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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              of the First World War?
               
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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 

               

               












              Vimy Ridge
               
              Artois:
               
               
              Vimy Ridge
               
              year of visit: 2005 - 2008. 
               
              Between Lens and Arras, along the A 26, the "Autoroute des Anglais":
              Vimy Ridge, centrepoint of the Battle of Arras, 9 - 12 April 1917.
               
              During the Second Battle of Artois (9-15 May 1915), the French 1st Moroccan Division managed to take possession of the ridge, after an astonishing 4 km advance, but the Division was unable to maintain the ridge, due to a lack of reinforcements, and consequently suffered heavy losses.
               
               
              The French suffered approximately 150.000 casualties in their attempts to gain control of Vimy Ridge and surrounding territory. Following the Third Battle of Artois (or the Battle of Loos (September 1915)) the Vimy sector became calm for a period of time.
               
               
              At Vimy and as on other former battlefields,
              the fields are still full of unexploded explosives.
               
                
              Visitors are warned not to walk outside the marked pathways.
               
               
              The hill and it's barren slopes provided little cover
              for attacking troops, ...
               
               
              .. and it was an ideal position for machine guns and artillery
              to fire on ennemy invaders.
              (Satellite photo of the same spot:. Notice the shellhole traces)
               
               
              The Germans conquered Vimy Ridge in October 1914, during the First Battle of Artois. Situated 8 km northeast of Arras, the ridge is approximately 7 km in length with a height of 145 m. (Hill 145), providing a natural panorama view for tens of kilometers. The German Sixth Army had heavily fortified the ridge with tunnels, three rows of trenches behind barbed wire networks, artillery, and numerous machine gun nests to protect the Lens coal mines, which were essential to their war efforts.
               
              Vimy Ridge was defended by the Gruppe Vimy, a formation under 1st Bavarian Army Corps Commander General Karl von Fasbender. A Division of Gruppe Souchez, under 8th Reserve Corps of General Georg Karl Wichura, was also involved in the front line defence along the most northern point of the Ridge: the Pimple.
               
              The Vimy Ridge Canadian National Memorial at Hill 145.
              In 2005 it was under construction of renovations.
               
               
              We visited the renovated monument in May 2008.
              Click HERE for a Special Impression about
              the Vimy Canadian National Memorial.
               
              For now two views of the renovated
              Memorial at Hill 145 of May 2008.
              Rear side, west.
               
               
              Front, east side.
               
               
              Traces of trenches and shell holes on the western slope
              of Hill 145.
               
               
               
              The Arras-Vimy sector was conducive to tunnel excavation owing to the soft, porous yet extremely stable nature of the chalk underground. As a result, an underground warfare had been an important feature of the Vimy sector since 1915, with no less than 19 distinct mine crater groups existing along the Canadian front by 1917. Since their arrival in 1916, British Royal Engineer Tunnelling Companies had been active with offensive mining against German miners with 5 Tunnelling Companies stationed along the Vimy front at the height of the operations.
              In preparation for the assault, British Tunnelling Companies, with the assistance of Canadian Engineers and infantry, created extensive underground networks and fortifications. Twelve subways, up to 1.2 km in length (the “Goodman” Subway), were excavated at a depth of 10 meters. The subways connected reserve lines to front lines, permitting soldiers to advance to the front quickly, securely, and most important; unseen. Concealed light rail lines, hospitals, command posts, water reservoirs, ammunition stores, mortar posts, machine gun posts, and communication centres were also often excavated in the subways. Many subways were also lit by electricity provided by generators.
              Thirteen mines were also laid under German positions, particularly near the Pimple and the Broadmarsh Crater, with the intention of destroying fortified points before to the assault.
               
              We went to visit...
               
               
              ... the preserved and restaurated trench system down Hill 145.
               
               
              Before we go on: some concise information
              about the Battle for Vimy Ridge from 9 until 12 April 1917.
               
               
              On 5 January 1917 General Byng was ordered to plan attacks for Vimy Ridge as the Canadian Corps objective for the Arras Offensive. A formal assault plan was adopted by early March 1917. For the first time, all four Canadian Divisions were to be assembled to operate in combat as one Corps. Four Canadian Divisions were joined by the British 5th Infantry Division, and reinforced by artillery, engineers, and labour units. This brought the Canadian Corps nominal strength up to 170,000 men of all ranks, of whom 97,184 were Canadians.
               
               
               
              Allied commanders believed it impossible to capture the ridge. The Canadians had a plan. The ground assault had been planned meticulously. Full-scale replicas of the Vimy terrain were built to rehearse. Five kilometres of subterranean tunnels and subways were dug in order to move Canadian troops and ammunition up to the front without their being seen by German observers.
               On 2 April 1917, an artillery bombardment of 7 days ahead with 2.800 guns was stepped up to wear down the German soldiers. Before the battle began, more than one million shells had been fired into German trenches.
               
               
               
              In the morning of 9 April, Eastern Monday, at 5.30 AM, 20.000 Canadian soldiers attacked in the first wave of fighting in the battle of Vimy Ridge behind an creeping barrage of artillery fire. The Canadians were extremely fast and successful and took the ridge by afternoon.
               
               
              Germans surrendering to the Canadian troops...
               
               
               
              The Germans were rather surprised. The did expect an attack.
              But they presumed the start of the large offensive would take another 2 or 3 weeks.
               
               
               
              In the next 4 days the Canadian Corps achieved all of it’s objectives. In 4 days, there were 10.602 Canadian casualties, of which 3.598 Canadian soldiers died. The German forces suffered even more heavily: 20.000 casualties. But the ridge was taken, much of it in the first day. 
               
               
              Some newspaper sheets of the period.
               
               

              Aerial view from Vimy Ridge after the battle.

               
               
              We visited the trenches,
              which the Canadian Ministry of Veteran Affairs preserved along
              the Grange Group Mine Craters southeast of the Memorial.
               
               
              A sattelite photo of the site.
              Left the Canadian 1st Line, right the German 1st Line.
               
               
              We start at the Canadian 1st Line first.
               
               
              Not many words from here now.
              Let the photo's tell their own story...
               
               
               
              Armoured plate for a sniper rifle hole.
               
               
              View at the Grange Group Mine Craters
              from the Canadian Parapet.
               
               
              View at the German line on the other side of the crater lip.
               
               
              Notice the German pillbox on the right for later.
               
               
               
              View at the mine crater group.
               
               
              We went around the crater lip to the German Lines.
               
               
              The German 1st Line.
               
               
              View from the German 1st Line over the craters
              to the Canadian 1st line.
               
               
               
              Zizagging German trenches.
               
               
              This looks like a relic of a German 17 cm trench mortar.
               
               
              German machine gun pillbox.
               
               
              West of the German lines: traces of trenches, shellholes,
              and minecraters.
               
               
              With warm compliments and gratitude
              to the Canadian Hostesses and Hosts of the Memorial!
               
               
               
               Continue to the next chapter:
              Visit also the website of the COBWFA:


              Reacties

              stijn op 23-06-2008 21:09
              Verry nice photographs Pierre! It's a great monument!
              Pierre op 24-06-2008 20:19
              @ Stijn. Thanks a lot, Mate!
               
              Pierre
              ben vd heiden op 11-07-2008 08:49
              Als ik het zie krijg ik weer kriebels, Moet er vlug weer eens heen.
              Niet in de ondergrondse gangen geweest Pierre?
               
              Ben
              Pierre op 11-07-2008 12:06
              @ Ben. Quote: "Niet in de ondergrondse gangen geweest Pierre?"
               
              Helaas, Ben, was die dag de ingang naar de Grange tunnel versperd door onderhoudswerkzaamheden. Had ik voor de tweede keer pech! Het is er nog steeds niet van gekomen.
               
              Pierre
              Stijn op 13-11-2008 17:59
              Ik ben er in geweest in de gangen, prachtige ervaring zou ik zeggen! En als je tijdens de vakantie gaat staan er jonge canadezen om je tebegleiden in de tunnels. Je kan daar in ook hun vondsten zien, niet dat het veel is maar leuk om te zien.
               
              Toen ik zei dat ik van St-Juliaan was wisten ze wel direct dat ze daar een monument staan hebben.
               
               
              Vimy vind ik toch één van de mooiste monumenten ooit.
               
              Grtz,
               
              Stijn
               
              Pierre op 13-11-2008 20:17
              @ Stijn. Hey, Stijn! Dat moet inderdaad een mooie ervaring zijn geweest, Stijn! Toen ik dit jaar eindelijk bij de tunnel daar stond, was deze "closed for maintenance", evenals in 2005. Arghhhh!
              Die supervriendelijke en behulpzame , jonge Canadase studentenstaan er ook al in het voorseizoen. In Canada, zo heb ik mij laten vertellen, is dit een begerige erebaan, waar de studenten alle moeite doen om een plaats zoals in Vimy of het Newfoundland Mem. Park in Beaumont Hamel te krijgen.
               
              Wat betreft de schoonheid van dit WO1-monument deel ik jouw mening.
               
              Leuk , datje weer eens langs bent gekomen , Stijn! En bedankt voor jouw berichtje.
               
              Pierre
               
              Stijn op 14-11-2008 19:18
              Ooh graag gedaan Pierre!! :) :)
               
              Hopelijk geraak je er ooit eens in Pierre!!!!
               
              Grtz,
               
              Stijn
              JS op 10-03-2009 13:19
              This does not look like 'a relic of a German waterpump' but the remains of a German trench mortar (judging by the photo probably 17cm).
              Pierre op 10-03-2009 17:08
              @ JS. Thank you for your sharp observation, JS. I have always doubted about this. I will change the text at once.
              I leave here a period picture of a German 17 cm "Minenwerfer", this time not on a plate but on wheels.
              Thanks again, JS, and a lot of success with your Western Front Museum.
               
              Pierre
               

              Gordon Gilhooly op 23-02-2010 05:11
              Excellent web site pierre, spent most of this evening and havent even touched the whole thing. Will recomend my frends visit for sure. You have spent a lot of time doing this site. Thank you. Could never visit it all like you have. So large a topic. Visited for 1 week back in the late 80's and just skimmed around a few sites. Not like you that has spent so much time and energy on this . Thank you very much Gord G. Feb 22 2010.
              Pierre op 23-02-2010 11:37
              @ Gordon G. Thank you, Gordon for your flattering words. Indeed it is a lot of work to make this website, but I do it with a lot of pleasure. Thank you also for spreading the word about this website among your friends. In July you may expect more extensions with photo’s on this website. I do realise, it is all too much to visit in one evening. I do hope that you will return one day for another visit to see the rest of my website.
              Thanks again , Gordon!
               
              Pierre
              Ben vd Heiden op 02-04-2012 11:28
              Altijd goed om er aan herinnerd teworden, dank u wel facebook.
              Vimy een plaats waar ik graag ben en rond wandel, kom er dan ook regelmatig.
              Misschien ook leuk om teweten, op aanvraag bij de receptie kan je met een gids de ondergrondsegangen in, Er is een kleingedeelte toegangkelijk gemaakt voor publiek. Hoorde daar ook dat er onder de parking nog een flinke mijn moest liggen.
              Petit Vimy is er ook vlakbij.
              Bedankt weer Pierre
              Pierre op 02-04-2012 23:39
              @ Ben vd Heiden. En mijn onder de parkeerplaats op Vimy Ridge, bEn?!
              Dan parkeer ik voortaan de auto wel een beetje verderop en ga ik wel een stukje langer lopen.
               
              Jij ook weer bedankt, Ben, voor jouw berichtje hier!
               
              Pierre
              Domeinregistratie en hosting via mijndomein.nl