Western Front: The Battle of the Frontiers

The map above, drawn at West Point in 1950, shows the dispositions of the French, British, Belgian and German Armies on the 22nd August 1914.  It shows the French line of five field armies and independent regional forces arrayed between Mulhouse in Alsace to the south and Thuin, Belgium in the north.  A front of roughly 350 miles.  
To the left of the French line the British Expeditionary Force had advanced into Belgium on the 21st, following its concentration and had moved north to the mining town of Mons to take up a position on the extreme left flank of the French army.

German Invasion of Belgium (source)

The 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th French armies had followed France’s Plan XVII, the attack through German held Alsace-Lorraine and into Germany.  However this advance had been met by the 7th, 6th, 5th and 4th German armies who had for the most part, despite some successful French actions, held the French back.  To the north however, the main German thrust of the Schlieffen Plan had pushed south through Belgium destroying the Belgian defensive positions at Liege and surrounding the National Redoubt at Antwerp.   The Belgian army had continually fallen back in the face of the German First and Second Armies.  By the 20th the French Fifth Army had advanced into southern Belgium to support the French advance in the Ardennes region however, the Fifth Army reported meeting heavy German concentrations and was forced back after the Battle of Charleroi on the 21st.  At the same time the French Third and Fourth Armies’ advance into the Ardennes was also thrown back.    

In Lorraine the French Second and Third Armies fought hard in the face of the German Sixth and Seventh Armies which had dug in, while they made some gains casualties in the face of strong defensive positions the effective German artillery fire forced them to fall back when the Germans counter attacked on the 20th.

In the south the First French Army and Army of Alsace made some gains in Alsace capturing Mulhouse on the 16th, however with the defeats of the French armies further north the French were forced to abandon Mulhouse on the 26th.

Maps showing some of the key engagements of the Battle of the Frontiers (source)

On the far left of the Allied line the British Expeditionary Force arrived in Mons on the 22nd, and began to dig in but expected to advance in support of the French Fifth Army’s counter attack following the Battle of Charleroi.  However, the following day they were attacked by the German First Army which was seeking to wheel around the Fifth Army’s flank.  

By late August 1914, the French advance in line with Plan XVII had been thrown into disarray, and the German attack through Belgium had pushed back almost all before it.    The Great Retreat would see the French and British Armies pushed back in and ever decreasing L-shape as the Allied line contracted towards Paris, it would not be until the the French Army’s counter attack, Battle of the Marne, at the beginning of September that the situation would be stabilised.

Image Source

“I took one look at the place and thought what a bloody place to live. I took a second look at it and thought what a bloody place to fight.”

Private Jim Cannon, of the 2nd Battalion, The Suffolk Regiment, on his first impressions of the small Belgian industrial town of Mons.  Dissected by the Mons-Condé canal and characterised by narrow cobble streets, mining pit-heads and tall slag heaps the town proved a difficult position to defend.  This would be the site of the British Army’s first engagement of the Great War

1914: Fight the Good Fight, A. Mallinson, (2013)

Q

amenviormentalspooky asked:

In regards to your post of the newspaper headlines announcing the start of WWI, I think its interesting most of the newspapers seem to focus on Britain entering the war.

A

It is interesting, there are a couple of reasons behind it. Firstly because of the way the war evolved the First World War began at different times for different countries and many of the front pages are taken from the August 4th/5th (although others are from earlier and later In the week) the day Britain declared war which obviously would have also been the latest development in the war. And politically speaking Britain was not obliged to enter any European war, its Entente with France and Russia was not binding and there was every possibility would remain neutral. Even more interesting are the newspapers of Britain’s Imperial holdings which all focus on Britain’s entry into the war because of the implications for them, as during the Boer War Britain’s colonies would be called upon again.

The WWI Front Pages post in question

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Front Pages: World War One Begins
The images above show the front pages of some of the World’s leading newspapers during the first week of the First World War.  The majority of them are sourced from the allied Entente powers including Britain, France, Belgium, Canada and the then neutral US however there are also several from Germany and Austria.
The first of the images is not actually a newspaper but rather a newspaper sellers placard for The Times' used on the morning of the 5th August to show the headlines.  Other British newspapers include the Manchester Guardian (#12) which described how the decision to go to war was made late on the 4th after Britain’s “Demand for Respect of Belgian Neutrality Refused.”  Similarly the tabloid Daily Express’s (#17) morning edition of the 5th August was headed with Admiral Nelson’s famous patriotic call that “England Expects That Every Man Will Do His Duty” with the rest of the front page is devoted to the declaration of war, the German fleet at work in the North Sea and the latest news from Belgium.  
In North America Canadian and American newspapers break the news of war, one would soon join Britain’s struggle, the other would remain neutral until 1917.  In Canada the Saskatoon Daily Star (#3), Newfoundland’s Daily News (#4) and Regina’s Morning Leader (#16) meet the news gravely with the Daily News’ headline describing all of Europe as “ablaze” while the Daily Star described British diplomatic efforts to maintain Belgian neutrality and how it looks likely that Britain’s ultimatum to Germany will be rejected. The Morning Leader’s headline on the 5th was a little more gung ho with “Britain Gives Word” coupled with a uncommon image of an explosion with ‘War’ written at its centre. The paper’s leading stories include a piece on Churchill’s signal to the navy, the “King’s message to the colonies’ and the failure of the ultimatum.   South of the Canadian border the Chicago Tribune (#6) led with the ominous “War Sets All Europe Trembling” while much of the page is dedicated to the “Latest War Bulletins” there is also news from the stock exchange and about the mayor’s political clean up campaign.  On the 2nd August, the Indianapolis Sunday Star (#5) focused on the war with Russia featuring photographs of both the Tsar and the Kaiser. 
Elsewhere in the United States other major and regional papers looked on the war with morbid curiosity.  The New York Times' (#7) headline goes into great detail calling it a “Great War of Eight Nations” while the Baltimore Sun (#9) describes how the Atlantic ocean liners have tied up as uncertainty grows.  In the south the Atlanta Constitution (#8) forebodingly led with “Only a Miracle Can Save Europe” while erroneously reporting the fall of Belgrade, the city would not be captured until November.  One of the most interesting American newspapers is Baltimore’s Der Deutsche Correspondent, a German language paper.  At the beginning of the 20th century German was the United States’ second most spoken language with millions of German-speaking immigrants having settled in North America.  As such the US had a vibrant German speaking press with newspapers such as New Yorker Staats-Zeitung and the Philadelphia Demokrat in the German style.  Above is the front page of Der Deutsche Correspondent (#12) which on the 5th August, reported that “All of Europe is Now Up in Arms” with Germany at war with Britain, Belgium and France.
Elsewhere in the British Empire the Brisbane Courier (#2) reported the widening war and Germany’s acts of war.  However, the main coverage of the war is relegated to page five with articles covering developments in France and Britain voting £50,000,000 of war funding.  In Europe itself the French and Belgian newspapers also report on the war. On August 4th, Brussels’ Le Soir (#15) reported Germany’s violation of Belgian neutrality and the Belgian government’s ultimatum to Germany.  Weeks later the situation looked grave as Bruxelles-Depeches (#13) called on the citizens of Brussels to “Remain Calm… in This Grave Hour with the Germans at Our Doors.”  
In Paris on the 3rd August, Le Petit Parisien (#9) rather hastily reported that “Without a Declaration of War Germany Has Invaded Our Territory” near Alsace-Lorraine.  In reality the Germans had not yet invaded Belgium and would not cross the French border for another two weeks. Either the reporter based his headline on rumour or panic or the inflammatory headline was intended to stir support for the war.
On 2nd August, the Lübeckische Anzeigen (#18) printed inLubeck led with the heading ‘Deutschland, Deutschland über Alles’ from ‘Deutschlandlied' the 'Song of Germany' meaning 'Germany above all'.  This title and the images of the Kaiser and Emperor Franz Joseph indicate a common bond between the united German Nations with the announcement of German mobilisation. Meanwhile the Königsberger Zeitungen (#14)on the 1st August, reported “Der Weltkrieg” or world war when Russia ignores the German government’s ultimatum ordering Russia to stand down and announces that German forces are mobilising.
The newspapers of the first days of August 1914 can tell us much about the fears, aims and politics of the countries and newspapers that published them.  From attempts to rouse national feeling to morbid curiosity of neutral countries to the trepidation and sometimes enthusiasm of Britain’s imperial colonies.  This article doesn’t intend to be an in depth reading but rather an overarching look at the initial reactions to the news that all Europe was ‘ablaze’.
Sources:

Image Source - The Times (London, newspaper placard)
Image Source - Brisbane Courier
Image Source - Saskatoon Daily Star
Image Source - The Daily News (Newfoundland)
Image Source - Indianapolis Sunday Star
Image Source - Chicago Daily Tribune
Image Source - The New York Times
Image Source - The Atlanta Constitution
Image Source - The Baltimore Sun
Image Source - Le Petit Parisien
Image Source - The Manchester Guardian
Image Source - Der Deutsche Correspondent (Baltimore)
Image Source - Bruxelle-Depeches (Brussels)
Image Source - Königsberger Zeitungen (Konigsberg, Germany)
Image Source - Le Soir (Brussels)
Image Source - The Morning Leader (Regina, Canada)
Image Source - Daily Express (London)
Image Source - Lübeckische Anzeigen (Lubeck, Germany)
Front Pages: World War One Begins
The images above show the front pages of some of the World’s leading newspapers during the first week of the First World War.  The majority of them are sourced from the allied Entente powers including Britain, France, Belgium, Canada and the then neutral US however there are also several from Germany and Austria.
The first of the images is not actually a newspaper but rather a newspaper sellers placard for The Times' used on the morning of the 5th August to show the headlines.  Other British newspapers include the Manchester Guardian (#12) which described how the decision to go to war was made late on the 4th after Britain’s “Demand for Respect of Belgian Neutrality Refused.”  Similarly the tabloid Daily Express’s (#17) morning edition of the 5th August was headed with Admiral Nelson’s famous patriotic call that “England Expects That Every Man Will Do His Duty” with the rest of the front page is devoted to the declaration of war, the German fleet at work in the North Sea and the latest news from Belgium.  
In North America Canadian and American newspapers break the news of war, one would soon join Britain’s struggle, the other would remain neutral until 1917.  In Canada the Saskatoon Daily Star (#3), Newfoundland’s Daily News (#4) and Regina’s Morning Leader (#16) meet the news gravely with the Daily News’ headline describing all of Europe as “ablaze” while the Daily Star described British diplomatic efforts to maintain Belgian neutrality and how it looks likely that Britain’s ultimatum to Germany will be rejected. The Morning Leader’s headline on the 5th was a little more gung ho with “Britain Gives Word” coupled with a uncommon image of an explosion with ‘War’ written at its centre. The paper’s leading stories include a piece on Churchill’s signal to the navy, the “King’s message to the colonies’ and the failure of the ultimatum.   South of the Canadian border the Chicago Tribune (#6) led with the ominous “War Sets All Europe Trembling” while much of the page is dedicated to the “Latest War Bulletins” there is also news from the stock exchange and about the mayor’s political clean up campaign.  On the 2nd August, the Indianapolis Sunday Star (#5) focused on the war with Russia featuring photographs of both the Tsar and the Kaiser. 
Elsewhere in the United States other major and regional papers looked on the war with morbid curiosity.  The New York Times' (#7) headline goes into great detail calling it a “Great War of Eight Nations” while the Baltimore Sun (#9) describes how the Atlantic ocean liners have tied up as uncertainty grows.  In the south the Atlanta Constitution (#8) forebodingly led with “Only a Miracle Can Save Europe” while erroneously reporting the fall of Belgrade, the city would not be captured until November.  One of the most interesting American newspapers is Baltimore’s Der Deutsche Correspondent, a German language paper.  At the beginning of the 20th century German was the United States’ second most spoken language with millions of German-speaking immigrants having settled in North America.  As such the US had a vibrant German speaking press with newspapers such as New Yorker Staats-Zeitung and the Philadelphia Demokrat in the German style.  Above is the front page of Der Deutsche Correspondent (#12) which on the 5th August, reported that “All of Europe is Now Up in Arms” with Germany at war with Britain, Belgium and France.
Elsewhere in the British Empire the Brisbane Courier (#2) reported the widening war and Germany’s acts of war.  However, the main coverage of the war is relegated to page five with articles covering developments in France and Britain voting £50,000,000 of war funding.  In Europe itself the French and Belgian newspapers also report on the war. On August 4th, Brussels’ Le Soir (#15) reported Germany’s violation of Belgian neutrality and the Belgian government’s ultimatum to Germany.  Weeks later the situation looked grave as Bruxelles-Depeches (#13) called on the citizens of Brussels to “Remain Calm… in This Grave Hour with the Germans at Our Doors.”  
In Paris on the 3rd August, Le Petit Parisien (#9) rather hastily reported that “Without a Declaration of War Germany Has Invaded Our Territory” near Alsace-Lorraine.  In reality the Germans had not yet invaded Belgium and would not cross the French border for another two weeks. Either the reporter based his headline on rumour or panic or the inflammatory headline was intended to stir support for the war.
On 2nd August, the Lübeckische Anzeigen (#18) printed inLubeck led with the heading ‘Deutschland, Deutschland über Alles’ from ‘Deutschlandlied' the 'Song of Germany' meaning 'Germany above all'.  This title and the images of the Kaiser and Emperor Franz Joseph indicate a common bond between the united German Nations with the announcement of German mobilisation. Meanwhile the Königsberger Zeitungen (#14)on the 1st August, reported “Der Weltkrieg” or world war when Russia ignores the German government’s ultimatum ordering Russia to stand down and announces that German forces are mobilising.
The newspapers of the first days of August 1914 can tell us much about the fears, aims and politics of the countries and newspapers that published them.  From attempts to rouse national feeling to morbid curiosity of neutral countries to the trepidation and sometimes enthusiasm of Britain’s imperial colonies.  This article doesn’t intend to be an in depth reading but rather an overarching look at the initial reactions to the news that all Europe was ‘ablaze’.
Sources:

Image Source - The Times (London, newspaper placard)
Image Source - Brisbane Courier
Image Source - Saskatoon Daily Star
Image Source - The Daily News (Newfoundland)
Image Source - Indianapolis Sunday Star
Image Source - Chicago Daily Tribune
Image Source - The New York Times
Image Source - The Atlanta Constitution
Image Source - The Baltimore Sun
Image Source - Le Petit Parisien
Image Source - The Manchester Guardian
Image Source - Der Deutsche Correspondent (Baltimore)
Image Source - Bruxelle-Depeches (Brussels)
Image Source - Königsberger Zeitungen (Konigsberg, Germany)
Image Source - Le Soir (Brussels)
Image Source - The Morning Leader (Regina, Canada)
Image Source - Daily Express (London)
Image Source - Lübeckische Anzeigen (Lubeck, Germany)
Front Pages: World War One Begins
The images above show the front pages of some of the World’s leading newspapers during the first week of the First World War.  The majority of them are sourced from the allied Entente powers including Britain, France, Belgium, Canada and the then neutral US however there are also several from Germany and Austria.
The first of the images is not actually a newspaper but rather a newspaper sellers placard for The Times' used on the morning of the 5th August to show the headlines.  Other British newspapers include the Manchester Guardian (#12) which described how the decision to go to war was made late on the 4th after Britain’s “Demand for Respect of Belgian Neutrality Refused.”  Similarly the tabloid Daily Express’s (#17) morning edition of the 5th August was headed with Admiral Nelson’s famous patriotic call that “England Expects That Every Man Will Do His Duty” with the rest of the front page is devoted to the declaration of war, the German fleet at work in the North Sea and the latest news from Belgium.  
In North America Canadian and American newspapers break the news of war, one would soon join Britain’s struggle, the other would remain neutral until 1917.  In Canada the Saskatoon Daily Star (#3), Newfoundland’s Daily News (#4) and Regina’s Morning Leader (#16) meet the news gravely with the Daily News’ headline describing all of Europe as “ablaze” while the Daily Star described British diplomatic efforts to maintain Belgian neutrality and how it looks likely that Britain’s ultimatum to Germany will be rejected. The Morning Leader’s headline on the 5th was a little more gung ho with “Britain Gives Word” coupled with a uncommon image of an explosion with ‘War’ written at its centre. The paper’s leading stories include a piece on Churchill’s signal to the navy, the “King’s message to the colonies’ and the failure of the ultimatum.   South of the Canadian border the Chicago Tribune (#6) led with the ominous “War Sets All Europe Trembling” while much of the page is dedicated to the “Latest War Bulletins” there is also news from the stock exchange and about the mayor’s political clean up campaign.  On the 2nd August, the Indianapolis Sunday Star (#5) focused on the war with Russia featuring photographs of both the Tsar and the Kaiser. 
Elsewhere in the United States other major and regional papers looked on the war with morbid curiosity.  The New York Times' (#7) headline goes into great detail calling it a “Great War of Eight Nations” while the Baltimore Sun (#9) describes how the Atlantic ocean liners have tied up as uncertainty grows.  In the south the Atlanta Constitution (#8) forebodingly led with “Only a Miracle Can Save Europe” while erroneously reporting the fall of Belgrade, the city would not be captured until November.  One of the most interesting American newspapers is Baltimore’s Der Deutsche Correspondent, a German language paper.  At the beginning of the 20th century German was the United States’ second most spoken language with millions of German-speaking immigrants having settled in North America.  As such the US had a vibrant German speaking press with newspapers such as New Yorker Staats-Zeitung and the Philadelphia Demokrat in the German style.  Above is the front page of Der Deutsche Correspondent (#12) which on the 5th August, reported that “All of Europe is Now Up in Arms” with Germany at war with Britain, Belgium and France.
Elsewhere in the British Empire the Brisbane Courier (#2) reported the widening war and Germany’s acts of war.  However, the main coverage of the war is relegated to page five with articles covering developments in France and Britain voting £50,000,000 of war funding.  In Europe itself the French and Belgian newspapers also report on the war. On August 4th, Brussels’ Le Soir (#15) reported Germany’s violation of Belgian neutrality and the Belgian government’s ultimatum to Germany.  Weeks later the situation looked grave as Bruxelles-Depeches (#13) called on the citizens of Brussels to “Remain Calm… in This Grave Hour with the Germans at Our Doors.”  
In Paris on the 3rd August, Le Petit Parisien (#9) rather hastily reported that “Without a Declaration of War Germany Has Invaded Our Territory” near Alsace-Lorraine.  In reality the Germans had not yet invaded Belgium and would not cross the French border for another two weeks. Either the reporter based his headline on rumour or panic or the inflammatory headline was intended to stir support for the war.
On 2nd August, the Lübeckische Anzeigen (#18) printed inLubeck led with the heading ‘Deutschland, Deutschland über Alles’ from ‘Deutschlandlied' the 'Song of Germany' meaning 'Germany above all'.  This title and the images of the Kaiser and Emperor Franz Joseph indicate a common bond between the united German Nations with the announcement of German mobilisation. Meanwhile the Königsberger Zeitungen (#14)on the 1st August, reported “Der Weltkrieg” or world war when Russia ignores the German government’s ultimatum ordering Russia to stand down and announces that German forces are mobilising.
The newspapers of the first days of August 1914 can tell us much about the fears, aims and politics of the countries and newspapers that published them.  From attempts to rouse national feeling to morbid curiosity of neutral countries to the trepidation and sometimes enthusiasm of Britain’s imperial colonies.  This article doesn’t intend to be an in depth reading but rather an overarching look at the initial reactions to the news that all Europe was ‘ablaze’.
Sources:

Image Source - The Times (London, newspaper placard)
Image Source - Brisbane Courier
Image Source - Saskatoon Daily Star
Image Source - The Daily News (Newfoundland)
Image Source - Indianapolis Sunday Star
Image Source - Chicago Daily Tribune
Image Source - The New York Times
Image Source - The Atlanta Constitution
Image Source - The Baltimore Sun
Image Source - Le Petit Parisien
Image Source - The Manchester Guardian
Image Source - Der Deutsche Correspondent (Baltimore)
Image Source - Bruxelle-Depeches (Brussels)
Image Source - Königsberger Zeitungen (Konigsberg, Germany)
Image Source - Le Soir (Brussels)
Image Source - The Morning Leader (Regina, Canada)
Image Source - Daily Express (London)
Image Source - Lübeckische Anzeigen (Lubeck, Germany)
Front Pages: World War One Begins
The images above show the front pages of some of the World’s leading newspapers during the first week of the First World War.  The majority of them are sourced from the allied Entente powers including Britain, France, Belgium, Canada and the then neutral US however there are also several from Germany and Austria.
The first of the images is not actually a newspaper but rather a newspaper sellers placard for The Times' used on the morning of the 5th August to show the headlines.  Other British newspapers include the Manchester Guardian (#12) which described how the decision to go to war was made late on the 4th after Britain’s “Demand for Respect of Belgian Neutrality Refused.”  Similarly the tabloid Daily Express’s (#17) morning edition of the 5th August was headed with Admiral Nelson’s famous patriotic call that “England Expects That Every Man Will Do His Duty” with the rest of the front page is devoted to the declaration of war, the German fleet at work in the North Sea and the latest news from Belgium.  
In North America Canadian and American newspapers break the news of war, one would soon join Britain’s struggle, the other would remain neutral until 1917.  In Canada the Saskatoon Daily Star (#3), Newfoundland’s Daily News (#4) and Regina’s Morning Leader (#16) meet the news gravely with the Daily News’ headline describing all of Europe as “ablaze” while the Daily Star described British diplomatic efforts to maintain Belgian neutrality and how it looks likely that Britain’s ultimatum to Germany will be rejected. The Morning Leader’s headline on the 5th was a little more gung ho with “Britain Gives Word” coupled with a uncommon image of an explosion with ‘War’ written at its centre. The paper’s leading stories include a piece on Churchill’s signal to the navy, the “King’s message to the colonies’ and the failure of the ultimatum.   South of the Canadian border the Chicago Tribune (#6) led with the ominous “War Sets All Europe Trembling” while much of the page is dedicated to the “Latest War Bulletins” there is also news from the stock exchange and about the mayor’s political clean up campaign.  On the 2nd August, the Indianapolis Sunday Star (#5) focused on the war with Russia featuring photographs of both the Tsar and the Kaiser. 
Elsewhere in the United States other major and regional papers looked on the war with morbid curiosity.  The New York Times' (#7) headline goes into great detail calling it a “Great War of Eight Nations” while the Baltimore Sun (#9) describes how the Atlantic ocean liners have tied up as uncertainty grows.  In the south the Atlanta Constitution (#8) forebodingly led with “Only a Miracle Can Save Europe” while erroneously reporting the fall of Belgrade, the city would not be captured until November.  One of the most interesting American newspapers is Baltimore’s Der Deutsche Correspondent, a German language paper.  At the beginning of the 20th century German was the United States’ second most spoken language with millions of German-speaking immigrants having settled in North America.  As such the US had a vibrant German speaking press with newspapers such as New Yorker Staats-Zeitung and the Philadelphia Demokrat in the German style.  Above is the front page of Der Deutsche Correspondent (#12) which on the 5th August, reported that “All of Europe is Now Up in Arms” with Germany at war with Britain, Belgium and France.
Elsewhere in the British Empire the Brisbane Courier (#2) reported the widening war and Germany’s acts of war.  However, the main coverage of the war is relegated to page five with articles covering developments in France and Britain voting £50,000,000 of war funding.  In Europe itself the French and Belgian newspapers also report on the war. On August 4th, Brussels’ Le Soir (#15) reported Germany’s violation of Belgian neutrality and the Belgian government’s ultimatum to Germany.  Weeks later the situation looked grave as Bruxelles-Depeches (#13) called on the citizens of Brussels to “Remain Calm… in This Grave Hour with the Germans at Our Doors.”  
In Paris on the 3rd August, Le Petit Parisien (#9) rather hastily reported that “Without a Declaration of War Germany Has Invaded Our Territory” near Alsace-Lorraine.  In reality the Germans had not yet invaded Belgium and would not cross the French border for another two weeks. Either the reporter based his headline on rumour or panic or the inflammatory headline was intended to stir support for the war.
On 2nd August, the Lübeckische Anzeigen (#18) printed inLubeck led with the heading ‘Deutschland, Deutschland über Alles’ from ‘Deutschlandlied' the 'Song of Germany' meaning 'Germany above all'.  This title and the images of the Kaiser and Emperor Franz Joseph indicate a common bond between the united German Nations with the announcement of German mobilisation. Meanwhile the Königsberger Zeitungen (#14)on the 1st August, reported “Der Weltkrieg” or world war when Russia ignores the German government’s ultimatum ordering Russia to stand down and announces that German forces are mobilising.
The newspapers of the first days of August 1914 can tell us much about the fears, aims and politics of the countries and newspapers that published them.  From attempts to rouse national feeling to morbid curiosity of neutral countries to the trepidation and sometimes enthusiasm of Britain’s imperial colonies.  This article doesn’t intend to be an in depth reading but rather an overarching look at the initial reactions to the news that all Europe was ‘ablaze’.
Sources:

Image Source - The Times (London, newspaper placard)
Image Source - Brisbane Courier
Image Source - Saskatoon Daily Star
Image Source - The Daily News (Newfoundland)
Image Source - Indianapolis Sunday Star
Image Source - Chicago Daily Tribune
Image Source - The New York Times
Image Source - The Atlanta Constitution
Image Source - The Baltimore Sun
Image Source - Le Petit Parisien
Image Source - The Manchester Guardian
Image Source - Der Deutsche Correspondent (Baltimore)
Image Source - Bruxelle-Depeches (Brussels)
Image Source - Königsberger Zeitungen (Konigsberg, Germany)
Image Source - Le Soir (Brussels)
Image Source - The Morning Leader (Regina, Canada)
Image Source - Daily Express (London)
Image Source - Lübeckische Anzeigen (Lubeck, Germany)
Front Pages: World War One Begins
The images above show the front pages of some of the World’s leading newspapers during the first week of the First World War.  The majority of them are sourced from the allied Entente powers including Britain, France, Belgium, Canada and the then neutral US however there are also several from Germany and Austria.
The first of the images is not actually a newspaper but rather a newspaper sellers placard for The Times' used on the morning of the 5th August to show the headlines.  Other British newspapers include the Manchester Guardian (#12) which described how the decision to go to war was made late on the 4th after Britain’s “Demand for Respect of Belgian Neutrality Refused.”  Similarly the tabloid Daily Express’s (#17) morning edition of the 5th August was headed with Admiral Nelson’s famous patriotic call that “England Expects That Every Man Will Do His Duty” with the rest of the front page is devoted to the declaration of war, the German fleet at work in the North Sea and the latest news from Belgium.  
In North America Canadian and American newspapers break the news of war, one would soon join Britain’s struggle, the other would remain neutral until 1917.  In Canada the Saskatoon Daily Star (#3), Newfoundland’s Daily News (#4) and Regina’s Morning Leader (#16) meet the news gravely with the Daily News’ headline describing all of Europe as “ablaze” while the Daily Star described British diplomatic efforts to maintain Belgian neutrality and how it looks likely that Britain’s ultimatum to Germany will be rejected. The Morning Leader’s headline on the 5th was a little more gung ho with “Britain Gives Word” coupled with a uncommon image of an explosion with ‘War’ written at its centre. The paper’s leading stories include a piece on Churchill’s signal to the navy, the “King’s message to the colonies’ and the failure of the ultimatum.   South of the Canadian border the Chicago Tribune (#6) led with the ominous “War Sets All Europe Trembling” while much of the page is dedicated to the “Latest War Bulletins” there is also news from the stock exchange and about the mayor’s political clean up campaign.  On the 2nd August, the Indianapolis Sunday Star (#5) focused on the war with Russia featuring photographs of both the Tsar and the Kaiser. 
Elsewhere in the United States other major and regional papers looked on the war with morbid curiosity.  The New York Times' (#7) headline goes into great detail calling it a “Great War of Eight Nations” while the Baltimore Sun (#9) describes how the Atlantic ocean liners have tied up as uncertainty grows.  In the south the Atlanta Constitution (#8) forebodingly led with “Only a Miracle Can Save Europe” while erroneously reporting the fall of Belgrade, the city would not be captured until November.  One of the most interesting American newspapers is Baltimore’s Der Deutsche Correspondent, a German language paper.  At the beginning of the 20th century German was the United States’ second most spoken language with millions of German-speaking immigrants having settled in North America.  As such the US had a vibrant German speaking press with newspapers such as New Yorker Staats-Zeitung and the Philadelphia Demokrat in the German style.  Above is the front page of Der Deutsche Correspondent (#12) which on the 5th August, reported that “All of Europe is Now Up in Arms” with Germany at war with Britain, Belgium and France.
Elsewhere in the British Empire the Brisbane Courier (#2) reported the widening war and Germany’s acts of war.  However, the main coverage of the war is relegated to page five with articles covering developments in France and Britain voting £50,000,000 of war funding.  In Europe itself the French and Belgian newspapers also report on the war. On August 4th, Brussels’ Le Soir (#15) reported Germany’s violation of Belgian neutrality and the Belgian government’s ultimatum to Germany.  Weeks later the situation looked grave as Bruxelles-Depeches (#13) called on the citizens of Brussels to “Remain Calm… in This Grave Hour with the Germans at Our Doors.”  
In Paris on the 3rd August, Le Petit Parisien (#9) rather hastily reported that “Without a Declaration of War Germany Has Invaded Our Territory” near Alsace-Lorraine.  In reality the Germans had not yet invaded Belgium and would not cross the French border for another two weeks. Either the reporter based his headline on rumour or panic or the inflammatory headline was intended to stir support for the war.
On 2nd August, the Lübeckische Anzeigen (#18) printed inLubeck led with the heading ‘Deutschland, Deutschland über Alles’ from ‘Deutschlandlied' the 'Song of Germany' meaning 'Germany above all'.  This title and the images of the Kaiser and Emperor Franz Joseph indicate a common bond between the united German Nations with the announcement of German mobilisation. Meanwhile the Königsberger Zeitungen (#14)on the 1st August, reported “Der Weltkrieg” or world war when Russia ignores the German government’s ultimatum ordering Russia to stand down and announces that German forces are mobilising.
The newspapers of the first days of August 1914 can tell us much about the fears, aims and politics of the countries and newspapers that published them.  From attempts to rouse national feeling to morbid curiosity of neutral countries to the trepidation and sometimes enthusiasm of Britain’s imperial colonies.  This article doesn’t intend to be an in depth reading but rather an overarching look at the initial reactions to the news that all Europe was ‘ablaze’.
Sources:

Image Source - The Times (London, newspaper placard)
Image Source - Brisbane Courier
Image Source - Saskatoon Daily Star
Image Source - The Daily News (Newfoundland)
Image Source - Indianapolis Sunday Star
Image Source - Chicago Daily Tribune
Image Source - The New York Times
Image Source - The Atlanta Constitution
Image Source - The Baltimore Sun
Image Source - Le Petit Parisien
Image Source - The Manchester Guardian
Image Source - Der Deutsche Correspondent (Baltimore)
Image Source - Bruxelle-Depeches (Brussels)
Image Source - Königsberger Zeitungen (Konigsberg, Germany)
Image Source - Le Soir (Brussels)
Image Source - The Morning Leader (Regina, Canada)
Image Source - Daily Express (London)
Image Source - Lübeckische Anzeigen (Lubeck, Germany)
Front Pages: World War One Begins
The images above show the front pages of some of the World’s leading newspapers during the first week of the First World War.  The majority of them are sourced from the allied Entente powers including Britain, France, Belgium, Canada and the then neutral US however there are also several from Germany and Austria.
The first of the images is not actually a newspaper but rather a newspaper sellers placard for The Times' used on the morning of the 5th August to show the headlines.  Other British newspapers include the Manchester Guardian (#12) which described how the decision to go to war was made late on the 4th after Britain’s “Demand for Respect of Belgian Neutrality Refused.”  Similarly the tabloid Daily Express’s (#17) morning edition of the 5th August was headed with Admiral Nelson’s famous patriotic call that “England Expects That Every Man Will Do His Duty” with the rest of the front page is devoted to the declaration of war, the German fleet at work in the North Sea and the latest news from Belgium.  
In North America Canadian and American newspapers break the news of war, one would soon join Britain’s struggle, the other would remain neutral until 1917.  In Canada the Saskatoon Daily Star (#3), Newfoundland’s Daily News (#4) and Regina’s Morning Leader (#16) meet the news gravely with the Daily News’ headline describing all of Europe as “ablaze” while the Daily Star described British diplomatic efforts to maintain Belgian neutrality and how it looks likely that Britain’s ultimatum to Germany will be rejected. The Morning Leader’s headline on the 5th was a little more gung ho with “Britain Gives Word” coupled with a uncommon image of an explosion with ‘War’ written at its centre. The paper’s leading stories include a piece on Churchill’s signal to the navy, the “King’s message to the colonies’ and the failure of the ultimatum.   South of the Canadian border the Chicago Tribune (#6) led with the ominous “War Sets All Europe Trembling” while much of the page is dedicated to the “Latest War Bulletins” there is also news from the stock exchange and about the mayor’s political clean up campaign.  On the 2nd August, the Indianapolis Sunday Star (#5) focused on the war with Russia featuring photographs of both the Tsar and the Kaiser. 
Elsewhere in the United States other major and regional papers looked on the war with morbid curiosity.  The New York Times' (#7) headline goes into great detail calling it a “Great War of Eight Nations” while the Baltimore Sun (#9) describes how the Atlantic ocean liners have tied up as uncertainty grows.  In the south the Atlanta Constitution (#8) forebodingly led with “Only a Miracle Can Save Europe” while erroneously reporting the fall of Belgrade, the city would not be captured until November.  One of the most interesting American newspapers is Baltimore’s Der Deutsche Correspondent, a German language paper.  At the beginning of the 20th century German was the United States’ second most spoken language with millions of German-speaking immigrants having settled in North America.  As such the US had a vibrant German speaking press with newspapers such as New Yorker Staats-Zeitung and the Philadelphia Demokrat in the German style.  Above is the front page of Der Deutsche Correspondent (#12) which on the 5th August, reported that “All of Europe is Now Up in Arms” with Germany at war with Britain, Belgium and France.
Elsewhere in the British Empire the Brisbane Courier (#2) reported the widening war and Germany’s acts of war.  However, the main coverage of the war is relegated to page five with articles covering developments in France and Britain voting £50,000,000 of war funding.  In Europe itself the French and Belgian newspapers also report on the war. On August 4th, Brussels’ Le Soir (#15) reported Germany’s violation of Belgian neutrality and the Belgian government’s ultimatum to Germany.  Weeks later the situation looked grave as Bruxelles-Depeches (#13) called on the citizens of Brussels to “Remain Calm… in This Grave Hour with the Germans at Our Doors.”  
In Paris on the 3rd August, Le Petit Parisien (#9) rather hastily reported that “Without a Declaration of War Germany Has Invaded Our Territory” near Alsace-Lorraine.  In reality the Germans had not yet invaded Belgium and would not cross the French border for another two weeks. Either the reporter based his headline on rumour or panic or the inflammatory headline was intended to stir support for the war.
On 2nd August, the Lübeckische Anzeigen (#18) printed inLubeck led with the heading ‘Deutschland, Deutschland über Alles’ from ‘Deutschlandlied' the 'Song of Germany' meaning 'Germany above all'.  This title and the images of the Kaiser and Emperor Franz Joseph indicate a common bond between the united German Nations with the announcement of German mobilisation. Meanwhile the Königsberger Zeitungen (#14)on the 1st August, reported “Der Weltkrieg” or world war when Russia ignores the German government’s ultimatum ordering Russia to stand down and announces that German forces are mobilising.
The newspapers of the first days of August 1914 can tell us much about the fears, aims and politics of the countries and newspapers that published them.  From attempts to rouse national feeling to morbid curiosity of neutral countries to the trepidation and sometimes enthusiasm of Britain’s imperial colonies.  This article doesn’t intend to be an in depth reading but rather an overarching look at the initial reactions to the news that all Europe was ‘ablaze’.
Sources:

Image Source - The Times (London, newspaper placard)
Image Source - Brisbane Courier
Image Source - Saskatoon Daily Star
Image Source - The Daily News (Newfoundland)
Image Source - Indianapolis Sunday Star
Image Source - Chicago Daily Tribune
Image Source - The New York Times
Image Source - The Atlanta Constitution
Image Source - The Baltimore Sun
Image Source - Le Petit Parisien
Image Source - The Manchester Guardian
Image Source - Der Deutsche Correspondent (Baltimore)
Image Source - Bruxelle-Depeches (Brussels)
Image Source - Königsberger Zeitungen (Konigsberg, Germany)
Image Source - Le Soir (Brussels)
Image Source - The Morning Leader (Regina, Canada)
Image Source - Daily Express (London)
Image Source - Lübeckische Anzeigen (Lubeck, Germany)
Front Pages: World War One Begins
The images above show the front pages of some of the World’s leading newspapers during the first week of the First World War.  The majority of them are sourced from the allied Entente powers including Britain, France, Belgium, Canada and the then neutral US however there are also several from Germany and Austria.
The first of the images is not actually a newspaper but rather a newspaper sellers placard for The Times' used on the morning of the 5th August to show the headlines.  Other British newspapers include the Manchester Guardian (#12) which described how the decision to go to war was made late on the 4th after Britain’s “Demand for Respect of Belgian Neutrality Refused.”  Similarly the tabloid Daily Express’s (#17) morning edition of the 5th August was headed with Admiral Nelson’s famous patriotic call that “England Expects That Every Man Will Do His Duty” with the rest of the front page is devoted to the declaration of war, the German fleet at work in the North Sea and the latest news from Belgium.  
In North America Canadian and American newspapers break the news of war, one would soon join Britain’s struggle, the other would remain neutral until 1917.  In Canada the Saskatoon Daily Star (#3), Newfoundland’s Daily News (#4) and Regina’s Morning Leader (#16) meet the news gravely with the Daily News’ headline describing all of Europe as “ablaze” while the Daily Star described British diplomatic efforts to maintain Belgian neutrality and how it looks likely that Britain’s ultimatum to Germany will be rejected. The Morning Leader’s headline on the 5th was a little more gung ho with “Britain Gives Word” coupled with a uncommon image of an explosion with ‘War’ written at its centre. The paper’s leading stories include a piece on Churchill’s signal to the navy, the “King’s message to the colonies’ and the failure of the ultimatum.   South of the Canadian border the Chicago Tribune (#6) led with the ominous “War Sets All Europe Trembling” while much of the page is dedicated to the “Latest War Bulletins” there is also news from the stock exchange and about the mayor’s political clean up campaign.  On the 2nd August, the Indianapolis Sunday Star (#5) focused on the war with Russia featuring photographs of both the Tsar and the Kaiser. 
Elsewhere in the United States other major and regional papers looked on the war with morbid curiosity.  The New York Times' (#7) headline goes into great detail calling it a “Great War of Eight Nations” while the Baltimore Sun (#9) describes how the Atlantic ocean liners have tied up as uncertainty grows.  In the south the Atlanta Constitution (#8) forebodingly led with “Only a Miracle Can Save Europe” while erroneously reporting the fall of Belgrade, the city would not be captured until November.  One of the most interesting American newspapers is Baltimore’s Der Deutsche Correspondent, a German language paper.  At the beginning of the 20th century German was the United States’ second most spoken language with millions of German-speaking immigrants having settled in North America.  As such the US had a vibrant German speaking press with newspapers such as New Yorker Staats-Zeitung and the Philadelphia Demokrat in the German style.  Above is the front page of Der Deutsche Correspondent (#12) which on the 5th August, reported that “All of Europe is Now Up in Arms” with Germany at war with Britain, Belgium and France.
Elsewhere in the British Empire the Brisbane Courier (#2) reported the widening war and Germany’s acts of war.  However, the main coverage of the war is relegated to page five with articles covering developments in France and Britain voting £50,000,000 of war funding.  In Europe itself the French and Belgian newspapers also report on the war. On August 4th, Brussels’ Le Soir (#15) reported Germany’s violation of Belgian neutrality and the Belgian government’s ultimatum to Germany.  Weeks later the situation looked grave as Bruxelles-Depeches (#13) called on the citizens of Brussels to “Remain Calm… in This Grave Hour with the Germans at Our Doors.”  
In Paris on the 3rd August, Le Petit Parisien (#9) rather hastily reported that “Without a Declaration of War Germany Has Invaded Our Territory” near Alsace-Lorraine.  In reality the Germans had not yet invaded Belgium and would not cross the French border for another two weeks. Either the reporter based his headline on rumour or panic or the inflammatory headline was intended to stir support for the war.
On 2nd August, the Lübeckische Anzeigen (#18) printed inLubeck led with the heading ‘Deutschland, Deutschland über Alles’ from ‘Deutschlandlied' the 'Song of Germany' meaning 'Germany above all'.  This title and the images of the Kaiser and Emperor Franz Joseph indicate a common bond between the united German Nations with the announcement of German mobilisation. Meanwhile the Königsberger Zeitungen (#14)on the 1st August, reported “Der Weltkrieg” or world war when Russia ignores the German government’s ultimatum ordering Russia to stand down and announces that German forces are mobilising.
The newspapers of the first days of August 1914 can tell us much about the fears, aims and politics of the countries and newspapers that published them.  From attempts to rouse national feeling to morbid curiosity of neutral countries to the trepidation and sometimes enthusiasm of Britain’s imperial colonies.  This article doesn’t intend to be an in depth reading but rather an overarching look at the initial reactions to the news that all Europe was ‘ablaze’.
Sources:

Image Source - The Times (London, newspaper placard)
Image Source - Brisbane Courier
Image Source - Saskatoon Daily Star
Image Source - The Daily News (Newfoundland)
Image Source - Indianapolis Sunday Star
Image Source - Chicago Daily Tribune
Image Source - The New York Times
Image Source - The Atlanta Constitution
Image Source - The Baltimore Sun
Image Source - Le Petit Parisien
Image Source - The Manchester Guardian
Image Source - Der Deutsche Correspondent (Baltimore)
Image Source - Bruxelle-Depeches (Brussels)
Image Source - Königsberger Zeitungen (Konigsberg, Germany)
Image Source - Le Soir (Brussels)
Image Source - The Morning Leader (Regina, Canada)
Image Source - Daily Express (London)
Image Source - Lübeckische Anzeigen (Lubeck, Germany)
Front Pages: World War One Begins
The images above show the front pages of some of the World’s leading newspapers during the first week of the First World War.  The majority of them are sourced from the allied Entente powers including Britain, France, Belgium, Canada and the then neutral US however there are also several from Germany and Austria.
The first of the images is not actually a newspaper but rather a newspaper sellers placard for The Times' used on the morning of the 5th August to show the headlines.  Other British newspapers include the Manchester Guardian (#12) which described how the decision to go to war was made late on the 4th after Britain’s “Demand for Respect of Belgian Neutrality Refused.”  Similarly the tabloid Daily Express’s (#17) morning edition of the 5th August was headed with Admiral Nelson’s famous patriotic call that “England Expects That Every Man Will Do His Duty” with the rest of the front page is devoted to the declaration of war, the German fleet at work in the North Sea and the latest news from Belgium.  
In North America Canadian and American newspapers break the news of war, one would soon join Britain’s struggle, the other would remain neutral until 1917.  In Canada the Saskatoon Daily Star (#3), Newfoundland’s Daily News (#4) and Regina’s Morning Leader (#16) meet the news gravely with the Daily News’ headline describing all of Europe as “ablaze” while the Daily Star described British diplomatic efforts to maintain Belgian neutrality and how it looks likely that Britain’s ultimatum to Germany will be rejected. The Morning Leader’s headline on the 5th was a little more gung ho with “Britain Gives Word” coupled with a uncommon image of an explosion with ‘War’ written at its centre. The paper’s leading stories include a piece on Churchill’s signal to the navy, the “King’s message to the colonies’ and the failure of the ultimatum.   South of the Canadian border the Chicago Tribune (#6) led with the ominous “War Sets All Europe Trembling” while much of the page is dedicated to the “Latest War Bulletins” there is also news from the stock exchange and about the mayor’s political clean up campaign.  On the 2nd August, the Indianapolis Sunday Star (#5) focused on the war with Russia featuring photographs of both the Tsar and the Kaiser. 
Elsewhere in the United States other major and regional papers looked on the war with morbid curiosity.  The New York Times' (#7) headline goes into great detail calling it a “Great War of Eight Nations” while the Baltimore Sun (#9) describes how the Atlantic ocean liners have tied up as uncertainty grows.  In the south the Atlanta Constitution (#8) forebodingly led with “Only a Miracle Can Save Europe” while erroneously reporting the fall of Belgrade, the city would not be captured until November.  One of the most interesting American newspapers is Baltimore’s Der Deutsche Correspondent, a German language paper.  At the beginning of the 20th century German was the United States’ second most spoken language with millions of German-speaking immigrants having settled in North America.  As such the US had a vibrant German speaking press with newspapers such as New Yorker Staats-Zeitung and the Philadelphia Demokrat in the German style.  Above is the front page of Der Deutsche Correspondent (#12) which on the 5th August, reported that “All of Europe is Now Up in Arms” with Germany at war with Britain, Belgium and France.
Elsewhere in the British Empire the Brisbane Courier (#2) reported the widening war and Germany’s acts of war.  However, the main coverage of the war is relegated to page five with articles covering developments in France and Britain voting £50,000,000 of war funding.  In Europe itself the French and Belgian newspapers also report on the war. On August 4th, Brussels’ Le Soir (#15) reported Germany’s violation of Belgian neutrality and the Belgian government’s ultimatum to Germany.  Weeks later the situation looked grave as Bruxelles-Depeches (#13) called on the citizens of Brussels to “Remain Calm… in This Grave Hour with the Germans at Our Doors.”  
In Paris on the 3rd August, Le Petit Parisien (#9) rather hastily reported that “Without a Declaration of War Germany Has Invaded Our Territory” near Alsace-Lorraine.  In reality the Germans had not yet invaded Belgium and would not cross the French border for another two weeks. Either the reporter based his headline on rumour or panic or the inflammatory headline was intended to stir support for the war.
On 2nd August, the Lübeckische Anzeigen (#18) printed inLubeck led with the heading ‘Deutschland, Deutschland über Alles’ from ‘Deutschlandlied' the 'Song of Germany' meaning 'Germany above all'.  This title and the images of the Kaiser and Emperor Franz Joseph indicate a common bond between the united German Nations with the announcement of German mobilisation. Meanwhile the Königsberger Zeitungen (#14)on the 1st August, reported “Der Weltkrieg” or world war when Russia ignores the German government’s ultimatum ordering Russia to stand down and announces that German forces are mobilising.
The newspapers of the first days of August 1914 can tell us much about the fears, aims and politics of the countries and newspapers that published them.  From attempts to rouse national feeling to morbid curiosity of neutral countries to the trepidation and sometimes enthusiasm of Britain’s imperial colonies.  This article doesn’t intend to be an in depth reading but rather an overarching look at the initial reactions to the news that all Europe was ‘ablaze’.
Sources:

Image Source - The Times (London, newspaper placard)
Image Source - Brisbane Courier
Image Source - Saskatoon Daily Star
Image Source - The Daily News (Newfoundland)
Image Source - Indianapolis Sunday Star
Image Source - Chicago Daily Tribune
Image Source - The New York Times
Image Source - The Atlanta Constitution
Image Source - The Baltimore Sun
Image Source - Le Petit Parisien
Image Source - The Manchester Guardian
Image Source - Der Deutsche Correspondent (Baltimore)
Image Source - Bruxelle-Depeches (Brussels)
Image Source - Königsberger Zeitungen (Konigsberg, Germany)
Image Source - Le Soir (Brussels)
Image Source - The Morning Leader (Regina, Canada)
Image Source - Daily Express (London)
Image Source - Lübeckische Anzeigen (Lubeck, Germany)
Front Pages: World War One Begins
The images above show the front pages of some of the World’s leading newspapers during the first week of the First World War.  The majority of them are sourced from the allied Entente powers including Britain, France, Belgium, Canada and the then neutral US however there are also several from Germany and Austria.
The first of the images is not actually a newspaper but rather a newspaper sellers placard for The Times' used on the morning of the 5th August to show the headlines.  Other British newspapers include the Manchester Guardian (#12) which described how the decision to go to war was made late on the 4th after Britain’s “Demand for Respect of Belgian Neutrality Refused.”  Similarly the tabloid Daily Express’s (#17) morning edition of the 5th August was headed with Admiral Nelson’s famous patriotic call that “England Expects That Every Man Will Do His Duty” with the rest of the front page is devoted to the declaration of war, the German fleet at work in the North Sea and the latest news from Belgium.  
In North America Canadian and American newspapers break the news of war, one would soon join Britain’s struggle, the other would remain neutral until 1917.  In Canada the Saskatoon Daily Star (#3), Newfoundland’s Daily News (#4) and Regina’s Morning Leader (#16) meet the news gravely with the Daily News’ headline describing all of Europe as “ablaze” while the Daily Star described British diplomatic efforts to maintain Belgian neutrality and how it looks likely that Britain’s ultimatum to Germany will be rejected. The Morning Leader’s headline on the 5th was a little more gung ho with “Britain Gives Word” coupled with a uncommon image of an explosion with ‘War’ written at its centre. The paper’s leading stories include a piece on Churchill’s signal to the navy, the “King’s message to the colonies’ and the failure of the ultimatum.   South of the Canadian border the Chicago Tribune (#6) led with the ominous “War Sets All Europe Trembling” while much of the page is dedicated to the “Latest War Bulletins” there is also news from the stock exchange and about the mayor’s political clean up campaign.  On the 2nd August, the Indianapolis Sunday Star (#5) focused on the war with Russia featuring photographs of both the Tsar and the Kaiser. 
Elsewhere in the United States other major and regional papers looked on the war with morbid curiosity.  The New York Times' (#7) headline goes into great detail calling it a “Great War of Eight Nations” while the Baltimore Sun (#9) describes how the Atlantic ocean liners have tied up as uncertainty grows.  In the south the Atlanta Constitution (#8) forebodingly led with “Only a Miracle Can Save Europe” while erroneously reporting the fall of Belgrade, the city would not be captured until November.  One of the most interesting American newspapers is Baltimore’s Der Deutsche Correspondent, a German language paper.  At the beginning of the 20th century German was the United States’ second most spoken language with millions of German-speaking immigrants having settled in North America.  As such the US had a vibrant German speaking press with newspapers such as New Yorker Staats-Zeitung and the Philadelphia Demokrat in the German style.  Above is the front page of Der Deutsche Correspondent (#12) which on the 5th August, reported that “All of Europe is Now Up in Arms” with Germany at war with Britain, Belgium and France.
Elsewhere in the British Empire the Brisbane Courier (#2) reported the widening war and Germany’s acts of war.  However, the main coverage of the war is relegated to page five with articles covering developments in France and Britain voting £50,000,000 of war funding.  In Europe itself the French and Belgian newspapers also report on the war. On August 4th, Brussels’ Le Soir (#15) reported Germany’s violation of Belgian neutrality and the Belgian government’s ultimatum to Germany.  Weeks later the situation looked grave as Bruxelles-Depeches (#13) called on the citizens of Brussels to “Remain Calm… in This Grave Hour with the Germans at Our Doors.”  
In Paris on the 3rd August, Le Petit Parisien (#9) rather hastily reported that “Without a Declaration of War Germany Has Invaded Our Territory” near Alsace-Lorraine.  In reality the Germans had not yet invaded Belgium and would not cross the French border for another two weeks. Either the reporter based his headline on rumour or panic or the inflammatory headline was intended to stir support for the war.
On 2nd August, the Lübeckische Anzeigen (#18) printed inLubeck led with the heading ‘Deutschland, Deutschland über Alles’ from ‘Deutschlandlied' the 'Song of Germany' meaning 'Germany above all'.  This title and the images of the Kaiser and Emperor Franz Joseph indicate a common bond between the united German Nations with the announcement of German mobilisation. Meanwhile the Königsberger Zeitungen (#14)on the 1st August, reported “Der Weltkrieg” or world war when Russia ignores the German government’s ultimatum ordering Russia to stand down and announces that German forces are mobilising.
The newspapers of the first days of August 1914 can tell us much about the fears, aims and politics of the countries and newspapers that published them.  From attempts to rouse national feeling to morbid curiosity of neutral countries to the trepidation and sometimes enthusiasm of Britain’s imperial colonies.  This article doesn’t intend to be an in depth reading but rather an overarching look at the initial reactions to the news that all Europe was ‘ablaze’.
Sources:

Image Source - The Times (London, newspaper placard)
Image Source - Brisbane Courier
Image Source - Saskatoon Daily Star
Image Source - The Daily News (Newfoundland)
Image Source - Indianapolis Sunday Star
Image Source - Chicago Daily Tribune
Image Source - The New York Times
Image Source - The Atlanta Constitution
Image Source - The Baltimore Sun
Image Source - Le Petit Parisien
Image Source - The Manchester Guardian
Image Source - Der Deutsche Correspondent (Baltimore)
Image Source - Bruxelle-Depeches (Brussels)
Image Source - Königsberger Zeitungen (Konigsberg, Germany)
Image Source - Le Soir (Brussels)
Image Source - The Morning Leader (Regina, Canada)
Image Source - Daily Express (London)
Image Source - Lübeckische Anzeigen (Lubeck, Germany)
Front Pages: World War One Begins
The images above show the front pages of some of the World’s leading newspapers during the first week of the First World War.  The majority of them are sourced from the allied Entente powers including Britain, France, Belgium, Canada and the then neutral US however there are also several from Germany and Austria.
The first of the images is not actually a newspaper but rather a newspaper sellers placard for The Times' used on the morning of the 5th August to show the headlines.  Other British newspapers include the Manchester Guardian (#12) which described how the decision to go to war was made late on the 4th after Britain’s “Demand for Respect of Belgian Neutrality Refused.”  Similarly the tabloid Daily Express’s (#17) morning edition of the 5th August was headed with Admiral Nelson’s famous patriotic call that “England Expects That Every Man Will Do His Duty” with the rest of the front page is devoted to the declaration of war, the German fleet at work in the North Sea and the latest news from Belgium.  
In North America Canadian and American newspapers break the news of war, one would soon join Britain’s struggle, the other would remain neutral until 1917.  In Canada the Saskatoon Daily Star (#3), Newfoundland’s Daily News (#4) and Regina’s Morning Leader (#16) meet the news gravely with the Daily News’ headline describing all of Europe as “ablaze” while the Daily Star described British diplomatic efforts to maintain Belgian neutrality and how it looks likely that Britain’s ultimatum to Germany will be rejected. The Morning Leader’s headline on the 5th was a little more gung ho with “Britain Gives Word” coupled with a uncommon image of an explosion with ‘War’ written at its centre. The paper’s leading stories include a piece on Churchill’s signal to the navy, the “King’s message to the colonies’ and the failure of the ultimatum.   South of the Canadian border the Chicago Tribune (#6) led with the ominous “War Sets All Europe Trembling” while much of the page is dedicated to the “Latest War Bulletins” there is also news from the stock exchange and about the mayor’s political clean up campaign.  On the 2nd August, the Indianapolis Sunday Star (#5) focused on the war with Russia featuring photographs of both the Tsar and the Kaiser. 
Elsewhere in the United States other major and regional papers looked on the war with morbid curiosity.  The New York Times' (#7) headline goes into great detail calling it a “Great War of Eight Nations” while the Baltimore Sun (#9) describes how the Atlantic ocean liners have tied up as uncertainty grows.  In the south the Atlanta Constitution (#8) forebodingly led with “Only a Miracle Can Save Europe” while erroneously reporting the fall of Belgrade, the city would not be captured until November.  One of the most interesting American newspapers is Baltimore’s Der Deutsche Correspondent, a German language paper.  At the beginning of the 20th century German was the United States’ second most spoken language with millions of German-speaking immigrants having settled in North America.  As such the US had a vibrant German speaking press with newspapers such as New Yorker Staats-Zeitung and the Philadelphia Demokrat in the German style.  Above is the front page of Der Deutsche Correspondent (#12) which on the 5th August, reported that “All of Europe is Now Up in Arms” with Germany at war with Britain, Belgium and France.
Elsewhere in the British Empire the Brisbane Courier (#2) reported the widening war and Germany’s acts of war.  However, the main coverage of the war is relegated to page five with articles covering developments in France and Britain voting £50,000,000 of war funding.  In Europe itself the French and Belgian newspapers also report on the war. On August 4th, Brussels’ Le Soir (#15) reported Germany’s violation of Belgian neutrality and the Belgian government’s ultimatum to Germany.  Weeks later the situation looked grave as Bruxelles-Depeches (#13) called on the citizens of Brussels to “Remain Calm… in This Grave Hour with the Germans at Our Doors.”  
In Paris on the 3rd August, Le Petit Parisien (#9) rather hastily reported that “Without a Declaration of War Germany Has Invaded Our Territory” near Alsace-Lorraine.  In reality the Germans had not yet invaded Belgium and would not cross the French border for another two weeks. Either the reporter based his headline on rumour or panic or the inflammatory headline was intended to stir support for the war.
On 2nd August, the Lübeckische Anzeigen (#18) printed inLubeck led with the heading ‘Deutschland, Deutschland über Alles’ from ‘Deutschlandlied' the 'Song of Germany' meaning 'Germany above all'.  This title and the images of the Kaiser and Emperor Franz Joseph indicate a common bond between the united German Nations with the announcement of German mobilisation. Meanwhile the Königsberger Zeitungen (#14)on the 1st August, reported “Der Weltkrieg” or world war when Russia ignores the German government’s ultimatum ordering Russia to stand down and announces that German forces are mobilising.
The newspapers of the first days of August 1914 can tell us much about the fears, aims and politics of the countries and newspapers that published them.  From attempts to rouse national feeling to morbid curiosity of neutral countries to the trepidation and sometimes enthusiasm of Britain’s imperial colonies.  This article doesn’t intend to be an in depth reading but rather an overarching look at the initial reactions to the news that all Europe was ‘ablaze’.
Sources:

Image Source - The Times (London, newspaper placard)
Image Source - Brisbane Courier
Image Source - Saskatoon Daily Star
Image Source - The Daily News (Newfoundland)
Image Source - Indianapolis Sunday Star
Image Source - Chicago Daily Tribune
Image Source - The New York Times
Image Source - The Atlanta Constitution
Image Source - The Baltimore Sun
Image Source - Le Petit Parisien
Image Source - The Manchester Guardian
Image Source - Der Deutsche Correspondent (Baltimore)
Image Source - Bruxelle-Depeches (Brussels)
Image Source - Königsberger Zeitungen (Konigsberg, Germany)
Image Source - Le Soir (Brussels)
Image Source - The Morning Leader (Regina, Canada)
Image Source - Daily Express (London)
Image Source - Lübeckische Anzeigen (Lubeck, Germany)

Front Pages: World War One Begins

The images above show the front pages of some of the World’s leading newspapers during the first week of the First World War.  The majority of them are sourced from the allied Entente powers including Britain, France, Belgium, Canada and the then neutral US however there are also several from Germany and Austria.

The first of the images is not actually a newspaper but rather a newspaper sellers placard for The Times' used on the morning of the 5th August to show the headlines.  Other British newspapers include the Manchester Guardian (#12) which described how the decision to go to war was made late on the 4th after Britain’s “Demand for Respect of Belgian Neutrality Refused.”  Similarly the tabloid Daily Express’s (#17) morning edition of the 5th August was headed with Admiral Nelson’s famous patriotic call that “England Expects That Every Man Will Do His Duty” with the rest of the front page is devoted to the declaration of war, the German fleet at work in the North Sea and the latest news from Belgium.  

In North America Canadian and American newspapers break the news of war, one would soon join Britain’s struggle, the other would remain neutral until 1917.  In Canada the Saskatoon Daily Star (#3), Newfoundland’s Daily News (#4) and Regina’s Morning Leader (#16) meet the news gravely with the Daily News’ headline describing all of Europe as “ablaze” while the Daily Star described British diplomatic efforts to maintain Belgian neutrality and how it looks likely that Britain’s ultimatum to Germany will be rejected.
The Morning Leader’s headline on the 5th was a little more gung ho with “Britain Gives Word” coupled with a uncommon image of an explosion with ‘War’ written at its centre. The paper’s leading stories include a piece on Churchill’s signal to the navy, the “King’s message to the colonies’ and the failure of the ultimatum.   South of the Canadian border the Chicago Tribune (#6) led with the ominous “War Sets All Europe Trembling” while much of the page is dedicated to the “Latest War Bulletins” there is also news from the stock exchange and about the mayor’s political clean up campaign.  On the 2nd August, the Indianapolis Sunday Star (#5) focused on the war with Russia featuring photographs of both the Tsar and the Kaiser

Elsewhere in the United States other major and regional papers looked on the war with morbid curiosity.  The New York Times(#7) headline goes into great detail calling it a “Great War of Eight Nations” while the Baltimore Sun (#9) describes how the Atlantic ocean liners have tied up as uncertainty grows.  
In the south the
Atlanta Constitution (#8) forebodingly led with “Only a Miracle Can Save Europe” while erroneously reporting the fall of Belgrade, the city would not be captured until November.  One of the most interesting American newspapers is Baltimore’s Der Deutsche Correspondent, a German language paper.  At the beginning of the 20th century German was the United States’ second most spoken language with millions of German-speaking immigrants having settled in North America.  As such the US had a vibrant German speaking press with newspapers such as New Yorker Staats-Zeitung and the Philadelphia Demokrat in the German style.  Above is the front page of Der Deutsche Correspondent (#12) which on the 5th August, reported that “All of Europe is Now Up in Arms” with Germany at war with Britain, Belgium and France.

Elsewhere in the British Empire the Brisbane Courier (#2) reported the widening war and Germany’s acts of war.  However, the main coverage of the war is relegated to page five with articles covering developments in France and Britain voting £50,000,000 of war funding.  
In Europe itself the French and Belgian newspapers also report on the war. On August 4th, Brussels’ Le Soir (#15) reported Germany’s violation of Belgian neutrality and the Belgian government’s ultimatum to Germany.  Weeks later the situation looked grave as Bruxelles-Depeches (#13) called on the citizens of Brussels to “Remain Calm… in This Grave Hour with the Germans at Our Doors.”  

In Paris on the 3rd August, Le Petit Parisien (#9) rather hastily reported that “Without a Declaration of War Germany Has Invaded Our Territory” near Alsace-Lorraine.  In reality the Germans had not yet invaded Belgium and would not cross the French border for another two weeks. Either the reporter based his headline on rumour or panic or the inflammatory headline was intended to stir support for the war.

On 2nd August, the Lübeckische Anzeigen (#18) printed inLubeck led with the heading ‘Deutschland, Deutschland über Alles’ from ‘Deutschlandlied' the 'Song of Germany' meaning 'Germany above all'.  This title and the images of the Kaiser and Emperor Franz Joseph indicate a common bond between the united German Nations with the announcement of German mobilisation. Meanwhile the Königsberger Zeitungen (#14)on the 1st August, reported “Der Weltkrieg” or world war when Russia ignores the German government’s ultimatum ordering Russia to stand down and announces that German forces are mobilising.

The newspapers of the first days of August 1914 can tell us much about the fears, aims and politics of the countries and newspapers that published them.  From attempts to rouse national feeling to morbid curiosity of neutral countries to the trepidation and sometimes enthusiasm of Britain’s imperial colonies.  This article doesn’t intend to be an in depth reading but rather an overarching look at the initial reactions to the news that all Europe was ‘ablaze’.

Sources:

Image Source - The Times (London, newspaper placard)

Image Source - Brisbane Courier

Image Source - Saskatoon Daily Star

Image Source - The Daily News (Newfoundland)

Image Source - Indianapolis Sunday Star

Image Source - Chicago Daily Tribune

Image Source - The New York Times

Image Source - The Atlanta Constitution

Image Source - The Baltimore Sun

Image Source - Le Petit Parisien

Image Source - The Manchester Guardian

Image Source - Der Deutsche Correspondent (Baltimore)

Image Source - Bruxelle-Depeches (Brussels)

Image SourceKönigsberger Zeitungen (Konigsberg, Germany)

Image Source - Le Soir (Brussels)

Image Source - The Morning Leader (Regina, Canada)

Image Source - Daily Express (London)

Image SourceLübeckische Anzeigen (Lubeck, Germany)

Q

Anonymous asked:

I've seen your posts on the Enfield, but do you have any information on the Turkish "Enfauser" conversion? Thank you.

A

Enfauser

The ‘Enfauser' is an interesting little quirk of history, the Turks converted a fairly large number of SMLE to fire the 7.92mm Mauser round, which the Turks used in the rifles given them by their German allies.  These were often called ‘Tüfek İngilizce' or English Rifles by the Turks.  (Interestingly, before the war the Turks had adopted the M1893 & M1903 Mauser rifles in 7.65×53mm.)   The Enfields were captured during the unsuccessful landings at Gallipoli and during the British campaign in Mesopotamia where a large force surrendered a Kut in 1916.

The Turks took the SMLE’s and rechambered and rebarreled them to fire 7.92mm.  They also reshaped the bolt’s guide ribs and altered the charger guide to fit the new ammunition, as well as welding shut the magazine wells with a new floorplate, magazine spring and follower added to create a 5 round integral magazine and altering the rifle’s furniture giving the rifles a hybrid look with an Enfield stock and receiver and a Mauser style forend.  This was a very labour intensive process to retrofit the captured rifles however, it is likely that the Turkish Army did not want to have to rely on captured ammunition sources and did not want a third type of ammunition in circulation to complicate supply further.

Image Source

Thanks for the question.

Historical Trivia: Under Supplied & Misunderstood

In 1907, the US Army was continuing its experimentation with machine guns which had begun during the last decade of the 19th century with the Gatling Gun.  It later unofficially adopted John Browning’s first machine gun, the Colt-Browning M1895.  But such was the US Army’s lack of understanding of these new weapons they initially allotted each machine gun just 1,000 rounds.  Not for range practice or training, not for a month but for an entire year.  The lack of sufficient ammunition allocation limited experimentation and even on America’s entry into World War One the US was still fundamentally deficient in an effective number of machine guns.

image

M1895 Colt-Browning machine gun (source)

With no clear school of thought for the use of automatic weapons adopted by the US Army except as a limited supporting weapon the adoption of machine guns was stunted.  Indecision and circumstance saw four machine gun designs adopted by the US Ordnance Department between 1900 and 1917. The Maxim was adopted in 1904, five years later the Benét–Mercié light machine gun was adopted for the US Cavalry, in 1915 the Vickers-Maxim was selected and in 1917 the Colt-Browning M1917 was also adopted.  
As a consequence the US entered the
First World War deficient in experience in how to use and deploy machine guns in the field.   US automatic arms doctrine remained fundamentally undermined with the emphasis placed on the rifleman and his rifle until America’s entry into World War One and arguably long afterwards. 

1914: Armies of the Western Front
I’ve recently covered each of the armies of the Western Front as they were in August 1914, follow the links below for overviews of each of the armies, their mobilisation and their initial strategies. 

British Expeditionary Force
Deutsches Heer (Imperial German Army)
French Army
Belgian Army

You can also read about the mobilisation of all of the major powers here. 1914: Armies of the Western Front
I’ve recently covered each of the armies of the Western Front as they were in August 1914, follow the links below for overviews of each of the armies, their mobilisation and their initial strategies. 

British Expeditionary Force
Deutsches Heer (Imperial German Army)
French Army
Belgian Army

You can also read about the mobilisation of all of the major powers here. 1914: Armies of the Western Front
I’ve recently covered each of the armies of the Western Front as they were in August 1914, follow the links below for overviews of each of the armies, their mobilisation and their initial strategies. 

British Expeditionary Force
Deutsches Heer (Imperial German Army)
French Army
Belgian Army

You can also read about the mobilisation of all of the major powers here. 1914: Armies of the Western Front
I’ve recently covered each of the armies of the Western Front as they were in August 1914, follow the links below for overviews of each of the armies, their mobilisation and their initial strategies. 

British Expeditionary Force
Deutsches Heer (Imperial German Army)
French Army
Belgian Army

You can also read about the mobilisation of all of the major powers here.

1914: Armies of the Western Front

I’ve recently covered each of the armies of the Western Front as they were in August 1914, follow the links below for overviews of each of the armies, their mobilisation and their initial strategies. 

British Expeditionary Force

Deutsches Heer (Imperial German Army)

French Army

Belgian Army

You can also read about the mobilisation of all of the major powers here.

Q

Anonymous asked:

Historical speculation: Do you think if Napoleon had won the war in Europe he would have eventually planned to attack the United States?

A

Possible but unlikely.  Napoleon had initially considered expanding French holdings in the ‘New World’ however, the rebellion and eventual loss of St. Domingue (Haiti) which at the time was one of France’s most important colonies weaken those plans.  France had taken possession of Spain’s holdings in Louisiana in 1800 and had intended to exploit them however, in 1803, France sold the Louisiana territory to the US which effectively ended Napoleon’s ‘New World’ ambitions.  At the time he was planning his invasion of Britain.  By 1810, the US, seeing Britain as the greater threat, had placed an embargo on British goods and continued to trade with France.

Speculating historically this does show that Napoleon had ambitions in the Americas and if things had developed differently in Europe perhaps he would have sought French expansion in the Caribbean and North America. However, if we speculate that France had beaten Britain it is possible that the resulting peace treaty would have forced Britain to give up some of her North American and Caribbean holdings (which were extremely profitable).  This may have placated Napoleon or it may have emboldened him.   It isn’t inconceivable that a Napoleon who had subjugated all of Europe would not have some ambition in North or South America but whether he would have attacked the US is an interesting question.  I think its likely that he would have if it had been feasible and profitable. 

Great ‘what if’ question, thanks for the message.

Interdiction:

Interdiction is a military term that describes the disrupting, delaying or destroying of an enemies supplies or forces before or as they enter a combat zone.  This includes the destruction of enemy food, supplies, arms and ordnance before it reaches already engaged enemy forces.  

Interdiction can take place by land, sea or air, with the surveillance and ambushing of known supply lines on a small scale by ground units, air interdiction launched by air elements and at sea by patrolling ships and the blockade of enemy ports.

Throughout history there are dozens of examples of blockades with the tactic being heavily used during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries with blockades of French ports during the British Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars and during the American Civil War when the Union Navy blockaded Confederate ports cutting the south off from European goods.

An interesting example of a land blockade occurred in 1948, when Soviet forces refused to allow Western goods into occupied Berlin in an effort to assert complete Soviet control over the city.  The Western powers responded to this blockade with what came to be known as the Berlin Airlift, with hundreds of flights flying thousands of tonnes of supplies into Berlin between 1948-9.

On of the most famous examples of air interdiction occurred during the Vietnam War when US B-52s waged a bombing campaign against the Ho-Chi Minh Trail in Laos in an attempt to cut of Viet Cong forces operating inside southern Vietnam.  In 1965, US Army Intelligence estimated that the North Vietnamese were moving up to 300 tons of materiel into South Vietnam through Laos each month.  In 1964, a ten year air campaign codenamed Operation Barrel Roll began with US air assets systematically bombing the Ho Chi Minh Trail, the operation was ultimately a failure. 

Powell Device Luger
In 1903, the US Army was beginning its selection process for a new sidearm to replaced the .38 Colt Revolver.  One of the most promising pistols of that process was the German Luger.  The Luger had already been evaluated in its original 7.65mm chambering in 1901, two years later the 9mm version was tested.  The Luger had been adopted by a number of European nations, including the Swiss Army and German Navy, and had been widely considered in many other contemporary pistol trials, with it almost being selected by Britain in 1900. 
The Luger seen in the photographs above however, has an interesting additional feature described as a ‘Powell Device' at the request of the US Board of Ordnance.  The device was a cartridge counter invented by George H. Powell which ran the length of the left side of the Luger’s grip and indicated how many rounds were left in the magazine.   The fifty 9mm Luger pistols provided by Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken (DWM) was each fitted with a Powell Device in Germany before it was shipped to the US in April 1904.  The batch of pistols had 10cm long barrels and the additional grip safeties also requested by the Board of Ordnance.
The device ran the full length of the Luger’s left-hand wooden grip panel inside a transparent celluloid strip covered slot.  A horizontal indicating pointer attached to the magazine follower slid along a slot in the magazine.  As each round was fired the indicator would advance with the follower moving the pointer up the slot pointing to a corresponding scale numbered up to seven painted in black metallic paint on a ‘silver field’. This showed how many rounds were left in the pistol’s magazine, when loaded it was possible to see the tip of the bullets in the magazine (see image #1).
The pistols were issued to the US Cavalry and Light Artillery Boards at Fort Riley, in Kansas for field testing.  Following several months of testing the Cavalry Board asked troop commanders to report on the Luger’s performance, on the basis of these reports the Board eventually recommended in July 1904, that the pistol should not be adopted for the service. 
The Board’s report stated:
The Luger automatic pistol, Cal. 9mm., is an accurate weapon at the distances at which it was tested.
The jamming of cartridges, which occurred so frequently, completely nullifies the good qualities of the pistol and renders it practically useless.
The Board therefore does not recommend the adoption of the Luger automatic pistol, in its present state, for the service”

The jamming of the pistol, possibly due to the cartridge indicator, was found to be the Board’s main concern however, there were also questions raised about the Powell Devices.  Although the device was said to have functioned satisfactorily Captain W.A Phillips, commanding officer at the Springfield Armoury, believed that “the [indicator’s] slot, cut with the grain of the wood almost the entire length of the grip [panel], makes the left grip a source of weakness and it is believed that …the left grip [panel with the indicator] would be injured by the rough usage of service.”
The Powell Device was an innovation ahead of its time, it has only been in recent years that military rifle magazines have again had cartridge indicators in the form of clear plastic magazine windows.  The US Army’s interest in the Luger however, did not end in 1904.  In the next round of trials in 1907, another smaller batch of test pistols which did not have the Powell Device installed was made available in .45 calibre and remained a front runner in the trials with the Savage Model 1907 and the Colt-Browning until DWM pulled out of the race in April 1908, possibly due to the the pistol being adopted by the German Army.  
Sources:

Image One Source
Image Two Source
The Handgun Story, J. Walters, (2008) 
1904 United States Army, Cal 9mm Cartridge Counter Lugers (source)
Powell Device Luger
In 1903, the US Army was beginning its selection process for a new sidearm to replaced the .38 Colt Revolver.  One of the most promising pistols of that process was the German Luger.  The Luger had already been evaluated in its original 7.65mm chambering in 1901, two years later the 9mm version was tested.  The Luger had been adopted by a number of European nations, including the Swiss Army and German Navy, and had been widely considered in many other contemporary pistol trials, with it almost being selected by Britain in 1900. 
The Luger seen in the photographs above however, has an interesting additional feature described as a ‘Powell Device' at the request of the US Board of Ordnance.  The device was a cartridge counter invented by George H. Powell which ran the length of the left side of the Luger’s grip and indicated how many rounds were left in the magazine.   The fifty 9mm Luger pistols provided by Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken (DWM) was each fitted with a Powell Device in Germany before it was shipped to the US in April 1904.  The batch of pistols had 10cm long barrels and the additional grip safeties also requested by the Board of Ordnance.
The device ran the full length of the Luger’s left-hand wooden grip panel inside a transparent celluloid strip covered slot.  A horizontal indicating pointer attached to the magazine follower slid along a slot in the magazine.  As each round was fired the indicator would advance with the follower moving the pointer up the slot pointing to a corresponding scale numbered up to seven painted in black metallic paint on a ‘silver field’. This showed how many rounds were left in the pistol’s magazine, when loaded it was possible to see the tip of the bullets in the magazine (see image #1).
The pistols were issued to the US Cavalry and Light Artillery Boards at Fort Riley, in Kansas for field testing.  Following several months of testing the Cavalry Board asked troop commanders to report on the Luger’s performance, on the basis of these reports the Board eventually recommended in July 1904, that the pistol should not be adopted for the service. 
The Board’s report stated:
The Luger automatic pistol, Cal. 9mm., is an accurate weapon at the distances at which it was tested.
The jamming of cartridges, which occurred so frequently, completely nullifies the good qualities of the pistol and renders it practically useless.
The Board therefore does not recommend the adoption of the Luger automatic pistol, in its present state, for the service”

The jamming of the pistol, possibly due to the cartridge indicator, was found to be the Board’s main concern however, there were also questions raised about the Powell Devices.  Although the device was said to have functioned satisfactorily Captain W.A Phillips, commanding officer at the Springfield Armoury, believed that “the [indicator’s] slot, cut with the grain of the wood almost the entire length of the grip [panel], makes the left grip a source of weakness and it is believed that …the left grip [panel with the indicator] would be injured by the rough usage of service.”
The Powell Device was an innovation ahead of its time, it has only been in recent years that military rifle magazines have again had cartridge indicators in the form of clear plastic magazine windows.  The US Army’s interest in the Luger however, did not end in 1904.  In the next round of trials in 1907, another smaller batch of test pistols which did not have the Powell Device installed was made available in .45 calibre and remained a front runner in the trials with the Savage Model 1907 and the Colt-Browning until DWM pulled out of the race in April 1908, possibly due to the the pistol being adopted by the German Army.  
Sources:

Image One Source
Image Two Source
The Handgun Story, J. Walters, (2008) 
1904 United States Army, Cal 9mm Cartridge Counter Lugers (source)

Powell Device Luger

In 1903, the US Army was beginning its selection process for a new sidearm to replaced the .38 Colt Revolver.  One of the most promising pistols of that process was the German Luger.  The Luger had already been evaluated in its original 7.65mm chambering in 1901, two years later the 9mm version was tested.  The Luger had been adopted by a number of European nations, including the Swiss Army and German Navy, and had been widely considered in many other contemporary pistol trials, with it almost being selected by Britain in 1900. 

The Luger seen in the photographs above however, has an interesting additional feature described as a ‘Powell Device' at the request of the US Board of Ordnance.  The device was a cartridge counter invented by George H. Powell which ran the length of the left side of the Luger’s grip and indicated how many rounds were left in the magazine.   The fifty 9mm Luger pistols provided by Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken (DWM) was each fitted with a Powell Device in Germany before it was shipped to the US in April 1904.  The batch of pistols had 10cm long barrels and the additional grip safeties also requested by the Board of Ordnance.

The device ran the full length of the Luger’s left-hand wooden grip panel inside a transparent celluloid strip covered slot.  A horizontal indicating pointer attached to the magazine follower slid along a slot in the magazine.  As each round was fired the indicator would advance with the follower moving the pointer up the slot pointing to a corresponding scale numbered up to seven painted in black metallic paint on a ‘silver field’. This showed how many rounds were left in the pistol’s magazine, when loaded it was possible to see the tip of the bullets in the magazine (see image #1).

The pistols were issued to the US Cavalry and Light Artillery Boards at Fort Riley, in Kansas for field testing.  Following several months of testing the Cavalry Board asked troop commanders to report on the Luger’s performance, on the basis of these reports the Board eventually recommended in July 1904, that the pistol should not be adopted for the service. 

The Board’s report stated:

  1. The Luger automatic pistol, Cal. 9mm., is an accurate weapon at the distances at which it was tested.
  2. The jamming of cartridges, which occurred so frequently, completely nullifies the good qualities of the pistol and renders it practically useless.

The Board therefore does not recommend the adoption of the Luger automatic pistol, in its present state, for the service”

The jamming of the pistol, possibly due to the cartridge indicator, was found to be the Board’s main concern however, there were also questions raised about the Powell Devices.  Although the device was said to have functioned satisfactorily Captain W.A Phillips, commanding officer at the Springfield Armoury, believed that “the [indicator’s] slot, cut with the grain of the wood almost the entire length of the grip [panel], makes the left grip a source of weakness and it is believed that …the left grip [panel with the indicator] would be injured by the rough usage of service.”

The Powell Device was an innovation ahead of its time, it has only been in recent years that military rifle magazines have again had cartridge indicators in the form of clear plastic magazine windows.  The US Army’s interest in the Luger however, did not end in 1904.  In the next round of trials in 1907, another smaller batch of test pistols which did not have the Powell Device installed was made available in .45 calibre and remained a front runner in the trials with the Savage Model 1907 and the Colt-Browning until DWM pulled out of the race in April 1908, possibly due to the the pistol being adopted by the German Army.  

Sources:

Image One Source

Image Two Source

The Handgun Story, J. Walters, (2008) 

1904 United States Army, Cal 9mm Cartridge Counter Lugers (source)

1906 Luger Rifle
The rifle is one of the few surviving prototypes of Georg Luger’s automatic repeating rifle which used an improved version of the toggle lock system made famous by his pistol.  The rifle was chambered in the standard German 7.92mm Mauser rifle cartridge and has a charger guide bridge to allow the rifle to be loaded with stripper clips.  The stock and furniture is very reminiscent of a standard Mauser Gew.98's although the Luger rifle has a distinct birds-head style semi-pistol grip.
There is a thumb safety on the rifle’s tang and what looks like a hinged magazine floor (see image #2).  The rifle does not have a charging handle and the rifle was made ready to fire much as the Luger Pistol is by pulling the toggle link to the rear.   The rifle operated along much the same lines as Luger’s pistol using a short recoil toggle linked action. However, the rifle’s action was substantially strengthened to cope with the high pressure rifle ammunition and was also improved by the addition of a toggle spring which kept the toggle in the closed position preventing the bolt from slipping out of battery.


Patent Diagram showing the Luger Rifle’s toggle lock and recoil spring (source)

On the side of the receiver the rifle is stamped with the words ‘System Luger’, and is elsewhere marked with the serial number #4.  It is thought that at least five prototype Luger Rifles were made.  The rifle design was patented in Britain in July, 1906 but little is known of its development or how well it performed.  
Interestingly the rifle may have been mentioned in a letter written to Brigadier General William Crozier, Chief of Ordnance, from Georg Luger in January 1907.  The letter was sent from Luger’s New York hotel as he awaited a ship back to Germany, it mentions his hopes that “…in the near future I shall have the honor to submit to you an automatic repeating military rifle.”  From this we can assume that Luger intended to offer the rifle to the World’s militaries.  However, little is known about why the rifle was never offered up to any major military trials or why more were not produced.
It is probable that the cost of the rifle’s production was a major prohibiting factor preventing it from being produced in larger numbers, the complex Luger action would have been difficult, although certainly not impossible, to mass produced.  Another factor may be military conservatism - the concept of a semi-automatic repeating rifle was alien, indeed Luger’s design came only 25 years after many countries had adopted magazine-fed bolt action rifles.  Regardless of the reasons, there is little doubt that the rifle would have worked successfully and was well ahead of its time, the German army would not adopt a semi-automatic rifle, the G43, for almost another forty years.
Sources:

Images 1-3 Source
'George Luger’s Secret Rifle', thefirearmblog.com (source)
'German Luger rifle', ForgottenWeapons.com (source)
Georg Luger’s Letter to General Crozier (source)
1906 Luger Rifle
The rifle is one of the few surviving prototypes of Georg Luger’s automatic repeating rifle which used an improved version of the toggle lock system made famous by his pistol.  The rifle was chambered in the standard German 7.92mm Mauser rifle cartridge and has a charger guide bridge to allow the rifle to be loaded with stripper clips.  The stock and furniture is very reminiscent of a standard Mauser Gew.98's although the Luger rifle has a distinct birds-head style semi-pistol grip.
There is a thumb safety on the rifle’s tang and what looks like a hinged magazine floor (see image #2).  The rifle does not have a charging handle and the rifle was made ready to fire much as the Luger Pistol is by pulling the toggle link to the rear.   The rifle operated along much the same lines as Luger’s pistol using a short recoil toggle linked action. However, the rifle’s action was substantially strengthened to cope with the high pressure rifle ammunition and was also improved by the addition of a toggle spring which kept the toggle in the closed position preventing the bolt from slipping out of battery.


Patent Diagram showing the Luger Rifle’s toggle lock and recoil spring (source)

On the side of the receiver the rifle is stamped with the words ‘System Luger’, and is elsewhere marked with the serial number #4.  It is thought that at least five prototype Luger Rifles were made.  The rifle design was patented in Britain in July, 1906 but little is known of its development or how well it performed.  
Interestingly the rifle may have been mentioned in a letter written to Brigadier General William Crozier, Chief of Ordnance, from Georg Luger in January 1907.  The letter was sent from Luger’s New York hotel as he awaited a ship back to Germany, it mentions his hopes that “…in the near future I shall have the honor to submit to you an automatic repeating military rifle.”  From this we can assume that Luger intended to offer the rifle to the World’s militaries.  However, little is known about why the rifle was never offered up to any major military trials or why more were not produced.
It is probable that the cost of the rifle’s production was a major prohibiting factor preventing it from being produced in larger numbers, the complex Luger action would have been difficult, although certainly not impossible, to mass produced.  Another factor may be military conservatism - the concept of a semi-automatic repeating rifle was alien, indeed Luger’s design came only 25 years after many countries had adopted magazine-fed bolt action rifles.  Regardless of the reasons, there is little doubt that the rifle would have worked successfully and was well ahead of its time, the German army would not adopt a semi-automatic rifle, the G43, for almost another forty years.
Sources:

Images 1-3 Source
'George Luger’s Secret Rifle', thefirearmblog.com (source)
'German Luger rifle', ForgottenWeapons.com (source)
Georg Luger’s Letter to General Crozier (source)
1906 Luger Rifle
The rifle is one of the few surviving prototypes of Georg Luger’s automatic repeating rifle which used an improved version of the toggle lock system made famous by his pistol.  The rifle was chambered in the standard German 7.92mm Mauser rifle cartridge and has a charger guide bridge to allow the rifle to be loaded with stripper clips.  The stock and furniture is very reminiscent of a standard Mauser Gew.98's although the Luger rifle has a distinct birds-head style semi-pistol grip.
There is a thumb safety on the rifle’s tang and what looks like a hinged magazine floor (see image #2).  The rifle does not have a charging handle and the rifle was made ready to fire much as the Luger Pistol is by pulling the toggle link to the rear.   The rifle operated along much the same lines as Luger’s pistol using a short recoil toggle linked action. However, the rifle’s action was substantially strengthened to cope with the high pressure rifle ammunition and was also improved by the addition of a toggle spring which kept the toggle in the closed position preventing the bolt from slipping out of battery.


Patent Diagram showing the Luger Rifle’s toggle lock and recoil spring (source)

On the side of the receiver the rifle is stamped with the words ‘System Luger’, and is elsewhere marked with the serial number #4.  It is thought that at least five prototype Luger Rifles were made.  The rifle design was patented in Britain in July, 1906 but little is known of its development or how well it performed.  
Interestingly the rifle may have been mentioned in a letter written to Brigadier General William Crozier, Chief of Ordnance, from Georg Luger in January 1907.  The letter was sent from Luger’s New York hotel as he awaited a ship back to Germany, it mentions his hopes that “…in the near future I shall have the honor to submit to you an automatic repeating military rifle.”  From this we can assume that Luger intended to offer the rifle to the World’s militaries.  However, little is known about why the rifle was never offered up to any major military trials or why more were not produced.
It is probable that the cost of the rifle’s production was a major prohibiting factor preventing it from being produced in larger numbers, the complex Luger action would have been difficult, although certainly not impossible, to mass produced.  Another factor may be military conservatism - the concept of a semi-automatic repeating rifle was alien, indeed Luger’s design came only 25 years after many countries had adopted magazine-fed bolt action rifles.  Regardless of the reasons, there is little doubt that the rifle would have worked successfully and was well ahead of its time, the German army would not adopt a semi-automatic rifle, the G43, for almost another forty years.
Sources:

Images 1-3 Source
'George Luger’s Secret Rifle', thefirearmblog.com (source)
'German Luger rifle', ForgottenWeapons.com (source)
Georg Luger’s Letter to General Crozier (source)

1906 Luger Rifle

The rifle is one of the few surviving prototypes of Georg Luger’s automatic repeating rifle which used an improved version of the toggle lock system made famous by his pistol.  The rifle was chambered in the standard German 7.92mm Mauser rifle cartridge and has a charger guide bridge to allow the rifle to be loaded with stripper clips.  The stock and furniture is very reminiscent of a standard Mauser Gew.98's although the Luger rifle has a distinct birds-head style semi-pistol grip.

There is a thumb safety on the rifle’s tang and what looks like a hinged magazine floor (see image #2).  The rifle does not have a charging handle and the rifle was made ready to fire much as the Luger Pistol is by pulling the toggle link to the rear.   The rifle operated along much the same lines as Luger’s pistol using a short recoil toggle linked action. However, the rifle’s action was substantially strengthened to cope with the high pressure rifle ammunition and was also improved by the addition of a toggle spring which kept the toggle in the closed position preventing the bolt from slipping out of battery.

Patent Diagram showing the Luger Rifle’s toggle lock and recoil spring (source)

On the side of the receiver the rifle is stamped with the words ‘System Luger’, and is elsewhere marked with the serial number #4.  It is thought that at least five prototype Luger Rifles were made.  The rifle design was patented in Britain in July, 1906 but little is known of its development or how well it performed.  

Interestingly the rifle may have been mentioned in a letter written to Brigadier General William Crozier, Chief of Ordnance, from Georg Luger in January 1907.  The letter was sent from Luger’s New York hotel as he awaited a ship back to Germany, it mentions his hopes that “…in the near future I shall have the honor to submit to you an automatic repeating military rifle.”  From this we can assume that Luger intended to offer the rifle to the World’s militaries.  However, little is known about why the rifle was never offered up to any major military trials or why more were not produced.

It is probable that the cost of the rifle’s production was a major prohibiting factor preventing it from being produced in larger numbers, the complex Luger action would have been difficult, although certainly not impossible, to mass produced.  Another factor may be military conservatism - the concept of a semi-automatic repeating rifle was alien, indeed Luger’s design came only 25 years after many countries had adopted magazine-fed bolt action rifles.  Regardless of the reasons, there is little doubt that the rifle would have worked successfully and was well ahead of its time, the German army would not adopt a semi-automatic rifle, the G43, for almost another forty years.

Sources:

Images 1-3 Source

'George Luger’s Secret Rifle', thefirearmblog.com (source)

'German Luger rifle', ForgottenWeapons.com (source)

Georg Luger’s Letter to General Crozier (source)

British Infantry: 1914
In 1914 the small but professional British Army was one of the finest and most experienced armies of Europe.  Equipped with some of the most modern equipment available and armed with arguably the best rifle of the war, the Short Magazine Lee-Enfield (SMLE).  The lance corporal above is shown in full marching order.  He is wearing the khaki 1902 Pattern Service Dress tunic and trousers which were made of thick wool - not ideal for the hot late summer weather the British Expeditionary Force met in Belgium.  Regimental badges were worn on the shoulder straps with rank and service strips sewn onto the sleeves.  The jacket had four large pockets and one internal pocket in the tunic’s tail.
On their feet the BEF wore hard-wearing ammunition boots with a steel reinforced heel and toe and hobnail soles.  Above them they wrapped their ankles and shins in puttees which offered support to the lower legs.  On their heads they wore the 1905 Pattern peaked cap, made of the same khaki wool, with their regimental badge again on the front above the peak.  Between 1914 and 1915 it became common practice for soldiers to remove the cap’s stiffener which later evolved into the 1915 and 1916 Pattern ‘soft caps’.
The corporal is wearing the 1908 Pattern woven cotton webbing which supported much of the soldiers 70 lbs of kit including: ammunition pouches which together held 150 rounds, a bayonet frog into which was placed the SMLE’s 17 inch long 1907 Pattern sword bayonet.  As well as attachments for the soldiers entrenching tool, water bottle, and mess kit.  It also supported a small haversack and large pack which held much of the soldiers rations and personal items as well as a blanket or great coat. This webbing which spread the weight of the soldier’s equipment was one of the most advanced pieces of individual kit used by any of the combatant armies, however as the British Army was forced to expand leather webbing was increasingly used as Britain’s extensive leather industry could support the demand faster than the producers of the cotton webbing could. 
The British Army of 1914, was arguably one of the best trained in the world. The average British soldier was able to fire 15 or more aimed shots in a minute hitting targets out to almost 1,000 yards. Adept at using and manoeuvring in terrain to his advantage, he was extremely disciplined and was on average the veteran of at least one tour of duty over seas. While the British Army had not fought a major war in Europe for 100 years or a European foe in 50 years they were well versed in colonial warfare and while this couldn’t be compared to a modern European battlefield the British had learnt valuable lessons following the Boer War and of course many of the veteran officers and men had the benefit of being ‘shot over’.
The British Expeditionary Force was a fraction of the size of the French Army however, in the first months of the war it held its own although at a heavy price. Of the 110,000 men of the original BEF that arrived in France in mid August 1914, almost 90,000 had become casualties by the end of the year. You can find more about the BEF’s mobilisation in 1914,  here.
Sources:

Author’s scan of a print - Artist’s impression of a Lance Corporal Grenadier Guards, 1914
Image Two Source - Private, Coldstream Guards, 1914
British Infantryman 1914-1915 (source)
Military Uniforms in Colour, P. Kannik, (1968)
Tommy, R. Holmes, (2004)

More on the British Army here British Infantry: 1914
In 1914 the small but professional British Army was one of the finest and most experienced armies of Europe.  Equipped with some of the most modern equipment available and armed with arguably the best rifle of the war, the Short Magazine Lee-Enfield (SMLE).  The lance corporal above is shown in full marching order.  He is wearing the khaki 1902 Pattern Service Dress tunic and trousers which were made of thick wool - not ideal for the hot late summer weather the British Expeditionary Force met in Belgium.  Regimental badges were worn on the shoulder straps with rank and service strips sewn onto the sleeves.  The jacket had four large pockets and one internal pocket in the tunic’s tail.
On their feet the BEF wore hard-wearing ammunition boots with a steel reinforced heel and toe and hobnail soles.  Above them they wrapped their ankles and shins in puttees which offered support to the lower legs.  On their heads they wore the 1905 Pattern peaked cap, made of the same khaki wool, with their regimental badge again on the front above the peak.  Between 1914 and 1915 it became common practice for soldiers to remove the cap’s stiffener which later evolved into the 1915 and 1916 Pattern ‘soft caps’.
The corporal is wearing the 1908 Pattern woven cotton webbing which supported much of the soldiers 70 lbs of kit including: ammunition pouches which together held 150 rounds, a bayonet frog into which was placed the SMLE’s 17 inch long 1907 Pattern sword bayonet.  As well as attachments for the soldiers entrenching tool, water bottle, and mess kit.  It also supported a small haversack and large pack which held much of the soldiers rations and personal items as well as a blanket or great coat. This webbing which spread the weight of the soldier’s equipment was one of the most advanced pieces of individual kit used by any of the combatant armies, however as the British Army was forced to expand leather webbing was increasingly used as Britain’s extensive leather industry could support the demand faster than the producers of the cotton webbing could. 
The British Army of 1914, was arguably one of the best trained in the world. The average British soldier was able to fire 15 or more aimed shots in a minute hitting targets out to almost 1,000 yards. Adept at using and manoeuvring in terrain to his advantage, he was extremely disciplined and was on average the veteran of at least one tour of duty over seas. While the British Army had not fought a major war in Europe for 100 years or a European foe in 50 years they were well versed in colonial warfare and while this couldn’t be compared to a modern European battlefield the British had learnt valuable lessons following the Boer War and of course many of the veteran officers and men had the benefit of being ‘shot over’.
The British Expeditionary Force was a fraction of the size of the French Army however, in the first months of the war it held its own although at a heavy price. Of the 110,000 men of the original BEF that arrived in France in mid August 1914, almost 90,000 had become casualties by the end of the year. You can find more about the BEF’s mobilisation in 1914,  here.
Sources:

Author’s scan of a print - Artist’s impression of a Lance Corporal Grenadier Guards, 1914
Image Two Source - Private, Coldstream Guards, 1914
British Infantryman 1914-1915 (source)
Military Uniforms in Colour, P. Kannik, (1968)
Tommy, R. Holmes, (2004)

More on the British Army here

British Infantry: 1914

In 1914 the small but professional British Army was one of the finest and most experienced armies of Europe.  Equipped with some of the most modern equipment available and armed with arguably the best rifle of the war, the Short Magazine Lee-Enfield (SMLE).  The lance corporal above is shown in full marching order.  He is wearing the khaki 1902 Pattern Service Dress tunic and trousers which were made of thick wool - not ideal for the hot late summer weather the British Expeditionary Force met in Belgium.  Regimental badges were worn on the shoulder straps with rank and service strips sewn onto the sleeves.  The jacket had four large pockets and one internal pocket in the tunic’s tail.

On their feet the BEF wore hard-wearing ammunition boots with a steel reinforced heel and toe and hobnail soles.  Above them they wrapped their ankles and shins in puttees which offered support to the lower legs.  On their heads they wore the 1905 Pattern peaked cap, made of the same khaki wool, with their regimental badge again on the front above the peak.  Between 1914 and 1915 it became common practice for soldiers to remove the cap’s stiffener which later evolved into the 1915 and 1916 Pattern ‘soft caps’.

The corporal is wearing the 1908 Pattern woven cotton webbing which supported much of the soldiers 70 lbs of kit including: ammunition pouches which together held 150 rounds, a bayonet frog into which was placed the SMLE’s 17 inch long 1907 Pattern sword bayonet.  As well as attachments for the soldiers entrenching tool, water bottle, and mess kit.  It also supported a small haversack and large pack which held much of the soldiers rations and personal items as well as a blanket or great coat. This webbing which spread the weight of the soldier’s equipment was one of the most advanced pieces of individual kit used by any of the combatant armies, however as the British Army was forced to expand leather webbing was increasingly used as Britain’s extensive leather industry could support the demand faster than the producers of the cotton webbing could. 

The British Army of 1914, was arguably one of the best trained in the world. The average British soldier was able to fire 15 or more aimed shots in a minute hitting targets out to almost 1,000 yards. Adept at using and manoeuvring in terrain to his advantage, he was extremely disciplined and was on average the veteran of at least one tour of duty over seas. While the British Army had not fought a major war in Europe for 100 years or a European foe in 50 years they were well versed in colonial warfare and while this couldn’t be compared to a modern European battlefield the British had learnt valuable lessons following the Boer War and of course many of the veteran officers and men had the benefit of being ‘shot over’.

The British Expeditionary Force was a fraction of the size of the French Army however, in the first months of the war it held its own although at a heavy price. Of the 110,000 men of the original BEF that arrived in France in mid August 1914, almost 90,000 had become casualties by the end of the year. You can find more about the BEF’s mobilisation in 1914, here.

Sources:

Author’s scan of a print - Artist’s impression of a Lance Corporal Grenadier Guards, 1914

Image Two Source - Private, Coldstream Guards, 1914

British Infantryman 1914-1915 (source)

Military Uniforms in Colour, P. Kannik, (1968)

Tommy, R. Holmes, (2004)

More on the British Army here

Powell Device Luger
In 1903, the US Army was beginning its selection process for a new sidearm to replaced the .38 Colt Revolver.  One of the most promising pistols of that process was the German Luger.  The Luger had already been evaluated in its original 7.65mm chambering in 1901, two years later the 9mm version was tested.  The Luger had been adopted by a number of European nations, including the Swiss Army and German Navy, and had been widely considered in many other contemporary pistol trials, with it almost being selected by Britain in 1900. 
The Luger seen in the photographs above however, has an interesting additional feature described as a ‘Powell Device' at the request of the US Board of Ordnance.  The device was a cartridge counter invented by George H. Powell which ran the length of the left side of the Luger’s grip and indicated how many rounds were left in the magazine.   The fifty 9mm Luger pistols provided by Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken (DWM) was each fitted with a Powell Device in Germany before it was shipped to the US in April 1904.  The batch of pistols had 10cm long barrels and the additional grip safeties also requested by the Board of Ordnance.
The device ran the full length of the Luger’s left-hand wooden grip panel inside a transparent celluloid strip covered slot.  A horizontal indicating pointer attached to the magazine follower slid along a slot in the magazine.  As each round was fired the indicator would advance with the follower moving the pointer up the slot pointing to a corresponding scale numbered up to seven painted in black metallic paint on a ‘silver field’. This showed how many rounds were left in the pistol’s magazine, when loaded it was possible to see the tip of the bullets in the magazine (see image #1).
The pistols were issued to the US Cavalry and Light Artillery Boards at Fort Riley, in Kansas for field testing.  Following several months of testing the Cavalry Board asked troop commanders to report on the Luger’s performance, on the basis of these reports the Board eventually recommended in July 1904, that the pistol should not be adopted for the service. 
The Board’s report stated:
The Luger automatic pistol, Cal. 9mm., is an accurate weapon at the distances at which it was tested.
The jamming of cartridges, which occurred so frequently, completely nullifies the good qualities of the pistol and renders it practically useless.
The Board therefore does not recommend the adoption of the Luger automatic pistol, in its present state, for the service”

The jamming of the pistol, possibly due to the cartridge indicator, was found to be the Board’s main concern however, there were also questions raised about the Powell Devices.  Although the device was said to have functioned satisfactorily Captain W.A Phillips, commanding officer at the Springfield Armoury, believed that “the [indicator’s] slot, cut with the grain of the wood almost the entire length of the grip [panel], makes the left grip a source of weakness and it is believed that …the left grip [panel with the indicator] would be injured by the rough usage of service.”
The Powell Device was an innovation ahead of its time, it has only been in recent years that military rifle magazines have again had cartridge indicators in the form of clear plastic magazine windows.  The US Army’s interest in the Luger however, did not end in 1904.  In the next round of trials in 1907, another smaller batch of test pistols which did not have the Powell Device installed was made available in .45 calibre and remained a front runner in the trials with the Savage Model 1907 and the Colt-Browning until DWM pulled out of the race in April 1908, possibly due to the the pistol being adopted by the German Army.  
Sources:

Image One Source
Image Two Source
The Handgun Story, J. Walters, (2008) 
1904 United States Army, Cal 9mm Cartridge Counter Lugers (source)
Powell Device Luger
In 1903, the US Army was beginning its selection process for a new sidearm to replaced the .38 Colt Revolver.  One of the most promising pistols of that process was the German Luger.  The Luger had already been evaluated in its original 7.65mm chambering in 1901, two years later the 9mm version was tested.  The Luger had been adopted by a number of European nations, including the Swiss Army and German Navy, and had been widely considered in many other contemporary pistol trials, with it almost being selected by Britain in 1900. 
The Luger seen in the photographs above however, has an interesting additional feature described as a ‘Powell Device' at the request of the US Board of Ordnance.  The device was a cartridge counter invented by George H. Powell which ran the length of the left side of the Luger’s grip and indicated how many rounds were left in the magazine.   The fifty 9mm Luger pistols provided by Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken (DWM) was each fitted with a Powell Device in Germany before it was shipped to the US in April 1904.  The batch of pistols had 10cm long barrels and the additional grip safeties also requested by the Board of Ordnance.
The device ran the full length of the Luger’s left-hand wooden grip panel inside a transparent celluloid strip covered slot.  A horizontal indicating pointer attached to the magazine follower slid along a slot in the magazine.  As each round was fired the indicator would advance with the follower moving the pointer up the slot pointing to a corresponding scale numbered up to seven painted in black metallic paint on a ‘silver field’. This showed how many rounds were left in the pistol’s magazine, when loaded it was possible to see the tip of the bullets in the magazine (see image #1).
The pistols were issued to the US Cavalry and Light Artillery Boards at Fort Riley, in Kansas for field testing.  Following several months of testing the Cavalry Board asked troop commanders to report on the Luger’s performance, on the basis of these reports the Board eventually recommended in July 1904, that the pistol should not be adopted for the service. 
The Board’s report stated:
The Luger automatic pistol, Cal. 9mm., is an accurate weapon at the distances at which it was tested.
The jamming of cartridges, which occurred so frequently, completely nullifies the good qualities of the pistol and renders it practically useless.
The Board therefore does not recommend the adoption of the Luger automatic pistol, in its present state, for the service”

The jamming of the pistol, possibly due to the cartridge indicator, was found to be the Board’s main concern however, there were also questions raised about the Powell Devices.  Although the device was said to have functioned satisfactorily Captain W.A Phillips, commanding officer at the Springfield Armoury, believed that “the [indicator’s] slot, cut with the grain of the wood almost the entire length of the grip [panel], makes the left grip a source of weakness and it is believed that …the left grip [panel with the indicator] would be injured by the rough usage of service.”
The Powell Device was an innovation ahead of its time, it has only been in recent years that military rifle magazines have again had cartridge indicators in the form of clear plastic magazine windows.  The US Army’s interest in the Luger however, did not end in 1904.  In the next round of trials in 1907, another smaller batch of test pistols which did not have the Powell Device installed was made available in .45 calibre and remained a front runner in the trials with the Savage Model 1907 and the Colt-Browning until DWM pulled out of the race in April 1908, possibly due to the the pistol being adopted by the German Army.  
Sources:

Image One Source
Image Two Source
The Handgun Story, J. Walters, (2008) 
1904 United States Army, Cal 9mm Cartridge Counter Lugers (source)

Powell Device Luger

In 1903, the US Army was beginning its selection process for a new sidearm to replaced the .38 Colt Revolver.  One of the most promising pistols of that process was the German Luger.  The Luger had already been evaluated in its original 7.65mm chambering in 1901, two years later the 9mm version was tested.  The Luger had been adopted by a number of European nations, including the Swiss Army and German Navy, and had been widely considered in many other contemporary pistol trials, with it almost being selected by Britain in 1900. 

The Luger seen in the photographs above however, has an interesting additional feature described as a ‘Powell Device' at the request of the US Board of Ordnance.  The device was a cartridge counter invented by George H. Powell which ran the length of the left side of the Luger’s grip and indicated how many rounds were left in the magazine.   The fifty 9mm Luger pistols provided by Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken (DWM) was each fitted with a Powell Device in Germany before it was shipped to the US in April 1904.  The batch of pistols had 10cm long barrels and the additional grip safeties also requested by the Board of Ordnance.

The device ran the full length of the Luger’s left-hand wooden grip panel inside a transparent celluloid strip covered slot.  A horizontal indicating pointer attached to the magazine follower slid along a slot in the magazine.  As each round was fired the indicator would advance with the follower moving the pointer up the slot pointing to a corresponding scale numbered up to seven painted in black metallic paint on a ‘silver field’. This showed how many rounds were left in the pistol’s magazine, when loaded it was possible to see the tip of the bullets in the magazine (see image #1).

The pistols were issued to the US Cavalry and Light Artillery Boards at Fort Riley, in Kansas for field testing.  Following several months of testing the Cavalry Board asked troop commanders to report on the Luger’s performance, on the basis of these reports the Board eventually recommended in July 1904, that the pistol should not be adopted for the service. 

The Board’s report stated:

  1. The Luger automatic pistol, Cal. 9mm., is an accurate weapon at the distances at which it was tested.
  2. The jamming of cartridges, which occurred so frequently, completely nullifies the good qualities of the pistol and renders it practically useless.

The Board therefore does not recommend the adoption of the Luger automatic pistol, in its present state, for the service”

The jamming of the pistol, possibly due to the cartridge indicator, was found to be the Board’s main concern however, there were also questions raised about the Powell Devices.  Although the device was said to have functioned satisfactorily Captain W.A Phillips, commanding officer at the Springfield Armoury, believed that “the [indicator’s] slot, cut with the grain of the wood almost the entire length of the grip [panel], makes the left grip a source of weakness and it is believed that …the left grip [panel with the indicator] would be injured by the rough usage of service.”

The Powell Device was an innovation ahead of its time, it has only been in recent years that military rifle magazines have again had cartridge indicators in the form of clear plastic magazine windows.  The US Army’s interest in the Luger however, did not end in 1904.  In the next round of trials in 1907, another smaller batch of test pistols which did not have the Powell Device installed was made available in .45 calibre and remained a front runner in the trials with the Savage Model 1907 and the Colt-Browning until DWM pulled out of the race in April 1908, possibly due to the the pistol being adopted by the German Army.  

Sources:

Image One Source

Image Two Source

The Handgun Story, J. Walters, (2008) 

1904 United States Army, Cal 9mm Cartridge Counter Lugers (source)

Enfilade:  

The act of directing fire onto an enemy’s flanks.  This maximises the effectiveness of a defender’s fire by firing along an attacker’s deepest or longest axis.  It is a tactic which is centuries old and one still employed today.

From the earliest uses of projectile weapons enfilading has been used, it was used by English archers during the Hundred Years War, by Oliver Cromwell’s Dragoons at the Battle of Naseby cutting down Royalist cavalry and again 100 years later at the Battle of Culloden when Lord Lewis Gordon’s regiment of foot fired into the Jacobite flank during their charge.

Enfilading Fire at the Battle of Culloden (1746)

Later during the First World War the siting of machine guns would aim to enfilade any attacking force with interlocking fields of fire firing along an attacker’s flank.  In modern warfare it is often used in ambush, during the Vietnam War L-shaped ambushes were commonly used by the US patrols this maximised fire along the enemy’s front and flank.

Q

Anonymous asked:

Wouldn't mind seeing the reviews a bit longer, and maybe providing some info that would be useful for those interested in using the books for source material. How credible are they? How credible is the author? What is their overall argument? How are primary sources used? and ect. But otherwise loving this idea so far!

A

I think longer submissions would be great, it all depends on how in depth people want to go I think anything from 1 paragraph up to a 500 hundred words would be idea. I think the mention of credibility and use of sources is important, although not everyone who submits reviews will be thinking in academic terms (which is fine). I think it has great potential as long as people keep the reviews coming in I’ll keep the idea going.

Thanks for the feedback!