Thursday, April 07, 2016

WW1: When French Cyclists Were Cavalry

It was an interesting age. One where cyclists could count as cavalry. One never has to feed a bicycle. Photo is from Champagne, 1915.

It did not always go so well for the cyclists. This Belgian met a grim fate. Most likely posed for the photo.


Laguna Beach Fogey said...

Camel corps.

Anonymous said...

There was a recent (2015?) Danish movie about the first (and only) day of the German-Danish conflict in WWII. It followed the one-day exploits of a bicycle platoon facing an armored German column and a Stuka or two. The king blessedly called a halt to the mismatch.

Pity the Belgians decided to get their back up in WWI and didn't follow suit.

Toddy Cat said...

The Danes actually put up quite a resistance in the one day that they fought. They killed at least 200 Germans, and one Danish Army unit refused to surrender, and went to Sweden, which they thought (mistakenly) had also been invaded by the Germans.

Brave people...

stengle said...

I seem to recall a story of a WW2 messenger who rode a bike between two British army camps, which I think were in Norfolk (for those that don't know, you have to recall Noel Coward's line: "Very flat, Norfolk")

Anyhow... the upshot was that the messenger could never be found to deliver a message as "he's probably on his way to/from the other camp." This usually meant whoever wanted the message delivered would find another way, and the messenger was forgotten. It emerged after a couple of years that -- although he turned up in army uniform for payday each week -- he happily was working the rest of the time at another (non-military) job.

The joy of the bike in war, hey?