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Posts Tagged "World War I"

Anecdotes from the Archive

Care of the Wounded, 1914

Dogs for medical use: “Major Richardson of the British army and two of the famous hounds that he has trained for Red Cross work on the battlefield.” Image: Scientific American, November 21, 1914

Reported in Scientific American, This Week in World War I: November 21, 1914 From the Scientific American Supplement issue of November 21, 1914, we note, “The first object of an army in war is to disperse or destroy the enemy, but a correlative duty is the care of its own men when wounded or otherwise [...]

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Anecdotes from the Archive

The Ferocity of Artillery, 1914

French fort at Maubeuge: rotating turret hit with a large-caliber German shell. The armored cupola, containing two guns, was apparently split and the top blown off. The two soldiers standing on the shattered cupola are German.  Image: Scientific American, November 14, 1914

Reported in Scientific American, This Week in World War I: November 14, 1914 The tactical use of artillery had been evolving in the years before the Great War: In South Africa in the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902 the British developed the concept of the “creeping barrage,” where a curtain of shellfire proceeded just in front [...]

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Anecdotes from the Archive

The Surprisingly Lethal Submarine, 1914

The cruiser HMS Hogue is struck by a torpedo, detonating the stores of ammunition aboard. Perhaps the image is overly dramatic, but it is a testament to the changed perception of the power of the submarine. Image: Scientific American, November 7, 1914

Reported in Scientific American this week in World War I, November 7, 1914 Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz, the man who built up the Imperial Navy of Germany, had dismissed submarines as a waste of money back in 1901. By the time the Great War broke out the British had at least three times as many [...]

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Anecdotes from the Archive

Military Strategy, 1914: Avoid a Knockout Blow

Crystal Palace: This large exhibition space was taken over by the British Government to house recruits for a rapidly expanding Royal Navy in 1914. The men slept in traditional British naval hammocks. Image: Scientific American, October 31, 1914

Reported in Scientific American, This Week in World War I: October 31, 1914 The articles by “The Military Correspondent of the Scientific American” were probably written by an American army officer. He shows a remarkably good grasp of the wider strategies being pursued at the time by the Allies and the Central Powers. His articles [...]

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Anecdotes from the Archive

Letters from the Firing Line, 1914

“Bivouac on the allied line.” French infantry sleeping in a comfortable haystack on some field in France; their rifles, packs and other accouterments carefully stacked at the ready in the hay.

Reported in Scientific American This Week in World War I: October 24, 1914 This article, “Letters from the Firing Line,” is bylined “By an Officer in the French Army—Special War Correspondent of the Scientific American.” The short biography describes an “artist as well as an officer.” The drawings here (see illustrations) may have been the [...]

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Anecdotes from the Archive

Censorship and Armored Cars, Circa 1914

1914-10-17-armoredcar

This Week in World War I: October 17, 1914 The cover wrap of the issue has a painting of an armored car, charging into—surely not running away from!—some battle, gun blazing. There’s a boisterous quality to the image: it looks like some fictional illustration from the “Boy’s Own Guide…” to derring-do in the Great War. [...]

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Anecdotes from the Archive

This Week in World War I: September 5, 1914

The original caption from 1914 says “Foraging squad returning to camp with a drove of steers,” and shows French soldiers gathering supplies for their brigade. The image seems authentic but is very likely a photograph taken “somewhere in France” far from the front lines. Credit: Scientific American, September 5, 1914

Censored: How the Army Eats In this issue, a telling line reads: “The censors have not allowed the press of the world to state whether or not explosives were dropped on the fortifications of Liège.” This special “War Issue” contained much on military theory, organization and resources, but apart from a scattering of images little [...]

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Anecdotes from the Archive

This Week in World War I: August 29, 1914

1914-08-29-digging-trench

A Monstrous Paradox In the late 19th and early 20th century before the Great War broke out, Germany (which had become unified only in 1871) could be held up as a shining example of how science and the arts (philosophy, music, painting) could help a country prosper, grow and become civilized. Early on in the [...]

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Anecdotes from the Archive

This Week in World War I: August 22, 1914

A week’s rations for the German army, or as near as could be calculated by the editors of Scientific American in 1914. Credit: Scientific American, August 22, 1914

The Vast Scale of War When the Great War broke out the scale of it was unprecedented. Citizens, soldiers and governments alike tried to grasp the sheer immense numbers of combatants and materièl involved. One article that we published shortly after the war started presented an “infographic”: the volume of the amount of food eaten [...]

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Anecdotes from the Archive

This Week in World War I: August 15, 1914

Germany’s Opening Gambit The German attack on Belgium and France, starting on August 4, 1914, was designed to deliver a crushing blow to the French armies before the Russians and British could mobilize; after defeating the French, the Germans planned to use their extensive railway system to rush their forces to the eastern front to [...]

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