The history of soccer in the First World War — which began in earnest 100 years ago this month — is a history of two worlds in unresolvable tension. It’s the story of a failed metaphor. Soccer in Oblivion
First world war – a century on, time to hail the peacemakers
"On the 100th anniversary of the start of the Great War, we should remember those who tried to stop a catastrophe" [more inside]
"The Wall Street Journal has selected 100 legacies from World War I
that continue to shape our lives today." You can sort according to your interest via the tabs at the top of the page. [Previously]
The BBC will be covering World War One
in great detail over the next four years. They've already started, with podcasts
, interactive guides
, online courses
, programs new
plus much, much more. Perhaps it's best to start at the beginning, with Professor Margaret MacMillan's Countdown to World War One
) or the account of her fellow historian Christopher Clark, Month of Madness
. Of course, how the war started is still contested by historians, as recounted in The Great War of Words
. The latter two are also part of the main WWI podcast
. Or you can dive into the Music and Culture
section, go through an A-Z guide
or look at comics
drawn by modern cartoonists.
is a project commissioning contemporary artists to commemorate the centennial of the First World War and explore its resonance and effects today. For three summers (2014, 2016, and 2018), the organization is presenting a summer season of events. This summer's opening act
was curated by Billy Bragg at Glastonbury; live performances can be found on the site. Other events include a radio series of essays on the theme of Goodbye to All That
, recreating Dazzle Ships
, and letters to an unknown soldier
(including the opportunity to write your own).
A century ago, mankind fought a war "To End all Wars". The scars
from that time still endure today.
Operation War Diary is the newest crowdsourced science effort from Zooniverse, cataloging WWI British soldiers' war diaries from the Western Front.
Participants can help tag dates, locations, people, and events from 1.5 million pages of war diaries from the Western Front.
Entries range from the uneventful (October 24 | PONT DU HEM | 5:30 am | Occupied same position. Did not fire all day
) to the eventful (A & B cleared the village and the regiment eventually captured the convoy in the wood about a mile on after it had been headed back by a returning movement of 12th Lancers. In all 200 prisoners
). [more inside]
Melting glaciers in northern Italy reveal corpses of WW1 soldiers
In the decades that followed the armistice, the world warmed up and the glaciers began to retreat, revealing the debris of the White War. The material that, beginning in the 1990s, began to flood out of the mountains was remarkably well preserved.
"It’s not often that one finds buried treasure
, but that’s exactly what happened in Wayland High School’s History Building as we prepared to move to a new campus. Amidst the dusty collection of maps featuring the defunct USSR, decades-old textbooks describing how Negroes are seeking equality, and film strips pieced together with brittle scotch tape, was a gray plastic Samsonite briefcase
, circa 1975."
: How a paranoid fringe group made musical tuning an international issue.
The petition had its origins in one of the strangest conflicts to have overtaken classical music in the past thirty years, and many of these luminaries were completely unaware of what they’d gotten themselves into. The sponsor of both the petition and the conference that featured Tebaldi was an organization called the Schiller Institute, dedicated to, among other things, lowering standard musical pitch. ...
But behind this respectable front lurks a strange mélange of conspiracy, demagoguery, and cultish behavior. At its founding in 1984, its chairman Helga Zepp-LaRouche laid out the Institute’s role in surprisingly apocalyptic terms
Originally published at The Believer
"Duel In The Somme"
a webcomic collaboration of Ben Bova
, Rob Balder
and Bill Hollbrook
, has just completed its 24-day, 24-page run. Storywise, imagine if Dilbert got to play Snoopy's WWI Flying Ace.
The Letter Repository
contains hundreds of personal letters from the early 18th Century through the Second World War. A large portion of the letters are from periods of conflict
, the largest chunk being from World War Two
, though there are also sizable numbers from the First World War
and the American Civil War
. There are also quite a few love letters
. You can both see scans of the letters (and photographs
or other materials) as well as transcriptions, which you can edit should you spot errors. One of my favorite collection of correspondance is the one between a Herbert Beyer, who served in the Air Force in World War Two, his darling Cleo and his parents
: Letters Home from a New England Soldier, 1916-1919.
The Great War Archive
goes live today (November 11), the 90th anniversary of the Armistice. Launched by the University of Oxford in March 2008, the initiative
invited members of the general public to submit digital photographs, audio, film, documents, and stories that originated from the Great War. Although the dealine for submissions is past, photos can still be added to the project's Flickr group
Voices and Music of World War I
and Voices of World War II: Experiences From the Front and at Home
both feature spoken word, sheet music and songs galore (all audio RealPlayer). The Great War site has plenty of stuff, but the core is the collection of songs, anti-war
and so forth. The WWII site also has a whole bunch of music, demonstrating the changing mood of the US, from conflicted feelings about the start of the war
to conflicted feelings about the atomic bomb
. Among the artists are Nat King Cole, Leadbelly, Benny Goodman and Fats Waller. But in addition the wonderful songs there are newscasts, speeches, propaganda and other radio broadcasting of all kinds.
is one of the most famous battles of World War I. Fought in on a Turkish peninsula in 1915 it was, like most Great War battles, a huge waste of life and largely fruitless. Jul Snelder's site has a wealth of information, the causes, history and aftermath of Gallipoli
, the slang of the ANZAC forces
, placenames in both English and Turkish
, interesting little factoids
, how Allied troops used subterfuge to hide their evacuation
, the Turkish perspective
, pictures of the battlesite today juxtaposed with old photographs
, a mini-travel guide to Gallipoli
and much more. One of the most famous units at Gallipoli was the Australian 12th Light Horse Regiment
. To learn more about this type of unit, responsible for the "last successful great cavalry charge
" two years after Gallipoli, I direct you to the excellent website of the Australian Light Horse Association
, where you can learn anything you might reasonably want to know about the subject.
New Zealand War Art
showcases about 1,500 images of New Zealanders at war beginning with World War I
in a wide variety of media
by a long list of artists
. [more inside]
Crossing the Line
a trailer for a short film by Peter Jackson. [more inside]
The story of Sgt Stubby of the 102nd Infantry,
the most decorated dog of WWI, is an amazing tale. As a stray he wandered onto a troop barracks in the U.S. & was adopted by one of the young recruits. Barely a pup when he was smuggled aboard a troop transport to the front lines, he served in over 17 battles, providing morale boost up & down the trenches, early warning (through his enhanced sense of smell) for gas attacks, and even uncovering & capturing a german spy in the trenches. Though largely forgotten today, upon his return to the U.S., Stubby was met with a hero's welcome, and went on to become the original mascot for the Georgetown Hoyas
. After his passing in 1926, his preserved remains were put on display by the Smithsonian
, wearing the special coat he was given to hold the large number of medals & awards he received for his service in the Great War.
On this day in 1915 the ocean liner Lusitania was sunk
by a German U-Boat, which helped turn public sentiment in the US against Germany in The Great War. FirstWorldWar.com
is your go to site for all things War to End All Wars related, from how it began
to propaganda posters
to memoirs and diaries
to the weapons
to audio and video
and to the justly famous poetry of World War One
. Also check out the feature articles
My Boy Jack.
A heart wrenching story: "For Rudyard Kipling, the most famous author of the age, the carnage at Loos on the Western Front in September 1915 plunged him into inner darkness. His only son, John, for whom he had written his best-loved poem, If
, had been killed in the action just six weeks after his 18th birthday." [more inside]
The cruiser Emden
was launched in 1910. When World War One broke out, she was under the command of Korvettenkapitän Karl Friedrich Max von Müller, with Kapitänleutnant Hellmuth von Mücke as executive officer, who "was as extroverted as his commander was modest." When Graf von Spee, commander of the East Asiatic Squadron, decided to keep it united and head for Chile to coal up, Müller said he'd rather go off on his own and harass British shipping. Spee agreed, and the Emden
embarked on a spree of destruction that made him a hero not only to the Germans but even to the British; when it was over, the Telegraph
said: "It is almost in our hearts to regret that the Emden has been captured and destroyed.... There is not a survivor who does not speak well of this young German, the officers under him and the crew obedient to his orders. The war on the sea will lose some of its piquancy, its humour and its interest now that the Emden has gone."
90 years ago today, whistles blew around the river Somme in France as British troops prepared for an attack on German trenches. By the end of the day they had suffered 57,470 casualties. By the battle's end in November, there were over 600,000 Allied casualties, with perhaps the same number of German casualties. The Imperial War Museum
has launched an online exhibition, where you can find out more about how the battle was planned, personal stories
of those involved, and myths
about the attack. Elsewhere you can find copies of Army reports on the first day
, look at film
of the attack, diaries and letters
home from the troops, go on tours
of the trenches
, listen to contemporary songs and music
inspired by the battle, and see some more modern responses
In Flanders Fields
- by John McCrae
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields
MetaFilter readers wherever you are, please take a moment of silence to honour those who gave their lives so that we could live ours.