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A Swiss postcard of 'The European War' in 1914. The Central Powers of Germany and Austria-Hungary face enemies to the east, west, and south. Germany is fighting the war it tried to avoid, battling Russia to the east and France to the west. Germany had also hoped to avoid fighting England which came to the aid of neutral (and prostrate) Belgium, and straddles the Channel. Austria-Hungary also fights on two fronts, against Russia to the east and Serbia and Montenegro to the south. Italy, the third member of the Triple Alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary, declared neutrality, and looks on. Other neutral nations include Spain, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Romania, Bulgaria, and Albania. Japan enters from the east to battle Germany. The German Fleet stays close to port in the North and Baltic Seas while a German Zeppelin targets England. The Austro-Hungarian Fleet keeps watch in the Adriatic. Turkey is not represented, and entered the war at the end of October, 1914; Italy in late May, 1915.
Text:
Der Europäische Krieg
The European War
Reverse:
Kriegskarte No. 61. Verlag K. Essig, Basel
Kunstanstalt (Art Institute) Frobenius A.G. Basel

A Swiss postcard of 'The European War' in 1914. The Central Powers of Germany and Austria-Hungary face enemies to the east, west, and south. Germany is fighting the war it tried to avoid, battling Russia to the east and France to the west. Germany had also hoped to avoid fighting England which came to the aid of neutral (and prostrate) Belgium, and straddles the Channel. Austria-Hungary also fights on two fronts, against Russia to the east and Serbia and Montenegro to the south. Italy, the third member of the Triple Alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary, declared neutrality, and looks on. Other neutral nations include Spain, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Romania, Bulgaria, and Albania. Japan enters from the east to battle Germany. The German Fleet stays close to port in the North and Baltic Seas while a German Zeppelin targets England. The Austro-Hungarian Fleet keeps watch in the Adriatic. Turkey is not represented, and entered the war at the end of October, 1914; Italy in late May, 1915.

Image text: Der Europäische Krieg

The European War

Reverse:

Kriegskarte No. 61. Verlag K. Essig, Basel

Kunstanstalt (Art Institute) Frobenius A.G. Basel

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Mounted reserves fording a stream on their way to Verdun, a photo from the archives of the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Daily News. The back of the photo is stamped Oct — 3 1916. A hand-written note indicates it would cover two columns on the home page.
Text:
Stamp: Oct — 3 1916
Affixed clipping:
Reserves on way to Verdun
The sector around Verdun still continues to be the scene of terrific fighting. Both the French and the Prussians continue in their attacks, and as a result troops are constantly being sent to take the places of fallen comrades.
Hand-written:
2 col
Home Edition

Mounted reserves fording a stream on their way to Verdun, a photo from the archives of the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Daily News. The back of the photo is stamped Oct — 3 1916. A hand-written note indicates it would cover two columns on the home page.

Image text: Reverse:

Stamp: Oct — 3 1916

Affixed clipping:

Reserves on way to Verdun

The sector around Verdun still continues to be the scene of terrific fighting. Both the French and the Prussians continue in their attacks, and as a result troops are constantly being sent to take the places of fallen comrades.

Hand-written:

2 col

Home Edition

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Easter greetings from the front, 1917. Original watercolor by Karl Schmit(?) postmarked March 31, 1917. Easter fell on April 8, 1917. A window shows a bare tree with hills in the distance.

Text:
Ostergrüsse aus dem Felde
Easter greetings from the front

Reverse:
Field postmarked March 31, 1917

Easter greetings from the front, 1917. Original watercolor by Karl Schmit(?) postmarked March 31, 1917. Easter fell on April 8, 1917.

Image text: Ostergrüsse aus dem Felde

Easter greetings from the front



Reverse:

Absender (sender) . . . Karl Schmidt

Field postmarked March 31, 1917

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Sanke postcard of German ace and recipient of the Pour le Mérite Leutnant Wilhelm Frankl. With the death of Oswald Bölcke on October 28, 1917, Frankl became Germany's leading ace. On April 6, 1917 he downed three enemy planes. Two days later, on Easter Sunday April 8 he was killed in combat with a total of 20 victories. A German Jew who converted to Christianity when he married, Frankl was expunged from the records of recipients of the Pour le Mérite by the Nazis. The medal is beneath his collar. He had also been awarded the Iron Cross, on his left breast, and the House Order of Hohenzollern beneath it.
Text:
Unser erfolgreicher Kampf-Flieger Leutnant Frankl.
Our successful fighter pilot Lieutenant Frankl
384 Postkartenvertrieb W. Sanke
Berlin 17

Sanke postcard of German ace and recipient of the Pour le Mérite Leutnant Wilhelm Frankl. With the death of Oswald Bölcke on October 28, 1917, Frankl became Germany's leading ace. On April 6, 1917 he downed three enemy planes. Two days later, on Easter Sunday April 8 he was killed in combat with a total of 20 victories. A German Jew who converted to Christianity when he married, Frankl was expunged from the records of recipients of the Pour le Mérite by the Nazis. The medal is beneath his collar. He had also been awarded the Iron Cross, on his left breast, and the House Order of Hohenzollern beneath it.

Image text: Unser erfolgreicher Kampf-Flieger Leutnant Frankl.



Our successful fighter pilot Lieutenant Frankl



384

Postkartenvertrieb W. Sanke

Berlin 17

Other views: Larger


The Portuguese Expeditionary Force in France. The first battalion heading to the trenches.
Text:
Os Portugueses em França; Primeiro batalhão a caminho da frente.
Les Portugais en France; Le premier balaillon en route vers les tranchees.
The Portuguese in France; The first batallion on their way to the trenches.
Reverse:
Serv. Phot. do C. E P. - Phot. Garcez
Lévy Fils & Cie. Paris

The Portuguese Expeditionary Force in France. The first battalion heading to the trenches.

Image text: Os Portugueses em França; Primeiro batalhão a caminho da frente.



Les Portugais en France; Le premier balaillon en route vers les tranchees.



The Portuguese in France; The first batallion on their way to the trenches.



Reverse:

Serv. Phot. do C. E P. - Phot. Garcez

Lévy Fils & Cie. Paris

Other views: Larger

Thursday, April 8, 1915

"Night had fallen once more, a night bringing thaw, the sky livid and heavy with clouds; slabs of snow saturated with water hung dripping from the tall trees like the linen of some giant washing-day, or crashed to the ground with a muffled thud like peaches bursting where they fell; rivulets of water trickled everywhere; the earth seemed to have been taken under some mysterious and mighty wing, bringer of warm air and sounds of stirring, and over everything hung a kind of anguish as if something was being born or dying.

At the dark mouth of the pear-tree fork, the little white shirtfront had appeared like a silent snowfall from a higher branch, and picking her way slowly, Fuseline came to the ground."
((1), more)

Saturday, April 8, 1916

"On April 8 [1916], a big maneuver took place on the Crécy battlefield. I don't know if they wanted to re-create the to-and-fros of the [medieval] battle, but we spent all day tangled up in the forest, tramping through dense thickets, our faces lashed by branches and our legs scratched by brambles.

At a crossroads I witnessed an altercation between Captain Cros-Mayrevieille and Lieutenant Cordier, commander of the 14th Company. I caught these words on the fly.

Captain: 'I gave you this order.'

Cordier: 'No, you didn't. You're lying.'

Captain: 'Watch your language.'

Cordier: 'What? Watch my language? Watch how I knock your glasses off your nose!'

Captain Cros was particularly fond of his glasses, and even fonder of the nose which held them on his face, because he quickly sped off on horseback, to the great joy of all who were watching."
((2), more)

Sunday, April 8, 1917

"April 8 [1917] (Easter Sunday)

Left Saulty 9 a.m., reached Basseux 11.30 (about eleven kilometres south-west of Arras). Until recently this place was only a mile or two from the line, but it doesn't appear to have been shelled. We are living in a dismantled château which must have been quite nice before the war. I am sitting with my feet out of the window of an attic under the roof, looking down on the courtyard where some officers are playing cricket with a stump and a wooden ball, and a brazier for a wicket. Glorious sunshine and pigeons flying about over the red and grey roofs. A little grey church with a pointed tower a hundred yards down the street. Three balloons visible, and the usual confused noise of guns from Arras."
((3), more)

Sunday, April 8, 1917

"In February, 1917, [Wilhelm] Frankl became the acting commander of Jasta 4, which he led until his death. As leader of Jasta 4, he scored his 16th victory, but was once again transferred to the test command. Near the end of March, 1917, Frankl returned to action, and on the 6th of April, was at the peak of his flying career when he succeeded in downing three enemy aircraft during one day. Unfortunately, he met his demise two days later, over Vitry-Sailly. By a strange twist of fate, the date was on Easter Sunday, April, 1917." ((4), more)

Monday, April 8, 1918

"General Foch's superb strategy had enabled the wearied armies of Britain and France, though outnumbered two to one, to halt the first German drive toward the Channel Ports in the vital sector between Montdidier and the Luce River on April 5, 1918.

The Germans paused two days to catch their breath and spy out a more vulnerable point of attack in the Allied line. They found it further north in the 20-mile sector lying between La Bassee and Ypres, which had been depleted by the withdrawal of 100,000 men to assist in checking the German drive south of the Somme.

Of the remaining nine divisions defending this sector, eight were at the point of exhaustion from the strain of the retreat from St. Quentin. In truth, one of the Portuguese divisions already had been sent to the rear to recuperate and the other was preparing to leave for the rear when the Germans made their new thrust in the Valley of the Lys."
((5), more)

Quotation contexts and source information

Thursday, April 8, 1915

(1) Extract from De Goupil à Margot, by French writer Louis Pergaud, translated by Siân Reynolds. Fusiline, 'the white shirtfront,' is a beech or stone marten, and has survived through the winter by, in part, raiding a hen house, and slaying all the hens. She has since found a single egg in the same spot each night. On this night, leaping for the egg, one of her forepaws is caught in a steel trap. In pain, fear, and desperation, expecting a man to appear to shoot her, she breaks her leg and bites through the flesh to escape, leaving her paw.

Leading an attack in Lorraine on the night of April 7-8, 1915, Pergaud was caught in German barbed wire, shot in the foot, and taken prisoner. On the morning of the 8th he was given medical treatment and held with other French wounded. A French artillery barrage killed him and his wounded comrades.

The Lost Voices of World War I, An International Anthology of Writers, Poets and Playwrights by Tim Cross, page 285, copyright © 1989 by The University of Iowa, publisher: University of Iowa Press, publication date: 1989

Saturday, April 8, 1916

(2) Excerpt from the Notebooks of French Infantry Corporal Louis Barthas whose unit was behind the lines in Crécy-en-Ponthieu in Picardy, northern France. The Battle of Crécy fought there in 1346 was an English victory over the French during the Hundred Years War. Captain Cros tried to strip Barthas of his corporal's stripes, in part because of his strong socialist views, but Barthas appealed to his commander, Colonel Douce. After meeting with Barthas and reading his appeal, Douce ordered Cros to reinstate Barthas to his corporal's rank.

Poilu: The World War I Notebooks of Corporal Louis Barthas, Barrelmaker, 1914-1918 by Louis Barthas, pp. 180, 181, copyright © 2014 by Yale University, publisher: Yale University Press, publication date: 2014

Sunday, April 8, 1917

(3) Diary entry for April 8, 1917, of Siegfried Sassoon, British poet, author, Second Lieutenant in the Royal Welch Fusiliers, and recipient of the Military Cross for gallantry in action. Sassoon's battalion was held in reserve for the Arras Offensive. The preparatory bombardment was in progress as he wrote.

Siegfried Sassoon Diaries 1915-1918 by Siegfried Sassoon, page 152, copyright © George Sassoon, 1983; Introduction and Notes Rupert Hart-Davis, 1983, publisher: Faber and Faber, publication date: 1983

Sunday, April 8, 1917

(4) With the death of Oswald Bölcke on October 28th, 1917, German ace and recipient of the Pour le Mérite (the Blue Max) Leutnant Wilhelm Frankl became Germany's leading ace. He led Jasta 4 from February, 1917 until his death two months later. On April 6, 1917 Frankl downed three enemy planes. Two days later, on Easter Sunday, as the British prepared to launch the Arras Offensive, he was killed in combat with a total of 20 victories. He was twenty-three. A German Jew who converted to Christianity when he married, Frankl omitted from a 1938 German history of recipients of the Pour le Mérite. The Luftwaffe named a barracks after him in 1973. 'Vitry-Sailly' are the adjacent villages of Vitry-en-Artois and Sailly-en-Ostrevent, east of Arras, France.

The Jew with the Blue Max by Heinz Joachim Nowarra, page 7, copyright © John W. Caler 1967, publisher: Aeronautica John W. Caler, publication date: 1967

Monday, April 8, 1918

(5) German commander Erich Ludendorff launched his great offensive of 1918, Operation Michael, on March 21. Although it drove the British forces from hundreds of square miles of territory, it did not achieve the breakthrough and splitting of the Allied armies Ludendorff sought. Trying again, he turned to a previously rejected plan, to attack on the Lys River along the Franco-Belgian border. Portugal joined the Entente Allies in 1916, and its troops, the Portuguese Expeditionary Force, took up positions in 1917. They would be the first victims of Operation Georgette.

King's Complete History of the World War by W.C. King, page 415, copyright © 1922, by W.C. King, publisher: The History Associates, publication date: 1922