(Reblogged from my other blog, 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.
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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