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The Western Front

The Western Front, 1914 and 15. The Imperial German eagle is a crow feeding on carrion, perched on a cross bearing scenes of the destruction of its advance and retreat through France and Belgium: the shelled and burned cathedral of Reims, the ruination of the city of Arras, a destroyed town, deaths both military and civilian in Belgium. France held its territory along the border with Germany, and turned back the German advance in the Battle of the Marne, but Belgium and northern France remained occupied through the war.
Accused of war crimes, Germany, labeled on the map by "Kulturland?", defended itself by speaking of its superior culture.
Spain, Holland, and Switzerland remained neutral during the war, and are show in green. Italy joined the Allies in May, 1915, possibly shortly before the card was printed, which may explain the use of red for its name and border.
Text:
[On the cross:] Reims, Après le Passage des Allemands, Arras!, Belgique
[On the map, the countries of] Angleterre, Hollande, Espagne, Suisse, Italie, Belgique, France, Kulturland? [Germany, and the cities of] Douvres, Calais, Paris, Arras, Reims, Maubeuge, Verdun, Nancy, Epinal, and Belfort
Reverse:
M. Mantel édit., Lyon, 3, Rue Mulet

The Western Front, 1914 and 15. The Imperial German eagle is a crow feeding on carrion, perched on a cross bearing scenes of the destruction of its advance and retreat through France and Belgium: the shelled and burned cathedral of Reims, the ruination of the city of Arras, a destroyed town, deaths both military and civilian in Belgium. France held its territory along the border with Germany, and turned back the German advance in the Battle of the Marne, but Belgium and northern France remained occupied through the war.
Accused of war crimes, Germany, labeled on the map by "Kulturland?", defended itself by speaking of its superior culture.
Spain, Holland, and Switzerland remained neutral during the war, and are show in green. Italy joined the Allies in May, 1915, possibly shortly before the card was printed, which may explain the use of red for its name and border.

Image text

[On the cross:] Reims, Après le Passage des Allemands, Arras!, Belgique

[On the map, the countries of] Angleterre, Hollande, Espagne, Suisse, Italie, Belgique, France, Kulturland? [Germany, and the cities of] Douvres, Calais, Paris, Arras, Reims, Maubeuge, Verdun, Nancy, Epinal, and Belfort



Reverse:

M. Mantel édit., Lyon, 3, Rue Mulet

Other views: Larger

Western Front

1914

The Western Front ran from the North Sea and English Channel, through a small corner of Belgium, across France to neutral Switzerland.

The Front was shaped in 1914 by the German conquest of Belgium, the Battle of the Frontiers, the Allied retreat before advancing German armies, which were finally stopped in the Battle of the Marne. This great war of movement left the western flanks of the opposing armies at risk of being outflanked. Both sides attempted to do that in the Race to the Sea, moving north to the coast completing the Front. The failure of German forces to break through the Belgians on the Yser River and the British at Ypres in Battle of Flanders resulted in a stabilized front.

1915

In 1915, France attempted to breech the German line in Artois and Champagne, and Britain at Neuve Chapelle and Loos, but the Allies had inadequate munitions.

1916

Allied plans for coordinated offensives in 1916 were shaken by the German assault at Verdun, which saw much of the French army fight and in many cases die in the sector. The demands on the French lessened but did not eliminate their significant role in the Anglo-French Battle of the Somme.

1917

The German strategic retreat in early 1917 reshaped the Front, shortened the German line, and left them in strong defensive positions. The great Allied offensives that followed the French Nivelle Offensive and the British assault at Passchendaele were disasters.

1918

The German Offensives of 1918 reshaped the front and opened a new war of movement. Reinforced by American troops, the French stopped the Germans in the Second Battle of the Marne as the British advanced from Amiens.