The Blue Line – the Vosges frontier 1871 to 1914

The frontier separating Alsace from France before the Great War

About

I have been visiting Alsace and the Vosges very regularly for over two decades, taking photographs, buying wine, eating super food, enjoying the engaging beauty of this part of France and trying to absorb its complex World War history. I love it. I tramp round the battlefields of the Vosges with my camera and I have amassed a little collection of historic material including some of the millions of postcards which were posted by captivated tourists and reluctant soldiers. I have become increasingly interested in evidence of the area as a frontier before the First World War.

As the centenary of the Great War scrolls through, I believe it is relevant to be aware of some of the context through which European nations picked their way towards war. I intend to dip into scenes of life in Alsace and the Vosges during the period before the Great War, using my own collection of postcards, maps and documents and my own photographs. I hope you enjoy them.

As a development of the blog, I have decided to include some posts to commemorate events one hundred years previously. Please be aware that this is not a Great War blog and the arrangements of the French and German armies are outside my intended scope. I am sorry to have to emphasise this, but well-meaning people keep advising me that I have omitted to mention the Alsacien soldiers.

If you would like to talk to me about this blog, I can be contacted on gwyneth_roberts [at] gmx.co.uk

The header picture was taken from ferme auberge Kahlen-Wasen one summer evening, looking across to the Rhine plain and Kaiser Wilhelm’s castle Haut-Koenigsbourg (Hohkönigsburg) near St-Hippolyte.

Gwyneth Roberts

Me infra

5 thoughts on “About

  1. very interesting!!!,who are you Gwyneth Roberts ? Are you from England ? I’m history teacher in Sélestat.

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  2. Amazing Blog, Thank you so much. Merci beaucoup, votre site est merveilleux!

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  3. Beautiful photos. But the presentation seems to omit that the first time Alsace had been annexed was between 1648 and 1648 and therefore the places only recovered theit old names in 1871., they weren’t given new names.

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    • I think I’ve been quite clear that the period I’m interested in is the period from 1871. I do take your point that there is a very complex history before that period, but I wanted to share what I possess (my own photos and my postcard collection) and keep that period as my focus. Many of my readers are British or English-speaking readers who are interested in the First World War and I wanted to raise some awareness of Alsace and the Vosges in the period just before the Great War, because there is very little material available in English and this area tends to be overlooked by some. This is why I haven’t gone further back in time, but it would be good to do so in the future.

      If you would like to contribute a guest article, I would be very happy to include it!

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