Thursday, November 8, 2012

About the Author: Erich Maria Remarque

Erich Remarque
Erich Paul Remarque was born on 22 June, 1898, in Osnabrueck. Maria is his mother's maiden name. He changed his middle name to Maria when he published All Quiet on the Western Front. He began writing when he was 16 but didn't get very far before he was conscripted to the army when he was 18, in 1916. In 1917, he was transferred to the Western Front. He only spent a few months fighting before he was injured with shrapnel in his left leg, right arm and neck. Erich was sent to a hospital and the war ended while he was there.

He published his first book, The Dream Room in 1920 under the name Erich Paul Remark. When he published All Quiet on the Western Front (literally, Nothing New in the West) he changed his middle name to Maria in respect of his mother and changed Remark (changed by his grandfather) back to the original Remarque. It took him a while to find a publisher for All Quiet on the Western Front, which was finished in 1927, but not published until 1929. He wrote nine other books about World War I. One is The Road Back, about returning soldiers. The Road Back is considered the sequel to All Quiet on the Western Front, even though it has different characters. They recount the same stories, so it is supposed that these characters were in the same situations. The Three Comrades, also about returning soldiers, but has different characters.

File:Bundesarchiv Bild 183-R04034, Erich Maria Remarque.jpg

Many of Erich Remarque's books were burned at Nazi book burnings and were banned. Erich Remarque had to move to Switzerland to avoid the Nazis. They claimed that he was a French Jew and that he hadn't fought in World War I. His German citizenship was taken away in 1938 and he moved from Switzerland to America in 1939. In 1943, his sister, Elfriede Scholz was put on trial, found guilty of "undermining morale" and was killed.

Other Books by Erich Remarque

  • The Dream Room
  • Station at the Horizon
  • All Quiet on the Western Front
  • The Road Back
  • Three Comrades
  • Flotsam
  • Arch of Triumph
  • Spark of Life
  • A time to Love and Time to Die
  • The Black Obelisk
  • Heaven Has No Favorites
  • The Night in Lisbon
  • The Promised Land
  • Shadows in Paradise
Similarities between Erich Remarque and his character, Paul Baumer
  • The main character's name is Paul, which is Erich Remarque's original middle name.
  • Both Paul Baumer and Erich Remarque were in 2nd Company 
  • Paul and Erich Remarque both have an older sister named Erna (Remarque 157&161).
  • Both enjoy collecting butterflies (Remarque 158).
  • Erich Remarque and Paul Baumer's mother both had cancer. Erich's mother died, while Paul's mother is still alive by the end of the book, just very sick (Remarque 269).
  • Both played piano (Remarque 160).
  • Paul has minor wounds from shrapnel in the leg and arm. Erich Remarque has major wounds from shrapnel in the leg, arm and neck and is kept out of the war from this.
  • Erich Remarque was injured for the last time while carrying a wounded soldier out of action who died on the way. After is return from the hospital, Paul carries injured Kat away from the fighting. Kat died as well (Remarque 288-290).
Differences between Erich Remarque and his character, Paul Baumer:
  • Erich Remarque's mother died of cancer while he was in the hospital, Paul leaves the hospital while his mother is "feeble" and says that her condition is "much worse than it was last time" (Remarque 269).
  • Erich had two sisters, one younger, Elfreide, one older, Erna. Whether or not Paul has another sister is not mentioned. 
  • At the beginning of the book, Paul says that he is nineteen, and twenty by the end of the book. Erich Remarque was eighteen when he was conscripted into the army.
  • When Paul is reminding Kat about the good times they had together, he says "Kat, that was almost three years ago" (Remarque 288). Erich Remarque was conscripted to the army when he was eighteen, in 1916 and was injured on July 31, 1917. Erich Remarque could only have been in the army for a year and a half.
  • Paul returns to the front from the hospital, suffering similar wounds Erich Remarque did, but Erich Remarque was in the hospital until the end of the war. 

The Great War: Timeline

Prior to WWI:
The countries of Europe were making tight alliances with each other. On top of that, nationality grew and countries argued over border lines.

June 28, 1914
Archduke Franz Ferdinand and Sophie, his wife, of Austria Hungary were killed by Gavrilo Princip of Serbia.

July 28, 1914
Austria Hungary declares war on Serbia.

August 1, 1914
Germany declares war on Russia

August 3, 1914
Germany declares war on France
Germany invades Belgium to get to France.

August 4, 1914
England declares war on Germany for invading Belgium.
Australia enters the war, allies with England.
Canada enters war, allies with England.
Liberia declares war on Germany.

August 6, 1914
Serbia declares war on Germany
Austria Hungary declares war on Russia

August 12, 1914
England declares war on Austria Hungary
France declares war on Austria Hungary

August 14, 1914
China declares war on Germany.
China declares war on Austria Hungary
Battle of the Frontiers begins: France, England, Belgium v. Germany

August 17, 1914

Battle of Tannenberg begins: Germany v. Russia
Russia invades East Prussia

August 19, 1914
US declares neutral

August 23, 1914
Japan declares war on Germany
Austria Hungary invades Poland

August 24, 1914
Battle of the Frontiers ends: Germany wins

August 25, 1914
Japan declares war on Austria Hungary

August 28, 1914
Austria Hungary declares war on Belgium

September 2, 1914
Battle of Tannenberg ends: Germany wins

September 5, 1914
First Battle of the Marne begins: France v. Germany
Trench warfare begins

September 9, 1914
Battle of Masurian begins: Russia v. Germany

September 12, 1914
First Battle of the Marne ends: stalemate begins

September 14, 1914
Battle of Masurian ends: Germany wins

September 15, 1914
"Race to the Sea" begins

October 3, 1914
Battle of Ypres begins: France, England, Belgium v. Germany

November 2, 1914
Russia declares war on Turkey
Serbia declares war on Turkey

November 5, 1914
France declares war on Turkey
England declares war on Turkey

November 22, 1914
Battle of Ypres ends: Germany loses

November 24, 1914
"Race to the Sea" ends. Last mobile phase in the western front until 1918

December 21, 1914
First German air-raid on England

December 24-25, 1914
Christmas Truce

February 4, 1915
German U-boats attack Allied and neutral ships, blockading England

February 19, 1915
Allied attack on Dardanelles begins

March 1, 1915
Falab, a British passenger ship is sunk by German U-boats

April 22, 1915
Second Battle of Ypres: Allies v. Germany
First use of poison gas by Germans

April 25, 1915
Allied attack on Gallipoli

May 7, 1915
Lusitania, passenger ship carrying Americans and British citizens is sunk.

May 23, 1915
Italy declares war on Austria Hungary

August 4, 1915
Germans capture Warsaw, Poland.

September 5, 1915
Tsar Nicholas II takes command of Russian army

December 28, 1915
Allies begin to withdraw from Gallipoli

February 21, 1916
Battle of Verdun begins: France v. Germany

March 24, 1916
Sussex, French passenger ship, torpedoed

May 31, 1916
Battle of Jutland begins: England, Australia, Canada v. Germany

June 1, 1916
Battle of Jutland ends: no clear winner

June 4, 1916
Russian offensive against Austria Hungary

July 1, 1916
Battle of Somme begins: England, France, Australia, Canada v. Germany

August 28, 1916
Italy declares war on Germany

August 31, 1916
Germany stops submarine attacks

September 15, 1916
First  tanks used in Battle of Somme

October 15, 1916
Germany continues U-boat attacks

November 18, 1916
Battle of Somme ends: no official winner, but Allies have advantage now

November 28, 1916
First German air raid on England by plane instead of Zeppelin

December 18, 1916
Battle of Verdun ends: Germany loses

January 19, 1917
Germany sends telegram to Mexico asking about an alliance to eventually attack US. Intercepted by England.

January 31, 1917
Germany announces unrestricted submarine warfare

February 24, 1917
British pass the deciphered telegram from Germany to US

April 6, 1917
US declares war on Germany, entering the war

April 9, 1917
Nivelle Offensive by France

April 20, 1917
Nivelle Offensive ended: France loses

June 26, 1917
First American troops land in France

June 27, 1917
Greece enters war as an Ally.

July 31, 1917
Battle of Passchendaele begins: France, England, Belgium v. Germany

November 6, 1917
Battle of Passchendaele ends: Germany loses

December 7, 1917
US declares war on Austria Hungary

March 21, 1918
Germans launch the Spring Offensive: US, England, France v. Germany
Battle of Picardy: England v. Germany

March 23, 1918
Battle of Picardy ended: Germany wins

April 7, 1918
Battle of the Lys: US, England, France v. Germany

April 29, 1918
Battle of the Lys ends: Germany loses, stalemate

May 25, 1918
German U-boats are in American waters for the first time

May 27, 1918
Third Battle of Aisne begins: Allies v. Germany

June 6, 1918
Third Battle of Aisne ended: Germany is halted after gaining land

June 9, 1918
Battle of Matz begins: France v. Germany

June 15, 1918
Battle of Piave ends: Italy wins against Austria Hungary

July 15, 1918
Second Battle of the Marne begins: Allies and Italy v. Germany

July 16, 1918
Tsar Nicholas II and his family are assassinated

July 18, 1918
Allies counterattack

August 6, 1918
Second Battle of the Marne ends: Germany loses

August 8, 1918
Germans pushed back to Hindenburg line

September 27, 1918
England attacks German lines

October 27, 1918
British attack on Germany ends: England has pushed through lines in many places.

October 21, 1918
Germans stop unrestricted U-boat warfare

October 27, 1918
German commander, Erich Ludendorff resigns

November 10, 1918
German Kaiser flees to Holland

February 14, 1919
League of Nations completed

June 28, 1919
World War 1 officially ended, Treaty of Versailles is signed

Great War: Statistics by Country

Austria Hungary: July 28, 1914
Country Leader: Emperor Franz-Josef
Military Leader: Arthur Arz von StrauBenburg, Conrad von Hoertzendorf, Anton Haus, Maxmillian Njegovan

Total Forces: 7,800,000
Dead: 1,200,000
Wounded: 3,620,000
Prisoners or MIA:  2,200,000
Total: 7,020,000

Serbia: July 28, 1914
Country Leader: Peter I

Total Forces: 707,343
Dead: 45,000
Wounded: 133,148
Prisoner/ MIA: 152,958
Total: 331,106

Germany: August 1, 1914
Country Leader: Kaiser Wilhelm II
Military Leaders: Helmuth von Moltke, Erich von Falkenhayn, Paul von Hindenburg, Erich Ludendorff, Hermann von Francois

Total Forces: 11,000,000
Dead: 1,773,700
Wounded: 4,216,058
Prisoners or MIA: 1,152,800
Total: 7,142,558

Russia: August 1, 1914
Country Leader: Tsar Nicholas II
Military Leaders: Grand Duke Nicholas Nikolaevich, Alexander Samsonov, Paul von Rennenkampf, Nikolai Ivanov, Aleksei Brusilov

Total Forces: 12,000,000
Dead: 1,700,000
Wounded: 4,950,000
Prisoners or MIA: 2,500,000
Total: 9,150,000

France: August 3, 1914
Country Leaders: President: Raymond Poincare Prime Minister: Georges Clemeceau
Military Leaders: Joseph Joffre, Ferdinand Foch, Robert Nivelle, Phillippe Petain

Total Forces: 8,140,000
Dead: 1,357,800
Wounded: 4,266,00
Prisoners or MIA: 537,00
Total: 6,16,800

Belgium: August 3, 1914
Country Leader: Albert 1 of Belgium
Total Forces: 267,00
Dead: 13,716
Wounded: 44,868
Prisoners or MIA: 34,659
Total: 91,061

England: August 4, 1914
Country Leader: George V (King), H. H. Asquith (Prime Minister) David Lloyd George (Prime Minister)
Military Leader: Douglas Haig, John Jellicoe (Sea Lord), Horatio Herbert Kitchener

Total Forces: 8,410,000
Dead: 908,371
Wounded: 2,090,212
Prisoners or MIA: 191,652
Total: 3,190,235

Turkey: November 2, 1914
Country Leader: Mehmed V, Sultan. Mehmed VI, Sultan
Military Leaders: Ismail Enver, Fritz Bronsart von Schellendorf, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Cemal Pasa, Fevzi Cakmak

Total Forces: 2,850,000
Dead: 325,000
Wounded: 400,000
Prisoner/ MIA: 250,000
Total: 975,000

Italy: May 23, 1915
Country Leader: Victor Emmanuel III
Military Leaders: Luigi Cadorna, Armando Diaz, Lugi Amedeo

Total Forces: 5,615,000
Dead: 650,000
Wounded: 947,000
Prisoners or MIA: 600,000
Total: 2,197,000

Romania: August 27, 1916
Country Leader: Alexandru Averescu
Military Leader: Constintin Prezan

Total Forces: 750,000
Dead: 335,706
Wounded: 120,000
Prisoner/ MIA: 80,000
Total: 535,706

United States: April 6, 1917
Country Leader: Woodrow Wilson
Military Leader: John J Pershing

Total Forces: 4,355,000
Dead: 116,516
Wounded: 204,002
Prisoner/ MIA: 4,500
Total: 323,018

Overall Statistics:
Total Servicemen: 65,038,810
Total Killed: 8,528,831
Total Wounded: 21,189,154
Total Prisoner or Missing: 7,750,919
Total Casualties: 37,466,904

Total Percent Casualties: 57.5%

WWI Weaponry: Gas


Tear Gas
The French were actually the first to use gas, throwing grenades of tear-gas at the Germans. Tear gas is just an irritant and is not actually fatal. A few months later, the Germans fired gas at the French that made them sneeze.In the winter of 1914, the Germans attempted to use liquid tear gas on the Russians, but instead of vaporizing, it froze.

Poison Gas
In April of 1915, the Germans launched chlorine gas at the British and French. They thought that the gas was suppose to mask an attack by the Germans and ordered the soldiers to get ready for an attack. The chlorine gas burns the lungs, throat, nose and mouth causing the victims to suffocate and choke. The chlorine also mixes with the water in the lungs to make hydrochloric acid, which is corrosive to the skin and very damaging to inner organs. If the wind was blowing the wrong way, then the gas would be blown right back at the attacker. Chlorine gas is also very easily avoided. It is only fatal if it is inhaled and is can be smelled and seen very easily. A simple wet cloth blocking the mouth and nose from the gas was effective enough.

Phosgene was the next gas to be used. Phosgene was discovered in 1812 by John Davy. It was used in WWI chemical warfare in 1915 by the French. Phosgene is colorless and is not as easily detected. It can't be smelled very easily and it works slower. A healthy soldier might not show symptoms for another two days. Phosgene has a very similar effect of Chlorine. It causes the victims to choke and cough, just Phosgene is slower and not as violent. This made it difficult to treat because soldiers often didn't know they were poisoned with it. Phosgene was also easy to avoid, as long as you knew you were getting attacked with it, because it also needed to be inhaled to have an effect.

Mustard gas was developed by the Germans and first thrown at the Russians. Mustard gas has little smell, and is colorless when not mixed with other chemicals. But Mustard gas does not need to be inhaled to have an effect on the victims. Mustard gas causes external blistering on exposed areas and on the eyes. Muster gas also caused internal and external bleeding and vomiting. In the lungs, mustard gas stripped the mucous membrane off the bronchial tubes, making it painful and difficult to breathe. The blisters caused the victims throats to close up and many died of suffocation. Despite all of this damage, it often took four or more
weeks to for the victims to die.

The British and French copied the Germans in the use of Mustard gas against them and both sides had planned on having 30-50% of their shells filled with gas, but the war ended before that ever happened. Mustard gas can contaminate the ground for weeks or months at a time, making it difficult or pointless to take over a new area they just gassed. Clothing could also get contaminated, spreading it from soldier to soldier by the touch.

By the end of the war, Germans won the contest for throwing the most gas, using a total of 68,000 tons of gas. The French used 36,000 tons and the British fired 25,000 tons of gas.

The Gas Mask

The British hypo-mask were simply a cloth with glass eye pieces. The cloth was dipped in sodium hyposulphite, washing soda, glycerine and water to help resist gas.

 In 1915, American inventor James B Garner invented a gas mask after he heard about the gas attacks in Europe. He correctly identified the gas as Chlorine and used activated charcoal as an absorbent. In 1916, the British issued a canister-gas mask which has a small respirator to clean the air before it is inhaled.

"These first minutes with the mask decide between life and death: is it air-tight? I remember the awful sights in the hospital: the gas patients who in day-long suffocation cough up their burnt lungs in clots" (Remarque 68).

WWI Weaponry: Machine Guns

Machine Gun

The machine gun in 1914 could shoot 400-600 rounds a minute, operated by four to six men, had the fire power of 80 riflemen and often overheated too quickly and would jam. Water jackets and air vents helped with cooling. Even with the water jackets, some times the machine guns would over heat in just two minutes, so lots of water had to be on hand to keep the gun cool.

The first self-powered machine gun was invented by Hiram Maxim in 1885. It used the recoil of the last bullet to fire the next one. Prior to the war, the British rejected the Maxim gun, saying it was improper. Later, the British company Vickers bought Maxim and improved the Maxim gun to make it lighter and the British Army used this version instead. The Vickers Machine Gun fired .303 inch rounds, fed on cloth belts of 250 rounds. It could fire between 450 and 600 rounds a minute and was mounted on a tripod. The British did not use the machine gun very much in WWI. A few machine guns would be with each infantry battalion until late 1915, when Machine Gun Corps was formed.

 The Germans quickly copied the Maxim gun to their own version, the Maschinengewehr 08. The MG 08 used belts of 250 7.9mm bullets and was usually mounted on a sledge mount. The German Armies had Machine Gun companies to assist the infantrymen.

The French saw the machine gun as too defensive and wanted to put their money towards offensive attacks instead.

A lighter machine gun was a concept that never went as planned in WWI. It was planned to be an offensive, mobile and portable machine gun. A machine gun that was light enough to be manned by a single person on the run was not ever reached. They were always too heavy. In 1914, the Lewis Light Machine Gun was developed by the British, but it was too heavy and attempts to mount it on some type of transportation was too slow. In 1918, the Germans made the Bergmann MP 18 which proved useful. The only problem was maintaining enough ammunition. Light Machine Guns were later mounted on tanks and truck In 1915, the light machine gun was mounted onto air planes and later the Vickers combined with German interrupter equipment allowed for a machine gun to shoot through the propeller of the plane.

WWI Weaponry: Tanks


"but these tanks are machines, their caterpillars run on as endless as the war, they are annihilation, they roll without feeling into the craters, and climb up again without stopping, a fleet of roaring, smoke-belching armour-clads invulnerable steel beasts squashing the dead and the wounded-we shrivel up in our thin skin before them, against their colossal weight our arms are sticks of straw our hand-grenades matches" (Remarque 282)

The tank was a concept that started in the eighteenth century. In 1770, Richard Edgeworth developed the caterpillar track. Steampowered tractors with caterpillar tracks were used in the Crimean War. In 1885, Holt company made a caterpillar track tractor that had an internal combustion engine. In 1899, Frederick Simms developed a tractor with caterpillar tracks, a bullet proof cased engine and two revolving Maxim machine guns. The British Army rejected it as a "pretty mechanical toy".

A need for a tank appeared on December 26, 1914 when Secretary of the Committee for Imperial Defence Maurice Hankey wrote a memo about tanks. Colonel Ernest Swinton set up a demonstration of the Killen-Strait tractor. The tractor could cut through barbed wire, which got Churchill and Lloyd George convinced. The new machine was to be called the Landship and Churchill sponsored the construction of it.

The Landship had to be capable of the following jobs:
  • minimum speed of 4 miles per hour
  • climb a 5 foot high mound
  • span a 5 foot wide trench
  • small-arms fire bullet proof
  • 2 machine guns
  • range of 20 miles
  • maintained by 10 men
In December of 1915, Lieutenant Walter Wilson and William Tritton produced the first landship, codenamed "tank". It did not meet the criterea set out by Swinton, but it was impresssive enough.
  • Carry 3 people, hardly
  • top speed 3 miles per hour, 2 mph on rought terrain
  • could not cross trenches
This monster weighted 14 tons and had 12 foot long track frames.
In June 1916, the tank was actually war-ready. And on September 15,1916 the British rolled out in their tanks. However, the tanks often got stuck and the men had to escape, running back from the middle of No Man's Land. Also, the heat generated by the tanks was unbearable and the fumes sometimes choked them to death.

The French heard of the Britsh's tank plans and developed their own before the British but did not put them to action until April of 1917. They also were a disappointment.

On the 20 of November, 1917, the British Tank Corps fought in the Battle of Cambrai. They broke through 12 miles of the German front, capturing10,000 POW, 123 guns and 281 machine guns.

On 24 April, 1918, three British Mark IV fought three German A7Vs south og Villers Bretonneux. The British tanks won, pushing back the German tanks.

On August 8, 1918, British tanks advanced 20 miles on the Western Front.

By the end of the war, Britian tank production was out done by the French, who produced 3,870 tanks, against Britian's 2,636. Germany only produced 20 and the US only 84.

WWI Weaponry: Grenades

Grenades are simply a small, hand held explosive that release shrapnel into the enemy. Normally, the shrapnel is it's own casing, but sometimes there is additional metal inside to make more fragments.

In 1908, modern grenades were invented by the British. They were long-handled impact grenades. As the name implies, the grenades exploded when they hit the ground. The problem is, of course, that can be accidentally set off if they are dropped or jostled.

    The British added a pin ad the end of the handle to stick grenades so that they were not so easily set off. Because of the handle, they would fall nose down when thrown, which set off the explosion.This model, the Mark 1 (1914) was unsafe because they were fragile and would explode if they came in contact with anything while being thrown (Imagine your hand hitting the side of the trench while throwing it).

     In late 1915, the British issued the No 15 grenade. These were ignited by taking off the covering that protects the fuse and lighting like a match against a matchhead igniter. These were mass produced at rates of more that 200,000 a week. There were problems with these though. The No 15 had a very high explosion which resulted in smaller fragments, which were not as effective. Also, the No 15 were not very weather- resistant. This made them very unpopular.

     The British soldiers reverted to making their own "jam tin" grenades which were simply a can filled with dynamite, scrap metal, or stones with a fuse. The fuses had a 1.25 second delay for each inch of fuse.

     Probably the most popular and recognized grenade is Mill's bomb or the 'pineapple' grenade. It is named after it's creator, William Mills. The grooves giving it the nickname of 'pineapple' was originally there for grip, but it also helped with fragmentation. In fact, these grenades have a danger range farther than the throwing range, so the thrower has to take cover quickly. The Mill's bomb has a strong spring to drive the striker, which is held back by the safety lever, which is held back by the pin. The striker hits the fuse, giving it the delay and detonation.These were so popular, that over 70 million were shipped out to the front to be thrown at the Germans.

Rifle grenades were used in WWI to help the grenades travel farther. The rod launcher had a grenade on the end of a rod which was placed down inside the barrel of a rifle. The soldiers would put their rifles on the ground for leverage. They pulled the pin and shot a blank, sending the grenade high and far. However, the rods damaged the barrels of the rifles and if you took too long or the fuse was too short, the grenade could detonate in your face.
File:N°23 MkII-Version Fusil.jpg
     The cup rifle grenade was more popularly used by the French and British. The cup launcher attached to barrel of the rifle and could launch either a standard grenade or a specialized grenade designed for the cup launcher.The safety pin was pulled before the a blank round was shot.

     The British and French improved the cup launcher to fire 400 meters compared to the original average of 190 meters. The Germans stopped using the cup launcher in 1916 to attempt to revised it and they didn't start using it again until 1918.
The Germans had many types of grenades as well.They had stick grenades that were on a delay, unlike the impact stick grenades that were so dangerous. Impact stick grenades are not unheard of, they were just not as popularly used because of the risk. They also had disc grenades, or 'turtle' grenades.

These grenades are very cool. When thrown, the four pins would be drawn out by centrifugal force. On impact, one or two of the pins would be pressed into the strikers, detonating the grenade. The Germans also had grenades that would explode with hardly any delay so that the enemy had no time to take cover.The egg grenade had a throwing distance of 50 yards, making it popular among the soldiers.