Showing posts from 2018

WWI and the Chinese Labourers

Did you know there were Chinese who fought in WWI? Me either! It was mostly a diplomatic move. The Chinese government want a place a the peace table; they wanted the world to know they could play with the big guys.
At first the British government refused the offer but after a huge loss at Somme they realized they needed warm bodies to load trains, build roads and clear battlefields. The British started recruiting in the northeastern portion of China and tens of thousands of poor peasants decided to try their luck in Europe.

""I would not even shrink from the word Chinese for the purpose of carrying out the war,” said Winston Churchill, a member of parliament 24 years before he became prime minister. “These are not times when people ought in the least to be afraid of prejudices.”"

The first wave of Chinese (about 40,000) arrived at the Western Front in 1916 and were taken in with the French Army. The second wave (about 95,000) joined the British Army in 1917.
The Chine…

WWI History ~ The Tunnelers

There is so much history in WWI that I never learned. I learned when it started, possibly the catalyst that started the War to End All Wars and when America officially entered, but I didn't realize how many countries outside of Europe were affected. I thought Lawerence of Arabia was set WAY before 1900's!

Among the 600,000 killed were tunnelers; specialized soldiers who dug tunnels under the German lines. Most were actual miners from Australia, Canada and Britain. They used the tunnels to pack in explosives to blow the enemy defense.
The Germans figured out what was going on and counterattacked with their own tunnelers. Sometimes fighting went on deep underground.

One of the biggest victories was when Hill 60 was taken in the Battle of Messines (Battle of the Mines or The Mine Battle):

"Hill 60 was captured by the 11th Battalion West Yorkshires on 7 June 1917 during the Battle of Messines, when two huge mines were blown; one on the Hill itself which was a charge of more…

SKY IN THE DEEP by Adrienne Young

Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield — her brother, fighting with the enemy — the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother's betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to…

Today, in history, the worse killing spree happened.

Poor Private Gitchell wasn't feeling good. Thinking he had a cold, he made his way to the infirmary where he was stationed awaiting deployment to Europe to fight in the War to End All Wars. Within a few hours, 107 other men were admitted with bad colds as well. By the end of two weeks, 1,127 med were sick.

This strange "cold" turned out to be influenza or the Spanish flu. Within eighteen months, over 500 million people were affected around the world. Out of that ghastly number, 100 million people died. 100 million people died! 

During WWI over two thousand soldiers died a day on the Western Front. Over 9 million lost their lives fighting there and about 21 million civilians died. But those numbers seem small in comparison due to one little germ spreading it's nasty disease. A second wave hit America at the end of war, killing more; strangley, it killed young people between the ages of 18 and 35. So if the men and women didn't die in combat, they probably died in …

Happy Women's Day! WWI Style

Women came out in force when the men left for war. They worked in factories, ran phones, worked gardens, drove ambulances, became unlicensed doctors, psychiatrist and nurses. WWI changed the view of the world for everyone, most especially for women. They now knew they really could do anything. It would a little bit of time for the rest of the world to catch up with that thought. Happy day to all my favorite women out there! You are an inspiration to me and those around you!

2017 Reading update!

I read 137 books.
Which equals over 45,000 pages.
My longest read (I actually listened to it) was:

Here are a few of my favorite reads (in particular order) from last year: