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France: First World War (1914-1918)

Last modified: 2018-06-28 by ivan sache
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Use of signal pennants

In a series of extremely well documented books, the French historian Pierre Miquel recently analyzed the course of the operations on the French-German front from 1914 to 1918.
The lack of preparation and an obsolete tactic, aggravated by the lack of clue of the generals and politicians, caused the sheer butchery. The human loss for France only was 1,400,000, and 8,000,000 for the whole of Europe. Several French attacks had not the least chance of success since the infantry troops were sent against the German lines without any artillery preparation. Moreover, the infantry lacked signal pennants, which were used at that time to signal the conquered trenches and positions. The soil and air observers, who were in a very unsufficent number and badly equiped, could not indicate precisely the targets to the artillery. In some cases, the artillery was misleadingly ordered to shoot randomly or even on the French infantry.

Ivan Sache, 11 November 2002

Franco-Czechoslovak Friendship's Monument

The Franco-Czechoslovak Friendship's Monument, built in Darney (Lorraine, east of France), is a 32 m high steel spire, with three flags hoisted on smaller poles in foreground. The central flag is the French Tricolore, whereas the flag on the right is the Czechoslovak (and current Czech) flag.
The monument is built near the site of the camp of the volunteers of the Czechoslovak Legion during the First World War. The place is of special significance for the Czechoslovak history: on 30 June 1918, the French President Raymond Poincaré acknowledged in Darney the right of the Czechs and Slovaks to have their own state.
[Radio Praha]

Ivan Sache, 17 December 2004