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Posts Tagged ‘WWI’

Armistice Day – The 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month of 1918

Saturday, 11 November 2017

The sign on the front of the truck reads, “The Kaiser’s Funeral.”

26 September 1918

“We are in a camp near Auzeville and the big drive is to start. In fact the one that finished the ‘Boches’. Then the morning of the 26th dawned but dawn was preceded by a terrific barrage which was as loud as thunder and lighted up the whole skyline for miles. We were not flying ours but were held in reserve.  Hundreds of “planes” were now flying over head. One bunch had over 150 in it.

Along about 8 a.m., along comes a boche plane and he burned three of the balloons all observers landed safe but one and his parachute burned and he fell to his death.

A fellow by the name of Barnett and I started out to see the fun.  Put our guns on and started for the front line trenches which were about 5 miles north.  After a short while we hit the trenches but of course our boys had advanced and were chasing the boche for a fare you well.  We hit several mine craters where the boche had mined the roads but already our engineers had started to budge them.  After another hour’s walk and dodging a few pieces of shrapnel we hit the town of Varennes and were keen for souvenirs.  The boche were still in one side of the Varennes and we were in the other.

Machine guns were crackling with a steady roar and long streams of ambulances carrying away the wounded.  Dead Boche were laying every where.  The roads were filled with them.  Long about then a Boche 77 took my ….. but never touched us. Then we started going through the dugouts and it was there that I got the general’s helmet.  Also was almost lucky enough to capture a Jerry but a doughboy beat me to it.  He was hiding in a dug out.  Looked like he wasn’t as old as “Bugs” and he was scared almost to death.

After monkeying around a while we hopped an ambulance and rode back toward Auzeville.  So that finished the day’s fun.  But you ought to have seen the dead Huns.  Some had legs blown off.  Some had their heads and shoulders off and some were in pieces only.  A great many had been burned by mustard gas and were burned to a crisp.”

PFC Walter Myers, age 19, US Army Signal Corps.

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The 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month of 1918 – Armistice Day

Friday, 11 November 2016

armistice-day-1918-carmistice-day-1918-barmistice-day-1918-a

A suspension of hostilities was agreed to in 1918, yet it was not the end of The Great War. Appeasement without enforcement of sanctions led to unimaginable atrocities a few short years later.

May we never make that mistake again.

 

 

 

 

 

To All Veterans Who Start Out Like This To Protect That.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Veterans Day

Always Remember The Armistice

The 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month of 1918.
And remember that the Treaty of Versailles was merely Détente.
GOD BLESS ALL VETERANS

Respect

British WWI Body Armor

Monday, 7 July 2014

WWI Body Armor

[Found here.]

Armistice Day: The 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month of 1918

Monday, 11 November 2013

Walter Myers

The letter below was penned by my grand-uncle Walter (1899-1978) to his parents (my great-grandparents). He had just turned 19, and was serving in the US Army Signal Corps. In WWI that meant he was stationed at the German Front, providing reconnaissance from balloons and wiring reports via telegraph. Very dangerous place to be.

21 August 1918 – France

Dearest Mom and Dad,

Was under fire for the first time recently. No casualties. Believe me you never heard such an unearthly noise. Everything quiet then all of a sudden “Boom” s-h-h-h sh-sh-sh. The boom is when the shell bursts and the “sh” sounds like the wind whistling through a crack. The “sh” is caused by flying splinters. The damned Deutsch can’t hit a barn so we should worry. We have dugouts.

Sorry I can’t tell more. This may be cut out. I don’t think it will though because there is no information. I guess the Deutsch remember shooting at us. So this letter wouldn’t give them any “info”.

You say that you will meet me when I get off the returning transport. I think the day when I arrive will be about 10 years hence, at the present rate. However, though, the unexpected might happen and I might get home inside of 9 years instead of ten. So you get my impression from the above paragraph. However though, I am absolutely not homesick.

Of course I would like to get home, which is only natural. But I don’t want to get home ’till the “Guerre” is finished and finished to a frizzle and finished in our favor, and the damned deutsch exterminated.

We are now sleeping on the ground and in pup tents. Great sport, too. Just like a big camp.

Well, I guess we will call things off for the present. So, “Au revoire cher Pere et Mere.” I will see you “Apres La Guerre.”

With love,
Soldier Bill

Unfortunately, The Armistice lasted barely twenty years, allowed the creation of the WehrMacht, and WWII ensued. The Korean “Conflict” was stalled the same way, and now North Korea is a dangerous rogue nation. Do I need to mention Iran? Fini La Guerre.

God Bless all Veterans who fight selflessly for what’s right.

[Related posts here.]

UB-110

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

UB-110

German Submarine, UB-110. Photo of Control room looking aft, starboard side (by Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums)  This image shows manhole to periscope wall, valve wheels for flooding and blowing. Hanwheels for periscope gear, air pressure gauges. The UB-110 sunk after attacking a merchant shipping convoy near Hartlepool in July 1918. It was then salvaged and transferred to Swan Hunter Wigham Richardson Ltd. Dry Docks (Wallsend), with an order to restore her to fighting state. The order cancelled following Armistice and she was scrapped thereafter [via].

11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month 1918

Sunday, 11 November 2012

22 December 1918 Ville-sur-Cousances, France: Two letters from “Soldier Bill”

Thursday, 22 December 2011

22 December 1918

Dear Mom and Dad:

Well nothing much new. Everything is about the same. Am feeling O.K. and in good health. There is really nothing worth while to relate for this place is dead as the deuce.

We have organized a Jazz band and I am playing the ukulele. Have played in several concerts and are figuring on a big one for Xmas.  The music we have is sure old but it is the latest that we have. Yaka Hula, etc.

You wrote a letter saying that you was going to make the sweater, etc. Well, I got the sweater, etc. about a week before I got the letter.

Well, this will be all for the present.

So long,

Bill

22 December 1918

Dear Mom and Dad:

Well, there is absolutely nothing new or startling but I feel like writing. Altho I wrote to you yesterday. Read a letter from you this evening and it had the Kodak pictures in it. Was glad to get them, too. I can’t think of anything to write so I am going to take one day out of my diary and give it to you in detail.

Here it is —– Sept. 26

We are in a camp near Auzeville and the big drive is to start. In fact the one that finished the “Boches”. Then the morning of the 26th dawned but dawn was preceded by a terrific barrage which was as loud as thunder and lighted up the whole skyline for miles. We were not flying ours but were held in reserve.  Hundreds of “planes” were now flying over head. One bunch had over 150 in it.  Along about 8 a.m., along comes a boche plane and he burned three of the balloons all observers landed safe but one and his parachute burned and he fell to his death.  A fellow by the name of Barnett and I started out to see the fun.  Put our guns on and started for the front line trenches which were about 5 miles north.  After a short while we hit the trenches but of course our boys had advanced and were chasing the boche for a fare you well.  We hit several mine craters where the boche had mined the roads but already our engineers had started to budge them.  After another hour’s walk and dodging a few pieces of shrapnel we hit the town of Varennes and were keen for souvenirs.  The boche were still in one side of the Varennes and we were in the other.  Machine guns were crackling with a steady roar and long streams of ambulances carrying away the wounded.  Dead Boche were laying every where.  The roads were filled with them.  Long about then a Boche 77 took my ….. but never touched us. Then we started going through the dugouts and it was there that I got the general’s helmet.  Also was almost lucky enough to capture a Jerry but a doughboy beat me to it.  He was hiding in a dug out.  Looked like he wan’t as old as “Bugs” and he was scared almost to death.  After monkeying around a while we hopped an ambulance and rode back toward Auzeville.  So that finished the day’s fun.  But you ought to have seen the dead Huns.  Some had legs blown off.  Some had their heads and shoulders off and some were in pieces only.  A great many had been burned by mustard gas and were burned to a crisp.

Well, I guess I’ll have to “fini” as it is getting late. Hope I get the Xmas box soon.

Bill

Armistice Day / Veterans Day / Remembrance Day

Friday, 11 November 2011


“One of the guns of Battery D, 105th Field Artillery, showing American flag which was hoisted after the last shot had been fired when the armistice took effect. Etraye, France., 11/11/1918”.
Sergeant First Class Morris Fineberg, Photographer.

My grand-uncle was stationed in France in the U.S. Signal Corps in WWI, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he knew some of the men in the photo above. On 10 November 1918, he sent this letter home:

“Mom and Dad. Well, nothing much new, only today we got the news of the peace plenipotentiaries arriving for a conference with General Foch. It sounds good to me. There is something here now that I would like to tell you but can’t, so when I return you mustn’t forget to ask me about the civilian refugees in the church. It will be some story. Not much excitement lately. We had our balloon burned by a boche plane with American insignia on it.”

Then on 14 November, this:

Dear Mom and Dad:

Well, of all the wonderful things that could ever happen. The war is “won”. As the French say, “Fini la Guerre.” Every Frenchman we meet hollers, “Fini la Guere, Merci! Beaucoup.” It means – The war is over, thank you many times. We are sure some glad bunch. I sure will have a lot of stuff to tell you when I return. And that won’t be long. We are now away from the front for the first time. I just got rid of a bunch of cooties yesterday. I hope that they will be the last, too. They are sure the cause of one hell of a feeling.

Well, this is all for the present. So long and hoping to see you soon.

Soldier Bill

May God Bless All Veterans, both past and present.

[Image from here. Related posts here and here.]

Independence Day 4 July 1918

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

I might have posted these before. They are envelopes decorated by my great-grandfather and mailed to his son (my grand-uncle) who was stationed in France in the U.S. Signal Corps in WWI. Walter received them on 10 August 1918, and replied with this letter:

“…I saw a peach of an air battle last night. Believe me that is exciting stuff to see them diving and darting around like a couple of birds. That’s about all I can tell you. I can’t tell you who licked. Some of the best fliers are located near us. I guess there are a few “aces” among the bunch.

…Pap says the war will be over in a year making it July 4th 1919. I don’t want to shatter his hopes but I think about the fall of 1920 myself. That is simply my estimate. Maybe last longer or maybe  not as long.”

Late last year I asked Walter’s daughter if she’d allow me to post her father’s letters, in sequence beginning in February 1918, as if in real time. For personal reasons she declined, and I’ll respect her wishes.

Meanwhile, I hope all of you still have the same number of fingers and toes as you did yesterday at this time.


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