Then and Now: Clermont-en-Argonne

        Caption:  The two “then” pictures show the town of Clermont-en-Argonne before the war, in 1905, and during the war, in 1915.  By the time of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in late 1918 Clermont-en-Argonne was clearly several miles south of the front lines.  Nevertheless, the damage to the city can be seen in the 1915 photo.   Location:  The intersections of the D998 and D603–the main intersection in town.  The two then photos can be viewed just outside the Mairie.   Source:  Then Continue reading →

Then and Now: First Aid in Septsarges

    Caption:  “If this wounded soldier can reach Septsarges, across the valley, he will find a first aid station.  To get there, he must crawl and scramble over the intervening space that is swept by a flanking machine gun fire.”   Location:  The un-numbered road that runs between Nantillois and Septsarges, closer to Septsarges.  The original photographer was standing a bit further in the field, and his picture did not capture the bend in the road.  There was also no farm and no tree Continue reading →

Then and Now: German “Sniper Position” at Dun-sur-Meuse Church

  Caption:  “Desecrated cemetery, Dun-sur-Meuse, and a portion of the damaged church.  Two German rifles are evidence that they were sniping from here.”   Location:  This very old church sits on a hilltop overlooking Dun-sur-Meuse.  It is most visible on the D998 driving from Doulcon into Dun.  To get to the hilltop, turn North on the D964; then turn right on Rue Saint-Sébastien; then right on Rue de Vieux Château; finally right on the Rue de l’Église.  Enjoy the climb up on the narrow roads! Continue reading →

Then and Now: Crown Prince House in Montfaucon-d’Argonne

    Caption:  The original Signal Corps photo reads:  “Stretcher bearers, 317th Inf., 79th Div., taking last German prisoner out of the house used as observatory by Crown Prince, from which he directed the attack on Verdun early in the war.  Montfaucon, Oct. 2, 1918.”   The webmaster is indebted to Marc Calluy, owner of Le Coq D’Or in Montfaucon, for recognizing that the fence still exists even though the house is long gone. Also, both the webmaster and Marc question the photo’s caption because Continue reading →

Then and Now: Deutscher Soldatenfriedhof Romagne-sous-Montfaucon

                                                    Caption:  The Deutscher Soldatenfriedhof Romagne-sous-Montfaucon has long been one of the webmaster’s favorite German cemeteries because of the simplicity and beauty of its layout.  Housing 1,407 Germans and 8 French, the cemetery was started in 1914 after the German Army established several hospitals for badly wounded soldiers.  It continued to be used throughout the war, until the AEF advance Continue reading →

Then and Now: Tom Cheche in the Footsteps of J.S. Cartier

Interest in the Meuse-Argonne, St. Mihiel and Verdun battlefields and regions is very much alive; and the webmaster enjoys meeting others who conduct research or other projects in those regions.  Several weeks ago, the webmaster met American fine art photographer Tom Cheche.  Tom and his wife travel to France for extended periods; photographing rural France, the Western Front of WW1 and Normandy.  (In the Meuse-Argonne he generally stays at Le Coq D’Or, a bar and chambre d’hôte in Montfaucon.)  Tom maintains a website,, and Continue reading →

Then and Now: Varennes-en-Argonne (?)

    Caption:  The above U.S. Army Signal Corps photo serves as the dust jacket cover for Mitchell Yockelson’s recent book:  “Forty-Seven Days:  How Pershing’s Warriors came of age to Defeat the German Army in World War 1.”  The picture is captioned Varennes.  However, the street-scape in the “now” photo does not line up at all with the “then” photo.  Nevertheless, the webmaster is quite certain that the Google earth “now” photo is the right location for three reasons:  1) The angle of the hill and curve Continue reading →

Then and Now: Whiskey and Soda of the Lafayette Escadrille (sort of) and the Redication of the Lafayette Escadrille Memorial, April 20, 2016

    Caption:  Then photo shows “Whiskey” and “Soda,” the two lion cub mascots of the Lafayette Escadrille.  The now photo shows “Whiskey” and “Soda,” the webmasters two cats when they were kittens.   Rededication of the Lafayette Escadrille Memorial, Wednesday April 20, 2016 This is a reminder that eleven days from now, the Lafayette Escadrille Memorial in Marnes-la-Coquette (near Paris) will be rededicated in a “Head-of-State” event.  Readers who find themselves in the area might want to attend in person. The rededication ceremony will Continue reading →

Then and Now: Chatel-Chéhéry

  Caption:  Belgian friend Wim Degrande submitted this then and now series showing a German truck and three German soldiers in the Village of Chatel-Chéhéry.   Location:  The Y-intersection where the Rue de la Coupé À Jean intersects the D4, in town named the Rue Laloy Chenet.   Source:  Wim Degrande   Note:  The Webmaster is always looking for good then and now pictures for the website.  The goal is to publish 2 per month (24 per year) and that is hard to do when he lives in the United Continue reading →

Then and Now: Nécropole nationale Glorieux (Glorieux National Cemetery), near Verdun

        Caption:  Therry Schwartz, a member of the FB group submitted the “then photo” several days ago as a quiz; asking if members could identify the cemetery.  Note the distinct style and layout differences between the crosses in the foreground and the crosses in the background. The then photo is a picture of the Temporary (French) cemetery at Glorieux; which ultimately became the Nécropole nationale Glorieux.  (See the “now photo.”) The crosses in the background were from the dead of American Evacuation Hospital #15.  The American bodies Continue reading →