Ottoman Troops on the Caucasus Front

Ottoman Gun Crew

Ottoman Gun Crew

This photograph (taken circa 1914) shows an Ottoman gun crew loading a cannon, somewhere on the Caucasus front with Russia. The artillery piece is fairly small, probably a mountain gun, designed for transport over rough terrain.

The Ottoman Empire entered the war on the side of Germany and Austria and soon learned that it was a colossally stupid decision. Despite lacking lacking heavy industry and being without a modern transportation network, and ruling over a number of rebellious and discontented ethnic groups, the dying Ottoman Empire voluntarily went to war with all of the Super Powers of the day and was fighting on multiple fronts, a task which would have sapped the strength of even a major power.

Ottoman troops were fighting in Egypt (later pushed back into Palestine), in Gallipoli, against Romania and Greece, against Britain in Iraq, and against the Russian Empire in the Caucasus. Despite the heavy odds against it, the Ottomans actually took the offensive in many areas, including the Caucasus region. However even the otherwise hapless Imperial Russian Army was able to push back the Ottomans and to hold them at bay even until the Russian collapse following the Communist Revolution.

American Tank – World War 1

 

World War 1 American Tank

 

American World War 1 Tank

American World War 1 Tank

The crew of an American World War 1 tank poses next to their machine somewhere in France. It’s interesting to see how big the tank was, which meant that it had a very high silhouette and center of gravity. These design flaws meant that the tank would be unstable and liable to tip over, and also meant that it would make an easier target for enemy gunners. Modern tanks, and even tanks from world war 2 adopted a low profile whihc made them more stable and harder to hit. It also allowed them to use the terrain for cover. This lumbering beast, on the other hand would have been visible from a great distance.

The configuration of the tank’s armament is also unconventional and represents an evolutionary dead end. Unlike modern tanks, this one has its guns mounted on side turrets which cannot be rotated 360 degrees, limiting its offensive capabilities.

In addition to the officers and men standing next to the tank, closeups of the picture reveal other men inside the tank peering out from port holes and hatches.

Note the smiling man peering out from the gun port.

Note the smiling man peering out from the gun port. The gap which allowed the gun to swivel also allowed enemy bullets to potentially come through.

 

american tank crew

A closeup of the front of the tank. A soldier with a gun and bayonet is leaning out of the front hatch.

 

 

Christmas Presents for the Troops

World War 1 Christmas

A Pile of Donated Christmas Presents Destined for US Troops

This photo from 1917 shows a “Christmas Box Hospital” where boxes containing gifts for U.S. troops donated by the general public were repaired before being shipped to the front line troops.  Here we see a pile of boxes containing Christmas gifts awaiting inspection and repair. Statistics from the United States Committee on Public Information indicates that about 11,000 boxes arrived in poor condition and needed to be repaired.

Collection drives for necessities and luxury items for the soldiers were important propaganda tools, helping to maintain the morale of the troops and also create a sense of solidarity between the soldiers and civilians on the homefront.

1 2 3 4 17