The Blue Line – the Vosges frontier 1871 to 1914

The frontier separating Alsace from France before the Great War

Beyond bitter: winter on the Vosges Front

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(Reblogged from my other blog, Shot Silk).

Shot Silk

The Front in the Vosges stabilised in the autumn of 1914. Joffre assured the Alsaciens that, “Notre retour est définitif.  Je suis le France, vous êtes l’Alsace.  Je vous apport le baiser de la France.” The French took key points in the mountains: the summit of le Voilu, la Tête des Faux, Hartmannswillerkopf. The village of Steinbach was won back house by house. The aftermath was utter desolation.

Winter was coming.

Vosges Troupes montant aux lignes

In January 1915, the Germans launched ferocious attacks and by February, they were occupying the peaceful village of Metzeral by the River Fecht. Within a week, they had taken Reichackerkopf*, then the villages of Hohrod, Hohrodberg, Stosswihr. The weather was atrocious. Snow fell relentlessly. It was bitterly, utterly cold. When the attack ceased towards the end of February, the French had lost over one and a half thousand men, either wounded, killed or taken prisoner.

It took until mid-summer, after the…

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Author: Gwyneth Roberts, mightygwyn

History amateur with a fountain pen and a camera. In 'The Blue Line Frontier', I dip into scenes of life in Alsace and the Vosges during the period before the Great War. My 'Shot Silk' blog is more random: it looks this way and that.

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