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Bourlon and Bourlon Wood. From 'The Tank Corps' by Major Clough Williams-Ellis & A. Williams-Ellis
Text:
The Bapaume-Cambrai Road.
12. L.O. 28.
57º Bourlon & Wood
2.12.17.10.

Bourlon and Bourlon Wood. From The Tank Corps by Major Clough Williams-Ellis & A. Williams-Ellis.

1918 German pen and ink drawing of the road to Cambrai, France. Two smaller trees seem to serve as the good and bad thief on either side of the crucified Jesus Christ.
Text:
Strasse nach Cambrai
EKIECBJR?

1918 German pen and ink drawing of the road to Cambrai, France. Two smaller trees seem to serve as the good and bad thief on either side of the crucified Jesus Christ.

Postcard of a German soldier guarding French POWs, most of them colonial troops, the colorful uniforms of a Zouave, Spahi, Senegalese, and metropolitan French soldier contrasting with the field gray German uniform. A 1915 postcard by Emil Huber.
Text:
Emil Huber 1915
Reverse:
Unsere Feldgrauen
Serie II
? preussischer Infanterie-Soldat
Prussian Infantry Soldier
Logo: K.E.B.

Postcard of a German soldier guarding French POWs, most of them colonial troops, the colorful uniforms of a Zouave, Spahi, Senegalese, and metropolitan French soldier contrasting with the field gray German uniform. A 1915 postcard by Emil Huber.

We'll join in! Women beneath the flags of and in the uniforms of the %+%Organization%m%66%n%Vierbund%-% of Turkey, Austria-Hungary, Germany, and Bulgaria, are willing to play their part in the war effort.
Text:
Wir machen mit!
We'll join in!
Reverse:
Dated Augsburg, February 3, 1916

We'll join in! Women beneath the flags of and in the uniforms of the Vierbund of Turkey, Austria-Hungary, Germany, and Bulgaria, are willing to play their part in the war effort.

Detail showing the plaque for 1918 from the monument to the Tank Corps, Pozières, France. The base bears plaques commemorating the Tank Corps and the years 1916, when tanks were first used in battle, 1917, when they were proven to be a weapon that could change the war, and 1918, when tanks were decisive in the Allied victory. The plaques for each year list the engagements in which the Corps fought.
Text:
1918
2nd Somme
River Lys
Hamel — Marne — Moreuil
Amiens — Bapaume
Arras — Epehy
Cambrai — St. Quentin
Selle — Mormal Forest

Detail showing the plaque for 1918 from the monument to the Tank Corps, Pozières, France. The base bears plaques commemorating the Tank Corps and the years 1916, when tanks were first used in battle, 1917, when they were proven to be a weapon that could change the war, and 1918, when tanks were decisive in the Allied victory. The plaques for each year list the engagements in which the Corps fought. © 2013 by John M. Shea

Quotations found: 7

Monday, November 26, 1917

"On November 25 and 26 [1917] we renewed our attack upon Fontaine-Notre-Dame and again tried to capture Bourlon Village.

In the end, however, both these important points remained in enemy hands.

A week had now elapsed since the launching of the battle.

According to the original scheme, the action should not have been continued for more than three days, but in spite of our original 'Self-Denying Ordinance' as to ground, when desirable points of vantage were actually in our hands, we had fallen a prey to 'land hunger' and had still fought on and continued to advance in order to consolidate these new and delightful possessions."
((1), more)

Tuesday, November 27, 1917

"'I think no man may look into it now and live after his view—neither an English soldier nor a German soldier—because the little narrow streets which go between its burnt and broken houses are swept by bullets from our machine-guns in the south and from the enemy's in the north, and no human being could stay alive there for a second after showing himself in the village . . . Men fought in the streets and in the broken houses and behind the walls and round the ruins of the little church of Notre Dame.'

So Philip Gibbs, a
Daily Telegraph war correspondent at the time, described the fight on November 27 to take Fontaine, the village which had been captured once and allowed to fall back into German hands because it was thought it would be an easy objective to take again." ((2), more)

Wednesday, November 28, 1917

"'Why are you so skinny?'

'Commandant, when you don't miss a hitch in the trenches for thirty-six months, you can hardly get fat.'

The commandant's voice softened. He turned to our Lieutenant Lorius and said, 'All your men look good. But you have this corporal who's worn out. Take care of him.'

. . . This was the first kind-hearted word that a superior officer had said to me since I'd been at the front. That's why I've made note of it."
((3), more)

Thursday, November 29, 1917

". . . however men have seen it, and may continue for a time to see it, women do count. Everybody counts in applying democracy. And there will never be a true democracy until every responsible and law-abiding adult in it, without regard to race, sex, color or creed has his or her own inalienable and unpurchasable voice in the government. That is the democratic goal toward which the world is striving today.

In our own country woman suffrage is but one, if acute, phase of the problem. The Negro question is but another. The enfranchisement of the foreign-born peoples who sweep into this country and forget to leave the hyphen at home is yet another."
((4), more)

Friday, November 30, 1917

"American heroism was further exemplified by a body of unarmed American railway engineers during the German encircling movement around the British position at Cambrai on November 30, 1917. These railway engineers, 284 in number, were working in conjunction with Canadian engineers three miles in the rear of the battle line at Gouzeaucourt. Al were unarmed. The German barrage fire having suddenly shifted in their direction, a general retirement was ordered.

During the retreat a body of 50 engineers, being cut off, took refuge in dugouts, where they were captured by the German advance. As they were marching along the road to Cambrai, toward the German prison cages, they sighted a small body of British troops who had become separated from their comrades and were were wandering aimlessly.

The prisoners, seeing rescue at hand, turned upon their captors and fought them barehanded until the British troops arrived and vanquished the Germans."
((5), more)


Quotation contexts and source information

Monday, November 26, 1917

(1) The British tank and infantry offensive in the Battle of Cambrai began on November 20 and met with unexpected success on the first day as the tanks and infantry trained to work with them cooperated in the advance. On the second and subsequent days, the British did not have reserves to continue the offensive, and could only proceed with fewer tanks, and weary soldiers who had not been trained for tank warfare. The British took much of Bourlon Wood, but could not capture and hold the village of Bourlon north of the woods or Fontaine-Notre-Dame to the east.

The Tank Corps by Clough Williams-Ellis & A. Williams-Ellis, page 116, publisher: The Offices of "Country Life," Ltd. and George Newnes, Ltd., publication date: 1919

Tuesday, November 27, 1917

(2) The British tank and infantry offensive in the Battle of Cambrai began on November 20 and met with unexpected success on the first day as the tanks and infantry trained to work with them cooperated in the advance. On the second and subsequent days, the British did not have reserves to continue the offensive, and could only proceed with fewer tanks, and weary soldiers who had not been trained for tank warfare. The British took much of the key objective of Bourlon Wood, but could not capture and hold the village of Bourlon north of the woods or Fontaine-Notre-Dame to the east. As the battle extended into its second week, it was another infantry action, with tanks having little presence or effect. Fontaine-Notre-Dame was the last village on the road from Bapaume to Cambrai, an important communications center and a key objective of the British offensive.

The Battle of Cambrai by Brian Cooper, page 176, copyright © Bryan Cooper 1967, publisher: Stein and Day, publication date: 1968

Wednesday, November 28, 1917

(3) Excerpt from the notebooks of French Infantry Corporal Louis Barthas of the 296th Regiment. Barthas was writing in late November, 1917, immediately after his regiment had been dissolved and its men assigned to other units. The regiment had been implicated in the army mutinies of the spring and early summer: On May 30, Barthas was asked to take the lead role in forming soviet that would assume command of his company. He declined, but did write a manifesto on behalf of the company protesting the delay in leaves after the Second Battle of the Aisne. On the 31st, the battalions of his regiment were separated, and his demonstrated against a return to the front line trenches. The regiment was sent to the Argonne, then a quiet sector on the Western Front. When Georges Clemenceau came to power in November 20, he quickly went after any who opposed waging the war to victory. Clemenceau and the Regiment had crossed swords in 1907 during a wine-growers protest. Clemenceau then was in power, and the 296th had mutinied. The commandant's kind words for Barthas are more a direct result of Henri Pétain's command that officers care for their men.

Poilu: The World War I Notebooks of Corporal Louis Barthas, Barrelmaker, 1914-1918 by Louis Barthas, page 342, copyright © 2014 by Yale University, publisher: Yale University Press, publication date: 2014

Thursday, November 29, 1917

(4) Excerpt from an article 'Votes for All' by Carrie Chapman Catt, published in The Crisis, November, 1917. Catt was president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, and had supported America's entry into the war. In her piece, she had already made the point that both black and white men opposed giving women the vote, and that President Woodrow Wilson's call to war had been a call in support of democracy, despite the great failures of his own nation. Catt urges women on, arguing that 'the cure for the ills of democracy is more democracy.'

World War I and America by A. Scott Berg, page 431, copyright © 2017 by Literary Classics of the United States, publisher: The Library of America, publication date: 2017

Friday, November 30, 1917

(5) On November 30, 1917, German forces counterattacked in the Battle of Cambrai, striking toward Gouzeaucourt an the southern end of the British position in the Cambrai sector. The British were utterly unprepared for the action, and were driven back rapidly. The speed of the advance isolated numerous troops like the engineers. Several Americans and Canadians died in the incident cited, and after it all engineers were ordered to be armed.

King's Complete History of the World War by W.C. King, page 347, copyright © 1922, by W.C. King, publisher: The History Associates, publication date: 1922


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