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Wooden cigarette box carved by Г. САВИНСКИ (?; G. Savinskiy), a Russian POW. The Grim Reaper strides across a field of skulls on the cover. The base includes an intricate carving of the years of war years, '1914' and, turning it 90 degrees, '1918.'
Text:
ПДМЯТЬ ВОИНЬ 1914-18
To memory of soldiers 1914-18
Reverse:
1914
1918
Г. САВИНСКИ (?)
G. Savinskaya

Wooden cigarette box carved by Г. САВИНСКИ (?; G. Savinskiy), a Russian POW. The Grim Reaper strides across a field of skulls on the cover. The base includes an intricate carving of the years of war years, '1914' and, turning it 90 degrees, '1918.'

German postcard map of the Western Front in Flanders, looking south and including Lille, Arras, Calais, and Ostend. In the Battle of the Yser in October, 1914, the Belgian Army held the territory south of the Yser Canal, visible between Nieuport, Dixmude, and Ypres (Ypern). Further north is Passchendaele, which British forces took at great cost in 1917.
Text:
Der Kanal
Straße von Calais
The English Channel and the Strait of Calais
Reverse:
Panorama des westlichen Kriegsschauplatzes 1914/15 Von Arras bis Ostende.
Die Panorama-Postkartenreihe umfaßt mit ihren 9 Abschnitten Nr. 400 bis 408 den gesamten westlichen Kriegsschauplatz von der Schweizer Grenze bis zur Nordseeküste.
Panorama of the western theater of operations 1914/15 from Arras to Ostend. The panoramic postcard series includes nine sections, with their No. 400-408 the entire western battlefield from the Swiss border to the North Sea coast.
Nr. 408
Wenau-Postkarte Patentamtl. gesch.

German postcard map of the Western Front in Flanders, looking south and including Lille, Arras, Calais, and Ostend. In the Battle of the Yser in October, 1914, the Belgian Army held the territory south of the Yser Canal, visible between Nieuport, Dixmude, and Ypres (Ypern). Further north is Passchendaele, which British forces took at great cost in 1917.

Children dressed as Allied soldiers run to bring the New Year, 1916. France carries the 1, the United Kingdom (in a kilt) and Belgium — his national roundel on his hat — the 9, Serbia and Russia the 1 of the decade, and Italy the 6. Japan, bearing a flag, hurries to catch up. A folding calendar card for 1916 by G. Bertrand.
Reverse: the calendar for 1916
Inside:
With best wishes for a happy Christmas with love from Wallis

Children dressed as Allied soldiers run to bring the New Year, 1916. France carries the 1, the United Kingdom (in a kilt) and Belgium — his national roundel on his hat — the 9, Serbia and Russia the 1 of the decade, and Italy the 6. Japan, bearing a flag, hurries to catch up. A folding calendar card for 1916 by G. Bertrand.
Reverse: the calendar for 1916
Inside:
With best wishes for a happy Christmas with love from Wallis

Photograph of the Russian monk Grigory Rasputin from The War of the Nations Portfolio in Rotogravure Etchings Compiled from the Mid-Week Pictorial. Tsar Nicholas of Russia and his wife were introduced to Rasputin in 1907. According to Maurice Paléologue, French Ambassador to Russia, Rasputin, 'wheedled them, dazzled them, dominated them.'
Text:
Gregory Rasputin, the charlatan who was the evil genius of the Russian Court and was assassinated in December, 1916.

Photograph of the Russian monk Grigory Rasputin from The War of the Nations Portfolio in Rotogravure Etchings Compiled from the Mid-Week Pictorial. Tsar Nicholas of Russia and his wife were introduced to Rasputin in 1907. According to Maurice Paléologue, French Ambassador to Russia, Rasputin, 'wheedled them, dazzled them, dominated them.'

Chosen Boy, a 1918 watercolor by Paul Klee. From 'Paul Klee: Early and Late Years: 1894-1940'.

Chosen Boy, a 1918 watercolor by Paul Klee. From Paul Klee: Early and Late Years: 1894-1940. © 2013 Moeller Fine Art

Quotations found: 7

Sunday, February 21, 1915

"From battle-casualties and stragglers, regiments ran down to a few hundreds, instead of three thousand men — in the case of 105th Orenburg regiment to less than a hundred. On 21st February [1915] Bulgakov surrendered with 12,000 men, most of them wounded. This was given out by Ludendorff as a new Tannenberg, and so it appears in his memoirs. There was talk of 100,000 prisoners; in practice, the figure was 56,000 for losses of all types in the Russian X Army, although since most of 20. Corps's guns were lost, the Germans took 185 guns. German losses have not been revealed." ((1), more)

Monday, February 22, 1915

"Calais, a town with 66,627 inhab., including St. Pierre-lès-Calais (p. 5), and a fortress of the first class, derives its chief importance from its harbour and its traffic with England, to which it is the nearest port on the French coast. The chalk cliffs and castle of Dover, 21 M. distant, are visible in clear weather. About 300,000 travellers pass through the town annually; and in addition there is a brisk trade in timber, coal, etc. Calais contains 1500 English residents, chiefly engaged in its tuile-manufactories (p. 5).

Calais played a prominent part in the early wars between France and England. Its harbour was the rendezvous for the fleet of the Dauphin Louis, who aid had been invited by the discontented English barons against King John. In 1346-47, after the battle of Crécy, Edward III starved it into surrender after a desperate resistance of eleven months. He consented to spare the town on condition that six noble citizens should place themselves, clad in their shirts and with halters around their necks, at his absolute disposal; and it was only by the urgent intercession of his queen, Philippa of Hainault, that he was induced to spare the lives of the unfortunate men, at whose head was the patriotic Eustache de St. Pierre. Calais remained in the hands of the English until 1558, when the Duke of Guise with 30,000 men succeeded in expelling the small English garrison (500 men) after a siege of seven days. In 1560 Mary Stuart set sail from Calais to assume the Scottish crown; and in 1814 Louis XVIII landed here on his return to his kingdom. The Spaniards made themselves masters of Calais in 1596, but the treaty of Vervins in 1598 restored it permanently to France."
((2), more)

Tuesday, February 23, 1915

"Tuesday, February 23, 1915.

The Germans continue to make progress between the Niemen and the Vistula.

With a reference to the weariness of his troops and the exhaustion of his ammunition supply, the Grand Duke Nicholas had me discreetly informed a few days ago that he would be glad to see the French Army take the offensive with a view to preventing the transfer of German forces to the eastern front.

In acquainting the French Government with his desire, I took care to remind them that the Grand Duke Nicholas had not hesitated to sacrifice Samsonov's army on August 29 last in answer to our appeal for help. The reply has been exactly what I expected: General Joffre has just ordered a vigorous attack in Champagne."
((3), more)

Wednesday, February 24, 1915

"'There are too many dead and wounded, too many widows and orphans, nothing but ruin and tears! Think of all the poor fellows who'll never come back, and remember that each of them has left behind him five, six, . . . ten persons who can only weep! I know of villages where everybody's in mourning. . . . And what about those who do come back! What are they like! Legless, armless, blind! . . . It's terrible! For more than twenty years we shall harvest nothing but sorrow on Russian soil!'

'Yes, we shall be the victors. But I don't know when. . . . God chooses the hour that seems good to Him for His miracles. We are not at the end of our trials; much more blood and many more tears must flow.'"
((4), more)

Thursday, February 25, 1915

"I fall to the ground on one knee. A sudden jolt goes through my left arm. It's [forced] behind me, bleeding copiously. I want to get up but I can't . . . [Now] my arm shudders with the shock of a second bullet and blood starts to flow from another wound. My knee presses into the ground as if my body is made of lead. My head droops; then then the dull thud of a third bullet rips off another shred of cloth right before my eyes. Unwisely, I look down at my chest and see a deep furrow of red flesh by my left armpit." ((5), more)


Quotation contexts and source information

Sunday, February 21, 1915

(1) German forces had surprised the Russian army in East Prussia by attacking first from the west in a blizzard on February 7, 1915, then by attacking the next day from the north with a new and, to the Russians unknown, army. The Russian army escaped encirclement and annihilation, but 20th Corps, under General Bulgakov, did not. In the Battle of Tannenberg at the end of August, 1914, German Generals von Hindenburg and Ludendorff destroyed the Russian Second Army, and took 90,000 prisoners.

The Eastern Front, 1914-1917 by Norman Stone, page 118, copyright © 1975 Norman Stone, publisher: Charles Scribner's Sons, publication date: 1975

Monday, February 22, 1915

(2) A Zeppelin bombed Calais, the Channel port closest to England, through which much of the traffic between England and France flowed, at about 5:00 AM the morning of February 2, 1915. Reports differ on the number of bombs, five or ten, but agree they killed five civilians: an octogenarian, a young girl, and a mother, father, and one of their two children, leaving a baby unharmed. (See paperspast.natlib.govt.nz.)

Northern France from Belgium and the English Channel to the Loire Excluding Paris and its Environs; Handbook for Travellers by Karl Baedeker, Fifth Edition with 16 Maps and 55 Plans by Karl Baedeker, pp. 3, 4, copyright © 1909, publisher: Karl Baedeker, Publisher, publication date: 1909

Tuesday, February 23, 1915

(3) Entry from the memoirs of Maurice Paléologue, French Ambassador to Russia, for Tuesday, February 23, 1915. Victorious in the Second Battle of the Masurian Lakes, the Germans continued to drive the Russians back. Grand Duke Nicholas commanded the Russian armies; General Joffre the French.

In August 1914, German forces had substantially defeated Belgium, had defeated France in the Battle of the Frontiers, and pursued the retreating Entente Allies through northern France. Russia responded to France's urgent request for an offensive with an ill-prepared, ill-led invasion of East Prussia by the Russian First and Second Armies while the country was still mobilizing. German forces destroyed the Russian General Samsonov's Second Army in the Battle of Tannenberg at the end of August.

Since December, Joffre had been waging an on-going offensive in the First Battle of Champagne, and continued to do so into March, 1915. Although all combatant nations had inadequate munitions and weapons for the war, Russia's shell shortage was particularly severe. The country had inadequate manufacturing facilities, and awaited delivery of shells from Japan and the United States.

An Ambassador's Memoirs Vol. I by Maurice Paléologue, page 291, publisher: George H. Doran Company, publication date: 1925

Wednesday, February 24, 1915

(4) Excerpts from the entry for Wednesday, February 24, 1915, from the memoirs of Maurice Paléologue, French Ambassador to Russia. Paléologue was visiting 'Madame O____', who was active with the Red Cross, when Rasputin walked in on them. The two men had not met before. Madame O____ translated for the two. The ambassador found the monk's gaze 'at once penetrating and caressing, naive and cunning, direct and yet remote. When he was excited it seemed as if his pupils became magnetic.' Rasputin agreed with Paléologue's argument that Russia must fight on, and then requested money from France to help the suffering Russian people who 'may become dangerous.' Before departing, Rasputin asked if Russia would receive Constantinople in a victory over Turkey. Paléologue confirms it will. 'Then the Russian people won't regret having suffered so much,' Rasputin replied, 'and will be willing to suffer more.'

An Ambassador's Memoirs Vol. I by Maurice Paléologue, pp. 291-294, publisher: George H. Doran Company, publication date: 1925

Thursday, February 25, 1915

(5) Account of his wounding by three bullets on February 25, 1915 by Lieutenant Maurice Genevoix of the 106th Infantry in an assault on the ridge of Les Eparges.

They Shall Not Pass: The French Army on the Western Front 1914-1918 by Ian Sumner, page 48, copyright © Ian Sumner 2012, publisher: Pen and Sword, publication date: 2012


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