Category: war

“A French priest who speaks a little English i…

“A French
priest who speaks a little English is desirous to learn more. He seems an exceptionally fine man, well educated, traveled and with some
culture. I accepted the position as tutor and our first lesson went off nicely!”

American ambulance driver’s
diary in Lorraine, France – The Compensation of War – Photo: Early 1918, Eastern France, French priests hanging out with les Américains. Images de 14-18 Collection Mr. JM Picquart.


                                                               Meanwhile in Chamonix…

marvelous, marvelous! Nothing will ever be as much fun. I’m going to photograph
everything, everything!”  

1918 in Chamonix – Text and Photo Jacques-Henri Lartigue Lartigue en hiver  (Lartigue in Winter)

“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.

Conditions in the big bombers were rudimentary…

Conditions in the big
bombers were rudimentary: ‘We had no oxygen, of course,  but
we had sheepskin boots and leather clothing, and furlined gloves and
helmets. I personally used to wear a silk stocking on my head before I put my
helmet on. I also used to have silk gloves underneath my fur-lined gloves. They were
most effective. We were supposed to have whale oil to combat frostbite
of the face but I never saw any. I used to put Vaseline on my face and
found that very effective until we came back and then you suffered.
Frostbite was a regular injury. Otherwise,the plane was
ajoy, absolutely secure, like a dreadnought!”

British aviator posted in the Pas-de-Calais France

Strike Command: The Inside Story of the RAF’s
Warfare Heroes

– Photo: February 18 1918 –
Aire-sur-la-Lys, Pas-de-Calais, British
aviator and observer getting ready for a bombing mission. Bibliothèque de
documentation internationale contemporaine.


messengers of President Wilson”

“On the morning of
February 11th, as we were standing on our aviation field, waiting
for the patrol, the Captain said “You two are the only
Americans in this sector and are to be given a special task to perform today — Your
President has sent a message to Congress, which is really a note addressed
to the German people, and today Americans from the different Escadrilles along
the front have the unique privilege of flying over the enemy’s country and
dropping copies of it, printed in German
.” We asked, “When do we start ? “As soon as you are ready" was the reply,
and we echoed Admiral Sims’ historic words by saying “We are ready

with two bundles of pamphlets, we inaugurated the first American aerial post,
flying in different directions, as
special messengers of President Wilson. The day
was ideal for flying, clear and almost windless. It was great sport. However, it was quite tricky to get my notes off
successfully and intact. Simply tossed overboard when I was
going 130 miles an hour, they got mixed up with my wings, or caught in the
fuselage; but I finally found a solution to the problem. It was by doing a
vertical virage, tossing the bundles over when I was flying perpendicularly,
and at the same instant kicking my machine around violently so that its tail
would not strike them, as my plane would have passed before they had dropped a

the pamphlets would go fluttering down like feathers dropped from the wings of
an immense bird…’

1918, American aviator in Lorraine, France –“Go get ‘em!: The True Adventures of an American Aviator of
the Lafayette Flying Corps”
– Photo: 1918, France, two American aviators carrying
bundles of pamphlet and ready to roll! – French blog “Leaflets”. More about airborne leaflets :  PYSOP


strong, elegant, and agile gentlemen”

During WW1, Norway,
our Neutral Ally. sent a team of very skilled Mountain stretcher-bearers to the
snowy Vosges Mountains of France:

“As snow keeps falling 4 teams of Norwegian skiers were sent here to help
for the transport of the wounded. Here there are, 16 young, strong, elegant, and
agile gentlemen, friends of France who even speak French! They jump to the rescue
of our wounded and freezing soldiers, cover them with warm blankets and rush them through heavy snow to the ambulances. We are already best friends with them.”

WW1 – Translated from the French @French officer Alpin and artist – Photo: WW1 Norwegian skier in
training in Gerardmer, Vosges Mountains, France. See the entire set of these awesome photos hereBibliothèque de documentation
internationale contemporaine


                                               “The Rainbow division comes to town”

‘February 18 1918 – At Pexonne
we took some of the eleven malades
who were waiting for us at the “poste de secours.” The
road from Vacqueville to Pexonne has been made a one-way road. All the roads
and towns are crowded as our Division is moving out to give the 42nd American Division (Rainbow) which is now at Baccarat
a chance in the lines.’

American ambulance driver’s diary in
Lorraine – The Compensation of War – Photo: the Rainbow division entering
Rolampont in Haute-Marne,140 km away from Baccarat. Occupation of Baccarat
100ans US Haute-Marne


                                                                “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

‘An old cat, member of our section, had two li…

‘An old cat, member of our section, had two
litters of kittens
and they were all grabbed up as
soon as weaned, by both officers and men alike! It is simply human nature to want to have a pet of some kind and as it’s
forbidden to take dogs into the lines, we’re turning to cats…’

Herbert McBride a WW1 Captain in the Indiana National Guard, also sniper and commander of a machine gun unit
known as the “Emma Gees.” – Photo: WW1 American members of a machine gun group pose with their
kittens. Antiques Photos from WW1, on Flickr

“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