Category: france

Early 1918, the importance of aerial photograp…

Early 1918, the importance of aerial photography –’At the front officers in
bombing squadrons find that photography is one of the most important branches
of their work. In fact, next to bombing, it is their most important work.
Furthermore, commanders look more and more for
photographs to prove the value of bombing squadrons.

A squadron may go out, drop their bombs with excellent results,
and do a considerable amount of destruction, but if on returning they have no
photographic record of the destruction done, they can hardly be expected to
receive credit for what they did. Obviously, it is to the interest of the
pilots and observers concerned to perfect themselves in aerial photography.

Now, the camera is the best observer there can be. If handled
properly, it will bring back records of such detailed nature as no observer, no
matter how well trained, can; and furthermore the records will be accurate. The
human observer is bound to be affected by external conditions; he will be on
the lookout for enemy aircraft, and he will probably be, to say the least,
somewhat flustered by antiaircraft fire. Needless to say, he cannot be
expected to see the many details which the camera records.’

WW1 Air
service information circular
– Photo: February 22 1918 near Arras, a
seemingly satisfied Canadian aviator serving with
the Royal Flying Corps, examines an aerial photo. Gouvernement du Canada

‘February 23-24 1918 – Still sick but &l…

‘February 23-24 1918 – Still sick
but “up & at ‘em! Afraid officials will stick me in a French hospital.
Not for me! Too dreary & lonesome. On duty for two days at Neuvilly and glad to be away
from camp. A sick fellow has no chance in camp. The fellows string in one by
one with different sarcastic remarks ”Oh, quit chur kiddin’! Your layin’
or ”You need a nurse!

– a good rest poste anyway. No work at all.’

American ambulance driver’s diary in Neuvilly-en- Argonne, Verdun sector
Diaries of Samuel M. Keplinger – Photo: 1918, France, “a good rest post” –

de la Culture (France) – Médiathèque de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine.

“February 23 1918 – Calais being constantly bo…

“February 23 1918 – Calais
being constantly bombarded by the Germans, we have to remove the monumental sculpture
by Rodin « Les Bourgeois de Calais » and move it to the city hall’s
basement: a complex and dangerous task”

Calais, France – Le
Genie Civil – Photos: Calais Avant-Hier– Impressive photos showing the entire process of
removing this massive monument.

‘Nearly every child has a fe…

every child has a fearful cough and cold and I do long to
have a big store house of sweaters and warm things to give out to them. If you have some magazines or illustrated papers
they will come to a very good use here. They are very quiet and the poor souls
are well tired of the game, and I don’t blame them. Much to my surprise they do not seem to like to sing as I imagined
they would. At the beginning of the war there was much more heart for singing

WW1, France, American lady’s letter, member of the Franco-American Committee for the
Protection of the Children of the Frontie
r –

“Out Here at the

– WW1, Refugee children arriving from the
front at the Paris home of the Franco-American Committee for the Protection of
Children. Library of Congress

“February 20 1918 . Small &l…

20 1918 . Small “coup-de-main” at Neuviller. Only a few blessés. Shipment
of sporting goods from Y. M. C. A. arrives today!”

American ambulance driver’s diary in Meuse & Lorraine, France – Record of SSU. 585 – Photo: WW1, Lorraine, American ambulance driver opening his ambulance to injured French soldiers.


                                                                “A great little joy ride”

“February 17 1918 – I flew my
machine out to the front, and it was a great little joy ride. Followed the
Marne most of the time, and it is the crookedest river I’ve ever seen! I know the geography of the war pretty
well and
it was very interesting to see the whole famous battle-ground spread out

From my altitude you could see
nearly from  Meaux to Soissons, and it was very interesting to pick out the
ground, the roads even, by which the Boches made their great day-and-a-half
retreat from Meaux to the Soissons, Reims, Argonne line. It was like an
enormous map spread out beneath your gaze!”

WW1 American aviator, initially ambulance driver, in France – A Year for France – Photo: WW1 American aviator having great fun. SDASM

“We stopped at another outfit for breakfast an…

“We stopped at another outfit for breakfast
and had oatmeal, bacon, fried potatoes, bread, jam and coffee—not so bad!”

1918, American soldier in France – 

Independent, Volume 96
– Photo :1918, Eastern France, American soldiers’s al fresco breakfast – Images de 14-18, France


                                                        “Children provided a bridge”

“Wherever they were,
American soldiers made friends with the local children,
who begged for “biskwee” (hardtack) and were introduced to chewing
gum. Private Ben H. Bernheisel remembered: “The small French children in
the village had learned our drill quite well… . Their leader would give the
commands in fine English, not omitting the profane. It was really a show
to watch them!”

The War to End All Wars: The
American Military Experience in World War I
– Photo: 1918, Haute- Marne, France, a
French child and an American officer playfully salute each other.100ans US HauteMarne






“February 15 1918 – Have been having ext…

“February 15 1918 – Have
been having extraordinary weather for a month. Warm & pleasant with just a
little rain. On
duty at Beauchamp evacuation hospital. No shells but long,
tiresome drives
. I drove steady, back & forth from one o’clock noon ‘till
midnight. Stopped at Y.M.C.A at Fleury & bought chocolate. — Very tired. “

American ambulance driver’s diary, in Argonne, Verdun sector, France Diaries of Samuel M. Keplinger – Photo: 1918, Eastern France, American ambulance drivers’ stop at the local YMCA – Bibliothèque de documentation internationale contemporaine

“Early this morning, we could hear the big gun…

“Early this morning, we could hear the big
guns going full blast, and I saw my first air battle,
and it was a thriller — four French planes and two Germans! The French bagged
both of the Huns’ machines, one falling only a short distance from us, and
before dark we saw five more air battles.”

WW1 American marine’s
letter home “Dear Folks at Home—The Glorious Story of the United States
Marines in France as Told by Their Letters from the Battlefield”
– Photo : February
15 1918
– In the Aisne Region, Chemin des Dames sector, American soldiers stopping their chores to watch an aerial dogfight. Source: Bibliothèque de documentation internationale contemporaine.