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Topical/All : World War I Postcards

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Linus
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18 Jan 2017
03:19:37pm
Shown below is an unused postcard from my World War I topical collection. I was at a postcard show in Iowa City, Iowa, flipping through a dealer's unsorted bulk lot of dollar postcards when this card stopped me dead cold: GRAVES OF "OTRANTO" MEN AT KILCHOMAN,ISLAY. My first reaction was: Where was this battle? I had no idea where this was located. American flags, shallow graves, and an old car and church in the background, I had to buy it for a dollar, just to learn the story behind it. Well, it turned out to be quite a tragic story.
Islay is an island that is part of Scotland. Otranto refers to the HMS Otranto, an armed merchant cruiser used by the Royal Navy during World War I. If you bring up Google and type in HMS Otranto, click on the Wikipedia article and read the section titled "Last voyage."
This story could be told as Leonardo DiCaprio's next movie, co-starring swimmers Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte.

Linus

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smaier
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Sally
18 Jan 2017
06:40:24pm
re: World War I Postcards

That's quite an interesting and tragic story. Thanks for posting the photo of the card - quite a find for your collection!

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
19 Jan 2017
08:09:56am
re: World War I Postcards

thanks for the card and the link to the past. I found a book review that might shed even more light: http://www.navyhistory.org/2012/12/book-review-many-were-held-by-the-sea-tragic-sinking-hms-otranto/

David

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"Save the USPS, buy stamps; save the hobby, use commemoratives"

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Linus
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19 Jan 2017
10:00:25am
re: World War I Postcards

Sally and David, you are welcome. Your book review link, David, suggests that this story was filled with intense drama throughout the last voyage of the HMS Otranto. I am willing to bet this story becomes a big-time movie someday. You heard it here first on Stamporama.

Linus

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Linus
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04 Apr 2018
04:23:37pm
re: World War I Postcards

Shown below is another postcard from my collection during the World War I era. I am not sure what this card is all about as the handwriting is not too good, but it appears to be a soldier's Red Cross Official Postcard mailed during the war.

Linus

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pigdoc
05 Apr 2018
10:09:21am
re: World War I Postcards

This is the only postally used WWI postcard in my collection:

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Sorry about the raster lines...
My European postcard collection (n about 60) is almost all postally used, all aviation-themed, and mostly 1908-1912.

Translation of the caption:
"Our Dreaded.
Flying fight between a German Taube and an enemy biplane over Paris."

I wondered why "dogfight" was not used instead of "flying fight", but I'm not sure if the word was ever part of the German vernacular...

The Taube (pigeon) was developed well before 1914, and there are still a few flying replicas about. Search "etrich taube" in youtube.

-Paul



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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
05 Apr 2018
11:52:38am
re: World War I Postcards

I believe the picture is an attack on a Zeppelin not a fight among planes. you may also be right that the slang wasn't incorporated into German

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"Save the USPS, buy stamps; save the hobby, use commemoratives"

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pigdoc
05 Apr 2018
05:18:44pm
re: World War I Postcards

Well amsd, I would agree that it is QUITE fanciful for reconnaissance planes (such as the Taube and Farman depicted on the card) to be shooting at each other, especially as early as 1915. Nor would I expect a lowly Farman to be inclined to attack a Zeppelin. Regardless, it is not plausible that EITHER the Taube or the Zeppelin could have downed the Farman in flames. I can't recall ever reading an account of a Zeppelin downing an airplane.

I did find this in Wikipedia:
"During the opening months of the war a German pilot flying a Taube regularly dropped bombs on Paris."

Attacks on Zeppelins did evolve during WWI, but only after much science was applied to using the proper munitions. The idea was to first puncture the envelope with explosive rounds, then wait until the hydrogen was oxygenated to some degree by the atmosphere mixing in with it so that it would burn, and then hit it again with incendiaries to light it off. If there wasn't a big enough hole in the envelope to allow air to mix with the hydrogen, it wouldn't burn when the incendiaries went through. These techniques took some time to evolve.

My presumption is that the Zeppelin is present in the image for purely propaganda purposes, as the symbol of German power that the leadership was most proud of.

-Paul

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pigdoc
05 Apr 2018
05:55:20pm
re: World War I Postcards

Here's one more:

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Inscription on the back, roughly translated, is:
"For the creation of a start-up German air fleet and a demand of the aviation school! Annual contribution includes the magazine "Die Luftflotte"

and, the photo caption:
"Military Taube on a reconnaissance flight at the Masurian"

The Masurian is a district in northeastern Poland.

Shame the card isn't used...
I would LOVE to have a full-size print of this image!
Enjoy!

-Paul



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pigdoc
06 Apr 2018
07:51:35am
re: World War I Postcards

Not to subvert this thread too badly, I wanted to add just a bit of perspective on the role of German airships (Zeppelins) in the 1915 war effort. My comments are restricted to 1915, because the postmark on the card I presented above is January 4, 1916, so its subject matter pertains to the period of the war PRIOR to 1916.

At the end of 1914, the German Army had 4 airships. In March, 1915, three of them were engaged in a bombing raid on Paris. One of these was damaged by artillery fire as it crossed the front and turned back, the other two continued on their mission, dropping a combined 1800kg of bombs on Paris, killing one and injuring 8 people. On the return voyage, one airship was hit by artillery fire and damaged beyond repair by the crash-landing. The remaining airship suffered a similar fate in April during another bombing raid in northwest Belgium. So, by mid-1915, the 'Zeppelin threat' had been almost completely reduced, exclusively by the effects of artillery. This history also places the probable production date of the postcard in the first half of 1915.

So, during this period of the war, the involvement of Zeppelins was minimal and the principal threat to them was not aerial attack, it was groundfire. This leads me to presume that the subject of the card does not pertain to aerial attack on Zeppelins. Besides, the principal strategic role of Zeppelins was to create terror, and so the subject of defeat of aerial opposition to Zeppelins per se (as might seem to be represented by the Farman "Doppeldecker" falling in flames) is quite a bit off-topic from a propaganda perspective...

I should also point out that my comments above on munitions used in attacks on Zeppelins is much more pertinent to attacks on tethered observation balloons, which were much more common than attacks on Zeppelins, though aerial attacks were a bonafide threat during the bombing raids by Zeppelins on London, beginning in 1916. By the way, incendiary ammunition was first used as a weapon against balloons in December, 1915. Presumably, before that point in time, ammunition effective against balloons did not exist. Not that attacks against balloons never occurred before that point in time, but they would have been ineffective, and so of much more danger to the attacker than the attacked.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.
-Paul

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Linus
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07 Jun 2018
09:33:53pm
re: World War I Postcards

I recently made a trip to the local antique mall to escape the heat and browse through their thousands of postcards. I found this WWI era Knights of Columbus card titled "GOVERNOR GOODRICH OF INDIANA WATCHES PACKEY McFARLAND GIVE BOXING LESSONS AT K.OF C. BUILDING." Check out the Wikipedia article on Packey McFarland, one tough dude for his time:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Packey_McFarland

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Linus

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nigelc
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08 Jun 2018
05:42:21am
re: World War I Postcards

Quote:

"Shown below is an unused postcard from my World War I topical collection. I was at a postcard show in Iowa City, Iowa, flipping through a dealer's unsorted bulk lot of dollar postcards when this card stopped me dead cold: GRAVES OF "OTRANTO" MEN AT KILCHOMAN,ISLAY. My first reaction was: Where was this battle? I had no idea where this was located. American flags, shallow graves, and an old car and church in the background, I had to buy it for a dollar, just to learn the story behind it.

Well, it turned out to be quite a tragic story.

Islay is an island that is part of Scotland. Otranto refers to the HMS Otranto, an armed merchant cruiser used by the Royal Navy during World War I. If you bring up Google and type in HMS Otranto, click on the Wikipedia article and read the section titled "Last voyage."

This story could be told as Leonardo DiCaprio's next movie, co-starring swimmers Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte.Hello Linus,"


Hi Linus,

I've just seen your post with the postcard. Sadly, this was the second such disaster on the coast of Islay that year.

Another troopship, the SS Tuscania, had been torpedoed in February and while the majority of the US troops aboard were saved many also died in that event.

This year is the one hundredth anniversary of these sinkings and there have been commorative events held on the island.

Here's a link to a BBC news article about the disasters and their impact on the small local community:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-43948079

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JohnnyRockets
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08 Jun 2018
10:27:45am
re: World War I Postcards

Great reading everyone, thanks! Thumbs Up

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Linus
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08 Jun 2018
12:54:37pm
re: World War I Postcards

Nigel, Thank you very much for adding to this thread. That was a great BBC article, further explaining the events that happened 100 years ago. I am sure every school child in Scotland was taught that piece of WWI history, but being from Iowa, USA, we never heard of it here. We were taught stuff like the Spirit Lake Massacre instead.

Linus

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pigdoc
08 Jun 2018
01:58:38pm
re: World War I Postcards

Linus,

I'm curious about that small, red, white, and blue label to the L of the stamp.

Is that an indication that the sender was a parent of a soldier?

-Paul

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Linus
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08 Jun 2018
02:11:23pm
re: World War I Postcards

Pigdoc, I do not know the answer. I just recently bought this card and that is a mystery to be solved, and is part of the reason I bought it. Perhap one of our members knows what that label is? If not, I have more research to do to find the answer.

Linus

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Linus
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08 Jun 2018
02:51:50pm
re: World War I Postcards

Pigdoc, you were correct. It is called a Blue Star Service Banner:

The Blue Star Service Banner was designed and patented in 1917 by World War I Army Capt. Robert L. Queisser of the 5th Ohio Infantry. Queisser’s two sons served on the front line. His banner quickly became the unofficial symbol for parents with a child in active military service.

On Sept. 24, 1917, an Ohio congressman read the following into the Congressional Record: “The mayor of Cleveland, the Chamber of Commerce and the governor of Ohio have adopted this service flag. The world should know of those who give so much for liberty. The dearest thing in all the world to a father and mother: their children.” Blue Star Mothers and Gold Star Mothers organizations were established during World War I and remain active today.

Linus

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philb
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08 Jun 2018
07:00:15pm

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re: World War I Postcards

Heres one from Kehl Germany 1915Image Not Found

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"If a man would be anything, he must be himself."
philb
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08 Jun 2018
07:02:35pm

Auctions
re: World War I Postcards

Address side :Image Not Found

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"If a man would be anything, he must be himself."
Rgbrito
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06 Aug 2018
05:12:20pm
re: World War I Postcards

Please, members, visit the following link on stamporama.com to see a most interesting and intriguing Great War postcard mailed in 1923. I hope the members who came up with this specific historical issue will forgive my "atrevimiento." (Sorry, "taking the liberty to...")

https://stamporama.com/discboard/disc_main.php?action=22&id=151443#151443


Following the request to translate the Arabic text on the postcard, I have contacted a stamporama.com member who resides in the Middle East. I hope this member contact will answer in a positive manner.

Finally, as a History buff, I would like to know if there is a Discussion Thread titled specifically POSTAL HISTORY. I have read many posts where the issue of covers and postcard subjects inextricably tied to history and historical events go unnoticed. Many times, what you see and what you read carry a lot of meaning that often get lost.

Best regards!

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pigdoc
12 Jun 2019
09:01:58pm
re: World War I Postcards

Well, in the last year, my interest in WWI art cards has grown into a collection of a couple dozen items, most postally used. The one I posted above of the "Military Taube on a reconnaissance flight" is one in a series "after paintings" by artist Hans Rudolf Schulze. I think his work is quite attractive, and now have 10 cards in 3 different series by this artist. Here are a few more:

Seaplanes over the English fleet
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Condition not great, Leubsdorf to Chemnitz

I have 4 in Schulze's dirigible series:
Military air cruiser "Hansa" in battle with enemy flyers
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Cologne to Frankfurt, November 6, 1915.

And, I have a couple in Schulze's naval series, featuring U-boats:
U21 stops large English steamer in the Channel
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Wolfenbüttel to Leipzig, April 22, 1918.

I don't have much hope of translating the manuscript, but these do make compelling puzzles!

-Paul

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