Old Fort Niagara, Youngstown, New York


Across the parade, Old Fort, Niagara, N.Y.
On back:
Old Fort Niagara was restored by cooperative efforts between the War Department of the United States and the Old Fort Niagara Association. Inc., a non-profit making association organized by patriotic societies and civic interests of the Niagara Frontier. The Association is dedicated to the work of directing attention to the vast international significance of restored Old Fort Niagara as a shrine symbolizing the history of common interests of three great nations in the evolution from early American struggle and strife to lasting peace; and to the use of Old Fort Niagara for the objective teaching of local history.
1930s
Publisher: “Distributed by and available through the Old Fort Niagara Assn., Inc., Youngstown, N.Y.”

Google Street View.

Fort Niagara was originally built in 1678 to protect the interests of New France in America, but later became a significant military outpost during the French and Indian War and the War of 1812. Standing on a bluff above Lake Ontario not far from Niagara Falls, Old Fort Niagara has dominated the entrance to the Niagara River since 1726. The colorful history of the site began even earlier, and continues to the present day. The fort played an important role in the struggles of France, Great Britain, and the United States to control the Great Lakes region of North America, and also helped shape the destinies of the Iroquois (Six Nations) peoples and the nation of Canada.
American Heritage

The French established the first post here, Fort Conti, in 1679. Its successor, Fort Denonville (1687-88) was equally short lived. In 1726 France finally erected a permanent fortification with the construction of the impressive “French Castle.” Britain gained control of Fort Niagara in 1759, during the French & Indian War, after a nineteen-day seige. The British held the post throughout the American Revolution but were forced, by treaty, to yield it to the United States in 1796. Fort Niagara was recaptured by the British in 1813. It was ceded to the United States a second time in 1815 at the end of the War of 1812. This was Fort Niagara’s last armed conflict, and it thereafter served as a peaceful border post. The garrison expanded beyond the walls following the Civil War. Fort Niagara was a barracks and training station for American soldiers throughout both World Wars.
Old Fort Niagara


Council Chamber of Sir William Johnson, French Castle, Niagara, N.Y.
On back:
Old Fort Niagara was restored by cooperative efforts between the War Department of the United States and the Old Fort Niagara Association. Inc., a non-profit making association organized by patriotic societies and civic interests of the Niagara Frontier. The Association is dedicated to the work of directing attention to the vast international significance of restored Old Fort Niagara as a shrine symbolizing the history of common interests of three great nations in the evolution from early American struggle and strife to lasting peace; and to the use of Old Fort Niagara for the objective teaching of local history.
1930s
Publisher: “Distributed by and available through the Old Fort Niagara Assn., Inc., Youngstown, N.Y.”

The French Castle is the oldest and largest building at Old Fort Niagara and the oldest building in the Great Lakes Basin. It was built by the French in 1726-7 and was designed to house up to 60 soldiers. The Castle, called La Maison a Machicoulis by the French, incorporated barracks space for soldiers, officers quarters, a trade room. chapel, storerooms, powder magazine and bakery.
Old Fort Niagara


“Corps de Garde”, French Castle, Niagara, N.Y.
On back:
Old Fort Niagara was restored by cooperative efforts between the War Department of the United States and the Old Fort Niagara Association. Inc., a non-profit making association organized by patriotic societies and civic interests of the Niagara Frontier. The Association is dedicated to the work of directing attention to the vast international significance of restored Old Fort Niagara as a shrine symbolizing the history of common interests of three great nations in the evolution from early American struggle and strife to lasting peace; and to the use of Old Fort Niagara for the objective teaching of local history.
1930s
Publisher: “Distributed by and available through the Old Fort Niagara Assn., Inc., Youngstown, N.Y.”

The Castle was equipped with two guard rooms, one on the first floor for the on-duty guard and one on the second floor (shown here). Soldiers in the upstairs room had mattresses, sheets, and blankets and could cook meals in the fireplace. The first floor guardroom was quite a bit more spartan.
Old Fort Niagara

Armoury, Governor’s Palace, Valletta Malta


The Armoury, Governor’s Palace.
1900s

Ever since its construction by the Order of St John [in the 16th century], this Palace was richly embellished with collections of works of art and heritage items, some of which still grace its walls. While some of these were purposely produced to form part of the historic fabric of the building, others were acquired, transferred or presented at different times throughout the chequered history of the Palace. Destined for grandiosity, right from its beginning, this Palace was one of the first buildings which were constructed at the heart of the new city of Valletta, founded by Grand Master Jean de Valette. Successive Grand Masters enlarged and developed this building to serve as their official residence. Later, during the British Period, it served as the Governor’s Palace, and was the seat of Malta’s first constitutional parliament in 1921.
Heritage Malta

The Palace Armoury is an arms collection housed at the Grandmaster’s Palace in Valletta, Malta. It was the main armoury of the Order of St. John in the 17th and 18th centuries, and as such it was the last arsenal established by a crusader military order.
. . .
In 1604, the Order’s arsenal was transferred to the Grandmaster’s Palace by Alof de Wignacourt, and was housed in a large hall at the rear of the building. At the time, it contained enough arms and armour for thousands of soldiers. The armoury was rearranged under Manuel Pinto da Fonseca’s magistracy in the 18th century. Parts of the armoury are believed to have been removed and shipped to France during the French occupation of Malta in 1798–1800, as part of “the organised robbery of art treasure and historic treasures” carried out by Napoleon. In the early 19th century, the armoury was altered by the British with the addition of Egyptian style column-like supports. These were removed and returned to England in 1855. In the late 1850s, the armoury was restored under the personal direction of Governor John Gaspard Le Marchant, and it opened to the public as a museum in 1860
Wikipedia.

Shelled building, Namur, Belgium


Namur. Trou produit par un obus (à la Boulangerie du Bon Pain)
(Hole produced by a shell (at the Boulangerie du Bon Pain [bakery])
1910s

ATTACK ON NAMUR
LONDON, Aug. 20
The Official Press Bureau publishes as reliable an account of the attack, on Namur, given by Belgian Lieutenant Deppe. When Lieutenant Deppe left Namur on Sunday the Germans, with their 11in Howitzers, had knocked three north-eastern, forts to pieces. They advanced at intervals, and bombarded the town, which was defended by the fourth Belgian infantry.
Namur was completely evacuated on Sunday, the defenders being unable to withstand the heavy artillery fire.
The Germans attacked in three-rank formation–the front lying down, tho second rank kneeling, and the third rank standing. They afforded a splendid target. Machine guns and 30 batteries of Howitzers in sections were simultaneously concentrated on each of the forts, however, and smothered them.
Sydney Morning Herald, 1 September 1914

Acheux British Military Cemetery, France


ACHEUX
c.1918

The VIII Corps Collection Station was placed at Acheux in readiness for the Battle of the Somme in 1916 and the graves of July, August and September 1916, in Row A and part of Row B, are the earliest in the cemetery. A few graves in Row B mark the period of eighteen months during which the field ambulances had moved eastwards and the cemetery was little used. The remaining graves cover the period April to August 1918, when the German offensives brought the Allied front line within 8 kilometres of Acheux. There are now 180 First World War burials in the cemetery.
Remembering the Fallen

The Acheux British Military Cemetery is a World War I military cemetery located in the French Commune of Acheux-en-Amiénois in the Somme Region. . . . In 1916 the VIII Corps field hospital prepared a collection station in preparation for the Somme Offensive. The first burials occurred in the period between July and August 1916. A small amount of burials then occurred in an 18 month period from August 1916 to early 1918. The remaining graves belonged to those who were killed between April and August 1918, a period in which the German Army had launched the Spring Offensive bringing the front line closer to Acheux-en-Amiénois.
Wikipedia

WW I trench & ruins, Diksmuide, Belgium

Google Street View (overview)=”https://432postcards.monissa.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Dixmude-3.jpg”>
Boyau de la mort à Dixmude | Le Cavalier avec ses postes de guetteurs
Doodengang te Dixmude | De Ruiter mel zijne posten en bespieders
(Dodengang/Trech of Death in Dixmude | The Cavalier post with lookout)
c.1920
Publisher: Nels (Ernest Thill)

Located in Dixmude the ‘Trenches of Death’ comprise preserved trenches featuring galleries, shelters, firesteps, chicanes, concrete duckboards and concrete sandbags. Together they give a fair impression of the makeup of trenches during the First World War – that is, notably leaving aside the quiet, serene nature of the trenches as they appear today. The Dixmude trenches were in fact held by the Belgians for over four years during the Battles of the Yser against determined German forces (often ranged just 100 yards away), hence their grim name.
firstworldwar.com

The Dodengang (Dutch, also called Trench of Death in English and Le Boyau de la mort in French) is a World War I memorial site located near Diksmuide, Belgium. . . . The Dodengang is a 300 yards (270 m) section of preserved trench where many men were killed in World War I. The trench was begun at the time of the Battle of the Yser which was manned by soldiers of the Belgian Army. As part of the Yser Front, it played a key role in preserving the front line in this area and stopping further German incursions across the Yser Canal. Belgian soldiers fought here under the most perilous conditions until the final offensive of 28 September 1918.
Wikipedia.


DIXMUDE. — Ruines. — Pant sur l’Yser et Entrée de la Ville
Ruins. — Bridge over the Yser and entrance of the town.
c.1920
Publisher: Nels (Ernest Thill)


Ruines de Dixmude | 1914-18 | Canal d’Handzaeme
The ruins at Dixmude | 1914-18 | Handzaeme canal.
c.1920
Publisher: Nels (Ernest Thill)

Belgian Army, WW I


Armée belge | Une section de mitrailleuses Maxim
(Belgian Army: a Maxim machine gun section)
c.1914
Publisher: Nels

At the beginning of the First World War the Belgian Army could field only 102 machine guns. However, many of these guns were transported by a very unusual method. They were pulled on small gun carriages by specially trained dog teams. The machine guns seen in the photographs above are Maxim guns, but the Belgian Army also had a number of French Hotchkiss guns. The dogs used to pull the machine guns were Belgian Mastiffs, this strong breed were more than capable of drawing the 60lbs weight of a Maxim gun. . . .The relatively cheap cost of pack dogs compared to horses, along with their relative lack of maintenance – with no need for horse shoes etc, made the dogs an excellent option. They also offered a much lower profile than that of a pack horse, allowing them to stay close to the guns ready to move under cover when in action, and were much easier to handle without the need for specially trained troops. The dog teams were attached to most Belgian line infantry regiments with each battalion with 6 guns, split into 2-gun sections – each battalion had 36 dogs for the 18 gun and ammunition carriages. The machine guns could be brought into action very quickly and it was said that the dogs were so well trained they would remain quiet and patient in their harnesses until it was time to move again.
Historical Firearms


Armée belge | Les Cyclistes
(Belgian Amry: The Cyclists)
c.1914
Publisher: Nels

Bicycle infantry are infantry soldiers who maneuver on (or, more often, between) battlefields using military bicycles. The term dates from the late 19th century, when the “safety bicycle” became popular in Europe, the United States, and Australia. Historically, bicycles lessened the need for horses, fuel and vehicle maintenance.
Wikipedia.

With the advent of WWI, the thickly-roaded districts of France and Flanders meant that military cyclists would find the ground better suited for their wheels than combatants found in the South African veldt. The flat landscape of the low countries meant that Belgium in particular was an ideal environment for military cyclists and they were well used in the initial stages before the static stalemate of the trenches set in. Four Carabinier battalions of the Belgian army had attached companies of cyclists. They wore a distinctive uniform with a somewhat old-fashioned peaked hat similar to a kepi. Their cycles were the “Belgica” which was a foldable cycle. This allowed the bicycle to be slung across the shoulder when encountering difficult terrain. A dedicated military cycling school in Belgium provided troops with specific training in reading maps, reconnaissance and communication techniques, as well as the mechanical skills needed to maintain the bicycles.
Suburban Militarism: Belgium’s Carabinier Bicyclists


Armée belge | Escadron de cavalerie
(Belgian Amry: cavalry squadron)
c.1914
Publisher: Nels

The use of horses in World War I marked a transitional period in the evolution of armed conflict. Cavalry units were initially considered essential offensive elements of a military force, but over the course of the war, the vulnerability of horses to modern machine gun, mortar, and artillery fire reduced their utility on the battlefield. This paralleled the development of tanks, which ultimately replaces cavalry in shock tactics. While the perceived value of the horse in war changed dramatically, horses still played a significant role throughout the war.
Wikipedia.

Water tower, Zeebrugge, Belgium


Zeebrugge – Château d’Eau
(Zeebrugge – Water tower)
c.1910

Built 1907, destroyed during World War I.

The harbour was the site of the Zeebrugge Raid on 23 April 1918, when the British Royal Navy temporarily put the German inland naval base at Bruges out of action. Admiral Roger Keyes planned and led the raid that stormed the German batteries and sank three old warships at the entrance to the canal leading to the inland port.
Wikipedia.


Ruines de Zeebrugge | 1914-18 | Château d’Eau et Abri
The ruins of Zeebrugge | 1914-18 | Water works and shelter
c.1919
Publisher: Nels (J. Revyn)

A book of postcards with a view of the replacement water tower (image 38) and a map showing the location (no. 19 on map).

Destroyed Tank, Belgium

Ruines d’Ypres-Hooge  | 1914-18 | Tank détruit
Ruines des Halles et Grand  Place | 1914-18 | A destroyed tank
c.1920
Publisher: Nels (Ernest Thill)

The red text (repeated on the back) is promoting a magarine factory in Belgium (link is in Dutch).

Wikipedia: Tanks in World War I

Wikipedia: British heavy tanks of World War I

Nobody was prepared for the bloody stalemate which prevailed during the First World War. Officers from all countries had in mind brash pictures of daring offensives with waving flags and blaring trumpets, epic cavalry charges and massive infantry squares marching under fire, bright uniforms, tactical genius and glory. This was quite a romantic view which was familiar to the commoners, the very same ones who then embarked with happiness and chants onto the trains. But, quickly, the grim reality of an attrition war became apparent, with death on an industrial scale. The early French offensives sank before the whirling staccato of the German Mauser machine-guns.

After a full retreat, the German offensive was miraculously stopped on the Marne, a few dozen miles north-east of Paris. From Belgium to Switzerland, all the opponents entrenched themselves. Artillery, barbed wire and machine guns took their toll on every offensive. On the German side, some attempts to break the stalemate included assault squads equipped with portable machine guns and grenades, as well as gas and flamethrowers. . . The idea of the “tank”, in the modern meaning of the word, appeared simultaneously in France and in Great Britain. In the latter, it was due to Lt. Col. Ernest Swinton, and in the former due to Col. Jean Baptiste Estienne. Both advocated the use of the Holt Tractor, which was then largely in use with the Allies as a gun tractor. This led to further developments and, despite many setbacks, culminated in 1916 when the first operational tanks were put to the test.
The Online Tank Museum

Ross Castle, Ireland


Ross Castle (Reflection) Killarney
c.1910
Publisher: L. Anthony, Killarney

Google Street View.

Ross Castle (Irish: Caisleán an Rois) is a 15th-century tower house and keep on the edge of Lough Leane, in Killarney National Park, County Kerry, Ireland . . . . The castle is typical of strongholds of Irish chieftains built during the Middle Ages. The tower house had square bartizans on diagonally opposite corners and a thick end wall. The tower was originally surrounded by a square bawn defended by round corner towers on each end.
Wikipedia.

Ross Castle perches in an inlet of Lough Leane. It is likely that the Irish chieftain O’Donoghue Mór built it in the fifteenth century. . . . Ross Castle was the last place in Munster to hold out against Cromwell. Its defenders, then led by Lord Muskerry, took confidence from a prophecy holding that the castle could only be taken by a ship. Knowing of the prophecy, the Cromwellian commander, General Ludlow, launched a large boat on the lake. When the defenders saw it, this hastened the surrender – and the prophecy was fulfilled.
Heritage Ireland

Anadoluhisarı (Anatolian Fort), Istanbul


CONSTANTINOPLIE. Anatolie-Hissard Bosphore

Google Street View.

Anadoluhisarı, known historically as Güzelce Hisar (“the Beauteous Castle”) is a medieval fortress located in Istanbul, Turkey on the Anatolian (Asian) side of the Bosporus. The complex is the oldest surviving Turkish architectural structure built in Istanbul, and further gives its name to the neighborhood around it in the city’s Beykoz district.

Anadoluhisarı was built between 1393 and 1394 on the commission of the Ottoman Sultan Bayezid I, as part of his preparations for a siege on the then-Byzantine city of Constantinople. Constructed on an area of 7,000 square metres (1.7 acres), the fortress is situated at the narrowmost point of the Bosporus, where the strait is a mere 660 meters (2,170 ft) wide. The site is bound by Göksu creek to the south, and was previously home to the ruins of a Roman temple dedicated to Uranus. Erected primarily as a watch fort, the citadel has a 25 meters (82 ft) tall, quadratic main tower within the walls of an irregular pentagon, with five watchtowers at the corners.
Wikipedia.