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To the victors go the spoils - and the overcoats / Chemin Des Dames, May 1918

Note on reverse (below) translated by xiphophilos: "Sappe Stellung Chemin des Dames Jetzt ist die Stellung im Besitze der Franzosen" - Trench position Chemin des Dames. Now this position is occupied by the French.


Two German soldiers move through a temporarily abandoned French trench (occupied by the British), collecting useful items of equipment and more importantly, maps, orders and correspondence that their Nachrichtenoffizier may find interesting. The array of both German and English equipment and weapons strewn about this trench leaves me to believe it was the scene of hand-to-hand combat.


The flat terrain between the Chemin des Dames ridge and Reims was part of the Chemin des Dames sector and in May 1918 four British divisions were placed there to rest after the Michael offensive. The British divisions of IX corps (50th, 8th, 21st, 25th) were placed under the command of the French VIth Army. Unfortunately for the British, the Germans launched the Blucher-York attack on 27th of May, shortly after their arrival and moved into the positions, albeit temporarily. This is the scene we see above.

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Taken in October 1917