Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Quiet on the Battle-scarred Fields

The date for Veterans Day is based on the armistice which ended World War One: November 11th, 1918

It's nearly a century since the beginning of the Great War, but as British photographer Michael St Maur Sheil documented, its battle fields, though quiet, still bear the scars of some of histories most concentrated and prolonged fighting.
Shell-pocked field near Verdun

Fort de Douaument - a defense near Verdun

Trench lines and shell craters still mark Beaumont Hamel on the Somme

Grave of French soldier Edouard Ivaldi in Champagne

And underground chapel made by French soldiers in lines near Soissons

Some more of his battle field photography can be seen here.


lissla lissar said...

Now I have In Flanders Fields running through my head. Do you learn that poem in school in the States?

Some years ago I read Rilla of Ingleside to my husband. It's a good story, and the inside perspective on the War still makes me tense with anticipation- Verdun, Vimy Ridge, the final retreat, and how it felt like Armageddon.

Darwin said...

I read In Flanders Fields, though I certainly never memorized it, but generally I don't think it's read (much less memorized) in schools much down here. We did, after all, come to that one rather late. WW2 is much more "our war".

I was very into Great War poetry for a while, but I mostly just read Sassoon and Graves.

I'm hoping that with the centenary there's a renewed interest in studying the Great War. It really is one of the pivotal points of the modern world, and all most people seem to know is the (mostly wrong) stereotype, "That was the pointless war that happend by accident where people sat in trenches all day and charged a machine guns because the generals were too stupid to figure out modern weapons."

Donald R. McClarey said...

The best book I have ever read on the Great War is Mud, Blood and Poppycock by retired British officer Gordon Corrigan. He writes in a lively and amusing style and makes a convincing case that the British Army was very effective in World War I on the Western Front and was the main factor leading to Allied victory. Demolishes myths that have built up about uncaring, stupid Brit generals leading victim troops to slaughter.