Blizzard in the Dardenelles

We woke up to heavy snow this morning — halfway through April. Clearing off the car was a challenge, and then there was ice to scrape off the windows. I saw a container garden of daffodils and snowdrops that were frozen solid.

But, to paraphrase another blogger (That’s Nothing Compared to Passchendaele). this snow is nothing compared to Gallipoli. The Dardanelles’ average temperature in November is a tolerable 54 — jacket weather, we would say. But on Nov. 28, 1915, the peninsula was hit with a blizzard.

The Australian, New Zealand and other British troops began landing at Gallipoli on April 25, 1915 — with another monthly average in the 50s — but the summer months were extremely hot and many soldiers developed dysentery and typhoid fever, because of the flies flourishing on the unburied, decomposing dead.

But the weather was hot, then it was warm, then it was cool — and then there was a horrific thunderstorm with rain so heavy that many men drowned in their own trenches.  The next day, the blizzard hit.

Here is one New Zealander’s account, from the Poverty Bay Herald, posted by the National Library of New Zealand: http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&d=PBH19160205.2.39

More accounts and discussions can be found at the Great War Forum: http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=166263&page=2

Snow at Gallipoli

April 25 is a day of remembrance for Australians and New Zealanders, and it’s also commemorated by the Turks.  Ceremonies around the world are very moving. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stb0asxF6bM

Put it on your calendar — and hope for better weather.

 

 

 

WW1HA 2013 Symposium speakers: Richard F. Hamilton

Richard Hamilton is a professor emeritus in sociology and political science at the Ohio State University. An Army veteran, he has written more than a dozen books, including three WWI books with fellow WW1HA 2013 Symposium speaker Holger Herwig.

“The Origins of World War I,” published by Cambridge University Press, was praised by the Journal of Military History:

Richard F. Hamilton, Holger H. Herwig, and their distinguished team of nine additional contributors prove triumphantly that indeed there is (more to say about the war). Building on a carefully crafted conference held at Ohio State University in 1999, their book focuses on precisely who, within both the major and several of the minor belligerent states of World War I, took the decisions to go to war, and how and why they reached those decisions.”

Here’s the link to his Symposium page:

http://ww1ha.org/2013symposium/richard-hamilton.html

WW1HA 2013 Symposium speakers: Holger H. Herwig

Holger Herwig is a history professor at the University of Calgary in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He has written more than a dozen books, including “The First World War: Germany and Austria-Hungary” (Bloomsbury Academic), part of the Modern War series.

He also wrote “The Outbreak Of World War I (Problems in European Civilization Series),” published by Wadsworth Publishing.

Here’s his link:

http://ww1ha.org/2013symposium/holger-herwig.html

WW1HA 2013 Symposium speakers: Michael S. Neiberg

Michael Neiberg is a history professor at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Penn. He is a dynamic and lively speaker as well as an expert. His books include “The Second Battle of the Marne” (Indiana University Press), part of the Twentieth Century Battles series. This battle took place from July 15 to August 9, 1918 —   Ludendorff called Aug. 8, 1918, “the black day of the German Army.” 

Mike Neiberg also wrote “The Eastern Front 1914-1920” and “The Western Front 1914-1916.” His pre-war book, “Dance of the Furies: Europe and the Outbreak of World War I (Belknap Press of Harvard University Press), was reviewed by Jay Winter for the Times Literary Press in these words:

“Neiberg’s story is a sober and chastening one, since it shows how wars take on a life of their own, in that the moral pollution they trigger lingers long after the diplomats have finished with the peace treaties supposedly ending hostilities…”

Here’s the link to his WW1HA Symposium page:

ww1ha.org/2013symposium/michael-neiberg.html

 

 

Memorial Day 2013

More than any other modern war ’14-’18 lives in the memory as the ultimate example of a mismatch between what was at stake and the price that was paid. It is the war of the ‘lost generation’, sacrificed for a cause which, in hindsight, is difficult to pinpoint.”

Sophie De Schaepdrijver, Belgian historian and Associate Professor of History at Pennsylvania State University, quoted on http://messines1917.blogspot.be

ruins

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Anzac Day 2013

As I write this, Anzac Day is over in Australia and New Zealand, but here in the U.S. the commemoration continues — where World War I is remembered at all.

The amnesia of the American people is a subject for another day.

Here are links from Anzac Day remembrance all over the world.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/war/news/article.cfm?c_id=359&objectid=10879622

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/photogallery/act-news/anzac-day-dawn-service-at-the-awm-20130425-2ifrq.html

http://www.france24.com/en/20130425-world-war-i-anzac-pilgrimage-drawing-increasing-french-interest-australia-diggers

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N82wNJFVeK8

And — hankies at the ready:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qz-0faldFcI

The Kiwis are not kidding

New Zealand does not mess around.

Britain, including its Empire countries, entered the war on August 4.

Less than a month later, on August 29, the New Zealanders captured German Samoa.

http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/war/new-zealand-goes-to-war-first-world-war

The National Library of New Zealand has photos here:

http://natlib.govt.nz/items?utf8=%E2%9C%93&il[category]=Images&text=german+samoa

Warships of the desert, updated

The always intriguing blog Ghosts of War reports on the history of the Imperial Camel Corps brigade.

http://ghostsof1914.blogspot.com/2012/06/india-in-flanders-field-imperial-camel.html

Image

From the State Library of Queensland, Australia

Also, for you war animal fans, Ghosts of 1914 has a funny little bit about cats.

http://ghostsof1914.blogspot.com/2012/05/cats-of-war.html

From a Facebook friend:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Statues_in_Victoria_Embankment_Gardens_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1729996.jpg