French officers of the 370th Infantry Regiment pose in the ruins after a German attack at the Chemin des Dames near Reims in 1917. They have a bicycle and the flag of the 370th Infantry Regiment. The region was one of the worst battle grounds on the Western Front during World War I.
Policeman in Saïgon, 1950s.
This year marks the 100th-year anniversary of the start of World War I, on July 28, 1914, when Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. To commemorate the First World War’s centenary, photographer Peter Macdiarmid superimposed photographs from World War I onto photographs of the same modern-day locations in an altogether eerie depiction of the years that have passed.
Here is a World War 1 picture of my Grand-grand father Aimé Berthelier (second from the right, last row with the pretentious look), who served in the 408th infanterie regiment, 120th infanterie Division of the French Army from 1915 to 1918. He fought in the hottest places of the Verdun battle (Fort de Vaux, Côte 304, Le mort-homme) and also at the Chemin de Dames and on the Marne. The French speaking folks can find the full history of his regiment here.
This photo was taken on March 1918, before the Regiment was sent to reinforce the Chemin des Dames sector of the front. Aimé will receive the Croix de Guerre the next month for rescueing his captain left wounded between to German Maxim nests on the front.
You can notice the clues of an assault unit : medals for the most tough looking grunts and the captured German boots worn by some of them that were better than the French shoes in the mud of the Trench.
I just wish he wrote some souvenirs from these times. Everyone told me that he was very secretive about the war, never worn his medals and only attended the 11th November ceremony as a random man, and not a veteran.
Reblogging my grand grandad in his trench for the 100th anniversary of ww1.
French paratrooper, Indochina. You can notice his MAS paratrooper folding carbine.
Prison identification photograph of U.S. Army POW Staff Sgt. Joseph R. Beyrle taken in Stalag XII-A. Beyrle is thought to be the only American soldier to have served with both the U.S. Army and Soviet Army during the war. On June 6, D-Day, the Douglas C-47 Skytrain transport aircraft Beyrle was in came under enemy fire over the Normandy coast, and he was forced to jump from the exceedingly low altitude of 120 meters. After landing in Saint-Côme-du-Mont, and he lost contact with his fellow paratroopers, but succeeded in blowing up a power station before being apprehended by the Germans a few days later. Over the next seven months, Beyrle was held in seven different German POW camps. He escaped twice, only to be recaptured each time. Beyrle was taken to the Stalag III-C POW camp in Alt Drewitz bei Küstrin in Neumark of the state of Brandenburg (now Drzewice, Lubusz Voivodeship, Poland), about 50 mi (80 km) east of Berlin. Knowing the Germans from which he escaped in early January 1945. Knowing the Soviets were advancing much quicker from the east than the Americans, British and others were from the West, Beyrle headed eastward. Encountering the Soviet 1st Guards Tank Army in the middle of January, he raised his hands, holding a pack of Lucky Strike cigarettes, and shouted in Russian, “Amerikansky tovarishch!" ("American comrade!"). Beyrle was eventually able to persuade the battalion’s commander, who, incidentally, was the legendary Alexandra Samusenko, possibly the only Soviet female tank officer with the rank of Guards Captain, to allow him to fight alongside the unit on its way to Berlin. Thus, Beyrle began his month-long stint in a Soviet tank battalion, where his demolitions expertise was appreciated. Beyrle’s new battalion was the one that freed one of his former camps, Stalag III-C, at the end of January. But, in the first week of February, he was wounded during an attack by German Luftwaffe Stuka (Junkers Ju 87) dive bombers. He was evacuated to a Soviet hospital in Landsberg an der Warthe (now Gorzów Wielkopolski, in Poland), where he received a visit from Soviet Marshal Georgy Zhukov, who, intrigued by the only non-Soviet in the hospital, learned his story through an interpreter, and provided Beyrle with official papers in order to rejoin the American forces. Joining a Soviet military convoy, Beyrle arrived at the U.S. embassy in Moscow in February 1945, only to learn that he had been reported by the U.S. War Department as killed in action on 10 June 1944 on French soil. A funeral mass had been held in his honor in hometown of Muskegon, Michigan and his obituary was published in the local newspaper. Sgt. Beyrle returned home to Michigan on 21 April 1945. He would marry in 1946, coincidentally, in the same church and by the same priest who held his funeral mass two years earlier. Beyrle died in 2004 at the age of 81. His son John Beyrle would serve as the United States Ambassador to Russia from 2008 to 2012. Stalag XII-A, Limburg an der Lahn, Hesse, Germany. July 1944.
Legionnaires fighting back an ambush. “The Legion operating on the road between Hanoi and Haiphong, harassed by viet guerilleros”. The man in the first row is carrying a FM 24 machinegun.
A French Fieseler Storch operating in Indochina. Hundred of them were built under license after the war, because the French Morane-Saulnier plant used to build it for German occupying forces and was still standing at the end of the war.Their manoeuvrability and slow flyby aptitudes allowind short landing and take off made them occupy the role of proto choppers. Their were very handy in the rough vietnamese terrains.