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CROONAERT

Western Front Battlefield trip

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CROONAERT

A few snaps from my recent quick trip to the WF... I've left out some of the more 'usual' places and arranged them geographically rather than chronologically. (If interested, the WW2 side of the trip can be found on the WW2Talk forum)

Starting from the north:

the (pre- Strandfest) northernmost reach of the Western front at Lombartzijde (coastal erosion has turned what, in June 1917, was dunes to flat beach). The photo taken looking directly inland was from the exact position of the end of the last German frontline trench. A 'nice surprise' in the middle of the beach too!...

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CROONAERT

Quick jump to the St.Quentin vicinity...

The famous well (reconstruction) in St.Quentin around which Major Bridges and his bugler played the toy instruments to rouse the demoralised troops into movement in August 1914...

Grand Seraucourt CWGC cemetery containing the remains of soldiers and airmen from 1914 through to 1944...

...The Bellicourt American Monument...

...The Napoleon tunnel at Riqueval...

...inside the tunnel...

Tennesee memorial, Riqueval...

...Somme American Cemetery, Bony...

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CROONAERT

...down to the Chemin des Dames...

...Caverne du Dragon...

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KONDOA

Good pictures Dave. Weather looks ideal.

Roop

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CROONAERT

Cerny en Laonnais memorial chapel,,,

...Cerny en L. German cemetery...

...Cerny en L. French cem...

Cerny en L. Loyal North Lancs memorial...

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CROONAERT

...Californie Plateau - monument to the 'nameless dead' caught in the web of history...

...Hurtebise Farm memorial to the actions of 1814 (French vs Russians) and 1914-18. There's also a 1940 memorial on the nearby wall...

...destroyed village of Craonne...

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CROONAERT

... MG post above Craonne

Ft.de Malmaison German Cemetery (1939-45)...

Vendresse CWGC cemetery...

Vendresse churchyard...

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CROONAERT

Soupir Italian Cemetery...

...Soupir German Cemetery...

Soupir Nr.1 French cemetery...

Soupir nr.2 French cemetery...

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CROONAERT

...Bourg et Comin...

part of 1/Cameron Highlanders HQ Coy killed when their dugout suffered a cave-in - Sept 1914. Two other members lie across from them.

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Nigel Marshall

Great photos, Dave.

I've not visited any American Cemeteries myself, so it was interesting to see the Medal of Honor recipients' graves. I had no idea they were engraved as they are.

Cheers,

Nigel

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CROONAERT

...this row contains the 4/DGs - killed upon entry to Bourg by MG fire from house windows on September 13th 1914...

Soupir Chateau remains...served both as a regimental HQ and an ADS during the war...

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CROONAERT

Quick skip to Verdun and the Argonne now...

Montfaucon American monument...

...view of the church from the top...

...one of the 7(?) OPs surrounding the remains of the village (found 5 of them)...

...Nantillois German cemetery...

Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, Romagne...

...and my specific reason for visiting M-A cemetery (been here many times before, but never knew I was related to this guy)...

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CROONAERT

Chattancourt (Mort Homme) French cemetery...

...remains of Cumieres (destroyed village) church...

Bois de Caures...

Bois de caures (Driant's PC)...

...Ft.Douaumont...

...Ft.Douaumont...

...Ft.Douaumont...

...

...Verdun-Bevaux french cemetery...

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CROONAERT

...onwards and...err..downwards! Alsace next...

Cernay French cemetery with the Hartmannsweillerkopf (right) and Molkenrain (left) in the background

...Russians , Czechs, Vietnamese and (1) British lie amongst the Frenchmen (and colonies) who died from the first week of the war all the way through to 1946 in here...

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CROONAERT

Cernay German cemetery... graves from August 1914 through to January 1945 (plus several regimental memorials and a nice selection of original grave markers) in here...

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CROONAERT

'Le Vieil-Armand', 'Hartmannswillerkopf' or 'Silberloch' French cemetery and the Hartmannswillerkopf...

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CROONAERT

Soultzmatt Roumanian cemetery...

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CROONAERT

...and Illfurth German cemetery (the most southerly German cemetery on the Western Front... here lies buried Lt.Albert Mayer, the first 'killed in action' casualty of WW1 (2nd August 1914) - he beat Cpl.Peugeot to this dubious honour by a matter of minutes/hours))...

...Mayer's grave...

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CROONAERT

Finally... down to the very end of the line and Pfetterhouse, la Largue and Mooslargue.

The first two photos are taken from the exact spot that the French line ended (according to the two June 1917 trenchmaps I was using). One is on the spot looking towards Switzerland (beyond the clearing a few yards in front of the camera) and the other shows the location of wire field that lay in front of this final line. The german line (across the river to the east of these positions) continued southwards a little further, but was unopposed by any combattant nation so this was the final 'offensive' zone.

...

...and the famous Pfetterhouse customs house on the Swiss border a mile or two to the west of the firing line...

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Dragon

Lovely strong photos, Dave. I love the web of war sculpture.

For interest, these cards are from my collection.

Re post #16: the cross at Hartmannswillerkopf:

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Early visitors to the remains of structures at HWK:

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and the Roumanian cemetery at Soultzmatt (post #17):

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If you would prefer that these didn't interrupt your sequence, I'll delete them till you've finished.

Gwyn

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CROONAERT

If you would prefer that these didn't interrupt your sequence, I'll delete them till you've finished.

No probs Gwyn. Just about finished now (took nearly 3000 photos - and I ain't posting all them!!!:lol: )... one more post of 'randoms' and I'm done.

Dave.

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CROONAERT

...a few random shots from the journey down and back...

Coucy le Chateau (largest keep in N.France (I think) - dynamited by the germans in 1917...

...mis-spelled memorial at coucy...

1917 and 1940 graves in Eperleques churchyard...

Waxweiller (near Prum, Germany) war memorial...a very thought provoking list of names on there.

one in the UK... Ashford, Kent (stopped there on the way down (and back)...

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CROONAERT

.... a quick quiz question to end... I never knew what this was until last week (when I asked someone!!!). I'd seen them many times, but never heeded much notice of them. Anyone else know?:whistle:

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Simon Jones

Brilliant photos! Excellent start with the oyster on the beach!

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CROONAERT

Oh...nearly forgot....

it was well worth it. If nothing else, then just for THIS :thumbsup: ....

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