Category: great war

An American signalman operating a trench rad…

An American signalman operating a trench radio set with its 10 volt battery at Chatillon-sur-Seine, 8 November 1918.

Three Indian sappers (128th Pioneers) lay ca…

Three Indian sappers (128th Pioneers) lay cable in a trench from a large spool of wire that one of them is holding.

A soldier of 8/10th Gordon Highlanders (15th…

A soldier of 8/10th Gordon Highlanders (15th Division) stands at the entrance to a dugout in a front line trench, September 1917.

Baron Carl Mannerheim salutes White Guardists,…

Baron Carl Mannerheim salutes White Guardists, February 1918. Mannerheim led the victorious White forces in the Finnish Civil War.

Australian soldiers asleep in a first line t…

Australian soldiers asleep in a first line trench; near Fleurbaix (Fromelles), June 1916.

One of the Austro-Hungarian soldiers, dresse…

One of the Austro-Hungarian soldiers, dressed as Santa Klaus, celebrating Christmas with his comrades, probably in the trenches of his regiment. Note the other costumed characters: what appears to be a man in womens’ clothes, blackface and chains similar to the Dutch Zwarte Piet, and a crouching man dressed as Krampus the Christmas devil.

The Lighthorsemen.

The Lighthorsemen.

February 21, 1918 – Fall of Jericho

February 21, 1918 – Fall of Jericho

Pictured – “When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city.” A British officer looks out from captured Ottoman trenches at Jericho.

British forces reached their lowest point of the war on February 21, 1918, when they captured Jericho at the northern end of the Dead Sea. General Allenby’s Anglo-Australian force stunned the Ottomans with its quick advance from Jerusalem. After three days of fighting, the British captured the city, with total domination of the skies by the Royal Flying Corps and on the ground thanks to Australian mounted infantry and cavalry. With their victory Britain now had total strategic control of the area around Jerusalem.

February 20, 1918 – Ice Cruise of the Baltic F…

February 20, 1918 – Ice Cruise of the Baltic Fleet

Pictured – The icebreaker Krasin, which survives today as a museum ship in Saint Petersburg.

Russia’s army had more or less ceased to exist. On the Eastern Front, German and Austrian forces were pushing several miles every hour since they had renewed their invasion on the 18th. Their opposition melted in front of them. The Bolshevik’s hastily organized Red Army was a military in name only.

One of the most trustworthy weapon in the Bolshevik’s arsenal was the navy. The working-class sailors of the Baltic Fleet were overwhelmingly in favor of the revolution; 58% of them had voted for the Bolsheviks during elections to the Constituent Assembly. They proved excellent shock troops of the proletariat. With German forces advancing inward, however, the fleet stood at risk of being captured in Estonia, where it had been based.

Lenin ordered his ships to move, even though they were frozen in place by the ice. Icebreaking was a skill the Russian navy possessed in quantities, though, and escorted by icebreakers the Baltic Fleet escaped in the “Ice Cruise.” Most of the ships sailed for Helsinki, held by friendly Red revolutionaries. When the Germans showed up at Revel several days later, they were bewildered to find they had been robbed up prizes. Only a few scuttled submarines remained where they expected the Baltic Fleet.

A collection of (usually improvised) British g…

A collection of (usually improvised) British gas alarms.