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John Bull, symbol of Great Britain and here a bird-catcher, tries to entice the kingdom of Romania, in 1915 a neutral nation, into his trap. He already has Russia by the nose, and the plucked cock of France and an Italian fowl close at hand. Neutral (and wise) Greece rests out of reach, while Bulgaria sings to the Islamic crescent moon of Turkey. In the background Turkish, German, and Austro-Hungarian soldiers meet at a crossroads. Carved into the tree is a heart dated 1915, and the initials 'F A R', perhaps for 'France aime Russie:' France loves Russia.
Text:
L'Oiseleur
Der Vogelfänger 1915
The Birdcatcher
Grece
Bulgarie
Roumanie
Bagdad / Hambourg
Russie

John Bull, symbol of Great Britain and here a bird-catcher, tries to entice the kingdom of Romania, in 1915 a neutral nation, into his trap. He already has Russia by the nose, and the plucked cock of France and an Italian fowl close at hand. Neutral (and wise) Greece rests out of reach, while Bulgaria sings to the Islamic crescent moon of Turkey. In the background Turkish, German, and Austro-Hungarian soldiers meet at a crossroads. Carved into the tree is a heart dated 1915, and the initials 'F A R', perhaps for 'France aime Russie:' France loves Russia.

Postcard of a color painting of General Luigi Cadorna, chief of staff of the Italian Army
Reverse:
Generale Luigi Cadorna
Postmarked October 10, 1916

General Luigi Cadorna, chief of staff of the Italian Army

Illustration of Dublin, Ireland looking west along the River Liffey and showing the positions held by the Irish rebels. North of the Liffey, the General Post Office, headquarters of the rebellion, and Liberty Hall, from which the rebels had started on April 24, are in flames, bombarded by British forces. South of the River, forces led by Countess Markiewicz held St. Stephen's Green under fire from soldiers in the Shelbourne Hotel. Kilmainham Goal, where the captured rebels would be held, and where their leaders would be executed, is in the distance.

Illustration of Dublin, Ireland looking west along the River Liffey and showing the positions held by the Irish rebels. North of the Liffey, the General Post Office, headquarters of the rebellion, and Liberty Hall, from which the rebels had started on April 24, are in flames, bombarded by British forces. South of the River, forces led by Countess Markiewicz held St. Stephen's Green under fire from soldiers in the Shelbourne Hotel. Kilmainham Goal, where the captured rebels would be held, and where their leaders would be executed, is in the distance.

A German soldier by the side of a water-filled crater, June 15, 1916. The handwritten note says it is 'The crater of St. Elleu', possibly St. Eloi, near Ypres.
Text:
'The crater of St. Elleu on Jun 15 1916' (Translation courtesy Thomas Faust, eBay's Urfaust.)

A German soldier by the side of a water-filled crater, June 15, 1916. The handwritten note says it is 'The crater of St. Elleu', possibly St. Eloi, near Ypres.

Headstone of Sapper E.M. Des Brisay, 2nd Canadian Signal Company, Attd. Royal Flying Corps, died August 3, 1916, age 23, at Cabaret Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez, France.
Text:
98 Sapper
E.M. Des Brisay
2nd Canadian Signal Coy.
Attd. Royal Flying Corps, 3rd August 1916 Age 23

Thou hast made him exceeding glad with Thy Countenance

Headstone of Sapper E.M. Des Brisay, 2nd Canadian Signal Company, Attd. Royal Flying Corps, died August 3, 1916, age 23, at Cabaret Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez, France. © 2013 John M. Shea

Quotations found: 7

Tuesday, August 1, 1916

"Tuesday, August 1, 1916.

Briand has telegraphed me as follows:

As regards a Rumanian declaration of war, I share the view of Sir Edward Grey and General Joffre that in the last resort we should not insist on an immediate declaration of war on Bulgaria ; it is probable that the Germans will force the Bulgarians into attacking the Rumanians at once, and the Russian divisions can then commence hostilities.

It is equally probable that as the Rumanians have not prepared for operations south of the Danube, but have concentrated the bulk of their forces in the Carpathians, they will get a rude shock from the Bulgarians."
((1), more)

Wednesday, August 2, 1916

"The divisions that had been transferred to the Trentino were brought back to the Isonzo, along with most of the First Army's artillery, without detection. By early August, over 200,000 men were ready to move against San Michele and Gorizia. The heavy guns were placed in front of Gorizia, shells had never been available in such quantities, and the number of mortars quadrupled over the past year." ((2), more)

Thursday, August 3, 1916

"Sir Roger Casement, an Ulster Protestant, who had acted for the rebels in Germany, was hanged in Pentonville prison on August 3, 1916. In his last days he became a convert to the Catholic faith, and received the last rites of the church on the scaffold." ((3), more)

Friday, August 4, 1916

"On August 4, at 8 in the evening, the 15th Company went up to the front line. It was almost with pleasure that we returned to the outposts; this delivered us from work in the mines, and from the company of the cadaver-eating rats." ((4), more)

Saturday, August 5, 1916

"A remark by one of our artillery subalterns explains some erratic shooting: 'If we fire over you, God help you; we've only one trained gunner per gun left.' Of one group in Caterpillar Wood 75 per cent. became casualties. In our recent operations the 9th Brigade had heavier losses than the 98th or 100th. (The 51st Division came out of High Wood with only two-fifths of the 33rd Division's losses.)" ((5), more)


Quotation contexts and source information

Tuesday, August 1, 1916

(1) Entry for Tuesday, August 1, 1916, from the memoirs of Maurice Paléologue, French Ambassador to Russia. Aristide Briand was Prime Minister of France when the Ambassador wrote. General Joseph Joffre was commander of the French Army from the beginning of the war until December, 1916; Sir Edward Grey was British Foreign Secretary from 1905 to the same month. Russia, France, and Great Britain had been trying to entice Romania into the war since its beginning, and during the summer of 1916 as Austria-Hungary was staggered by Russia's Brusilov Offensive, begun on June 4. By August 1, with the addition of German forces, and often German commanders, Austro-Hungarian units were becoming more successful at resisting the Russian advance. Bulgaria had been defeated in the Second Balkan War in 1912 when Romania allied with Greece and Serbia, and attacked Bulgaria across their shared border. Bulgaria would soon return the favor.

An Ambassador's Memoirs Vol. II by Maurice Paléologue, page 309, publisher: George H. Doran Company

Wednesday, August 2, 1916

(2) After facing five Italian offensives in one year along the Isonzo River in northeastern Italy, Austro-Hungarian Commander in Chief Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf launched the Asiago Offensive on May 14, 1916 in Trentino, striking behind the Italian armies, hoping to cut them off with a successful drive to the Adriatic Sea. Surprised by the successful attack, General Luigi Cadorna shifted troops from the Isonzo to Trentino, while the government pleaded with the Russians for a relief offensive against Austria-Hungary. Russian General Alexsie Brusilov responded with one of the greatest and most successful offensives of the war, one that threatened to destroy the Austro-Hungarian Army. As Conrad stopped the Asiago campaign to fight the Russian threat, Cadorna redeployed his forces in preparation for the next battle of the Isonzo.

The White War: Life and Death on the Italian Front, 1915-1919 by Mark Thompson, page 170, copyright © 2008 Mark Thompson, publisher: Basic Books, publication date: 2009

Thursday, August 3, 1916

(3) Sir Roger Casement, an Irish Patriot who had been knighted for his exposure of atrocities committed by the government of the Belgian Congo, struggled to raise a regiment to fight for Irish independence from the Irish prisoners of war in Germany. He returned to Ireland in a German submarine, as a surface ship tried to run 20,000 rifles and 1,000,000 rounds of ammunition to support a rebellion. Casement hoped to stop a rebellion he believed would fail, but was captured shortly after being put ashore on the west coast of Ireland. The Easter Rising went ahead on April 24, 1916, and ended in surrender on April 29. From May 2 to 12, fourteen rebels were shot in Dublin and one in Cork. Casement's was the last of the executions.

King's Complete History of the World War by W.C. King, page 248, copyright © 1922, by W.C. King, publisher: The History Associates, publication date: 1922

Friday, August 4, 1916

(4) Excerpt from the notebooks of French Infantry Corporal Louis Barthas, August 4, 1916. After suffering heavy losses at Verdun in May, Barthas's reserve regiment was made the 296th, an active regiment, serving in Champagne. In the previous days, Barthas's unit had supported miners, bringing supplies for the mines — including timber to support the tunnels — and hauling away dirt and stones, oftentimes underground and immediately behind the miners. After being especially plagued by rats, the men discovered their nests were in a nearby cemetery for German soldiers. They scavenged among the French at night.

Poilu: The World War I Notebooks of Corporal Louis Barthas, Barrelmaker, 1914-1918 by Louis Barthas, page 241, copyright © 2014 by Yale University, publisher: Yale University Press, publication date: 2014

Saturday, August 5, 1916

(5) Extract from the entry for August 5, 1916 from the writings — diaries, letters, and memoirs — of Captain J.C. Dunn, Medical Officer of the Second Battalion His Majesty's Twenty-Third Foot, the Royal Welch Fusiliers. On the same day, Dunn recorded that 'Corps has been strafed for the High Wood mess. . . . The Division is returning to the line with every Brigadier and O.C. on tenterhooks lest he be made the scapegoat for the man above him.' Part of the Battle of the Somme, the English attack on High Wood began July 14, but the Wood was not entirely taken until mid-September.

The Big Push, A Portrait of the Battle of the Somme by Brian Gardner, page 248, copyright © 1961 by Brian Gardner, publisher: William Morrow and Company, publication date: 1963


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