Saturday 27 October 2018

2018-Current lessons of WW 1

A resin sculpture called All Together Now by artista Andrew Edwards depicts del Christmas Day football match between German and British soldiers fighting on the front line in World War One in 1914 after being unveiled in the remains of St Luke's Church in Liverpool Photo: REUTERS/Phil Noble (The Telegraph-25 Dec 2014)

                                                         EDUARDO C.GERDING
Ref: Adapted from the author´s American and British Presence in the United Provinces of the Rio de la Plata-Volume 2 published by the Instituto de Publicaciones Navales.

What is this war about? It´s mud, trenches, blood, rats, lice, bombs, pain, barbed wire, rotting flesh, gas, death, rain, cats, tears, bullets and loss of faith in all we once believed.
                                                                                       Otto Dix
I wanted to leave this chapter as the second volume´s climax, a record of what the First World War meant to the world and especially to Argentina, remembering David Friedman´s words: The direct use of force is such a poor solution to any problem, it is generally employed only by small children and large nations.
The story begins with the decline of Alexandrina Victoria, the last descendant of the royal house of Hanover and Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland who since May 1, 1876 was also Empress of India.
This queen ascended when she was 18 years old and her kingdom lasted 63 years and 7 months. She ruled 458 million people and about 33,000,000 km2 (one quarter of the world population and a fifth of the land).

 Imperialism reached its climax between 1890 and 1920 coincided with the presidencies of Argentines Carlos Pellegrini, Luis Sáenz Peña, José Evaristo Uriburu, Julio Argentino Roca, Manuel Quintana, José Figueroa Alcorta, Roque Sáenz Peña, Victorino de la Plaza and Hipólito Irigoyen.
In 1840, five years before the Battle of Vuelta de Obligado, Queen Victoria married her German cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha native of Scholls-Rosenau. Their marriage was exemplary and her devoted husband, Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, was a great counselor interested in science and learning. When Albert died of typhoid fever in 1861 (today is thought to have been a gastric cancer) Victoria retained a permanent state of mourning. In our country 48 hours ago Bartolomé Mitre had assumed the government.
Victoria called ¨Europe´s grandmother¨ had 9 children (4 males and 5 females) and 26 of her 42 grandchildren married into other royal houses.
Her eldest daughter Victoria Adelaide Mary Louise married in 1858 in the same chapel than her mother to Prince Frederick William of Prussia (later Emperor Frederick III) and became Empress of Germany and Queen of Prussia.
The latter had 8 children one of whom was Albert Frederick William of Prussia or Kaiser Wilhelm II (nicknamed Willy)

The family of Queen Victoria in 1846 as the picture of the painter and lithographer German Franz Xaver Winterhalter. From left to right: Prince Alfred and Albert Edward, the Queen and Prince Albert, Princesses Alice, Helena and Victoria. Victoria Adelaide died from breast cancer with secondaries in her spine and was buried beside her beloved husband (who died of cancer of the larynx) in the mausoleum of Friedenskirche in Potsdam (Germany). During the three Wars of German Unification Victoria Adelaide and her husband supported Prussia and the North German Confederation thus creating friction between Victoria Adelaide and his younger brother Albert Edward (the future King Edward VII dubbed Bertie) Prince of Wales who had married princess Alexandra of Denmark and Danish interests thus defended in Schleswig-Holstein. Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, married Princess Louise Marguerite of Prussia. Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, married Princess Helena of Waldeck and Pyrmont (Germany) and Princess Beatrice married Prince Henry of Battenberg (Germany) and had 3 sons and a daughter, Victoria Eugenie Queen of Spain.
Today descendants of Queen Victoria are: Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh, Harald V of Norway, Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Margrethe II of Denmark, Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia of Spain .

It is thought that the carrier status of hemophilia A (Factor VIII deficiency of coagulation) of Queen Victoria and hemophilia B (Factor IX deficiency) is due to a mutation of gametogenesis (her father was 52 years old when she was conceived) . The fact is that three of the most powerful houses of Europe were affected. Leopold, son of Victoria, suffered from hemophilia B and died at age 31 from a brain hemorrhage. For the same reason Rupert grandson of Leopold died at age 20. Alicia, daughter of Queen Victoria, had a son Frederick also affected. His daughters Irene and Alix were carriers. Alix married Tsar Nicholas II of Russia whose son suffered from severe bleeding.. Beatrice married King Alfonso of Spain and had two children: Alfonso successor to the throne and the infant Gonzalo died from abdominal bleeding as a result of an automobile accident.


 Victoria Adelaide Mary Louise,  Queen Victoria´s eldest daughter    Empress of Germany and Queen of  Prussia  .    (1840-1901)

Emperor Frederick III of  Germany   and King of Prussia      


                                                          Káiser  Wilhelm II
                                                                   Queen Victoria´s grandson
                                                            Last Emperor of Germany and King of Prussia
                                                       Abdicated on November 9th, 1918
                                                      Spent the last 20 years of his life in Castle Doom
                                                       (The Netherlands)

The Kaiser Wilhelm II
Kaiser Wilhelm II was the first-born son of Frederick III and of the Princess of the United Kingdom Victoria Adelaida Maria Luisa and governed 1888 to 1918. On the death of his father, who only reigned for 99 days, on June 15, 1888, William II acceded to the German throne.

On January 29 1859 the then 19 year old Princess Victoria went into labor with her first baby. Her physician, Professor of Obstetrics Eduard Martin was called at 10am, I found her to be 4cm dilated with ruptured membranes and a fetus in the breech position. Using chloroform for pain, Victoria progressed to full dilatation at 1pm and by 2pm the buttocks were visible. This is when things went wrong. Essentially I took the left arm, which was wedged up beside the head and pulled it forward across the body of the prince. By his own account this "involved considerable effort". I have then rotated the body to release the right arm, and then delivered the head. At birth the Prince appeared lifeless but was (obviously) quickly resuscitated. The Kaiser developed a weak and noticeably short left arm during childhood, commonly attributed to the brachial palsy injury caused by the use of excessive force during his difficult breech delivery, (Sunday, November 11, 2012, Obstetrics and WWI-
He married on February 27, 1881, being Prince of Prussia, with Princess Augusta Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein (1858-1921). It is not easy to prove that William II would actively want to unleash the First World War.


King Edward VII (1841-1910)                                                   King George V  (1865-1936)
United Kingdom of Great Britain                                         Grandson of Queen Victoria and cousin
and Ireland , British dominions and                                   of Kaiser Wilhelm II and  tzar Nicholas
Emperor of India.                                                                   II of Russia. From 1877 till 1891 served
First British monarch of the Saxe-Coburg-                       in the Royal Navy. He married to Mary
Gotha house which was later renamed by                        de Teck whose father was the Count of
his son as House of Windsor.He was the                         Hohenstein.
uncle of Kaiser Wilhelm II Emperor of
Germany and King of Prussia.
               Edward VII modernized the British fleet (British
              Home Fleet) and the Army medical services.                                                            
             During his reign saw the Boer war . a conflict
             which caused a scandal in the British public.

Linking the Belgian Royal House
Once Belgium's independence from the Netherlands was achieved on October 4, 1830 Leopold I became king of Belgium. Leopold was born in Coburg (Germany) and founded the Belgian line of the house Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. Leopold was nothing less than Queen Victoria´s uncle. He married initially Princess Charlotte of Wales who died after a childbirth. Later he married Marie Louise of Orleans (France) who died of tuberculosis. They had a daughter , Charlotte who became Empress Carlota of Mexico and Leopold II.
Leopold II,  Queen Victoria´s cousin was the founder and owner of the Congo Free State and married to Archduchess Marie-Henriette of Austria.
Albert I of Belgium, Leopold III's father was the son of Philip Count of Flanders and Princess Maria Luisa Alejandra Carolina Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen (now Baden-Württemberg)who  married in Berlin. Albert I was the supreme chief of the Belgian army, took personal control of his country's troops at the outbreak of World War I and became the head of operations at the Battle of the Yser (Belgium), which took place between 16 and on October 31, 1914.

 Leopold III educated at Eton (Great Britain) was the fourth king of the Belgians, son of Albert I of Belgium and Gabriela Isabel of Bavaria . He married Astrid of Sweden who died in a car accident in Switzerland. They had two sons: Baldwin (King of the Belgians) and Albert II (successor to Baldwin).
Leopold later married Mary Lilian Princess of Réthy who was the British-born daughter of a conservative politician from Wallonia. Leopold III fought as the youngest volunteer (14 years) during the First World War with the 12th Belgian Regiment but he had to abdicate later.

 Leopold I King of Belgium                                                                      Leopold II king of Belgium

      (1790-1865)                                                                                                         (1835-1909)

   Albert I King of Belgium of the German Saxe-Coburg-Gotha House.

                Leopold III King of Belgium (1901-1983) with his first wife
                 Astrid of Sweden who died during a car accident.

The death of Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria died at 6:30 pm at Osborne House in the Isle of Wight on January 22, 1901 at 81 years, 7 months and 29 days due to a hemorrhagic stroke . Sir Wilfred Laurier said  ¨We have met under the shadow of a death which has caused more universal mourning than has ever been recorded in the pages of history.¨

This caused a great universal grief.  Queen Victoria´s coffin was carried by her son Edward VII  and her grandchildren Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany and Prince Arthur of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Duke of Connaught (son of Arthur Duke of Connaught and Louise Margaret of Prussia).
The funeral took place on Saturday February 2 at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. Following the instructions  received by her personal physician Sir James Reid, she was buried beside her beloved husband Albert in Frogmore Mausoleum in Windsor Great Park. It is said that when the Queen was buried it began to snow.

In the centre behind the coffin was King Edward VII of Great Britain , on the right, his nephew  Kaiser Wilhelm II Emperor of Germany. (The funeral of Queen Victoria)-(http://www.thamesweb.co.uk/windsor/windsorhistory/royalfunerals/qvicfuneral01.html )

The so-called Pax Britannica is a term that refers to British rule between 1850 and 1873. It was a period of sustained economic prosperity in the industrial revolution whose predominant social value was Puritanism  extended to all colonies, protectorates and dominions.

Consequences of Queen Victoria´s death
Up until the time of her death 440 million British subjects felt safe in the world. The disappearance of Victoria and the reign of George V led British policy to introduce reforms in India, lose part of Ireland, to face a recalcitrant House of Lords, to see the advance of socialism, the revolution in Russia and the drama of the Great War.

 Death of King Edward VII
King Edward VII of Great Britain, who was Emperor of India from January 22, 1901 until his death on May 6, 1910, was the uncle of Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany and was related to Tsar Nicholas II of Russia .  During the funeral Europe´s uncle could see the majestic image of Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany riding a gray horse and wearing the scarlet uniform of a British Field Marshal. The Kaiser said 'I am proud to call this place my home and to belong to the British royal family ¨, William II always wanted to reach an agreement with Britain and even told  his uncle ¨not  even a mouse will move in Europe without our permission ¨.
When the Kaiser deposit the wreath on his uncle´s coffin he gave his hand in a manly but affectionate way to his cousin King George V which generated a most favourable comment in the British media. (Barbara W . Tuchman, The Guns of August)
The Causes of WW I
While even today we discuss the causes of World War I traditional statements are threefold: 1) Antagonism between Germany and France revived by the French defeat of 1871 and the loss of Alsace-Lorraine, 2) Antagonism between Germany and Britain competing in the field of colonial policy and industry naval rearmament, 3) Antagonism between Austria-Hungary and Russia for dominance in the Balkans.
The conflict began as a confrontation located in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Serbia on July 28, 1914. It became an armed confrontation when the declaration of war spread to Russia on August 1, 1914. Then it became a World War with the participation of 32 nations. 28 were the  so-called allies including Britain, France, Russia, Italy and the United States. The Central Powers on the other hand were composed of Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria. The immediate cause of the outbreak of hostilities was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Habsburg, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914 by a Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip belonging to the Pan-Slav Black Hand organization that aspired to a Serbia dominated the Balkans.

The Belgian topic
The neutrality of Belgium had been established by the London Treaty or Convention of 1839 signed by the United Kingdom, Austria, France, Prussia, Russia, the Kingdom of Belgium and the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It is often said that Belgium was the creation of Great Britain through Foreign Minister Lord Palmerston who saw the coast of Belgium as the border of Great Britain.
In 1904 the Kaiser invited King Leopold of Belgium to visit him in Berlin(he needed Leopold to abandon his neutrality), spoke to him in "the kindest way in the world" about their proud ancestors, the dukes of Burgundy, and offered to re-create the Duchy of Burgundy , rebuild Flanders and the French Ardennes. Leopold's mouth fell open at such proposal and outlined a smile. Leopold reminded then the Kaiser that things had changed much from the fifteenth century. Either way, he said, his ministers and Parliament would never consider such a suggestion. The Kaiser had one of his fits of rage and scolded Leopold for putting the Parliament and its ministers over the designs of the hand of God.
In 1913 the King Albert I of Belgium was invited to Berlin just as his uncle had been nine years earlier. In this circumstance the Germans tried to intimidate him in the presence and attitude of General Alexander von Kluck and Helmuth Johann Ludwig von Moltke. The Kaiser insisted that war was inevitable.
Germany was not so concerned about Belgium´s  attitude  but by the Belgian armed resistance which could cause a delay in their schedule to invade France. If the latter occurred Germany was to distract divisions that were vital to his march on Paris.
 Let us bear in mind that the Belgian army had only six infantry divisions plus a cavalry division and they would have to face thirty-four German divisions.
One of the most courageous actions of World War I took place on 2 August at 9 PM, when King Albert I presided over the Council of State. He said about  the German claims: ¨ Our answer must be no, no matter the consequences. Our duty is to defend our territorial integrity and we must not fail this ¨. He insisted however, that consequences would be severe and terrible and the enemy would be relentless.
One hour after the German invaded Belgium, King Albert I wearing campaign uniform addressed the parliament. The procession comprised an open carriage that moved along the Rue Royale carrying Queen Isabella of Bavaria and his three sons as the king rode just behind the carriage. This moving scene after the king's speech would trigger a popular fervor, which was described in his diary by the then U.S. Minister in Brussels.

Britain declared war on the German Empire on August 4, 1914 just when the latter invaded Belgium. German Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg said he could not believe that Britain and Germany went to war for a mere piece of paper. It was actually for something more than a chiffon de papier given that Britain did not want the blooming German Imperial Navy controlling Belgian ports. On August 2, the Kaiser unsuccessfully ordered General von Moltke to cancel the invasion of Belgium to avoid Britain`s involvement.

Voices that raised against the war
Shortly before the start of the Great War British General Horace Smith-Dorrien predicted a catastrophic conflict which should be avoided at all costs. The following also opposed to war: David Lloyd George (Chancellor of the Exchequer), Sir Charles Trevelyan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education), John Burns (President of the Local Government Council) and John Morley (Secretary of State for India). The Union of Democratic Control was founded which included two Liberal Party pacifist Norman Angell, Ed Morell  and Ramsay MacDonald, a Labour Party leader. All were convinced that the conflict was due to the action of secret diplomacy led by the British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey.
Many prominent figures joined the Union of Democratic Control : J A Hobson, Charles Buxton, Ottoline Morrell, Philip Morrell, Frederick Pethick-Lawrence, Arnold Rowntree, Morgan Philips Price, George Cadbury, Helena Swanwick, Fred Jowett, Tom Johnson, Bertrand Russell Philip Snowden, Ethel Snowden, David Kirkwood, Willikam Anderson, Mary Sheepshanks, Isabella Ford, HH Brailsford, Israel Zangwill, Margaret Llewelyn Davies, Konni Zilliacus, Margaret Sackville and Olive Schreiner.

                                                                Hellen Keller(1880-1968)               

General Sir Horace Lockwood Smith-Dorrien    GCB, GCMG, DSO, ADC. (1858-1930)

Many opponents of the First World War such as Eugene Debs were  imprisoned in the U.S. such as  Bertrand Russell in Britain. In the U.S. the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918 made it a federal crime to recruit opposition or expressions compatible with disloyalty. In Britain 16,000 people were conscientious objectors. The latter were put in prison in confinement on a diet of bread and water and denied work after the war. On January 5, 1916 Helen Keller, author, political activist and speaker originally from Alabama (USA) and deaf and blind gave her anti-war exhibition at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
In 1916, in Ireland and during Easter week an insurrection took place against the British government ending with the creation of the Republic of Ireland. As a result of this revolt the British Army had 116 killed, 368 wounded and 9 missing. Sixteen policemen were killed and 29 were wounded. The casualties of civilians and Irish rebels were 318 killed and 2217 wounded. During the Russian Empire revolution (1917-1923) the Bolshevik Red Army faced the White Russian Army forces. It is estimated that the Red Army had 125,000 casualties and the White Russian Army and Poles had 175,000. 450.000 military personnel on both sides died of disease. The Cheka carried out 250,000 executions of the people´s enemies.  300000-500000 Cossacks died ( out of a 3 million population).

The German Revolution occurred in 1918 and 1919. The units of the German Imperial Navy (especially the sailors of SMS Thüringen and SMS Helgoland) refused to set sail for war. The revolt in the Ports of Wilhelmshaven and Kiel spread across the country. On November 9, 1918 the Weimar Republic was proclaimed and shortly after Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicated.

First World War Propaganda

                                                                British propaganda

                                         German propaganda
              (Propaganda Postcards of the Great War-        

             http://www.ww1-propaganda-cards.com/ )

As a result of World War I  a series of truly egregious actions were taken. The British cut the trans-Atlantic cable in order to isolate Germany so they would become the only source of information for the U.S. which at that time was neutral. Both British and German citizens thought God was on their side and the enemy had dealings with the devil. German cookies were renamed Empire Biscuits and even dachshunds were booed.
The Royal House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was renamed the House of Windsor. Louise, granddaughter of Queen Victoria, Princess of Battenberg was daughter of Louis of Battenberg and Victoria of Hesse-Darmstadt. She became Queen of Sweden since 1950.Her father, the Marquess of Milford Haven renounced to his German titles in 1917 and changed the family name  of Battenberg to Mountbatten (literal translation).
During World War Luisa worked  as a nurse in France between 1915 and 1917 at the British Hospital of Nevers. As a result of her work she was awarded the Royal Red Cross.
The most serious fact was that a fifth of the British officers who volunteered at the beginning of the war were German descendants. They  did so in order not to be considered traitors.( Jingoism and Propaganda World War One and Acrobatic truths. http://www.timegun.org/jingoism.html )
WW I Naval battles
Battle of Heligoland Bight
August 28th,1914
Battle of  Coronel
November 1st,1914
Battle of Malvinas
December 8th,1914
Raid on Scarborough and Hartlepool
December 16th,1914
Battle of Dogger bank
January 24th,1915
Battle of Jutland
May 31st,1916
Battle of the Straits of Otranto
May 14th,1917
Raid on  Zeebrugge
April 23rd,1918

Battles in African waters
Battle of Sandfontein
September 26th,1914
Battle of Tanga
November 3rd,1914

The Battle of Jutland was the largest naval battle of World War I and the second largest in history after the Battle of Cape Ecnomus (between Roman and Carthaginian navy) in 256 a. C. It was fought between May 31 and June 1, 1916 in the North Sea off the coast of Denmark. The High Seas Fleet of Kaiser's Navy, led by Vice Admiral Reinhard Scheer faced the Grand Fleet of the Royal Navy commanded by Admiral Sir John Jellicoe. Jellicoe's battle forces were composed of twenty-eight dreadnoughts and nine battle cruisers, while Scheer had sixteen dreadnoughts, five battle cruisers and six obsolete pre-dreadnoughts. It was a German tactical victory and a British strategic victory. The Germans not only lost fewer ships while causing considerable damage to the Royal Navy, but their ships better withstood the punishment, their artillery was much more effective and their commanders acted effectively in night actions.

After Jutland the bulk of the Kaiser´s fleet remained in port and Germany changed its strategy for submarine warfare. The Germans had 2551 casualties and the British 6094.

As a result of World War I  a series of truly egregious actions were taken. The British cut the trans-Atlantic cable in order to isolate Germany so they would become the only source of information for the U.S. which at that time was neutral. Both British and German citizens thought God was on their side and the enemy had dealings with the devil. German cookies were renamed Empire Biscuits and even dachshunds were booed.
The Royal House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was renamed the House of Windsor. Louise, granddaughter of Queen Victoria, Princess of Battenberg was daughter of Louis of Battenberg and Victoria of Hesse-Darmstadt. She became Queen of Sweden since 1950.Her father, the Marquess of Milford Haven renounced to his German titles in 1917 and changed the family name  of Battenberg to Mountbatten (literal translation).
During World War Luisa worked  as a nurse in France between 1915 and 1917 at the British Hospital of Nevers. As a result of her work she was awarded the Royal Red Cross.
The most serious fact was that a fifth of the British officers who volunteered at the beginning of the war were German descendants. They  did so in order not to be considered traitors.( Jingoism and Propaganda World War One and Acrobatic truths. http://www.timegun.org/jingoism.html )
WW I Naval battles
Battle of Heligoland Bight
August 28th,1914
Battle of  Coronel
November 1st,1914
Battle of Malvinas
December 8th,1914
Raid on Scarborough and Hartlepool
December 16th,1914
Battle of Dogger bank
January 24th,1915
Battle of Jutland
May 31st,1916
Battle of the Straits of Otranto
May 14th,1917
Raid on  Zeebrugge
April 23rd,1918

Battles in African waters
Battle of Sandfontein
September 26th,1914
Battle of Tanga
November 3rd,1914

                                 Admiral  Reinhard Scheer                                       

Admiral  Sir John Jellicoe           

WW I Naval battles in South America
The battle at the height of the Bay of Colonel (Chilean territorial waters) or Battle of All Saints' Day took place between the fleet of Admiral Maximilian von Spee´s German armored cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau and the light cruisers Leipzig, SMS Nürnberg and Dresden and the British fleet composed of of the Glasgow, the cruiser Monmouth, the packet  Otranto which became an auxiliary cruiser and the cruiser Good Hope, under Admiral Sir Christopher Cradock. The Good Hope and Monmouth were sunk dying Admiral Cradock in battle. The Germans had three  wounded and the British 1654 dead                                                    (1859-1935)                                                             

                                              The Imperial German war flag (1

                                                      Count Maximilian Graf Von Spee                     

                                                       A dmiral  Sir Christopher Cradock
The Battle of the Malvinas Islands took place off the Argentine coast between the German squadron commanded by Count Maximilian von Spee and the British fleet commanded by Doveton Sturdee which was anchored in Port Stanley in the Malvinas Islands. German ships which participated were SMS Scharnhorst and SMS Gneisenau (with Lt. Heinrich von Spee Admiral's son) and the light cruisers SMS Leipzig, SMS Nürnberg and SMS Dresden. It was a British victory. If von Spee's squadron had bombarded Puerto Argentino, the ships would have been unable to move in the harbour and the Germans would have defeated the British as the Japanese Admiral Togo did with the Russians at Port Arthur 10 years before. However, von Spee was not Togo and that decision cost him his full squadron, his own life, their children and the rest of his men. The British had 10 casualties and the Germans 1,871.

The case of SMS Dresden in Chilean Patagonia
The SMS Dresden was a light cruiser Emden class of the Kaiserliche built in Blohm und Voss shipyard (Hamburg) launched in 1906 of 118 m in length and three chimneys with 10 cannons of 105 mm, 8 x 52 mm and 2 torpedo tubes of 450 mm. Her Parsons turbines and four propellers allowed her to achieve 28 knots. She had 361 crew members, and performed  outstandingly in the evacuation of the Germans living in Veracruz Mexico) in 1914. From Tsingtao (China) she joined the fleet of von Spee at Easter Island and participated in the Battle of Coronel. The SMS Dresden was the only survivor of the Battle of the Malvinas thanks to her powerful turbines. She could hide in the fjord Quintupeu (Chile) and survived thanks to the assistance given by Germans Gottenburg  and Albert Pagel who settled in Puerto Montt. The SMS Dresden did not fall into British hands. The ship was scuttled by her crew in Cumberland Bay in today´s Juan Fernandez island.
It is said that this ship carried the treasure of Tampico. In February 2006 her 155 kg copper bell was recovered by a group of archaeologists. The ship remains in relatively good condition at 70 m deep and 516 m from the pier.

                                                           SMS Dresden                                 

                                                        Commander Fritz Lüdecke
                                                                  SMS Dresden

Battles of WW I
The First World War was fought on the Western Front, Eastern Front, the Front Gallipoli, on the Italian front, the Palestinian Front and the Front of Mesopotamia (now Iraq). The first battle of the Western Front was the Battle of Liege (August 5, 1914). There were countless others on this front: Battle Frontier, Battle of Mulhouse, Battle of Haelen, Lorraine Invasion, Battle of the Bulge, Battle of Charleroi, site of Namur, the Battle of Mons, the capture of Dinant, the site of Maubege, the destruction of Louvain, the Battle of Le Cateau, Battle of Guise, the Battle of Marne, the Battle of the Aisne, the Battle of Albert, etc. Antwerp site.
On the western front the first Battle of the Marne deserves a special mention. It occurred in the autumn of 1914 and marked the failure of the Schlieffen Plan and beginning of trench warfare, the Battle of Arras where British used the rolling barrage, the instant trigger graze fuze and the anti-battery fire .In the Battle of Ypres on April 22, 1915 the Germans first used poison gas in chemical warfare; this gas is also known as mustard gas. The Battle of the Somme is remembered primarily for his first day, July 1, 1916, in which the British suffered 57,740 casualties, of which 19,240 were fatal. It was the bloodiest battle in the history of the British Army. The Battle of Verdun (Meuse Mill) was the longest and bloodiest after the Battle of the Somme. The French army confronted the German forces. The result was a quarter of a million dead and about half a million casualties on both sides. The success of the fixed fortification system led to the adoption of the Maginot Line. At the Battle of Delville Word (July 15, 1916) South African forces were involved. The South African Infantry Brigade suffered catastrophic losses of 80%.

It is called Christmas Truce a brief unofficial cease-fire that took place between the German Empire and the British troops stationed on the Western Front of World War I during Christmas 1914. The truce began on the eve of Christmas, December 24, 1914 when German troops began decorating their trenches, then continued their celebration by singing carols, namely Stille Nacht (Silent Night). British troops in the trenches across then responded with carols in exchange Both sides continued shouting Christmas greetings to each other. At a funeral in No Man's Land, British and German soldiers met to read a passage from Psalm 23: The truce was brought to the screen in the 2005 French film "Joyeux Noel (Merry Christmas). (The film was nominated for an Academy Award for "Best Foreign Language Film" in its 78th edition.) . Christmas Truce was also portrayed in the film by Richard Attemborough Oh What a Lovely War. The truce was also remembered in the video of Paul McCartney Pipes of Peace (1983). On November 21, 2005, the last surviving allied veteran of the truce, Alfred Anderson, died in Newtyle, Scotland at 109 years. During Easter 1916 a similar truce  occurred on the Eastern Front.

                                               Big Bertha howitzer

The Germans had to use heavy artillery at the Battle of Liege (Belgium) to raze the Belgian fortifications. This included the Big Bertha howitzer 420 mm and 305 mm mortars.

                                                      Gas mask used in the WW I

The gases used ranged from tear gas incapacitating agents such as mustard gas and lethal agents like phosgene. Chlorine was the first killing agent used.
The Germans used gas in the Second Battle of Ypres, April 24 against the First Canadian Infantry Division, on 2 May near Mouse Trap Farm and on May 5 against the British at Hill 60.
The first battle of the Eastern Front was the Battle of Stalluponen: the first victory of the German army over the Russian army. The Battle of  Gumbinnen was followed by the Battle of Tannenberg, Battle of Masurian Lakes, the Battle of Bolmov, the Battle of Lake Naroch and finally the Battle of Lutsk on June 4, 1916.
The Battle of Gallipoli or Battle of the Dardanelles  took place at Gallipoli peninsula of Turkey. It was a decisive victory of the Ottoman Empire under the command of General Otto Liman von Sanders´ Prussian forces against French, British, Australian and New Zealand forces. The Italian Front was marked by the battles of the Isonzo between the Austro-Hungarian troops and the Kingdom of Italy. The casualties were enormous and represented half of the Italian casualties during the Great War. In turn, the Austro-Hungarians lost 200,000 men ex 1,200,000. At the Battle of Caporetto the Battalion commanded by Theodor Sproesser, in which Erwin Rommel was Oberleutnant, played an important role. The bloody outcome of the Battle of Caporetto was vividly described by Ernest Hemingway in his novel A Farewell to Arms.

The Palestinian Front was marked by the Battle of Romani, the Battle of Gaza, Battle of Beersheba, Battle of Mughar Ridge and the fall of Jerusalem. On the night of August 3, 1916, the Ottoman army, under the command of Friedrich Freiherr Kress von Kressenstein, attacked the defenses of the British Empire in Romani. In the Mesopotamian Front the Battles of Qurna, Shaiba Battle, Battle of Nasiriyeh, the capture of Kut-al-Amara, the Battle of Es Sinn and  the Battle of Ctesiphon took place ending with the Battle of Sharqat on October 29th, 1918.

             The latest French tank Schneider CA  in Musée des Blinder in Samur
Erich Maria Remarque was born in Osnabrück (Germany). This was the pseudonym of the German writer Erich Paul Remark writer who recounted the horrors of the Great War. He participated in the First World War which inspired him to write his greatest work of literature, All Quiet on the front (1929), a  story that describes with relentless clarity and warm compassion the suffering caused by the conflict. It was made into a film directed by Lewis Milestone, and  in 1930 won the Oscar for best picture and the best director.

Air power in WW I
Ferdinand Adolf August Heinrich Graf von Zeppelin, better known as Ferdinand von Zeppelin and other German military believed they had found the ideal weapon to counter British naval superiority and to attack on English soil. During World War I (1914-18) a hundred dirigibles were used  by the German army and navy  both for recognition tasks (with an important role in the Battle of Jutland) to aerial bombardment. The Germans bombed various parts of England in 1915-17. The raids began in late 1914, had its zenith in 1915, and were more sporadic after 1917.
The Red Baron was a German pilot who managed to shoot down eighty enemy planes during WW I  before being shot dead on the morning of April 21, 1918 near the River Somme in northern France. Hero of the Germans and highly respected by his enemies during World War I, he allowed  his badly wounded victims to escape. During the month of April 1917 his unit was responsible for the downing of 151 British aircraft against 66 of their own. He was awarded the medal Pour le Mérite. His aircraft, the Albatros D. II biplane and later triplane Fokker Dr.I  allowed him ample capacity manoeuvres and tricks. However, most of his victories in aerial combat were achieved in an airplane Albatros type.

                                                   Graff Zeppelín over London

                                           Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen
          (1892-1918  ) The Red Baron.

                                                                 Fokker Dr.I  

In 2010 the German film premiere The  Red Baron was presented directed by  Nikolai  Müllerschön.

The famous Dr.I pilots were Kurt Wolff (33 wins) W. Voss (48), Erich Löwenhardt (53), Ernst Udet (62) and naturally Manfred von Richthofen (80). Manfred's brother, Lothar, was also a famous fighter pilot, who survived the war only to die in a plane crash in 1922. Max Immelmann was the first pilot awarded Pour le Merit, the highest German military honor, which was given by William II of Germany in January 1916.
The medal was first called the Blue Max in his honor. Oswald Boelcke was awarded the medal in the same ceremony.

WW I pilots in Argentina
Ernst Udet was a German ace of the First World War. In 1916 he scored his first kill. A few months later he had a bitter showdown with Georges Guynemer (French flying ace). By the end of the war he became lieutenant and shot down 62 aircrafts, second only to the Red Baron. Between 1919 and 1920, Udet  made air exhibitions. He came to Argentina where he won a plane race  from Rosario to Buenos Aires.
He travelled to the United States, where he made a bet with his ​​lover, the Canadian actress Mary Pickford, that he would pick up her handkerchief in flight with the wing of his plane. And he succeeded. He committed suicide at age 45 on November 17, 1941 in Berlin after a heated argument with Hermann Göring after the failure of Operation Sea Lion.

                                                         Ernst Udet

Gunther Plüschow, was born in 1886 in Munich . He was a navigator and top pilot of WW I , writer, photographer, journalist and filmmaker and joined the Naval Lyceum in Schlosberg Ploen in 1897. In 1905, he joined the Imperial German Navy School. In 1912, being 28 years old, he ended  his training at the Naval Academy. By then he had already travelled the world aboard the Storch and even reached China. He was assigned as a military aviator and air observer to Tsingtao, a German colony in China along the Yellow Sea. He was sent there with a Taube plane. When the Japanese took Tsingtao, Plüschow escaped with secret documents. His flight took him 9 months in total. The Ullstein publishing house (in addition to his family) persuaded him to write a book recounting his adventures, which sold 600,000 copies. In 1919, disappointed by the social chaos of Germany, resigned from the Navy.

He was an aviation pioneer in the Magellan area.  Plüschow flew the first seaplane in Tierra del Fuego and Cape Horn and settled in Punta Arenas and Puerto Natales . On December 3, 1928 he succeeded in achieving one of his most important ambitions and amazed the people off Ushuaia by landing the first aircraft in the virgin bay. He died in a seaplane accident on January 28, 1931, in Lake Rico, 70 km from El Calafate, Santa Cruz.

 The Belgian aviation
The Belgian Air Force was established in 1909 as a branch of the army and was called Ouvrier et Compagnie des Aérostiers. In 1914 it was called Aviation Militaire Belge named. It consisted of 4 squadrons of Henri Farman aircrafts. Most aviators came from the Engineers and Artillery corps. When the war  started a fifth squadron was created with Bleriots planes and civilian pilots. On January 3, 1915 two British machine guns were incorporated to the Belgian aircrafts.
On February 13 Belgian pilots held 28 offensive patrols.
Day 26 saw the first aerial combat between 3 Farmans planes and 10 German Albatros. On February 22, 1916 the 1ère Escadrille de Chasse was formed with new Nieuport planes. The Belgian Air Force participated in the Third Battle of Ypres. In a short time after its creation, the Belgian Air Force had 700 aerial combat with 71 confirmed victories and 50 probable. The Belgian top pilots were Willy Coppens aces (37 wins), Andre de Meulemeester (11 wins), Edmond Thieffry (10 wins), Fernand Jacques (7 wins), DuBois Adoph d'Aische (6 wins) and Jan Olieslagers (6 wins).

                                             Belgian Spad  S-VII

                                                                      Willy Coppens

The British Bar in Buenos Aires
The Bar Británico (The British Bar)  is located at the corner of Defence and Brazil streets in the San Telmo neighborhood where the pulpería
La Cosechera used to be. British war veterans used to meet in the old house of Avenida Garay what is now known as the Hotel Savali. Maybe that is why the Spanish owner who bought it called the hotel El Británico(The British). On June 23, 2006 it was vacated by a decision of Civil Court 107. (La Nación, June 23, 2006). In 2011 it re-opened.

                                           The Bar Británico

Argentine naval training during WW I
In 1916 the United States Navy offered Argentina  ten vacancies for officer training in the fields of artillery, submarines, communications and aviation. Navy lieutenant Antonio Marcos Zar was proposed in the selected group of ten officers, not for artillery, but for aviators.
Marcos Zar, founder of Argentine naval aviation, was born on 31 May, 1891 near Venado Tuerto (Santa Fe) and entered the Naval Academy on March 15, 1907 as part of the promotion 36.

The Pampa Transport set sail

The ten officers left for the transport Pampa on February 16, 1917 and arrived in Boston for their assignements. Europe was in the midst of the First World War. Frigate Lieutenant Richard Fitz Simon, and Navy ensigns Ceferino M. Pouchan and Marcos Antonio Zar arrived on March 30, 1917 to the newly Pensacola Naval Air Station and began their training in training aircraft from April 1917. On September 8, 1917 Zar conducted a patrol over the Gulf of Mexico.
Graduation as U.S. Naval Aviators
On September 19th of that year the three Argentine officers graduated as Pilots and Naval Pilots (U.S. Naval Aviator), Fitz Simon # 95-a, Pouchan   # 95 and Zar # 95-c. Zar received brevets 95 and 96 of both categories. The first was bestowed by the American Air Club, and the second by the United States Navy.

United States entered the First World War on April 6, 1917. According to the book Contact ! by Arthur Reginald Wright on  November 9th, 1917 the United States  officially received approval from the Argentine government for the three naval aviators to serve as ground instructors at the Pensacola Naval Air Station

The Naval Air Station in MoutehiLacannau (France)
The three airmen were moved by ship to France in early 1918. As soon as they arrived, they presented themselves in Paris on April 15, 1918 to the United States chief of naval air forces headquarters in Europe. Henceforth they went to the Naval Air Station in MoutehiLacannau, Gironde, in the southwest France on the Atlantic and near the Gulf of Gascony. They approved the theoretical and practical courses of the said school.
On May 14, 1918 Frigate Liutenants Pouchan and Zar were assigned to the Naval Air Station in Le Croissic.
Both officers presented themselves to this last assignement on July l8th. Frigate Lieutenant Richard Fitz Simon was appointed during and after the Great War to the Naval Air Station at Killingholme (England).
From they were sent to anti-submarine patrol operations and convoy escort.

The Naval Air Station in Bolsena (Italy)
Zar requested permission to join an American school of acrobatics and hunting in Italy, and thus separated from Pouchan who remained at Le Croissic. On October 5, 1918 the already veteran pilot presented himself to the American Hunting School ascribed to the Naval Aviation School of Lake Bolsena, located approximately 80 miles northwest of Rome. Zar graduated as a fighter and persecution pilot.

Activities after the war
After the war, Zar and Pouchan were discharged by the United States forces High Command.. Then went to London and presented themselves to the Argentine Naval Commission .
They were ordered to return to Italy for other courses in Orbetello. The seaplane courses were now conducted in the Italian air bases of Cascina Costa and Malpensa. They went later to  Fiumicino on the Tyrrhenian coast and completed a course on dirigibles. The two officers returned to Argentina in July and August 1919 after they had completed their training.

        SPAD S. XIII French aircraft in the colors and emblems used by
        the   American pilot Eddie Rickenbaker.

    French aircraft Nieuport 28 used by the U.S. Army Air Service (USAAS)

Navy Lieutenants of Marcos Zar and Ceferino Pouchan next to Frigate Lieutenant Richard Fitz Simon at Pensacola Naval Air Station  (USA) in 1917. (Marcos A. Zar  1891-1955 Fundador de la Aviación Naval –Instituto Argentino de Historia Aeronautica Jorge Newbery-Buenos Aires, 1980)

Casualties during WW I
he following table reminds us of the words of the fictional character of the movie MASH, Colonel Medicine Doctor Sherman Tecumseh Potter who said 'I think there should be a mandatory rule of war to see someone up close and get to know him before shooting ¨

Country                 KIA             WIA                    MIA
Entente            5,152,115      12,831,004      4,121,090
Russia            17,000,000  4,950,000        2,500,000
France             1,357,800     4,266,000          537,000
British Empire  908,371       2,090,212          191,652
Italy                    650,000         947,000          600,000
USA                    126,000          234,300                4,500
Japan                        300                   907                   3
Romania           335,706         120,000               80,000
Serbia                    45,000      133,148                152,958
Belgium                13,716           44,686                34,659
Greece                     5,000          21,000                   1,000
Portugal                 7,222           13,751                   12,318
Montenegro         3,000          10,000                    7,000
German Empire  1,773,700     4,216,058           1,152,800
Austria-Hung.   1,200,000    3,620,000         2,200,000
Turkey                    325,000       400,000               250,000
Bulgaria                    87,500       152,390                    27,029

The First World War also caused an enormous amount of casulaties. At the end of the war the British Army had 80,000 cases of what was then called shell shock or battle fatigue, especially those who fought in France, Flanders, Isonzo and Gallipoli. Industries, ports, roads and buildings were destroyed. European agriculture was severely affected but not the U.S. There was an exodus from the countryside to the city. Perhaps the most affected country was Russia for several reasons. The cost of the war equated to 32% of Britain’s budget, for France 30%, for Italy 26%, 22% for Germany and USA 9%. Canada emerged as a world power.

Consequences for Germany of WW I

The human factor
1. Germany lost 1.7 million young men and another 4.3 million
     were wounded in the conflict.
Social Consequences
1. The female labor force was kept high, close to 37%, as during the war.
2. The perception of soldier veterans was that the German Army had been   betrayed by Communists and Jews.
3. The Prussian aristocratic elite, who commanded the Kaiser´s armed  forces he tried to regain their privileges.
4. The first President of the Weimar Republic had a hard time getting the   support of the Army.

Geographic consequences
1. The provinces of Alsace and Lorraine returned to France.
2. Part of Schleswig was ceded to Denmark.
3. The so-called Polish Corridor ,which separated East Prussia from the rest of Germany was created.
4. Germany lost all its overseas colonies.
5. German territory lost a million square miles.
Economic Consequences
1. The cost of the war for Germany had been nearly 40 billion dollars.
2. At the end of the war Germany possessed an obsolete industrial  
3. The workers had severe restrictions in their diet and had to resort to   eating rats.
4. 35% of trade was carried out on the black market.
5. Since 1915 the Germans were not allowed to drive cars.

Financial implications
 1. The Allies established in 1921 monthly payments totalling £ 6600  
      million in repairs. Germany was re-building its economy and, in   
     turn,  making war reparations.
 2. Germany lost the source of their raw materials from the colonies.
 3. Inflation from the beginning of the reparations payments was as

                              July 1914                             1.0
                             January 1919                       2.6
                             July 1919                            3.4
                             January 1920                     12.6
                             January 1921                     14.4
                             July 1921                           14.3
                             January 1922                     36.7
                             July 1922                          100.6
                             January 1923                    2.785
                             July 1923                      194.000
                             November 1923           726.000.000.000

                 Wholesale Price Index: Germany, 1914 - 1923

 Political Consequences
 1. The Kaiser was forced to abdicate.
 2. There were movements of the left and the Spartans led by Rosa
     Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht. The latter founded in 1918 the  
     German Communist Party. In January 1919 there was a
    Communist   revolt against the government.
 3. They formed the extreme right group (Freikorp ) composed by  
     hardened and disillusioned veterans who came from the front.   
     With the  support of   government forces they clashed with left.
 4. Germany was commercially isolated from the rest of the world.

Political reactions
1. The new German Government was forced to sign the treaty clause  
    accepting that Germany caused the war. General Ludendorff
    accused   them of stabbing Germany in the back.
2. Protesters against the Weimar Republic opposed to the Treaty and 
    uprisings occurred such as the  Putsch of Kapp and Munich.
3. The prosecution of the Kaiser was demanded.  This never
    occurred   because the Dutch government gave him asylum and
    refused to  surrender.

 Consequences of WW I in Argentina

                                                                            Victorino de la Plaza

Victorino de la Plaza was born in  Cachi (Salta).He  was a lawyer, military (he fought in the War against Paraguay) and Argentine politician who was president between August 9, 1914 and October 12, 1916. He had to take various actions on the occasion of the Great War in which our country remained neutral. One measure was the closing of the Caja de Conversión to prevent evasion of gold.
He created the Directorate of Industries to promote the manufacture of products that were imported from Europe. De la Plaza married twice, the first time to Belvis Ecilda Castellanos. They had no sons. The second time he married to Scottish Emily Henry, who gave him his only son: Henry Victoriano de la Plaza. Victorino de la Plaza had to resolve  the British capture of our ship President Mitre and later the seizure by the French of the Argentine ship Curumalán in Cardiff.

1. Effect on imports:
     Argentine imports decreased between 40 and 50% compared to
     the level prior to 1914. This was due to the reallocation of
     resources  in Europe for military equipment. The tonnage of
     foreign vessels  which entered and left the Argentine ports fell by
    almost half between   1913 and 1918.
  a) Coal
        The importation of coal was reduced. The volume imported in
        1918  represent only 20% of total imported in 1913. The coal
        rose 538between 1913 and 1918. The quebracho and
        algarrobo from  Northern Santa Fe Railroad which was used for
        railways provided less  energy than coal. The Argentina Navy
        ships used  coal. Only the   major vessels and battleships
       Rivadavia  and Moreno could use oil.

When the British tried to cut the coal supply of coal to the German Electricity Company  (Compañía de Electricidad   Transaltlantica Alemana ) its President Emil Hayn threatened to stop supplying electricity to British tramways and lighting in Buenos Aires .

 b) Oil:
           Oil imports increased 256% between 1914 and 1918

2. Effect on exports:

      a) Wheat
          Wheat exports to Britain were reduced by the British grain
          policy. France and Italy accounted for remittances of  wheat
          which Britain  stopped importing in 1916.

     b) Meat
         The export of frozen meat increased from 200,000 tons in 1914
         to   500,000 tons in 1918.The export in 1918 was three times
         the annual  average of1910-1914. The increase in meat  sales
        abroad caused a  decrease in the number of heads for the
        domestic market and increased price of meat from 50 cents per
        kilo in 1914 to 71 cents in  1919. There was a rift between
       livestock producers and British refrigerators in Argentina

 c) Dairy
     Exports of dairy products (butter and cheese)  to Europe
     increased .
    Between 1915 and 1916 exports to Denmark, Sweden and the   
    Netherlands (which in turn re-exported to Germany) were
   In 1915 U.S. exports to Argentina doubled over the previous year  
   and the British fell by a third. In 1916, U.S. manufacturing took
   first place in Argentine imports until 1921.

German companies in Argentina
The Germans in Argentina formed a Committee for Freedom of Trade and an Equity and Justice League. German firms in Argentina such as Engelbert Hardt & Co, Staudt & Co,  Kroppy Co, H. Sternberg & Co, Lindwebel Schreyer & Co, and Plaut  & Co contributed to Argentina resisting pressure from allies to cease its neutrality.

Relations with U.S.
The main beneficiary of the British policy of blacklisting and embargo was the U.S. whose share of Argentine imports of 13.5in 1914 rose to  33.9% in 1918.This last caused alarm in Britain.
U.S. banks settled in our country: In 1914 the First National City Bank of New York which was associated with a union to promote financial transactions which involved  Standard Oil, Carnegie Foundation, Anaconda Copper, Ingersoll Rand and Kuhn , Loeb & Co.
In 1917 the subsidiary of The First National Bank of Boston settled to finance Argentine timber trade with Boston
In January 1916 the U.S. lent Argentina a credit for $ 15 million followed by another 25 million.

Argentine volunteers during the First World War
In 1914, about 30% of the population of Argentina, 7,885,237 people in total, was composed of immigrants born abroad, mostly from Europe and even more from Italy and Spain. In the case of the city of Buenos Aires, the number exceeded 60% of the population, and in Rosario it reached 47%. A recent book by the French historian Grégoire Champenois, reconstructs the history of Argentines who traveled to Europe between 1914 and 1918 while the country went through a difficult neutrality. (German Padinger-Between the trade and the trenches, the impossible neutrality of Argentina in the First World War.-Infobae).
Argentina suffered the sinking of numerous freighters that brought their products to Europe, such as Toro and Curamalan vapors by the Unterseeboote (submarines) of the German Imperial fleet.
It is estimated that some 4852 fighters from Argentina went to fight in the British army during the Great War, as well as some 5800 did in the French army and about 32,430 in the Italian army. At that time the Italian community multiplied by more than 11 to the French and by more than 33 to the British. The mobilization of Germans and Austro-Hungarians does not seem to have been important, since the majority would not have been able to avoid the British naval blockade to reach Europe (Hernán Otero for Science Today on 08/01/2014.) Published in Number 139. http: / /cienciahoy.org.ar/2014/08/convocado-voluntarios-de-la-argentina-en-la-gran-guerra/)
Harold Duggan, a native of Rojas, Province of Buenos Aires, from an Irish family, volunteered for the British Army at age 18. He was decorated twice with the Military Cross and one with the Distinguished Service Order. The first decoration was received from the same King Jorge V. Duggan was in charge of a company.
He participated in the Battle of the Somme where on the first day the British had 57,740 casualties. (La Nación, May 11, 2018)

Harold Duggan, (the second from left to right) in the front row along with other officers of the British Army. Source La Nación-Credit: Santiago Cichero / AFV.

The last British survivors
In 2009, 111 years old Harry Patch, the last British soldier who fought in the trenches of WW I, died in a nursing home in Wells, Somerset. Patch never spoke of his war experiences until he was 100 years. Following the pattern established by Patch, Dr Martin Farr, University of Newcastle said it would be appropriate to invite German war veterans next time. This was endorsed by a representative of the Ministry of Defence. A week before Patch died, British war veteran Henry Allingham at 113 who was the last witness of the Battle of Jutland also died.

                                                 Harry Patch

Patch always maintained that war is never worth it and that combatants on both sides should be honored. Patch said¨ The Germans suffered the same as us ¨.
On May 20, 2011, the newspaper The West Australian reported the death in a nursing home in Perth (Western Australia) at 110 years of the only remaining veteran who participated in both World Wars. Claude Choules was born in Britain and raised in Wyre Piddle (Worcestershire). He enlisted in the Royal Navy in 1915 when he was 14 years old and served in the same 41 years. He emigrated to Australia in 1920.
He married to Ethel Wildgoose a  Scottish nurse her lifelong companion who died in 2003 at age 98. He witnessed the surrender of the German Imperial Navy in 1918. Choules (nicknamed chuckles) .He was a man of great sense of humor. At the end of his days he was blind and nearly deaf.


                                                                                                                       Claude Choules 

                                                             Claude Choules

Claude Choules hated the war and, since leaving the Royal Navy in 1956, only participated in the Anzac Day parades when he was ordered to. Daphne Edinger, his daughter said her father did not believe in war and did not want to celebrate the anniversary of the end of the First World War.


The last surviving Germans

                                                           Dr Erich Kästner (1900-2008)

Dr. Erich Kästner, born in Leipzig-Schönefeld, was the last veteran of the First World War who fought on the side of the German Empire . He was the second oldest man in Germany. He fought as a soldier in the Army in the Sonder-Bataillon Hauck. Kästner received the Medal of Merit of Lower Saxony. In World War II served as Mayor giving ground support in the Luftwaffe. He became a judge and died in Cologne at 107 years.

                                                               Franz Künstler (

Franz Künstler, a German Banat (Swabian) native of Sósd (Hungary), who died at age 107 was the last veteran of the First World War who fought in the ranks of the Austro-Hungarian artillery in the regiment (HFKR 5. Ku Feldkanonen-Regiment / - 5. Honvéd ágyúsezred Tabori). He fought on the Italian front on the Piave River. When the Empire collapsed Künstler fought against the Communists in Hungary. During the Second World War he served 6 months as postman in Ukraine. After the war he settled in Niederstetten, Baden-Württemberg (Germany) where he worked as a museum guide.

 The last surviving French veteran
French war veteran Louis de Cazenave who fought in the Battle of the Somme and the Second Battle of Aisne, died in 2008 at the age of 110 at his home in Brioude. French Defence Minister Herve Morin said De Cazenave departed from this world with the “discretion and simplicity that he learned growing as a remedy against the uproar and horror of combat ¨

                                                               Louis de Cazenave (1897-2008)

In an interview with Le Monde newspaper in 2005 said: ¨ War is something absurd, useless, that nothing can justify.

 Lazare Ponticelli was born in Groppo Ducale, a civil parish in the town of Bettola, province of Piacenza, northern Italy. He was the last documented French veteran of the First World War and last poilu, or foot soldier of the trenches. When Lazare was two years old, her mother went to France in order to have a better life. After the unexpected death of his father and his older brother, Peter, the rest of the family moved to Paris, leaving Lazare with his neighbors. Ponticelli lied about his age to join the French Army in 1914. After the war, he and his brothers founded the metallurgical and pipes company “Ponticelli Frères” (“Ponticelli Brothers”), which survived throughout the Second World War and still exists. At the time of his death, Ponticelli was not only the oldest man born in Italy but in France.

Lazare Ponticelli (1897-2008)

He maintained a critical stance about the war in general and humbly kept his military decorations in a shoebox. Despite his disdain for the state funeral that was offered by the French Government, he finally accepted,  although he put emphasis on the fact that the procession was not to excel that of any soldier killed in the battlefield.

 Theo Albert Walsh Librarian and Volunteer Barney Emile Buehler Library, United States Naval Aviation National Museum .


-Adams, Stephen-Harry Patch: Germans could be invited to First World War memorial service- The Telegraph, 16 June 2011.

-Arthur, Reginald Wright- Contact !  Naval Aviator Careers-(1967)- Library of Congress 67-30998, publicado por Cooper-Trent, Division of Keuffel & Esser Co, Arlington, Va

--BBC- France's oldest WWI veteran dies-January 20,2008

-BBC-The death of Queen Victoria-Episode 73-23/05/06
-BBC Home-Queen Victoria-Golden Jubilee to 1901.
-BBC-Veteran 109, revisits WWI trench-30 July 2007.
-Bourke, Joanna Professor-Shell Shock during World War I-BBC History-
-Catanzaro, Joseph-Redy for Claude´s farewell-The West Australian-May 20,2011.
-El imperio británico de la reina Victoria
-Erikson,Carolly-Her Little Majesty-The Life of Queen Victoria-Simon&Schuster,1997.
-Jones, Edgar PhD et al- Shell Shock and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: A Historical Review- Am J Psychiatry 164:1641-1645, November 2007.
-La Primera Guerra Mundial (1914-1918)-Historia General de las relaciones exteriores de la República Argentina.
-La Primera Guerra Mundial pierde a su último soldado alemán-El País-Madrid, 27 de Mayo de  2008
-Laurier, Sir Wilfrid-On the Death of Queen Victoria-The World´s famous orations-
-Malkin, Bonnie-Last veteran of WW1 Claude Choules dies- The Telegraph-May 5, 2011
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-Pilotos navales argentinos en la Primera Guerra Mundial. Fuerzas de Defensa de la República Argentina.
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