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Fingers of Fate: A hand tightens its grip on Kaiser Wilhelm. King George V of Great Britain is on a band across the write, President Wilson of the United States is the thumb, the fingers King Victor Emmanuel of Italy, President Poincare of France, King Albert of Belgium, and Emperor Taishō of Japan. Russia is conspicuously absent dating the postcard after the Bolshevik seizure of power and cease fire on the eastern front..

Fingers of Fate: tightening grip on Kaiser Wilhelm by King George V of Great Britain, Wilson of the United States, King Victor Emmanuel of Italy, President Poincare of France, King Albert of Belgium, Emperor Taishō of Japan. Russia is conspicuously absent dating the postcard after the Bolshevik seizure of power and cease fire on the eastern front.

Mark V tanks: One with a smokescreen and semaphore, the second moving up in the Battle of Amiens. In the latter, note the German prisoners on the left carrying a casualty to the rear on a stretcher. From 'The Tank Corps' by Major Clough Williams-Ellis & A. Williams-Ellis.
Text:
Smoke-screen and Semaphore
Moving up in the Battle of Amiens

Mark V tanks: One with a smokescreen and semaphore, the second moving up in the Battle of Amiens. In the latter, note the German prisoners on the left carrying a casualty to the rear on a stretcher. From The Tank Corps by Major Clough Williams-Ellis & A. Williams-Ellis.

Map of the Northwestern Front from March 21 to August 21, 1918. Despite the caption, the map shows primarily the German offensives against the British sector, Operations Michael and Georgette. From 'The War of the Nations Portfolio in Rotogravure Etchings.'
Text:
The above map shows the battleline when the German offensive of March 21, 1918 was launched, the furthest point reached in that advance, and the territory recovered up to August 21 by the Allies in Foch's counterattack of July 18.

Map of the Northwestern Front from March 21 to August 21, 1918. Despite the caption, the map shows primarily the German offensives against the British sector, Operations Michael and Georgette. From The War of the Nations Portfolio in Rotogravure Etchings. © Copyrighted 1919 by the New York Times Company

The Allied tortoise climbs the victory podium ahead of the German hare. A postcard by F. Sancha from between March 1916 when Portugal entered the war, and April 1917, when the United States (not included) did. The card was printed in England for a Portuguese audience. Sancha produced other war postcards based on Aesop's fables. The German officer bears containers including poison (veneno) and inflammables. The Allied tortoise bears carries conventional weapons for Japan, Belgium, England, France, Russia, Italy, Serbia, and Portugal. Allied productive capacity, including that of poison gas, would eventually far outpace that of the Central Powers.
Reverse:
A tartaruga e o lebre
O lebre e a tartaruga que competem na corrida; o lebre leva a dianteira no principio, rindo-se do seu adversario ronceiro; mas afinal das contas é a laboriosa tartaruga que ganha a corrida;
Mercê dos preparativos organisados annos antes da guerra, a Alemanha levou a dianteira aos Aliados, no principio; mas tendo hoje os Aliados munições a fartar, sāo elles que já divisam o triunfo.
As Fabulas de Æsopo Modernisadas.
Copyright London
Printed in England.
The tortoise and the hare
The hare and the tortoise competing in the race; the hare takes the lead in the beginning, laughing at his stubborn adversary; but after all it is the laborious turtle that wins the race;
Throughout the preparatory years before the war, Germany led the Allies in the beginning; but now the Allies have plenty of ammunition, they are the ones who already see triumph.
Modernised Aesop's Fables

The Allied tortoise climbs the victory podium ahead of the German hare. A postcard by F. Sancha from between March 1916 when Portugal entered the war, and April 1917, when the United States (not included) did. The card was printed in England for a Portuguese audience. Sancha produced other war postcards based on Aesop's fables. The German officer bears containers including poison (veneno) and inflammables. The Allied tortoise bears carries conventional weapons for Japan, Belgium, England, France, Russia, Italy, Serbia, and Portugal. Allied productive capacity, including that of poison gas, would eventually far outpace that of the Central Powers. © London

Austro-Hungarian trench art pencil drawing on pink paper of a soldier in a ragged, many-times-patched uniform, labeled 'Bilder ohne Worte' (No Comment, or Picture without Words). Kaiser Karl who succeeded Emperor Franz Joseph is on reverse. The printed text on the reverse is in Hungarian and German.
Text:
Bilder ohne Worte

Austro-Hungarian trench art pencil drawing on pink paper of a soldier in a ragged, many-times-patched uniform, labeled 'Bilder ohne Worte' (No Comment, or Picture without Words). Kaiser Karl who succeeded Emperor Franz Joseph is on reverse. The printed text on the reverse is in Hungarian and German.

Quotations found: 7

Saturday, August 10, 1918

"I see that we must strike a balance. We are at the end of our reserves. The war must be ended." ((1), more)

Sunday, August 11, 1918

"Staff officers sent from G.H.Q. report that the reasons for the defeat of the Second Army are as follows:

1. The fact that the troops were surprised by the massed attack of Tanks, and lost their heads when the Tanks suddenly appeared behind them, having broken under cover of natural and artificial fog.

2. Lack of organised defences.

3. The fact that the artillery allotted to reserve infantry units at the disposal of the Higher Command was wholly insufficient to establish fresh resistance with artillery support against the enemy who had broken through and against his Tanks.

Ludendorff, 11.8.18"
((2), more)

Monday, August 12, 1918

"Within the space of five days the town of Amiens and the railway centering upon it had been disengaged. Twenty German Divisions had been heavily defeated by thirteen British Infantry Divisions and three Cavalry Divisions, assisted by a regiment of the 33rd American Division and supported by some 400 Tanks. Nearly 22,000 prisoners and over 400 guns had been taken by us, and our line had been pushed forward to a depth of some twelve miles in a vital sector. Further, our deep advance, combined with the attacks of the French Armies on our right, had compelled the enemy to evacuate hurriedly a wide extent of territory to the south of us." ((3), more)

Tuesday, August 13, 1918

"During the [August 13, 1918] meeting, Ludendorff despaired of what he called Hindenburg's 'more optimistic view' of the situation.

'I reviewed the military situation, the condition of the Army, the position of our Allies, and explained that it was no longer possible to force the enemy to sue for peace by an offensive . . . I sincerely hoped, however, that the Army in France would stand fast. The state of affairs on the Western Front was naturally bound to make an unfavourable impression on our Allies. In this connection, the
morale of our Army and people became a matter of even greater importance than before.'

After speaking for some time, the Secretary of State, Paul von Hintze, drew 'the logical conclusion that peace negotiations were essential and that we should have to bring ourselves to take up a very conciliatory attitude.'"
((4), more)

Wednesday, August 14, 1918

"Reports reached Berlin that if the Central Powers did not bring off an armistice soon, Vienna would be obliged to make a separate settlement with the enemy.

Such was the environment when Emperor Charles and his leading counsellors appeared at Spa on August 14 for another top-level parley on war and peace with the Germans. The Hapsburg armed services could not possibly carry on another winter, the men from Vienna flatly asserted, and an armistice must be sought forthwith. Burián presented his plan for an informal, confidential meeting of representatives of the warring states to examine the fundamental considerations on which a settlement might be negotiated. Although Ludendorff had described August 8 as 'the black day' for the German army, the Berlin policy makers recoiled in dismay at Burián's proposal, and insisted that no move for peace should be undertaken until the military situation in France had been stabilized. In the light of first-hand observations in Dresden and Munich, the Austrians were sure that ordinary Germans urgently desired an armistice, and the governments of Bulgaria and Turkey assented to a general conference of belligerents with alacrity."
((5), more)


Quotation contexts and source information

Saturday, August 10, 1918

(1) German Kaiser Wilhelm II on August 10, 1918, two days after the devastating Allied advance in the Battle of Amiens. His Commander, Erich Ludendorff, who was thought be some of his staff to be on the verge of nervous collapse, would refer to the 8th as 'the black day of the German Army.'

World War I in Outline by B.H. Liddell Hart, page 255, publisher: Westholme Publishing (originally Faber and Faber), publication date: 2012 (originally 1936)

Sunday, August 11, 1918

(2) German commander Erich Ludendorff writing on August 11, 1918 of the defeat of the German Second Army in the Battle of Amiens, launched on the 8th, a day Ludendorff referred to as 'the black day for the German Army.' The British fielded over 300 heavy Mark V tanks, nearly 100 lighter Whippet tanks, and over 100 supply tanks in the battle's first day.

The Tank Corps by Clough Williams-Ellis & A. Williams-Ellis, page 217, publisher: The Offices of "Country Life," Ltd. and George Newnes, Ltd., publication date: 1919

Monday, August 12, 1918

(3) British Commander-in-Chief Douglas Haig writing on August 12 of the Battle of Amiens, begun on the 8th. One of Commander-in-Chief Ferdinand Foch's key aims was to free France's primary rail and communication hubs from German control and put them beyond the reach of German guns. Amiens was a critical center from Paris to the north. Over 300 heavy Mark V tanks and nearly 100 faster and lighter Whippet tanks were critical to the British success on the Battle's first day. Until the formation of the First American Army later in the month, American troops fought under French and British command.

The Tank Corps by Clough Williams-Ellis & A. Williams-Ellis, page 212, publisher: The Offices of "Country Life," Ltd. and George Newnes, Ltd., publication date: 1919

Tuesday, August 13, 1918

(4) The success of the Anglo-French Battle of Amiens, particularly the seven-mile advance on a broad front in the first day, stunned German commander Erich Ludendorff who referred to a 'black day for the German Army.' Military and civilian leaders met at Spa on August 13 to review the situation, to be joined by the Emperors Wilhelm II of Germany and Karl of Austria-Hungary the next day. Some of the officers who met with him thought Ludendorff was suffering a nervous breakdown. Germany's Allies were on the verge of collapse. Austria-Hungary threatened to make a separate peace, and Turkey was losing ground on the Syria/Palestine and Mesopotamian fronts.

Hundred Days: The Campaign that Ended World War I by Nick Lloyd, pp. 71–72, copyright © 2014 by Nick Lloyd, publisher: Basic Books, publication date: 2014

Wednesday, August 14, 1918

(5) The success of the Anglo-French Battle of Amiens, particularly the seven-mile advance on a broad front in the first day, stunned German commander Erich Ludendorff who referred to a 'black day for the German Army.' Military and civilian leaders met at Spa on August 13 to review the situation, joined by the Emperors Wilhelm II of Germany and Karl of Austria-Hungary the next day. Hungarian Stephan Burián served as Joint Foreign Minister of Austria-Hungary from January 1915 to December 1916 and again from April 16 to October 24, 1918. He also served as Joint Finance Minister from December 1916 to September 7, 1918.

The Passing of the Hapsburg Monarchy, 1914-1918 2 Volumes by Arthur James May, pp. 730–731, copyright © 1966 by the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press, publication date: 1966


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