Saturday, September 27, 2014

Gassed - Painting by John Singer Sargeant

The painter John Singer Sargeant had been sent to the front, to France, by the British Government to do justice to the sobering horrors of conflict, and, unsurprisingly he was in several minds about an appropriate subject at first because this was not his habitual terrain. He witness the scene depicted, and the resulting painting received some mixed reviews: E M Forster thought it too heroic by half.

American Sculptor Restored French Soldiers Disfigured in World War I

An American sculptor’s masks restored French soldiers disfigured in World War I

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Cigarettes and War

According to Will Pasto in Quora (an online newsletter), "During the Palestinian Campaign of WWI (1917), the British were in their trenches and the Ottomans were in theirs, but there was little movement. The British learned that the opposing Turks had run out of cigarettes, so the intelligence service of the British Army came up with the idea of throwing cigarettes to the Turks, but they would wrap the packs in paper with slogans encouraging the Ottomans to stop fighting.
"This didn't work; the Turks would throw the slogans away and enjoy the cigarettes. Shortly before a raid was scheduled, the British changed tactics a bit. The cigarettes they threw over the top still had slogans on them, but they also had the added benefit of being heavily laced with heroin. By the time the raid started, the British met essentially no opposition."

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Smithsonian magazine published an intriguing article on the horrors and realities of No Man's Land, within and between (and under and around) the trenches of World War I. See
 How the Wild Deserters of No Man's Land became the stuff of legend in WWI