Photo Of The Day

U-Boat 110: A German Submarine that was sunk and salvaged in 1918. Photo: Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums.

U-Boat 110: A German Submarine that was sunk and salvaged in 1918. Photo: Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums.

?Inside A Captured First World War German U-Boat (1918)

This collection is taken from an album of photographs found in the Swan Hunter shipbuilders collection at Tyne & Wear Archives. The album is from 1918 and documents the U.B. 110 before she was scrapped on the dry docks of Swan Hunter Wigham Richardson Ltd, Wallsend.

The twin-screw German submarine U.B. 110 was built by Blohm & Voss, Hamburg.

On the 19th July 1918, when attacking a convoy of merchant ships near Hartlepool, she herself was attacked by H.M. Motor-Launch No. 263 and suffered from depth charges. Coming to the surface she was rammed by H.M.S. Garry, a torpedo boat destroyer, and sunk.

In September she was salvaged and placed in the admiralty dock off Jarrow slake. She was then berthed at Swan Hunter’s dry docks department with an order to restore her as a fighting unit.

The Armistice on 11th November 1918 caused work on her to be stopped. She was towed on the 19th December 1918 from Wallsend to the Northumberland Dock at Howdon and was subsequently sold as scrap.

The album of photographs, taken by Frank & Sons of South Shields, documents the U.B. 110 in extensive detail. The photographs provide a rare glimpse into the mechanics and atmosphere of the raised German submarine.

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Photo Of The Day

Basil Zaharoff et la comtesse Marchena [i. e. duchesse de Marchena] : [photographie de presse] / [Agence Rol] - 1922. He met her on the steps of the palace of El Escorial. The fragile girl walked arm in arm with a Spanish grandee, who suddenly attacked her in a fit of rage - and Basil could not stand up for the lady. Grand turned out to be her husband and cousin of the King of Spain. It was a duel, wounded Zaharoff was in the hospital, grateful the lord came to visit him, but to part with him for a long time could not. This is one of the two versions of their acquaintance, told Sir Basil. Newsboys retold a dozen. "Merchant of Death" was capable of feeling a rare strength and durability. Husband of Maria del Pilar, Duchess de Marchena, was insane. Aristocrat, a Catholic, she could not get a divorce. Zaharoff was waiting for her for almost 40 years. They married after the death of the Duke, Zaharoff was 75, the bride - 55. After 17 months she died.

Basil Zaharoff et la comtesse Marchena [i. e. duchesse de Marchena] : [photographie de presse] / [Agence Rol] – 1922.?When he wasn?t busy wheeling and dealing, he dabbled in his own brand of leisure, inviting beautiful women ? preferably redheads ? to join him in his usual compartment on the Orient Express (No. 7) when the train stopped in Vienna.?His usual routine was interrupted one evening in 1886, when he heard screams coming from the compartment next door and went to investigate. It was his first encounter with Maria del Pilar, who told him her husband, the Duke of Marchena, had been trying to strangle her. The man fell headlong in love with the Spanish duchess.?Although social conventions prevented them from marrying until the duke died in 1923, they carried on a torrid love affair, and Zaharoff brought up her three children as his own. Sir Basil never forgot that fateful meeting on the Orient Express, and when he died he left instructions for his ashes to be scattered from the window of compartment No. 7, on the very spot where he had first encountered Maria.

Merchant of Death

?’The Mystery Man of Europe’

Reputedly one of the richest men in the world, Basil Zaharoff was a wealthy and psychotic arms dealer. Zaharoff was known as the “Merchant of Death,” the “Mystery Man of Europe” and eventually “Sir,” due to his being such an evil genius that the British had no choice but to knight him.

Zaharoff had?three rules he would always live by; that the best way to gain influence over a man was through a woman, that one should bet on all sides in a contest, but bet the most on the strongest man, and in politics, one should ?begin on the left?and then work over to the right??.?Zaharoff excelled in bribery, blackmail, with a reputation for having competitors assassinated.

Sinister, mysterious, credited with vast influence, this man who evoked such fierce passions that he was also branded the ?High Priest of War?, a man who had risen from obscure origins in Asia Minor to control a worldwide empire. His trade was arms, anything that fired, floated, submerged and ? later ? flew. His life spanned the muzzle-loading musket and the prototype Spitfire.

Zaharoff started his career of villainy modestly, as an arsonist for the Constantinople firefighters. Yes, you read that correctly. The corrupt Turkish fire department actually hired people to start fires in rich people’s houses so firefighters could go in and steal all their belongings. It was fun as far as evil enterprises go, but Zaharoff had grander aspirations.

He later became a huge-time international arms dealer for Swedish munitions company Thorsten Nordenfelt, but with a twist: Zaharoff figured that the best way to make a living selling weapons was to first create demand by starting a bunch of wars, so that’s exactly what he did.

After selling the world’s first submarine to the Greeks, Zaharoff went running to the Turkish government to tell them what he’d done. Understandably frightened, the Turks bought two submarines of their own. Realizing he had a good thing going, Zaharoff then went to Russia and helpfully informed them that Greece and Turkey were stocking up on submarines, and furthermore, he’d heard them saying that Russians were a bunch of idiots. So Russia bought some subs. The icing on the cake was that much of the product that Zaharoff was shilling was faulty, overpriced garbage. His submarines?fell apart?as soon as they tried to fire a torpedo.

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Photo Of The Day

Trench rats killed by a terrier, 1916. ?The result of 15 minute?s rat-hunting in a British trench.? Note the Jack Russell Terrier in the gentleman?s arms at left.

Trench rats killed by a terrier, 1916. ?The result of 15 minute?s rat-hunting in a French?trench.? Note the Jack Russell Terrier in the gentleman?s arms at left.

Hell on Earth

??The result of 15 minute?s rat-hunting in a French trench.? Note the Jack Russell Terrier in the gentleman?s arms at left.

?Imagine living in a muddy trench in the First World War (1914-18) and having to share your small space, not only with men but also with rats and lice. By 1918 doctors identified lice as the cause of trench fever, which plagued the troops with headaches, fevers and muscle pain. They would also get into clothes and cause the men to itch constantly. As there were so many dead bodies and scraps of food lying about, and the battle was static, the rats grew very fat and bold.

The experience of one soldier in the trenches:

‘Rats came up from the canal, fed on the plentiful corpses, and multiplied exceedingly. While I stayed here with the Welch, a new officer joined the company and, in token of welcome, was given a dug-out containing a spring-bed. When he turned in that night he heard a scuffling, shone his torch on the bed, and found two rats on his blanket tussling for the possession of a severed hand.’

?The trench soldier of World War I had to cope with millions of rats. The omnipresent rats were attracted by the human waste of war ? not simply sewage waste but also the bodies of men long forgotten who had been buried in the trenches and often reappeared after heavy rain or shelling. Some rat grew to the size of cats. It was not uncommon for rats to start gnawing on the bodies of wounded men who couldn?t defend themselves. Many troops were awakened by rats crawling across their faces. Trench conditions were ideal for rats. Empty food cans were piled in their thousands throughout No Man?s Land, heaved over the top on a daily basis.

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Photo Of The Day

Photo credit: Tom Aitken/National Library of Scotland

Photo credit: Tom Aitken/National Library of Scotland

Used Artillery Shells

The original caption reads:??Official photograph taken on the British Western Front in France. Some shell cases on the roadside in the front area, the contents of which have been dispatched over into the German lines?.

Tom Aitken was a newspaper photographer from Glasgow who was assigned in December 1917 as a war photographer. War photographers held a hybrid position during World War I, being part of, yet not ultimately responsible to, the military.

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ANZAC Day – Lest we forget

Credit:  christchurchdailyphoto.co.nz

Credit: christchurchdailyphoto.co.nz

Original Post: 25 April 2006

This is my ANZAC Day trib?ute post?ing. ANZAC Day means a great deal for me and my fam?ily. I sup?pose it is because we have a con?nec?tion to the orig?i?nal ANZACS in 1915 and Gal?lipoli and to a vet?eran of a war much fresher in our minds, Viet Nam.

Firstly I pay trib?ute to my Great Grand-father Harry Crozier. I never really knew him, he died many years ago. Harry served in the Gal?lipoli cam?paign and thank?fully came home alive albeit with only one working leg. I know he spent con?sid?er?able time in Rotorua con?va?lesc?ing and learned to carve maori carv?ings as part of his reha?bil?i?ta?tion.

The sec?ond per?son I pay trib?ute to is a guy who truly epit?o?mises the ANZAC spirit. He is an Aussie, liv?ing in New Zealand who fought for New Zealand in Viet Nam. He is mar?ried to a Kiwi and has three Kiwi kids, and four Kiwi grand kids. He is also my Father-in-law.

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WW1 Combat in Colour 1914-1918

You have to wonder what makes humankind do these things

Don’t mention the war to the krauts

The Krauts are kicking up a stink about Pommy celebrations commemorating the centenary of the start of WW1.

Germany has intervened in the debate over how to mark the centenary of the First World War, with a call for Britain not to make its commemorations too celebratory.

The country?s special envoy for the centenary of the conflict, Andreas Meitzner, requested a series of meetings in London earlier this month with his British counterpart, Andrew Murrison, as well as senior officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, to hear about the UK?s plans and outline Germany?s position.? Read more »