Tag Archives: Verdun

La Vie en France #19: French Roundabouts–Please let me go Round Again

Few American drivers are used to roundabouts in the United States.  Driving through them, especially on crowded, urban streets, can be a bit daunting for new arrivals.  That said, the roundabouts do work in France; and the Webmaster has learned to prefer them over long traffic lights during his stay.  Hopefully, the comments below will reduce drivers’ stress levels a bit.         Roundabout Basics in France: The basic rule is quite simple:  Vehicles already in the roundabout usually have priority (i.e. right-of-way) Continue reading →

La Vie en France #18: Thoughts After four Months in France

Part 1–Thoughts on the big Adventure Many readers are not aware that the Webmaster quit his job as a financial analyst in March 2017 in order to live in France as a freelance tour guide to the American and Verdun battlefields of WW1.  He is doing this from 15 May to 15 November, 2017.  This is a follow up to his blogposts, “Taking Stock of the First Two Months–Part 1” and “Taking Stock of the First Two Months–Part 2” that appeared in mid July.   Continue reading →

La Vie en France #10: Finding Suitable Places for Ladies to Pee

War-Time German Postcard:  Caption Reads “A Height Record for the Air Ship Service”   After completing his first two tours with female clients, the Webmaster is again reminded that hiking the battlefields of rural France is much easier for men than for women.  Men can simply walk behind a bush or tree to urinate.  Anatomically speaking, the same is true–but a bit more complicated–for women.  However, American women tend to see this as an option of last resort.  Thus, from a male point of view, Continue reading →

Then and Now: Samogneux

    Caption:  Samogneux is on the D964 at the edge of the Verdun battlefield East of the Meuse.  In 1918, any of the American divisions (33rd, 29th and 79th) fighting East of the Meuse would have passed through it.  Unfortunately, trees block the view of the canal and river in the now photo.  However, the horizon matches up well.   The now photo is taken from in front of the statue in the town cemetery.  The cemetery is on a slight hill, which mirrors Continue reading →

News and Events–Over There: Rededication of the Lafayette Escadrille Memorial, Marnes-la-Coquette (near Paris), Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Background We forget today just what an impact World War One had on the lives of its participants and their families.  Even before the United States officially entered the war, hundreds of Americans flocked to Europe; mostly volunteering to fight on the Allied side.  Those volunteers who signed up with the French ended up in the French Foreign Legion, the American Field Service (Ambulance Corps) and the French Air Service.  Those who joined the Aéronautique Militaire were technically in the “Escadrille Lafayette,” a single squadron consisting of American pilots with Continue reading → Continue reading →

Books and Movies: Eyewitnesses to the Great War: American Writers, Reporters, Volunteers and Soldiers in France, 1914-1918 by Ed and Libby Klekowski

    This book was a delight to pick up and read; even though only the near-to-last chapters cover the American Meuse-Argonne Offensive. Most of the book focuses on telling the stories of Americans who got involved in the war months and years before the United States was officially at war.  This includes famous writers such as Edith Wharton, who made numerous aid trips to France.  It also includes volunteers of the American Field Service and the Lafayette Flying Corps; and it includes American reporters Continue reading →

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

        Caption:  Therry Schwartz, a member of the Meuse-Argonne.com 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 →

Travel Tips: New Luxury Hotel, Les Jardins du Mess, in Verdun now Taking Reservations

Readers Stefan Schweitzer and Christina Holstein report that Verdun’s new luxury hotel, Les Jardins du Mess, is now accepting reservations.  The hotel’s Facebook page advertises the property as a hotel, restaurant, bar, spa and arboretum (parc arboré).  A quick look at the website, http://www.lesjardinsdumess.fr/, and the room prices suggests that this will be a luxury hotel in the heart of Verdun.  As a reminder, the building was the former French officers’ quarters, situated right along the Meuse River.  Travelers looking for luxury reservations in the heart of Verdun should Continue reading →

Noteworthy Websites: Morthomme and Expedition Hartmannsweilerkopf 1914-18

The webmaster has recently become more aware of two German websites that cover portions of the battlefields near the Meuse-Argonne:   The first is Stefan Schewitzer’s http://www.morthomme.com.  This blog / website covers the Argonne, Verdun and St. Mihiel Salient.  It contains then and now pictures, articles, maps, etc. for each of these areas.   The second is Detlef Bussat’s http://www.hk1418.de.  This website covers Hartmannsweilerkopf in the Vosges Mountains and its role in 1914-18.   The Research Tools / Links page has been updated to include both Continue reading →

Newsletter Verdun-Meuse, June/July 2015

The June 2015 Issue of the Newsletter Verdun Meuse is now available.  (http://verdun-meuse.fr/images/files/juin2015.htm.)  Each issues features a calendar of relevant events (Agenda section), book reviews and several well-researched articles.  As alluded to by the thumbnail above, portions of this newsletter focus on the mining war in the Argonne. Continue reading →