Tag Archives: Internet Archive

Further Great War Resources

Over a year ago, in July 2011, I wrote a long article called Great War Resources with links to the Internet Archive and other places you could find resources of interest to Great War/World War One wargaming.

Here’s a bit of a long-delayed followup, the result of an evening wandering the (virtual) aisles of the US Army’s Combined Arms Research Library (CARL) website. My original post mostly had material from the Internet Archives and just a bit from CARL, as I’d only just discovered that resource. CARL material is biased toward the last two years of the Great War, 1917 & 1918. Given that this is an American military library we’re using, it’s only natural it would have more material for the years when the Americans finally realized there was a war on and joined in. Also, there was a huge outpouring of studies and material from all the combatants as the war ground onward, and as I mentioned in my original article, on the Allied side lot of it was deliberately aimed at bringing the newly-arrived Americans up to speed as rapidly as possible in the harsh environment of the Western Front.

To get the best PDF files quickly from a individual CARL listing, use the pale blue “Download” button on the far right of the page, opposite the title. That’ll get you a PDF with a human-readable filename, which is useful. Using the red-and-white PDF symbol gets you the same file, but with a random alphanumeric filename, kind of hard to keep track of once it lands on your own hard drive!

The following links are a few from the CARL Obsolete Military Manuals collection I happen to have noticed that might be of interest.

One easy way to sort through the Obsolete Military Manuals material is to sort by date of original publication. I can’t find a way to save links to specific searches (they time out) but use the Advanced Search dropdown on the top bar (beside the search box) and then use the Search By Date function at the bottom of that dropdown. There’s a few random bits and pieces in the 1914-1916 range, then a positive explosion of material from early 1917 onward.

Found any treasures on CARL or elsewhere that I haven’t mentioned? Post them in the comments, please! (Note that comments are moderated, especially if they have multiple links in them, but I do check up on the moderation queue regularly!)

Dogs of War

No, not the Warhammer-universe mercenaries, but the real thing, in real-world wars. The Library of Congress’ excellent Flickr account, where they share all sorts of treasures from their huge photo archives, put this image up earlier this year:

British Ambulance Dog, WW1
"Getting bandages from kit of British Dog (LOC)" via the US Library of Congress on Flickr. Click to go to the original Flickr page to see larger images.

"The animal seeks for wounded men lost on the battle-field; he searches in holes, ruins, and excavations, and hunts over wooded places or coverts, where the wounded man might lie unnoticed by his comrades or the stretcher-bearer."

That lead to some Google searching and the discovery of several interesting articles about military dogs on the Western Front, primarily as ambulance dogs or messenger dogs. There’s another LoC image on Flickr that has some very good links in a comment just below it, a few of which I’ve reproduced here.

The fascinating Out of Battle blog has a pair of posts from 2008, one on messenger dogs and the other on ambulance and other uses of dogs, with some further links and resources. Over on the always-valuable Internet Archive there’s a 1920 book called British War Dogs, Their Training and Psychology, downloadable in the usual variety of formats, including PDF with the original illustrations and diagrams.

I’m not (yet!) into Western Front Great War gaming, but if you wanted a unique unit amongst your trenches, a dog and handler could be done quite easily with a spare infantry figure and a dog — quite a number of manufacturers make dogs in both 15mm & 28mm. From the look of the period photos, most of the dogs were collie or terrier types, not very large, which makes sense. The ambulance packs could be sculpted with a bit of milliput or greenstuff, and a messenger collar would be even easier to add.

Unleash the dogs of war!

World War One Aviation Resources

Via (of all the random places) a MetaFilter discussion of WW1 flight sims, four zip files full of PDFs of public domain World War One flying books, about evenly split between period reference books and memoirs/biographies/autobiographies.

Handily, there’s a list of which titles are included in each zip file, so you could use that list, head over to the Internet Archive yourself, and pull individual titles of interest out for yourself.

Or grab the zip files, of course, and instantly have a pretty complete library of Great War aviation titles on your computer.