PIERRE's PHOTO IMPRESSIONS of the WESTERN FRONT
1914-1918
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              Pierre Grande Guerre
              shows his
              photo impressions
              of his trips along
              the Western Front
              with his selfmade photo's,
              historic pictures,
              and maps.
              Few words,
              many pictures,
              and many links.
               
              Pierre
               
               
              Warning: Sometimes on the battlefield
              you will still find relics of explosives.
              All these shells, hand grenades, and
              mortar rounds can even nowadays still
              be very dangerous.
              Some of the artillery bombs may contain
              poison gas, which can cause severe
              blistering or worse injuries.
              In France it is by law forbidden to
              remove relics from the battlefield.
              So, it is for your own safety:
              take a picture of the steel harvest,
              but leave these relics untouched!
              ----------------------------------------------

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              Pierre is a Dutch member
              of the Canadian
              Central Ontario Branch
              of the Western Front
              Association,
              In 2015 awarded with
              a lifetime membership!
               
              And a member of:
               
               
              The Western Front
              Association Nederland
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              the backgrounds & causes
              of the First World War?
               
              Read my 5 illustrated pages:
               
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              Pierre is the author
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              "De Rode Duivels in de
              Vogezen - 1914-1915 -
              Een geïllustreerde
              reconstructie van de
              krijgsverrichtingen
              van het 152e
              Régiment d'Infanterie" 
               
               
               
              Klik  voor de details
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              ------------------------------
              -------------------------------------------
              LINKS TO THE SPECIAL

              PHOTO IMPRESSIONS

              NEW! Pierre's Illustrated

              Lecture "Verdun 1916" - (Dutch)

              Pierre's illustrated

              WFA-NL lectures:

              The Tactical Significance 

               of General Gaede - (Bilingual)

              The Difficult Start

              of the L.I.R. 123 - (Eng)

              De Moeizame Start van

              het L.I.R. 123 - (Dutch)

              De Rode Duivels

              op de Hartmannswillerkopf (Dutch)

              De Blauwe Duivels

              in de Vogezen (Dutch)

              Botchkareva en haar

              Vrouwenbataljon (Dutch)

              Mata Hari -

              Het Spionagedossier (Dutch)

              More Special

              Photo Impressions

              of the Western Front (English) 

              Armistice Clearing Compiègne

              Kaiser's Exile Huis Doorn

              Cambrai

              Fort de Mutzig - Feste Kaiser Wilhelm II

              Colmar and Hansi, the Illustrator 

              The Red Baron's Crash Site

              Canadian National Vimy Memorial

              SOMME 1918 The Australians

              Fricourt Archeological Excavations

              Traces of Bairnsfather  - Xmas Truce

              Yorkshire Trench and Dugout

              Bayernwald Trenches Inside 

              LINKS TO ALL
              BATTLEFIELD
              PHOTO IMPRESSIONS
              in the CORRECT SEQUENCE

              AISNE 

              Chemin des Dames part 1 

              Chemin des Dames part 2 - Dragon's Cave

              Chemin des Dames part 3     

              ALSACE LORRAINE

              The Gap of Charmes - La Trouée de C.

              Avricourt - Leintrey - Reillon - Montreux - Parux 

              Montreux German Front Walk

              The Battle of Morhange - 1914

              French Bunkers - Mnt. Grand Couronné 

              South of Metz - German Bunkers -

              Feste Wagner 

              ALSACE VOSGES NORTH

              Tête du Violu - Bernhardstein

              Chaume de Lusse - Haute de Faîte

              Bertrimoutier - Frapelle  

              Ban de Sapt - La Fontenelle

              Senones - la Roche Mère Henry

              Col de la Chipotte - de la Chapelotte

              The Donon - Bunkers - Dug-outs

              ALSACE VOSGES  

              Col du Bonhomme Col de Mandray

              Tête de Faux - Buchenkopf 

              Col du Wettstein - Schratzmännele

              Lingekopf - le Linge  

              Kleinkopf - Barrenkopf 

              Hohrodberg-Giragoutte-Trois Epis  

              Reichackerkopf  

              Munster Valley Petit Ballon  

              Le Tanet - Bichtstein - Villa Sidi-Brahim

              Route des Crêtes - Hohneck -

              Gr. Ballon - Sudelkopf 

              Hartmannswillerkopf - Vieil Armand  

              Guebwiller - Rimbach - Hirzstein  

              Moosch Nécropole Nationale  

              ALSACE SUNDGAU  

              Zillisheim Illfurth Largitzen Pfetterhouse 

              Burnhaupt-le-Bas Bunker Path     

              ARGONNE

              Mort Homme Côte 304

              Montfaucon- Romagne s/s Montfaucon

              Butte de Vauquois

              Haute Chevauchée

              The Bunker of the German Crownprince

              ARTOIS

              Illies - Wicres    

              Neuve Chapelle - Richebourg

              Aubers - 1915 

              Fromelles - 1916  

              Neuville-St. Vaast - Souchez

              Notre Dame de Lorette 

              Loos

              Arras Wellington Quarry

              Vimy Ridge

              Lichfield Crater

              CHAMPAGNE

              St. Hilaire le Grand Russian Cmty  Mont Navarin

              Sommepy Mont de Blanc Mont

              La Main des Massiges

              MARNE 

              Verberie Néry Villers Cotterêts  

              First Battle of the Marne   

              Belleau Wood - Château Thierry  

              Second Battle of the Marne

              SAINT MIHIEL

              Les Eparges Ridge

              Calonne Trenches Tranchée

              Fort de Troyon

              Apremont Forest Trenches

              Butte de Montsec

              Rémenauville Destroyed Village

              le Bois le Prêtre / das Priesterwald 

              SOMME British Sector

              SOMME INTRODUCTION

              Auchonvillers Trench

              Mine Craters Lochnagar Hawthorn

              Thiepval Memorial Mouquet Farm  

              Thiepval Wood - Ulster Tower

              Ovillers La Boiselle

              Hawthorn Ridge Beaumont Hamel

              Redan Ridge 

              Newfoundland Memorial Park  

              Serre Hébuterne 

              Sheffield Memorial Park Serre

              Gommecourt 

              Fricourt Deutsche Kriegsgräberstatte 

              Contalmaison 

              Mametz Wood 

              Trones Wood Montauban Guillemont

              Caterpillar Valley Longueval 

              High Wood Longueval

              Delville Wood Longueval

              Pozières  

              Martinpuich

              le Sars Butte de Warlencourt

              Flers Gueudecourt

              Adanac Canadian Cmty. Mireaumont

              SOMME French Sector 

              Bouchavesnes

              Rancourt Cimetière National

              Rancourt Deutscher Soldatenfriedhof

              Dompierre - Becquincourt Fay Soyécourt

              Flaucourt Biaches

              VERDUN

              VERDUN Citadel 

              Thiaumont - PC 118 & 119 - A 320

              Road To Fort Douaumont       

              Fort de Douaumont

              Douaumont Nécropole Nationale  

              Côte Froideterre - Les 4 Chéminées 

              Fort de Souville 

              Fort de Vaux 

              Tunnel de Tavannes Fort

              La Voie Sacrée

              Bois des Caures - Col. Driant's C.P. 

              Flabas German Reprisals Camp

              The German Camp Marguerre 

              Duzey German 380mm Artillery Base

              Destroyed Villages Bezonvaux - Ornes

              Azannes - Damvillers - La Grande Montagne 

              YPRES

              Menin Road Railway Wood

              Maple Copse - Hill 62 - Hooge

              Clapham Junction Zandvoorde Bunker

              Polygon Wood Zonnebeke

              Hill 60 - Hollebeke -

              St. Elooi - Lankhof Farm

              Messines Ridge

              Pilkem Ridge

              Boezinge Essex Farm Ziegler Bunker

              Langemark Poelkapelle St. Juliaan

              Passchendaele Ridge

              Mount Kemmel Lettenberg Bunkers

              Ploegsteert Wood

              YZER

              Nieuport Ramskapelle

              Pervijze  Stuijvekenskerke

              Diksmuide Trench of Death 

              Leke Vladslo Houthulst

              OTHER GREAT WAR LINKS

              Pierre's Nederlandstalige
              artikelen en columns
              over de Grote Oorlog
               
              (Copy & Paste de titel in de
              zoekmachine!) 
               
              Bochkareva en haar Vrouwenbataljon
              Bretonse Bécassine tijdens de Oorlog
              De Vanceboro Bridge Bomaanslag
              Beneath Hill 60
              Tijdreizen Op Internet
              Leutnant Von Forstner Koopt Chocolade
              Duitslands Oudste Oorlogsvrijwilliger
              Marcel's Bajonet
              Souvenir de Bezonvaux
              Namibië-Etnische Zuivering-1904-1908
              Het Beleg van Fort de Vaux
              Explosiecatastrofe In Fort Douaumont 
              Franse Aas der Azen: René Fonck
              Chasseurs Alpins, Franse Alpenjagers
              Prowse Point Cemetery
              Hoe Sgt. Kunze Fort Douaumont
                 veroverde op 25-02-1916.
              Frank Hurley: Fotoshoppen In 1917
              De Kaiserschlacht,
                 een beknopte samenvatting.
              Herdenking Op Douaumont 2008
              Wapenstilstand 1918 -90 Jaar Geleden
              Vijfde Lustrum WFA Nederland,
                 11-10-2008.
              Geur van Drukinkt
              De Vallei van Munster
              Der Rote Baron Versus Flyboys 
              De Fantomen van Landowski
              Louise de Bettignies -
                 Queen of English Spies
              Monument Op Vimy Ridge
              De Erewacht van
                 Notre Dame de Lorette
              Tank Tegen Tank 90 Jaar Terug
              Von Richthofen's Laatste Noodlanding
              Generaal Von Lettow Vorbeck
              Grafschennis Notre Dame de Lorette
              Google Earth 
              De Kaiserschlacht 90 Jaar Geleden 
              De Wolfsberg - le Hamel
              Overleden Veteranen
              Franse Sector Aan De Somme
              Kerstbestand 1914
              Raadselachtig Graf
              Caporetto; Kiem Van Fascisme
              Lenin's Treinreis
              Tsjechen Aan Het Westelijk Front
              Mata Hari
              325 Miljoen Voor 12 Zeppelins
              Slagvelden Van de Somme
              Schroot
              Op de Lingekopf
              Weinig Duitse Monumenten
                  Somme
              Soldaten Standbeelden
              Mosterdgas 1917
              Schwaben Redoubt
              Oogst Van Roest
              Mortier
              De Tekenaar Hansi
              Gifgas Bij Vancouver Corner
              Nationaliteit Kwijt?
              Beloond Geduld
              Prins Harry Naar Irak
              Thiepval
              De Arm Van De Kaiser
              Artilleriebunkers Nabij Duzey
              Kamp Flabas
              Eerherstel voor "Deserteurs"
              Vredig plekje?
              Moslimmonument in Verdun 
              Bayernwald
              De Slag aan de Somme
              De Tunnel van Tavannes
              Kapitein Joost van Vollenhoven
              Huis Doorn
              Update
                 “Raadselachtig Ansichtkaartje II
              Raadselachtig Ansichtkaartje I 

               

               












              Rancourt Deutscher Soldatenfriedhof
              Somme:
              French Sector

              Rancourt 

              part 2
               

              Deutscher
               
              Soldatenfriedhof
               

              year of visit: 2007.






               

              Other side west of the RN 17, along the narrow D 20,
              the German War Cemetery of Rancourt.

               
              View from the Deutscher Soldatenfriedhof Rancourt
              to the nearby French Cimetière Nationale at Rancourt.
               
               
               
              "IN THIS CEMETERY REST 11.422 GERMAN SOLDIERS - 1914-1918"
               
               
              Most of the burials share a grey stone cross with 4 names of killed soldiers,
              unlike the black painted metal crosses elsewhere on German cemeteries in the Somme sector.
               
               
              As always the German cemetery here is without any flowers.
               
               
              Most soldiers buried here, have fallen some few hundred meters from here to the east.
               
               
              There is also a modest and almost empty Memorial Chapel overseeing the Cemetery:
              "HERE REST GERMAN SOLDIERS 1914 -1918"
               
               
              At it's feet 18 plaques with lists of names, above a mass grave with the relics of  7.492 soldiers.
               
               
              As this sector of the front has been a battlefield 3 times, in 1914, in 1916, and in 1918, the names, ranks, and dates of the soldiers are from all periods of battles.
               
               
              View to the north ...
               
               
              View eastward from the Memorial Chapel over the cemetery.
               
               
              Grave of a Sergeant and a Corporal (Gefreiter), killed in different periods.
               
               
              These soldiers died in 1916 near Bouchavesnes.
              Their graves remind us of the fights,
              that were still going on in the small salient after the conquest of the village on 12 September.
               
               
               
               
              This Staff Sergeant (Vizefeldwebel) shares his grave with a woman.
              The appearance of a woman's name on a war grave is very exceptional.
              There is no date, perhaps September 1916? 
              I presume, Miss M. Leutfer was working as a nurse, ...
               
               
              ...like Christine Roller was on the German side of the front.
               
               
              Along the edge of  rows and columns of graves some stone plaques covering the graves of Soldiers, ....
               
               
              ... killed during the Allied counteroffensive in 1918.
               
               
              View from the cemetery to the village of Rancourt.
               
               
              A last view over the fields to the Chapel of the Cimetière Nationale of Rancourt.
               
               
              We continue to the French Sector, South of the Somme.
               
               
               Continue to the next chapter:

              Reacties

              Dirk Stiller op 21-04-2009 21:18
              Hi Pierre, stating as a German/Dutch-American hobby historian, your great and informative site is by far the best on the web that I found so far! It is simply stunning. Please keep it up, great sophisticated work!!
              By the way, I have an explanation why there are never flowers at those German cemeteries. It is not that the German people don't care. If the sites were inside German boundaries you would indeed find flowers there. It has to do with a certain hesitance of German visitors into France and Belgium, considering the shame (and perhaps embarrassment) of two world wars in the back of their minds in which their country was the aggressor. It is very different for the former allied countries, since the battlefields are solely located on their side, so no such feelings are experienced when visiting the battlefields.
              Best wishes and greetings for you out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida!
              PS.: My grandmother was born during the Battle of the Somme on September 25, 1916 in Budel, Holland.
              Pierre op 21-04-2009 21:57

              @ Dirk Stiller. Thank you, Dirk, for your praising words and interesting comments. I will keep up and extend this website in the summer of 2009. I do appreciate your comments about the reason for the lack of flowers on the German cemeteries. Still I am thinking; though the families of the fallen soldiers are too embarrassed to lay flowers, one would expect that the German Kriegsgräberfürsorge would plant some flowers on the cemeteries. Is there perhapsanother official reason for the lack of planted flowers, Dirk?

              Pierre

              Dirk Stiller op 23-04-2009 02:51
              Pierre, you're more than welcome. Me, spending hours at your site means you are doing a great educational job. Not that I am a rookie of that war. What fascinates me is the details and your tremendous efforts to get this much work done, helping all of us WW-historians to refine our knowledge.
              Regarding the Kriegsgräberfürsorge, as far as I remember from my time in Germany, they are only responsible for maintenance and repair of the cemeteries. Laying flowers, candles and notes would be still up to the families and surviving comrades.
              Further does the organization rely on donations and volunteer personnel, I reckon, and as the years went by, its financial means, as well as the number of personnel gradually decreased, as family members (and all those having memories of the fallen soldiers) were (and are) dying out.
              My best regards, Dirk
                
              Pierre op 23-04-2009 11:45

              @ Dirk Stiller. Thank you, Dirk, for your elaborate answer. You wrote:

              "Regarding the Kriegsgräberfürsorge, as far as I remember from my time in Germany, they are only responsible for maintenance and repair of the cemeteries."

              So, this is an important difference with for example the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, which does spent also a lot of money on maintaining the flower-rich "English gardens", which are often have been the model for the design of the British cemeteries.

              As I understand you well, Dirk, the lack of flowers in the German cemeteries has nothing to do with a kind of punishment of the victors or with being one of the results of the Treaty of Versailles, to keep the German cemeteries as sober as possible? I may conclude from your words, Dirk, that it is the Kriegsgräberfürsorge itself, that chooses for such a sober maintenance without hardly planting any flowers.

              Thanks again for your interesting reply!

              Pierre

              Dirk Stiller op 23-04-2009 18:02
              That's right, Pierre, indeed the German people, including the Kriegsgräberfürsorge, followed the overall trend in post-WWII-Germany,   "Nie weider Krieg!", conforming with ("Never, ever war again!"). Therefore, nobody even considers to display anything that reminds the world of  "German heroism" regarding their country's troubled history, while considering that many of those fallen soldiers have planned and/or committed the most heinous wartime atrocities mankind has ever seen before and after.
              To me, this is the very reason. It is also a total example of what great consequences a war can cause. It has reversed the mind-set of the German people from militarism to its polar opponent, rather pacifism. There is even the Article 26 in the  1949 constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany that states clearly:
              "Any acts capable of, and intended to disrupt the peaceful coexistence of nations; especially planning warfare of aggression, are unconstititional and will result in penalty."
              And this anti-war trend lives on: when US-President Bush called for the "war on terror" in 2001, Germany was one of the first NATO-countries to refuse a direct involvement.
              See, Pierre, I lived 20 years in Germany, while I never stopped studying the history of mankind and its ever-present scourge: war. Ironically, if it wasn't for the dooming presence of weapons of mass destruction, such as nuclear weapons, a global conflict would have had occurred already again as early as the 1960's.
              This is why I find your website more than just interesting, it is a mere reminder for us humans that we shall not "continue politics by different means". Your site shows clearly that an entire region was changed forever, even though WWI took place almost a century ago.
              You are helping anyone visiting your site to understand how important it is to avoid war by simply displaying its true face - and its long-term (and never foreseeable) aftermath.
              Pacem facere!
              Warmest regards, Dirk
              Pierre op 24-04-2009 12:38

              @ Dirk Stiller. With satisfaction I notice, that you have been reading more on my website than only my photo pages, Dirk. Amongst others you wrote:

              "(…)it is a mere reminder for us humans that we shall not "continue politics by different means". Your site shows clearly that an entire region was changed forever, even though WWI took place almost a century ago. You are helping anyone visiting your site to understand how important it is to avoid war by simply displaying its true face - and its long-term (and never foreseeable) aftermath.(…)"

              I could not have expressed better the intention of my website, Dirk. I am glad, that you get down to the core of my message: not only sharing my passion for the Western Front and it's period, but also showing "politics by different means", so war, will not bring anything positive at all to it's participants.

              Let us make peace, as you wrote in Latin, Dirk, not war. Thanks again for this interesting dialogue.

              Pierre

              Dirk Stiller op 26-04-2009 19:05
              Oh, wow, I haven't seen those other comments yet, Pierre! Even though I have browsed through a lot on your site, I haven't read them yet; where are they? This would be very interesting to me.
              By the way, for some reason I knew your message, that's why I mentioned it from my own point of view. I also have a great passion for for the Western Front of WW I. And why? Because it was the very front that changed the world. If it wasn't for that particular stalemate which took place, the war would have been decided within weeks, as it was anticipated at its prelude as well as its beginning. And if it was, the world would have still looked at war with different eyes afterward. It would have been seen by the public as heroic, swift, and "sweet", just as the Franco-Prussian War in 1870-71 appeared to be to the Germans. Instead, it turned out to be called the "war to end all wars". For the first time ever, there were soldiers suffering the so-called "shell shock", a totally unknown symptom of war until then. Actually it turned out to be the first "total" war in the history of mankind. Britain still holds the sad and overall record of 20,000 men killed within a single day, still unbeaten by neither Stalingrad, nor D-Day during WW II. Indeed, during WWII, there were more people killed, thanks to advanced war technology, which actually in turn did not allow any such stalemates as in WW I.
              And great altogether, Pierre, is that you mention the relationship between those two wars, this is very true. WW II is indeed nothing but a continuation of the Great War. As France wanted her "revanche" for the 1870-71 war, so Germany wanted just the same after the Treaty of Versailles. It happened to be an ill dictator in order to try to archive such a goal; plunging Europe into just another (and actually pretty much the same) struggle for supremacy of power.
              Your phrase "interbellum" is truly what it stands for, a time in between war.
              The issues that started the Great War in 1914 have still never really been solved, and even nowadays we struggle greatly to take care of them, just look at former Yugoslavia and the Middle East. The Great War and all its causes still linger like the Sword of  Damocles over the world of today, as we can see in the results of September 11, 2001.
              Unfortunately, watching the events of its aftermath, it brings me sometimes back to 1914 and before, with  quite a similar readiness for war, especially in my country, the USA or in the Middle East, to unleash yet another violent struggle, namely that of religion. More and more people turn to their religion in order to condemn the other.
              May the existence of weapons of mass destruction just prevent this from happening, like it ever did after WW II.
              Pierre, this tendency in the world of today makes your website even more important; if I was still in Europe, I would keep you in company with all the efforts you are doing, and as well as the peaceful message you are sending out to the people to use their brains in order to seek good judgement.
              To you dear greetings, Dirk


              Pierre op 27-04-2009 12:39
              @ Dirk Stiller. Excuse me, Dirk, I got the wrong impression about you having read also my other more text filled pages, like for instance "The Historical Importance of World War 1" or my quote of von Clausewitz in "The Globalization of War" in my series of pages "World War 1 for Rookies".
              Also in my hardly read "Prophile" I wrote:
              "The content of this site is not meant to glorify war and warfare!On the contrary, it is an impression of silent witnesses and fields of the needless and stupid bloodshed of both belligerent parties during this war."

              I know that some of my more curious guests do use the Google translation service to read my (now 62) Dutch articles about topics concerning the Great War in "Pierre's Dutch Articles".

              So, Dirk, I thought (wrongly), that you have been referring to these phrases and articles. It is not important at all, because you already did get the core of my message in between the lines and the photo's.

              Anyway, we share together our viewpoints about the influence the Franco-Prussian war on the outbreak of WW1, and the tight connection between WW1 and WW2. We also share the opinion that conflicts of today in the Middle East and in former Yugoslavia are rooted in the period of the Great War, and of course earlier.

              I will continue expanding my website in the near future. Thanks again for your encouraging words, Dirk.

              Pierre

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