of  the 1914 truce last Christmas; (It’s been in top 5 the entire month of December). This year I’ve posted a video and pictures of that day from across the front thought I’d  let these images tell their tale. Look through the eyes of Soldiers when for one day, they could look at their ‘enemy’ and–for what it worth– saw ‘a man like me,’    ~Enjoy.

click images to launch slide show, read captions and/or enlarge…
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The War to End All Wars? Hardly. But It Did Change Them Forever

Click on the images to link to an interactive map and slide show. Enjoy this Long Read.

Via New York Times

ZONNEBEKE, Belgium — To walk the orderly rows of headstones in the elegant graveyards that hold the dead of World War I is to feel both awe and distance. With the death of the last veterans, World War I, which began 100 years ago, has moved from memory to history. But its resonance has not faded — on land and geography, people and nations, and on the causes and consequences of modern war. Read more

6 American Heroes of WWI

On September 25, 1918, leading American World War I ace Eddie Rickenbacker attacked seven enemy airplanes alone and shot down two of them. He received the Medal of Honor for "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy." This uniform jacket was worn by Rickenbacker during World War I.
On September 25, 1918, leading American World War I ace Eddie Rickenbacker attacked seven enemy airplanes alone and shot down two of them. He received the Medal of Honor for “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy.” This uniform jacket was worn by Rickenbacker during World War I.


U.S. troops only spent a little over a year and a half in World War I and saw relatively little combat compared to their French and British counterparts. Nevertheless, American “doughboys” played a pivotal role in the offensives that overpowered the beleaguered German army in late-1918. Forced to contend with the horrors of industrialized combat, these troops produced some of the war’s most humbling and often tragic stories of heroism. From a balloon-busting fighter ace and a Navy escape artist to one of the most Marine Corps’ most legendary sergeants, meet six servicemen who distinguished themselves on the battlefields of World War I. Read more

It’s Written on Their Faces

“The 2000 Yard Stare”, by Thomas Lea, 1944, WWII.

The thousand-yard stare or two-thousand-yard stare is a phrase coined to describe the limp, blank, unfocused gaze of a battle-weary soldier, but the symptom it describes may also be found among victims of other types of trauma. A characteristic of shell shock, the despondent stare reflects dissociation from trauma.

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The Trenches of WWI: Hell on Earth

World War I Battlefields, 100 Years Later

We live in the trenches out there. We fight. We try not to be killed, but sometimes we are. That’s all.   ~Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front

An extraordinary collection of aerial photographs of World War One trenches has come to light nearly a century after the conflict.  

The images were collected by Sergeant Alex Statters, who served in France and helped to draw up maps of the battlefield on behalf of the Allied forces.   Read more

Image of the Day: 3 November 2014


The Great Nave: Wounded Soldiers Performing Arms Drill at the End of Their Medical Treatment in Grand Palais, Paris during World War I, 1916.

click image for enlarged view

If You’re Reading This: Letters Home

Dedicated historian Sian Price spent three years travelling the world and reading through 30,000 heart-rending letters to compile the touching collection.

Heartfelt farewell: Second Lieutenant Eric Heaton, from East Sussex, wrote to his parent from the Battle of the Somme:

If I fall in battle then I have no regrets save for my loved ones I leave behind

Second Lieutenant Eric Heaton, age 20. Died: The Somme, 1916.

From his dugout, he wrote to his parents: ‘My darling Mother and Father, I am writing this on the eve of my first action. Read more

America Fought Its First D-Day 96 Years Ago Today, And It Was A Huge Success

A group photo of the 129th Machine gun Battalion, 35th Division before leaving for the front at the St. Mihiel salient.

Most Americans associate the term D-Day with June 6, 1944, when a massive Allied force sailed across the English Channel to storm the beaches of Normandy, France, with the support of paratroopers dropped behind enemy lines. That date was a major turning point of World War II, opening a new western front against the Germans that led to the liberation of France.

But June 1944 was not the only time the term ‘D-Day’ had been used to specify the day of a major attack. D-Day also signified the opening day of every amphibious assault of World War II, including earlier battles in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, and against the Japanese in the Pacific. Read more

First tank produced: 1915

Little Willie

This Day in History

On this day in 1915, a prototype tank nicknamed Little Willie rolls off the assembly line in England. Little Willie was far from an overnight success. It weighed 14 tons, got stuck in trenches and crawled over rough terrain at only two miles per hour. However, improvements were made to the original prototype and tanks eventually transformed military battlefields. Read more

A Picture Before Dying: Franz Ferdinand and Sophie, Sarajevo, 1914

Archduke Franz Ferdinand (seated, in hat) and his wife, Sophie, on the day they were assassinated, Sarajevo, June 28, 1914.

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie on June 28, 1914, is widely seen as the central, precipitating event of the First World War: the spark that lit the conflagration. Here, historian and bestselling author Margaret MacMillan, whose masterful The War That Ended Peace is now in paperback, considers a single photograph of Franz Ferdinand and Sophie made just hours before their violent deaths—and discerns in the sunny scene the seeds of chaos and unfathomable destruction.
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Zimmermann Telegram: A futile attempt to gain allies or an well orchestrated plot?

The Zimmermann Telegram (as it was sent from W...
The Zimmermann Telegram (as it was sent from Washington to Mexico) encrypted as ciphertext. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Charles F. Horne, commentary published in Volume 5 of Source Records of the Great War<, 1921.

Time clears our perspective upon many matters.

The Zimmermann note was an official letter sent secretly by Zimmermann, Germany’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs, to her Minister in Mexico, directing him to attempt to unite Mexico and Japan with Germany in war against the United States. Read more

The Ten Largest Air-To-Air Battles In Military History


Air-to-air combat was a staple of modern war almost as soon as the technology for aerial warfare became practical. From the early 20th century through the end of the Cold War, air battles were determining factors in military campaigns. Today, air superiority allows the United States to engage in conflicts around the world relatively free of the risks inherent in ground warfare — as is currently being demonstrated in the U.S.’s bombing of ISIS targets in Iraq.  Read more