Tag: testimonies

The Armistice
How people throughout the war had hoped for the day the ceasefire would come, for the moment that would put an end to the daily massacre! That would be, one thought, a day of redemption, a day of joy; then we would be able to heave a sigh of relief and look forward to better times! Now the armistice has been agreed and our troops have ceased hostilities. Then the Italians too, and at least the lives of our poor soldiers are now no longer endangered by an enemy...
The agony of the German army
Gen. Ludendorff
My War Memories
8 August was the black day of the German Army in the history of this war.
Early on 8 August, in a dense fog, rendered still thicker by artificial mean, the English mainly with Australian and Canadian divisions, and the French attacked between Albert and Moreuil with strong squadrons of tanks but otherwise in no great superiority. Between the Somme and the Luce they...
In the Czech Legion, an excerpt from the journal published by Josef Jiří Švec (1883-1918), in 1914 a physical education teacher in Kiev and one of the first volunteers to join the Czechoslovak legions in Russia. Promoted to Colonel on 31 August 1918, he committed suicide on 25 October, three days before Czech independence.
The image of the firing squad and severe arbitrary military justice administered by officers driven insane by the war is now deeply rooted in the collective memory of the First World War, along with the trenches, frontal attacks and bombings. Though magnified through soldiers’ memoirs and films, this image is to a certain extent true. In Italy, military justice was applied on the basis of the Military Penal Code regulations, which came into force in 1870. Its structure was identical to the 1859...
Passchendaele has entered in the British collective memory as the tragic symbol of the Great War on the Western Front, as well as the military débâcle  par excellence. The reasons for this consideration of a battle, although concluded with good local successes and lower losses compared to Somme, can be sought in a series of social, psychological and military variables. It should first be noted that in England the patriotic enthusiasm around the war had long since weakened, so that in January...
In France between 1914 and 1918, 8 million men were forced to leave their homes to carry out their duty towards their homeland. Their departure caused upheaval in their lives and in the organization of daily life of society as a whole. The women left behind were forced to compensate for the men’s absence. They threw off their traditional roles and duties and, despite their unequal legal standing, replaced their husbands, sons or brothers running farms, workshops or shops as well as in the...
Between the end of May and the beginning of June 1917, the French Army on the Western Front was rocked by a wave of rebellion and unprecedented acts of disobedience. A spirit of protest inflamed numerous units, fuelled by the general circumstances in the spring of 1917 - marked by the failure of the great Nivelle Offensive -, the echoes of the Russian Revolution and civilian demonstrations. Units on leave did not want to return to the front line, and those who were already there refused to...
Loss of the element of surprise
The Austrians do not know the exact day that of the attack on the Plateau: but they certainly know that there will be an attack.
(Colonel Angelo Gatti, 4 June 1917.)
 
It cannot be ruled out that there may be a surprise attack in Trentino in three or four days' time. The generals who will be in charge have come to witness the recent action at the behest of the Commander. It was an excellent idea. In the event of an...
During the Great War the trench became the greatest symbol of the tragic wartime experience of millions of men. The First World War in fact saw soldiers entrenched as the norm, thus significantly altering modes of confrontation: there were no more brutal but short battles, but rather long and violent fighting over large spaces and against an often invisible enemy. In the Karst region and along the Isonzo, the Italians, initially at a disadvantage to their adversary on account of the lack of...
After the February Revolution in Petrograd, the political exiles came back. The April 13, 1917 (16 according to the Gregorian calendar, used in Russia since 1918) arrived Vladimir Lenin. He brought with him the "April Theses", which represented a vote of no confidence to the provisional government.
The day after his return (April 17), Lenin showed the thesis during the Pan-Russian Congress of Soviets, in front of nearly 800 members of the Russian Social Democratic Workers' Party. The speech was...

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