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For those interested in visiting WW I sites in France

For those interested in visiting WW I sites in France

Old Dec 25th, 2014, 02:03 PM
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For those interested in visiting WW I sites in France

www.nytimes.com/2014/12/28/travel/in-france

Very moving and detailed article about the sites of horrible tragedy in Eastern France in World War I (The Great War). With a good rental car and additional research, this would be an interesting trip.
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Old Dec 25th, 2014, 04:00 PM
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Globe treker had a great show on the other night about this. Has peaked my interest. I have done Battle of the Bulge sites and Normandy because of my Dad but would like to see Flanders field.
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Old Dec 25th, 2014, 07:06 PM
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Is that reference right?12/28 ?
Eastern France ????
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Old Dec 25th, 2014, 07:29 PM
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When I go directly to the New York Times, that is still the web address for that article. And when I first typed it in, I checked it and it worked, but the link does not seem to work now. When I type that address in my address bar, it works. Confusing to say the least.
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Old Dec 25th, 2014, 09:40 PM
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http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/28/tr...tml?ref=travel
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Old Dec 26th, 2014, 05:50 AM
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PATRICK, thanks for the revised link. The slaughter of WWI continues to haunt us. I am waiting for my ceramic poppy, one of 860,000 plus "planted" on the grounds of the Tower of London earlier this year to commemorate the British war dead in that fiasco.

For history buffs, I would recommend THE LONG SHADOW, The Legacies of the Great War in the Twentieth Century by Oxford don David Reynolds.
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Old Dec 26th, 2014, 01:28 PM
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I visited a number of WW1 sites in northern France just a couple of weeks ago in case you want to see my photo report: http://tinyurl.com/q437sld
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Old Dec 26th, 2014, 01:51 PM
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There were a coupe of reports by AnselmAdorne a few years ago on the Europe Forum on his visits to the WW1 battlefields that were classics. Here is a link to one of them that truly moved me:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...nd-picardy.cfm

and

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...ern-france.cfm

Highly recommended!
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Old Dec 26th, 2014, 01:53 PM
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KEROUAC,

Thank you for that sober retrospective on the battlefields of France, particularly poignant in early winter weather. Such senseless slaughter.

You mentioned: "Most of the German cemeteries look more miserable than the French or British ones. I don't know if it was by choice or because the losing side didn't have as much money to spend on such things."

In the book about WWI that I referenced above, THE LONG SHADOW, the author points out that Germany chose not to "glamorize" these burial sites - better to de-emphasize the gruesome events. No doubt, the expense was another factor after their defeat.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2015, 07:18 PM
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Beautiful photos Kerouac
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Old Jan 3rd, 2015, 09:58 PM
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The NYT article said, "You’ll find a lot of things just sitting on the ground if you walk through forests...."

When we visited the Meuse-Argonne area, we saw a few signs warning of danger (from unexploded ordnance) if one strayed off the marked paths, so before randomly hiking around the battle areas I would verify it's safe.

We visited the battlefields in October 2013. It was an extremely interesting trip, but I had a personal reason for going. My great-uncle is buried at the cemetery in Romagne-sous-Montfaucon. Thanks to a fellow Fodorite, I was able to bring soil from his home town to scatter over his grave.

Many areas felt truly haunted. Surprisingly, few monuments erected after WWI were damaged in WWII even though there are hundreds of monuments all over the place.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2015, 11:54 PM
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I will add another, most impressive WW I site: the Vieil Armand (or Hartmannswillerkopf) in Alsace. It is a 3,136 ft mountain overlooking the Rhine Valley. Since this mountain was of strategic importance, both the French and the German Army tried to get hold of it. After 30,000 soldiers had died during the fights, both lines remained stable during the war.

It is easy to visit. You can walk throught the lines and see trenches, shelters, tunnels, powder caches etc. There is a National Monument, a museum, a cemetary and a memorial for a crashed British bomber. When you visit the site, you will find a wreath of the international German-French brigade which symbolizes better than everything else how much has changed since then.
http://www.tourisme-alsace.com/en/23...ttlefield.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hartmannswillerkopf

After visiting the Vieil Armand, you may do the very short drive to Molkenrain, a mountain farm with rustic, but excellent food. The (homemade) whipped cream they serve with blueberries is the best I ever had.
http://www.ferme-molkenrain.com
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