Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Monday, December 28, 2015

Unique AEF Photos from the Imperial War Museum

During an incredibly dismal TV football game (49ers vs. Browns, but I'll spare you any more details) I went exploring on the Internet.  I discovered that the Imperial War Museum has a substantial collection of American photos covering several categories, naval, home front, etc.  I managed to go through their entire "THE US ARMY ON THE WESTERN FRONT, 1917–1918" set and discovered several images I've never seen before.  Here they are:

Troops Arriving at Le Havre, France

Renault FT-17 Tanks Under Camouflage 

An Artillery Unit on the Move

General Pershing's Quarters at Chaumont

Delousing Hut

First American Prisoners of War; Captured at Cambrai, October 1917

American Soldiers Visiting a Belgian Fort Near Antwerp

King George V Decorating 33rd Division Soldiers After the Battle of Hamel

Armistice Day in Paris


  1. These are great...thanks for posting.

  2. The Americans at Hamel had been training with the Australians. The Aussies included the Americans in their plan of attack at Hamel. Pershing said that he would not allow Americans to serve under foreign command and forbade their participation. About half of the Americans "didn't get the word" and went anyway. A few even changed into Australian uniforms. The attack was spectacularly successful. I wonder what Pershing thought and did when Americans were awarded a British decoration. Later, two American divisions fought with the Australian Corps.

  3. Ref esbuck comment: Fourteen Americans were decorated by the British, including four Distinguished Conduct Medals, four Military Crosses, and six Military Medals.Corporal Thomas A. Pope, who had rushed a German machine-gun during the German counter-attack on 5 July, was one of those who received the DCM, being awarded the medal personally by King George V on 12 August 1918. He would also later receive the Medal of Honor. Pope and seven other doughboys were also awarded the US Army's Distinguished Service Cross for actions during the Battle of Hamel.Pershing was aware of this and had six US companies removed prior to the battle. The remaining US companies were allowed to participate after a personal request from Haig as planning had gone too far to remove them. Pershing did take measures from this happening again. The two Divs you refer to were the 27th & 30th Divs under the US II Corps as part of Rawlinson's British 4th Army.The II Corps staff exercised tactical controll of both Div's keeping them under (arguably) US control.