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ICI FINIT LA CVLTVRE ALLEMANDE

On this day one hundred years ago, Imperial German soldiers who had peacefully arrived in the Belgian city of Leuven (Fr: Louvain), having taken hostages and accepted the parole of its mayor on behalf of its citizens, without warning set fire to the city and massacred its inhabitants forever altering the city, its university's library, and the course of the war.
  • Belgian Judicial Report on the Sacking of Louvain in August 1914
  • The destruction and rebuilding of the Louvain Library: claim and counterclaim
  • [more inside]
    posted by Blasdelb on Aug 25, 2014 - 13 comments

    The SURREYS play the game.

    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.
    posted by Ghostride The Whip on Aug 7, 2014 - 2 comments

    to end all wars

    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]
    posted by flex on Aug 4, 2014 - 27 comments

    Lights Out

    Lights Out commemorates the beginning of WWI
    posted by Segundus on Aug 4, 2014 - 18 comments

    If only the real thing had only taken 5m55s.

    A day-by-day map of World War I. [more inside]
    posted by absalom on Jul 28, 2014 - 16 comments

    The Lasting Impact of World War I

    "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]
    posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jul 27, 2014 - 13 comments

    A hundred years ago Europe was in the midst of the July Crisis.

    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 and old plus much, much more. Perhaps it's best to start at the beginning, with Professor Margaret MacMillan's Countdown to World War One (podcast link) 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.
    posted by Kattullus on Jul 27, 2014 - 42 comments

    In the tradition of Owen, Graves, Sassoon, et al.

    14-18 NOW 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, cartoons, recreating Dazzle Ships, and letters to an unknown soldier (including the opportunity to write your own).
    posted by immlass on Jul 11, 2014 - 3 comments

    The wistful specter of what might've been if only he'd been listened to

    From his time in Cairo, Lawrence was aware of the extravagant promises the British government had made to Hussein in order to raise the Arab Revolt: full independence for virtually the entire Arab world..............His first act of sedition — and by most any standards, a treasonous one — was to inform Faisal of the existence of Sykes-Picot.....The True Story of Lawrence of Arabia . Previously and Previously
    posted by lalochezia on Jul 1, 2014 - 11 comments

    The shots heard round the world.

    One hundred years ago today, an age came to an end and a terrible war was spawned. On June 28, 1914, 20-year-old Gavrilo Princip assassinated Archduke Ferdinand and his wife, Duchess of Hohenberg Sophie, in the city of Sarajevo. This triggered a diplomatic crisis which metastasized into the first World War.
    posted by doctornemo on Jun 28, 2014 - 70 comments

    Double Deuce | April 1917| Woodhouse discharged | That's a lot of scalps

    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]
    posted by univac on Jan 14, 2014 - 11 comments

    Snow is truly a sign of mourning

    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.
    posted by MrVisible on Jan 14, 2014 - 12 comments

    Good Night Vienna!

    Dancing over the Edge: Vienna in 1914. Österreich (Austria) was one of the cultural and political Centres of modern Europe a hundred Years ago. Vienna - the Capitol of the big Austro-Hungarian-Empire and Home to the longest running imperial Family the Habsburgs. Just in 1913 Hitler, Trotsky, Tito, Freud and Stalin (previously on MeFi) all lived in Vienna.
    posted by homodigitalis on Jan 6, 2014 - 10 comments

    From the photo archives of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    For over a year, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has been digitizing old photos from its far-reaching library and putting them on a Tumblr called The Digs. [more inside]
    posted by mcoo on Dec 2, 2013 - 9 comments

    WWI in Color

    World War I in Color is a documentary designed to make the Great War come alive for a 21st-century audience. The events of 1914-18 are authoritatively narrated by Kenneth Branagh, who presents the military and political overview, while interviews with historians add different perspectives in six 48 minute installments annotated within. [more inside]
    posted by Blasdelb on Oct 31, 2013 - 60 comments

    A different sort of hell

    "Technically it’s not a book at all: The Great War is actually one continuous drawing, a 24ft-long panorama narrating the British forces’ experience of 1 July 1916, spatially and chronologically, from orderly morning approach to chaotic battlefield engagement to grim aftermath. There are no boxes of text or speech bubbles, no individuated characters, instead Sacco portrays a mass event in painstaking, monochrome, almost technical detail. It’s like a cross between Hergé and the Chapman brothers; the Bayeux Tapestry as a silent movie." -- Cartoonist Joe Sacco's latest project, The Great War is about one particular day in the War: 1 July, the start of the Battle of the Somme. [more inside]
    posted by MartinWisse on Oct 18, 2013 - 20 comments

    United States of America

    Warning! The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased, entry for the United States of America
    posted by Blasdelb on Sep 29, 2013 - 49 comments

    A Different Age

    In 1914, Captain Robert Campbell was taken captive by the German Army. In 1916, he got word that his mother back in England was dying. He was given a laissez-passer to visit her on condition that he return to captivity as soon as practicable. An officer and a gentleman, he did exactly that. [more inside]
    posted by IndigoJones on Sep 25, 2013 - 56 comments

    We are simply passing through history....

    "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."
    posted by Kid Charlemagne on Sep 4, 2013 - 40 comments

    ‘the poor man’s atomic bomb’?

    Why are we so afraid of chemical weapons? [more inside]
    posted by the man of twists and turns on Jul 18, 2013 - 46 comments

    Distemper

    Pitch Battles: 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.
    posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 9, 2013 - 51 comments

    ... not a circus act

    Archduke Franz Ferdinand And His Astounding Death Car
    posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 7, 2013 - 24 comments

    "Here We'll Stay Wonderfully"

    The Poet-King Of Fiume
    There is no decent way of containing the excesses of Gabriele d'Annunzio's lives. It would astonish his contemporaries to discover that he is now only faintly remembered outside Italy. Even within Italy, though firmly entrenched in the literary canon, he is most commonly recalled with a sort of collective cringe. For once upon a time, in the fervid fin de siècle - for reasons variously literary, political, military and, not least, sexual - he was one of the towering figures of European culture. Think Wilde crossed with Casanova and Savonarola; Byron meets Barnum meets Mussolini - and you would have some of the flavours, but still not quite the essence, of this extraordinary, unstoppable and in many ways quite ridiculous figure
    . The Pike - A Review [more inside]
    posted by the man of twists and turns on Mar 5, 2013 - 6 comments

    Lousy? Crummy? Fed Up?

    Trench Talk now entrenched in the English Language - Military historian Peter Doyle and Julian Walker, an etymologist at the British Library, have written Trench Talk about how words from the first World War have become part of everyday English. [more inside]
    posted by pointystick on Dec 3, 2012 - 22 comments

    Between the crosses, row on row

    They shall not grow old.
    posted by dazed_one on Nov 11, 2012 - 76 comments

    Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff

    Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff, a podcast in which writer and game designer Robin D. Laws (Hamlet's Hitpoints, The GUMSHOE system) and game designer and writer Kenneth Hite (Tour De Lovecraft, GURPS Horror) (previously) talk about stuff. Stuffs include: Why vampires are assholes and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, stopping WWI and Beasts of the Southern Wild, Margaret Atwood and the difference between a mystic and an occultist, why no invented setting is as interesting as the real world and Woodrow Wilson, Gencon and sundry RPGs, Neil Armstrong, HP Blavatsky and theosophy, the ebook prcing settlement, what big publishing could learn from RPG publishers, and the many crazy fictional possibilities of Charles Lindbergh and his UFO investigating chums, and Dungeons and Dragons edition wars and Aliester Crowley.
    posted by Artw on Sep 30, 2012 - 30 comments

    The Deadliest Catch

    The WMD was discovered, quite by chance, lying by the side of a Bridgeville road in late July by a Delaware state trooper on an unrelated callout. Jutting out of the ground, the 75mm shell was encrusted in barnacles and pitted with rust; barely recognisable as a munition at all. The trooper called in his find and a military team took the bomb to Dover Air Force Base for disposal. As with most conventional rounds, a small charge was placed on the side of the shell and detonated to trigger the vintage munition’s own explosive. But something went wrong, and the bomb failed to explode. When the two staff sergeants and technician walked over to inspect the failed detonation, they found a strange black liquid seeping out of the cracked mortar. Given that the shell had been under the sea for the better part of fifty years, the men thought little of the foul-smelling substance until hours later, when their skin began to erupt in agonising blisters. All three were rushed to Kent General hospital, where two were released later after minor treatment. A third, more seriously injured serviceman was transported to Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, where he remained in serious but stable condition with what were only described as “burns or blisters” in a statement issued by the Army later that week. A scientific team were sent to Dover to collect soil samples from the area. The results were clear: the shell had been filled with mustard gas.
    posted by Blasdelb on Sep 20, 2012 - 52 comments

    Annotated Filmography of Charlie Chaplin

    Director and/or star of many of the greatest films ever made including The Great Dictator (2:05:16) [Globe scene and the eternally goosebump providing Final speech], The Immigrant (20:01), The Gold Rush (1:11:49), City Lights (1:22:40), Modern Times (1:27:01), and Monsieur Verdoux (1:59:03), Charlie Chaplin's movies have entered the public domain in most countries. Below the fold is an annotated list of all 82 of his official short and feature films in chronological order, as well as several more, with links to where you can watch them; it's not like you had work to do right? [more inside]
    posted by Blasdelb on Sep 17, 2012 - 35 comments

    Foods That Will Win The War And How To Cook Them

    Foods That Will Win The War And How To Cook Them (1918) by Goudiss and Goudiss
    posted by aniola on Sep 13, 2012 - 37 comments

    Goodbye to all That

    Paul Fussell, author of The Great War and Modern Memory and winner of the first National Critics Award for Criticism, but who is probably best known for writing Class: A Guide Through the American Status System, is dead. [more inside]
    posted by postcommunism on May 23, 2012 - 48 comments

    World War I poetry

    A great deal of poetry was written about the Great War, much of it by soldiers in the trenches. Two period books of World War I poetry and poets are The Muse in Arms and For remembrance, available in a variety of formats at archive.org. There is also The First World War Digital Poetry Archive which mostly has things from the most well-known authors, but many of these are available as scans of the original documents. (The interface is a little iffy on the DPA; click on a person, then use the search for "any poem" to get a full listing of what's available)
    posted by curious nu on Mar 22, 2012 - 9 comments

    Hitler's French son.

    Hitler's French son.
    posted by Meatbomb on Feb 17, 2012 - 79 comments

    Farewell, Florence.

    Florence Green, the last know WWI veteran, passed away today. She was two weeks away from her 111th birthday. [more inside]
    posted by piratebowling on Feb 7, 2012 - 45 comments

    A Pale Lady

    The remarkable occurrences of which I am about to write were related by certain French persons of sound sense and unimpeachable veracity, who happened to be in Berlin a few weeks before the outbreak of the European War. The Kaiser, the most superstitious monarch who ever sat upon the Prussian throne, sternly forbade the circulation of the report of these happenings in his own country, but our gallant Allies across the Channel are, fortunately, not obliged to obey the despotic commands of Wilhelm II, and these persons, therefore, upon their return to France, related, to those interested in such matters, the following story of the great War Lord's three visitations from the dreaded ghost of the Hohenzollerns.
    From "Wilhelm II and the White Lady of the Hohenzollerns," by Katharine Cox, as reproduced in S. Mukerji's charmingly digressive Indian Ghost Stories.
    posted by Iridic on Oct 31, 2011 - 2 comments

    Are you Fond of Cycling? Why Not Cycle for the King?

    Welcome to the Birmingham Small Arms & Military Bicycle Museum. Always wanted to bicycle with your rifle? Observe the 1942 BSA military Mk. V Roadster. Also featuring the "Airborne", the Airborne folding Paratrooper, the Peugeot Captain Gerard folding bicycle, the Lady Back tandem model T64 with Watsonian sidecar and, many more. See the many vintage posters and learn the exciting history of the soldier-cyclist.
    posted by ennui.bz on Oct 21, 2011 - 7 comments

    “Aux enfants, je leur dis et je leur répète: ne faites pas la guerre."

    The Last Two Veterans of WWI [more inside]
    posted by zarq on May 3, 2011 - 38 comments

    "I didn't think it would be me."

    R.I.P., Frank Buckles, last American World War I veteran, who just passed away at 110 years old. Previously.
    posted by bwg on Feb 28, 2011 - 51 comments

    Everyday Is A Good Day

    Walter Breuning reminisces about his life in three centuries. As the oldest man in the world and in celebration of his 114th birthday on September 21, Mr. Breuning agreed to this exclusive interview. Questions were gleaned via the internet from individuals around the world.
    posted by gman on Sep 23, 2010 - 31 comments

    Have you eaten your pound of potatoes today?

    Beans are bullets. Potatoes are powder. An exhibition of food posters from the National Agricultural Library.
    posted by mudpuppie on Jul 29, 2010 - 13 comments

    "They were not true, those dreams, those story books of youth..."

    Dream Voices: Siegfried Sassoon, Memory and War: artifacts, manuscripts, and illustrations from the diaries and notebooks of the World War I poet, currently on display at Cambridge University Library (exhibition blog), with an accompanying Picasa gallery, and audio slideshow from the BBC.
    posted by steef on Jul 24, 2010 - 8 comments

    "A Minute With Venus... A Year With Mercury!"

    "During World War I, the [US] Army lost 7 million person-days and discharged more than 10,000 men because they were ailing from STDs. Once Penicillin kicked in in the mid-1940s, such infections were treatable. But as a matter of national security, the military started distributing condoms and aggressively marketing prophylactics to the troops in the early 20th century." [more inside]
    posted by zarq on Jun 1, 2010 - 45 comments

    Hero of WWI. Traitor of WWII. Honored in Milltown, NJ.

    A Local Street and a Lesson in History [more inside]
    posted by zarq on Mar 7, 2010 - 20 comments

    'A slice of bread seems an unimportant thing.....'

    Foods That Will Win The War (and how to cook them)
    posted by anastasiav on Mar 4, 2010 - 39 comments

    The moving finger writes

    The moving finger writes and having writ, moves on. From the Globe and Mail website: "John Babcock, Canada’s last known First World War veteran, has died, the Prime Minister’s Office said Thursday. Mr. Babcock was 109. In a statement, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he is deeply saddened to learn of Mr. Babcock’s death. He said that because Mr. Babcock was Canada’s last living link to the First World War, it marks the end of an era. Mr. Babcock joined the military at the age of 16, but because of his age he wasn’t allowed on the frontlines." I could link to bazillions of relevancies but really, so can you. It's all over Canadian news websites. But perhaps just this. Gone west. Rest in Peace, sir. Lest We Forget.
    posted by Mike D on Feb 18, 2010 - 42 comments

    Cubism for wartime

    The Rhode Island School of Design has a set of beautiful designs for dazzle ship camouflage. Dazzle Camouflage was a way to confuse submarine operators as to the heading and speed of warships, so that they could not effectively fire torpedoes to sink them. Certainly a lot more colorful than today's camo! (previously)
    posted by that girl on Feb 8, 2010 - 35 comments

    All Quiet on Christmas Day

    When Pope Benedict XV called for a cease fire over the Christian holiday of Christmas the high command on both sides of no man's land called it "impossible". But the men in the icy muck and mire of Flanders decided for themselves what was possible, what was not possible. The future held millions of dead and wounded but the season motivated the British (along with some French and Belgians) and the Germans to shake off the traditional definitions of enemies and allies. [more inside]
    posted by IvoShandor on Dec 24, 2009 - 36 comments

    Voices from WWI speak again in British Library

    "It is the business of educated people to speak so that no-one may be able to tell in what county their childhood was passed." Despite efforts by Victorians to eradicate them, dialects of English in Great Britain continue to vary greatly, much to the consternation of many traditionalists. But a recently acquired archive is giving new insight into old dialects--some of which no longer exist. Recorded in a WWI prisoner of war camp on shellac disks, the archive was part of an effort by German linguists to study regional variation in the English language. A report by PRI's The World includes a brief synopsis--and a powerful rendition of a beloved Scottish ballad by a homesick soldier.
    posted by jefficator on Nov 11, 2009 - 10 comments

    Four wheels and a mission

    On July 4, 1916, Gussie and Addie Van Buren set out from New York on two Indian Model F motorcycles. Though it was well before the creation of an interstate highway system, they reached San Francisco on September 2 and Southern California on September 8. [more inside]
    posted by mudpuppie on Oct 23, 2009 - 17 comments

    World War I Posters

    From the Prints & Photographs Division Library of Congress - browse through more than 1900 World War I posters. You can also search or look by subject heading. [via] [more inside]
    posted by cashman on Oct 8, 2009 - 8 comments

    Panzers and air raids and artillery, oh my

    World Wars 2, sequel to the hex-wargame-inspired World Wars, has been released. [more inside]
    posted by XMLicious on Aug 9, 2009 - 24 comments

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