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Gildwiller1918

High Quality WW1 Photos - Allies

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Gorgeous Wrecks (Georgius Rex), as the Australians used to say. He conveniently forgot his ancestry and changed his name to Windsor in 1917.

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It is interesting that most of the ruling leaders during the conflict were related in some fashion or another. 

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Italian soldiers leaving Venice to fight the Austrians in the North. The rugged terrain in which they both fought led to horrible injuries from rock splinters from the artillery blasting the mountains and hills, not to mention the cold climate. They seem over optimistic as they march off...

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Rare image of a French Ambulance, they stacked the men up on rails in the stretchers. Soldiers stood a good chance of recovery if they received medical treatment promptly, depending on the injuries naturally. The nature of trench warfare was extremely bad for controlling disease and the spread of germs to wounds. 

Note the bearer on the right, with the helmet cover. Not many of those are seen in photographs. These typically were made from a burlap material or cotton duck, usually a tan/khaki color in appearance. 

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Here is the most decorated US soldier of WW1, Sergeant Alvin York. He grew up in rural Tennessee where he learned to hunt and became an expert shot, when the war came to America, he was drafted, although he was a conscientious objector. Regardless of his beliefs, he chose to fight and was assigned to Company G, 328th Infantry Regiment, 82nd Division. In the Meuse-Argonne offensive, his patrol was pinned down by German forces. During the action he was left standing as the ranking US soldier, as acting Corporal leading 7 men. He left the remaining US troops to guard prisoners while he worked his way towards the enemy positions. York eventually took out heavy guns that were holding up the advance of the US 328th infantry attack on the Decauville Railroad. He led his 7 men back to friendly lines with 132 prisoners. 

For his actions, he received the Distinguished Service Cross, which was later upgraded to the Medal of Honor. He was also awarded medals by the French and Italians, receiving nearly 50 medals by the wars end. He became a national hero, and also tried to enlist in WW2, but was denied combat service due to health conditions, he did however serve as an officer in the signal corps where he participated in morale and fundraising events, supporting organizations such as the red cross. In 1941 a movie was made of his life and exploits during WW1, the movie: Sgt. York, with Gary Cooper was the highest grossing movie of the year, and won Cooper a Oscar. York suffered from health problems most of his life and suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and died at the age of 76.

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Here is an arena of WW1 often overlooked, the allied intervention in Russia. The allies had been sending a large amount of war material to Russia and when Russia collapsed in 1917 the allies sent troops to guard the supplies lest it fall into the hands of the Soviets. At the time the allies still supported the White Russians in the hopes they would defeat the reds and get back into the war against the central powers. However this did not happen and the allies pulled out in 1920 after the White armies defeat, something the communists never forgot. British, French, American, Italian, Polish, Serbian, Czech and Japanese forces were part of this expedition. 

The US has an official cemetery in Siberia which has 353 interred as do the British who lost 219 men. 

Below is an image of Japanese troops parading through the port city of Archangel where the allies had 600,000 tons of supplies. 

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Members of the Chinese Labour Corps (CLC) on the Western Front.  These men were responsible for digging of trenches, road repair and construction, fortification work and other engineering work. They numbered roughly 400,000 as well as 50,000 that served with French forces. These men worked under enemy fire unarmed and lived in bad conditions and were paid a few pennies a day.  Although China was neutral until 1917, it allowed Britain and France to recruit workers as the country was improvised and needed work. It is estimated at least 10,000 died during the war, most from the Spanish Flu, but the records are not exact. When the war ended, they still worked in Europe, cleaning up battlefields, filling trenches, collecting and disposing of ordnance. 

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Portuguese soldiers on the Western Front, they are easily recognizable with their distinctive helmet. The uniform was similar to the French in color, being a blue/grey. Most of the field gear was based upon British designs. Portugal sent a expeditionary force of 55,000 men to the front in February of 1917, and in April they went to the front lines. Portuguese colonial possessions during this time were in upheaval as some colonies rebelled against the rulers, so troops also had to be sent to the colonies in Africa. Although the 55,000 troops were a welcome sight to the allies, the soldiers had no practical training or understanding of the tactics and the war in general, and they were easily brushed aside by enemy attacks. Portugal was in no position to go to war but did so under promises from the British, which were quickly forgotten after the war. After the war Portugal was in crisis, suffering from lack of food, coal and other resources, and her credit was cut off by Britain, causing inflation to rise 440%. In short, for Portugal it may have been a wiser course of action to emulate its neighbor Spain and stay neutral. 

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Here is a French tank developed at the end of the war, it was designed to break through enemy lines and aptly named the Char de Rupture C (breakthrough tank model C). It was also known as the Char 2C, and it had a earlier model in 1917 designated the 1C and a second model in 1918 called the 1B, both weighing 40 tons. The Char 2c weighed 70 tons and 10 were made up till 1922 and at the time, they were the heaviest and most powerful in the world. It was also the first tank to have multiple turrets, which became the rage of tank designs in the 20s and 30s. The typical 2C had an armament of 1x 75mm gun in the main turret and a Hotchkiss machine gun in the rear turret as well as 4 more machine guns along the hull, it had a crew of 12 and had a top speed of 12 KPH. Another 2C was modified to carry a 155mm in the main turret along with a 2.95 inch gun with the 4 machine guns. The idea of the land battleships sounded good on paper, but in reality, mobility, speed and the right balance or armor and weapons would be the future, not lumbering armored beasts. 

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Nice detailed view of French troops on the front lines. Note the M1874 Gras rifles and bayonets, as well as the M2 gas masks. In the foreground you can see 2 different canister types to store these masks, rectangular and oval shaped. 

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Another image of French soldiers, in the foreground you can see the leather pouch used to store the VB rifle grenade launcher. A rare sight to find in images. 

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Member of a photo and film unit, both French and US Marines. 

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Royal Army Medical Corps with Stretcher Bearer (SB) armbands. 

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US troops loading a wounded soldier into an ambulance in the Meuse region in late 1918, although the vehicles of the time got the wounded medical treatment faster, they were very bumpy and not comfortable. The best way if possible was to send them by boat on rivers and large streams. Several of the men loading are wearing the leather jerkin, which was just as popular with US troops as it was with the British. 

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Here is an interesting photo of an arriving wounded man at a triage station. On the left is a US soldier, in the center standing is a possible British or Commonwealth soldier as he is wearing the 1902 pattern tunic, this could also be a US soldier as some US forces were assigned to the British forces, such as the US 30th Infantry division, which worn British uniforms and had the SMLE rifles. Also visible in the rear is a French Soldier, along with more US personnel. 

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Here is the often overlooked but equally important field kitchen, this one manned by British troops, in not a very ideal location. These locations were under constant threat as the steam/smoke drew enemy fire. 

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Photo showing a US soldier checking the temperature in Base Section #5's delousing chamber in Brest, France. This chamber was heated to 200 degrees to kill the lice. You can see various clothing items in numbered slots on racks that were rolled into the chamber. 

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Early war image of French troops using a catapult system to throw what appears to be the M1847 ball grenades. Very similar to the M1914 types, with different fuses. The grenade was modified in 1876 to make it more water proof which helped the black powder charge inside stay dry and usable. This was the only official grenade on hand for French forces at the start of the war. There are other devices made for the purpose of launching these and other grenades, such as slings and crossbow type machines as well. 

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Nice colorized photo of a French Soldier, with the 1886 model Lebel rifle. It also appears he has a VB grenade leather pouch on his belt in the front. 

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Interesting photo of a French Officer posing with a M1886 Lebel that has been modified to throw lines, such as communications. Phone lines were frequently cut during bombardments and it was quite dangerous to run new lines during the day and most work was done at night, so the use of such a weapon and device had a practical application. 

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The English forces started using Paper Mache heads to fool enemy snipers as early as 1915. Below are some examples. 

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Rare image of a US soldier demonstrating the use of the M1903 rifle modified to allow the stock to drop down while elevating a periscope upwards. Second image shows a US Army file photo of the device. Image source, internet. 

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