Difference between 5 World War I battlefields 100 years apart!
World War I or the Great War was a global war centered in the Europe which started on July 28, 1914 and ended on November 11, 1918. It is considered as one of the largest wars in the human history, which cost the lives of over 9 million soldiers and 7 million civilians.
Many places were battlefields with tanks and horses and gunfire sounding in the atmosphere for 4 years. Some photographers visited the same battle fields in France and other places to see and take pictures of them after 100 years.
In 100 years, some places have gone ahead with time and changed completely and some photographs just tell that time heals all the wounds. Here are 5 of those places with the before and after pics. But before that, let us give you a background of the World War I.
1 The World War I
The two factions in the war were the Allies comprising of the Great Britain, France and Russian Empire against the Central Powers of Germany and Austria-Hungary. Later Italy, Japan and the United states joined the Allies while Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire joined the Central Powers.
The war started due to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria by Yugoslav Gavrilo Princip. Next incidents which happened were the Austro-Hungarian invasion on Serbia and the German invasion on Belgium and Luxemburg, before Russia came in support of Serbia.
The war ended in 1918 after the revolution of Russia in 1917 resulted in Russian government’s fall and Austria-Hungary deciding to armistice with Germany, which was struggling with its own revolution of sorts.
2 Newfoundland Memorial Park, Beaumont-Hamel, France
The field of battle-lands of peace is an initiative and project by photojournalist Michael St Maur Sheil. He captured the battlefields in a seven year period which have turned over into something else by the nature. The pictures of the today’s era are the ones captured by the photojournalist. The pictures of the times of the war have been given basically to help you to compare.
We start with the Newfoundland Memorial Park, Beaumont-Hamel, France, where the landscape is filled with craters from shells and wire picket fences along with lines of trenches dug by the soldiers. The battle fought at this place started in 1916 and ended in November of the same year. The regiment of the Newfoundland lost nearly 800 men on the first day.
3 Ouvrage du Thiamont Battlefield, Verdun, France
The battle field at Ouvrage du Thiamont in Verdun, France tells the story of ferociousness of the battle that took place there. There were 700,000 causalities on both sides and the battle lasted for a good 303 days. There were 714,231 casualties; 377,231 French and 337,000 German, an average of 70,000 casualties for each month of the battle according to an estimate in 2000.
4 Lochnagar Crater, Somme, France
You cannot gauge the true impact of this landscape, unless you see it from the air. The Lochnagar Crater in Somme, France was dug by the British engineers from the Tunnelling Companies of the Royal Engineers. The 600m long tunnel was dug under the German lines and then filled with over 50,000 lbs of explosives. These explosives were then detonated on July 1st, 1916 which created the now famous Lochnagar crater.
5 Butte de Vauquois, Argonne, France
The Butte was once a hill top where the Germans got a foothold in 1914, then the French got their hold on other side of the hill top and both sides started digging tunnels in the hill, eventually blowing the top of the hill. There are around 17,000 mtrs of galleries with 150 chambers and rooms underground with the deepest being at 104 m. the landscape shows that the fighting was intense between the German and French militaries.
6 St. Symphorien Cemetery, Hainaut, Belgium
The St. Symphorien Cemetery in Hainut, Belgium was established by the Germans in August of 1914. The cemetery is the last resting place of both German soldiers who died fighting in the war as well their British counterparts, who perished in line of duty. It includes the first British soldier Pvt. John Barr who was killed in the combat. The place which is now cemetery was originally a potash mine, but now it represents the last resting place of many soldiers who lost their lives fighting for their countries.
They say that war is not the solution to anything and that time heals every wound and these places are the prime examples of how nature can and will change everything with time, even the remnants of perhaps the bloodiest war in the history of mankind.