Tuesday 21 May 2024


 Just ordered this from the library. Cover image is good. 

This is the first part of a planned four-volume series focusing on a hitherto largely neglected aspect of the Great War on the Western Front - the war underground. The subject has fascinated visitors to the battlefields from the very beginning of battlefield pilgrimages in the years immediately after the Armistice, and locations such as Hill 60 and the Grange Subway at Vimy have always been popular stops on such tours. Three other volumes will follow, covering the Somme, Ypres and French Flanders. Each book in the series has a short description of the formation and development of Tunnelling Companies in the BEF and a glossary of technical terms.This volume looks mainly at the central Artois, the environs of the whole line of the Vimy Ridge to the River Scarpe and Arras. It does not aim to be a complete treatment of the intensive mining operations along this front. It concentrates on mining, in the area of Vimy Ridge, in Arras itself and at the use of ancient underground quarries, taking Roeux as a good example. There are extensive descriptions of mining on and around Vimy Ridge, including photography and explanations of systems that have been accessed recently but are closed to the public, such as the Goodman Subway. The narrative draws on French and German archival material and personal descriptions. The text is illustrated with numerous diagrams and maps, in particular from the British and German records, and there is an exhaustive guide to the Grange Subway. Other sites open to the public, in particular the Wellington Cave, are also explained and put into context."BBC History - Archaeologists are beginning the most detailed ever study of a Western Front battlefield, an untouched site where 28 British tunnellers lie entombed after dying during brutal underground warfare. For WWI historians, it's the "holy grail"."

William Hackett VC

 A sapper in my Grandfather's tunnelling company 254. Awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross. Read his interesting story here

On the subject of Tunnelling the Osprey Underground warfare book The War Underground is out. Here

Saturday 18 May 2024

The Damned a film by Roberto Minervini teaser

 Here This is a new film.In the winter of 1862, during the Civil War, the U.S. Army sends a volunteer company to patrol the uncharted Western territories.

Friday 17 May 2024

A culinary campaign : Soyer, Alexis, 1809-1858 - Archive.org

 This could be useful if you have an interest in the Crimean war. Soyer was a celebrity chef of the time but also quite a hero. Read his biography below.

In May 1857 Soyer returned to London. He published A Culinary Campaign, recounting his experiences in the Crimea and his reform of army catering. He included a section of recipes for military or naval cooking, such as "Salt Meat for Fifty Men", "Salt Pork with Mashed Peas for One Hundred Men" and "Pot-au-Feu, Camp Fashion".[69]

Alexis Soyer

From his wiki. 

During the Crimean War, reports reached London of the privations endured by British soldiers, with disease rife and food inadequate. At the request of the British government Soyer travelled to the Crimea in 1855 and worked with the nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale to improve conditions for the troops. He ensured that in all parts of the army there were nominated cooks, useful recipes, and the means to cook food properly − in particular, the portable Soyer stove which he invented and which remained in army use, with modifications, for more than a century. In the Crimea, Soyer became seriously ill; he never fully recovered his health. A little over a year after his return to London in 1857, he died of a stroke.

Tuesday 14 May 2024

Walldürn 2024. Photos by Alexandra Schäfer. Civil War in Germany

 Lovely photos of what looks an impressive event. Well done to all participants. Apparently one of Germany's biggest so far. 

Monday 13 May 2024

Lincoln (2012)

 My wife knew I was looking for this and spotted it for £1. Very grateful. I figured I had to see it if I was to make a Civil War top ten. Trailer