likethebeer: (ww1)
Once again, it's an example of one more foray of mine into, "Well, I've got to read [or see] this book/film..." about WWI.

I really have to give myself a break on that. I'm not annoying; I'm interested in a point of tragedy for us as a species. Although I do keep thinking I'm done delving into this & go back into it.

I've never seen this film (or read the book). This film is the version directed by Lewis Milestone through Universal, released in 1930. It was a talkie & the 3rd film to win an Oscar for Best Picture. I got it out of the library last Friday & watched it on Sunday.

It has some fantastic battle scenes (immemor pointed that this was because it was shot before the Great Depression really started to be felt - you could have real people doing things & real mortar & explosions, where after that they'd use models).

This is a really cool write-up:


Nov. 11th, 2014 01:28 pm
likethebeer: (ww1)
I gave money to the USO today for Veteran's Day (you can do that just by going to I also went & looked at the page of pictures showing the poppies at the Tower of London, which is a project that ends today:

Here is the page on it at "This is
To commemorate the centennial of Britain’s involvement in the First World War, ceramic artist Paul Cummins and stage designer Tom Piper conceived of a staggering installation of ceramic poppies planted in the famous dry moat around the Tower of London. Titled “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red,” the final work will consist of 888,246 red ceramic flowers—each representing a British or Colonial military fatality—that flow through grounds around the tower.
Today marks the 96th anniversary of the end of WWI, or as I have noted (before, earlier today, probably on this tagged portion, & will for the rest of my life I think): the biggest mistake we have ever made as a species.

And I did find a userpic that isn't too bad for WWI: it's one of the color photos done with the autochrome process & shows a French soldier in one of the trenches. The sensitive autochrome process meant that the photographer would have been working without all the mud, shit, or dead bodies.
likethebeer: (No Face)
It's a good thing to listen to when you're remembering WWI, too.
likethebeer: (2001 lolcat)
Throughout the "war to end all wars," cats were a common sight in the trenches and aboard ships, where they hunted mice and rats. Beyond their "official" duties, they were also embraced as mascots and pets by the soldiers and sailors with whom they served.
likethebeer: (No Face)
It's beautiful.
Brazilian sculptor Nele Azevedo arranged 5,000 little ice figurines on the step of Chamberlain Square in Birmingham, U.K., to remember the men and women lost during WWI, including the civilians. The melting, ghostly figures, placed by volunteers, created a truly haunting image, and they were crowned by a red figure that seemed to drip a trail of blood down the steps.
likethebeer: (I am disappearing but not fast enough)
Showing contemporary photographs of the sites in Europe. In addition to the continued evidence of shelling, there are photos of lots and lots and lots of unexploded ordinances that farmers are still finding (and skeletons of soldiers characterized for most of a century as MIA):
likethebeer: (No Face)
The publication is also posting things about the events of 100 years ago:
likethebeer: (No Face)
A spoof advert titled 'Are You A Victim Of Optimism?' is a typical example of the magazine's gallows humour. It was produced in July 1916 in response to the Battle of the Somme, where 19,240 British men died in the first day of fighting.
"... the name 'Wipers' came from the soldiers' pronunciation of 'Ypres'."
likethebeer: (Codex from Avatar)
A 10-part series in the Atlantic by Alan Taylor
On this 100-year anniversary, I've gathered photographs of the Great War from dozens of collections, some digitized for the first time, to try to tell the story of the conflict, those caught up in it, and how much it affected the world.

The Western Front, part I:
likethebeer: (No Face)
I've gone back into some WWI. Just starting on 1, which is a documentary that's close to an hour long:
It has voice recordings of men who fought in the war, talking about all these different things (digging trenches, the lice and dirt, the snow & cold, flying). So I guess this was perhaps recorded in the 1950s or 60s.

There are links to other things from that page but I just don't have the stamina to watch them all now.

Here's the link to the Wikipedia page about it:
I looked up the titles of the other ones via Google & watched another one. Ok - 'nuff of that.
likethebeer: (Codex Game On)
My local library puts out an "on this day" notice on facebook:
On this day ~ October 21
1917 - The first American troops saw action in France during World War I. The U.S. Army's First Division was assigned to Allied trenches in the Luneville sector near Nancy, France.
Just a little WWI interaction for the day.

WWI images

Nov. 12th, 2012 07:25 pm
likethebeer: (Christmas Codex)
"10 telling images selected from British Pathé's extensive WWI footage. 'The war to end all wars' was a war without parallel: over 70 million military personnel were involved and over 17 million people died."
likethebeer: (I am disappearing but not fast enough)
From Mental Floss:
The First World War was an unprecedented catastrophe that killed millions and set the continent of Europe on the path to further calamity two decades later. But it didn’t come out of nowhere.

With the centennial of the outbreak of hostilities coming up in 2014, Erik Sass will be looking back at the lead-up to the war, when seemingly minor moments of friction accumulated until the situation was ready to explode. He’ll be covering those events 100 years after they occurred.
likethebeer: (I am disappearing but not fast enough)
After The Guns of August, by Barbara Tuchman (about the lead up to the first world war & the first month or so), I'm reading A World Undone: The Story of the Great War, 1914 to 1918, by G.J. Meyer. The story of the entire war. It gives a good overview of everything (well, more than that at 700 p., but still an overview).

I took this on because, for years I have felt that WWI was "the biggest mistake we've ever made as a species" (there was the meat grinder, the gas, & the long-range effects over the 20th century), but realized that I knew it from history class in grade/high school, and knew things from my studies in art history, but didn't know the specifics. And reading a book is a tastier thing to do than wade through Wikipedia on it.

What I am learning is that the first world war was an even bigger screw up than I thought. There was the fact (from The Guns of August) that the major European powers had actually been planning for a war for over a decade; and, from A World Undone I'm seeing how, over and over again, the leaders are giving the ok to the generals to go again and again to battle in these places when they've proven to be a miserable failure. Like, Gallipoli - started, then lots of people killed, then holding off & doing it again. Or Italy - total failure in every battle. Or Romania - total mistake that they even entered the war. And of course there's Verdun & the Somme. And it wasn't just that they lost battles. Thousands upon thousands of people dying - thousands in a day. Bad coordination, bad communication, soldiers starving, soldiers arriving someplace with no enemy and bad events causing the explosion of the entire depot of weapons & grenades, soldiers going ahead on the line but b/c of bad communication the big cannons are blasting what they're trying to capture (and, instead, blasting them), soldiers being told to march forward when the enemy (who's got machine guns, just like they do) is there, & they're just mowed down.

Here's Meyer writing about the last advance on Verdun on Dec. 15 (near the last day of the battle of Verdun):
.... As [the French soldiers] moved forward to the trenches from which they would once again have to throw their flesh against the machine guns, the French troops began to bleat like sheep. The sound echoed all around. Baaaa, baaaa - the one pathetic form of protest available to men condemned to die [because they had been told that if they broke and ran away from the fighting they would be shot by their own commanders]. More than the fighting, more than any piece of ground won or lost, this was the sign of what was coming next.
One of the things that has horrified me about that war is the Battle of Verdun - between 700-900,000 men dead in 10 months. But I've begun to see that there were battles in which the carnage was thicker, in shorter spaces of time, than Verdun. In the Battle of the Frontiers (in August 1914), Barbara Tuchman describes how, in 3 days, there were about 160,000 French casualties.

Looking on it from this perspective, I've started to wonder why the entire world didn't crumble following this war. Not just the Russian empire (or the German, the Ottoman, Austria-Hungary). And about the art work that drew me into thinking about WWI in the first place.

Although, thinking about it, it totally makes the start of Dada that much more explainable.
likethebeer: (mesmerized)
This shows color photos from WWI taken from/linked to the website (showing color photos from WWI) that I've linked to before:
likethebeer: (Christmas Codex)
I know I've posted this before, but can't find it:

This is the day in which I get flipped out by WWI. I think about other wars, too, on this day, but I think WWI demonstrates the idiocy of war to me better than any other.

And, since it's Veteran's Day, I gave $ to the USO.


likethebeer: (Default)

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