Although there had been various unorganized (and sometimes unofficial) intelligence activities prior to 1873, in that year the original British Intelligence Branch was established, in the Quartermaster General’s Department, with a staff of seven military officers serving under Gen. Sir Henry Brackenbury (1837 – 1914). By 1899 the staff had increased to 13 officers and in 1904 it was transferred to the War Office under the Directorate of Operations.
We will refer you to the May 2019 Newsletter of the National Archives at Kansas City. They have a monthly column, “Hidden Treasures from the Stacks,” and during the Centennial of WWI they had run stories of items in their collections relating to the war.
At dawn on April 25th, 1915, the Royal Navy landed the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (“ANZAC”) on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey. The navy miscalculated drift currents and botched the job; the soldiers were dropped off at the wrong place, a narrow beach that quickly became known as “ANZAC Cove”.
This is a U.S. Army Signal Corps photograph taken some time in December, 1918 at Virton, Belgium, which is about 20 miles east of Stenay, France where the 353rd ‘All Kansas’ Infantry was situated in the Armistice line of Nov. 11th. The object to the right of the ‘scarecrow’ may be an unused Stielhandgranate anti-personnel grenade, which may show the casual attitude of the soldiers towards danger.
There are at least fifteen former naval vessels that saw service during the WW1 era that are currently preserved as museums, in twelve different countries. This number seems surprising since WW1 was not much of a naval war and none of these are U-Boats. Nevertheless, here they are, by order of their year of construction:
This may say it all now that the centennial of the Great War moves towards its end. On C-SPAN, the Civil War and the Second World War continue to find programming, but the First World War recedes back into the anonymity it does not deserve.
In any case, we have a couple of programs this week to announce. All times Central as usual.
A photo showing the entrances to the cathedral sandbagged for protection.
And another view:
If you were looking for WWI viewing on C-SPAN last week, we were unable to detect any programming. We have one story this week, and times as usual are Central.
–Jeremy Brown, “Influenza.” Jeremy Brown of the National Institute of Health talks about the 1918 flu pandemic. Airs at 8:00 p.m. Wednesday evening, April 17; repeats at 1:15 a.m. Thursday morning, April 18.
Vera Brittain (1893 – 1970) was born to a middle class family and was unusually well-educated for a woman of her time. In 1915 she left her Oxford studies and joined the Voluntary Aid Detachments (known as the VAD’s), an auxiliary whose members assisted nurses in wartime hospitals. After postings to England and Malta, she was sent to General Hospital No. 24 in Etaples, France, where she served from August 3rd, 1917 to April 29th, 1918. You can read more about Vera, her brother Edward and her friends here.
Here’s a link to Edward Lengyel’s blog, in which he tells about Vira Whitehouse (1875 – 1957. An early Feminist, she spearheaded the four-year- campaign in New York that resulted in women getting the right to vote in state elections in November 1917.
In 1918 she was named the head of the Switzerland office of George Creel’s Committee on Public Information, an important post because the only uncensored German language newspapers in Europe were Swiss. She also worked on women’s rights issues with the European activist Rosika Schwimmer (1877-1948), who was the Hungarian ambassador in Bern. In 1920 Vira published her memoirs of her Swiss experience, titled A Year as a Government Agent.