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September 20, 1914

Discussion in '"Today in History", Literature & Media Review' started by Martin Antonenko, Sep 20, 2022.

  1. Martin Antonenko A Fixture

    Country:
    Germany
    Out of anger, the Germans destroy the Reims Cathedral...!


    In September 1914 the great battle in France got bogged down, the German advance stopped, the Schlieffen plan failed!

    One begins to dig in all along the front line, as well as in front of the city of Reims in Champagne...:

    [IMG]

    But it is precisely at this point that the front line does not stay the way it is!

    On September 13, the French launch a localized counteroffensive...

    [IMG]

    ... and chase away the German troops who had only conquered and occupied Reims on September 4th...

    [IMG]

    ... out of city again...:

    [IMG]

    Here is the view from the front German trench over the French positions (3 trenches!) onto Reims...:

    [IMG]

    In the middle of the beautiful medieval city stands a world-famous building, the huge cathedral "Notre Dame de Reims", the construction of which began in 1211...:

    [IMG]

    In addition to its - priceless - cultural and historical value, the cathedral also represents five centuries of French state history - after all, all French kings were crowned there.

    Until the city was recaptured by the French, the cathedral had survived the fighting almost undamaged - apart from a few shrapnel.

    But now, on September 20, 1914, the Germans, out of anger at the defeat, took this millennium structure under targeted artillery fire...:

    [IMG]

    The cathedral is hit several times...

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    ... catches fire...

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    ... and burns out completely!

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

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    The previously magnificent interior is also completely destroyed...:

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    **continued next post**
  2. Martin Antonenko A Fixture

    Country:
    Germany
    Part II:


    The German army report of September 22, 1914 justifies the shelling with a French observation post allegedly located on one of the towers.

    On September 22, 1914, the German government also issues the following declaration, which contains a completely different justification - obviously politicians and military officials had not agreed beforehand...:

    "Berlin, September 22. (W. B. Amtlich.)

    Unfortunately, the French government does not shy away from a slanderous distortion of the facts when it claims that German troops, without military necessity, made the cathedral of Reims the target of a systematic bombardment.

    Reims is a fortress which the French have been working on in the last few days with all the means at their disposal and is using it to defend their present position. In attacking this position, the bombardment of Reims became a necessity. The orders were given to spare the famous cathedral.

    If it should nevertheless be true that the cathedral also suffered in the fire caused by the fighting in Reims, which we are unable to determine at the moment, no one would regret it more than we do.

    However, the sole blame lies with the French, who made Reims as a fortress the base of their defensive position.

    We must vigorously protest against the slander that German troops are destroying monuments of history and architecture without urgent need out of a rage for destruction."

    In addition to the wrong grammar, the "explanation" betrays the guilty conscience with alarming clarity!

    By the way:

    Behind all the made-up phrases, the Germans have difficulty hiding their triumph and contentment! Because at the same time this propaganda postcard is being printed in the German Reich...:

    [IMG]

    Incidentally, the "Supreme German War Lord" of the Germans, Kaiser Wilhelm the Loudmouth, was satisfied with the accuracy of his artillerymen and tones that the destruction of Speyer Cathedral by French troops had finally been avenged.

    This did not take place as a result of a bomb attack during the First World War, but rather on May 31, 1689 by the troops of the French General Joseph de Montclar...

    [IMG]

    ...instead, who, by the way, did not act arbitrarily, but on the direct orders of King Louis XIV!

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    [IMG]


    Since Reims was far too close to the front line during the war, the French were only able to secure the ruins from further deterioration until 1918 - and transport away a few undamaged sculptures...:

    [IMG]

    After the end of the war, the reconstruction of the cathedral began immediately.

    Under the direction of the architect Henri Deneux...

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    ...can be restored in just 23 years!

    On October 18, 1937, the cathedral was reconsecrated with a high mass in the presence of the Prime Minister at the time, Albert Lebrun...:

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    [IMG]
  3. Nap A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Almost a war crime but what a fine cathedral it is now

    Thanks for sharing

    Nap
    Martin Antonenko likes this.

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