Tag Archives: soldiers

Combat Gallery Sunday: Inside the dugout edition

Much as once a week I like to take time off to cover warships (Wednesdays), on Sundays (when I feel like working), I like to cover military art and the painters, illustrators, sculptors, photographers and the like that produced them.

Combat Gallery Sunday: Inside the dugout

The below, from the LOC, are all sketched by Howard Brodie, who voluntarily left his sweet gig as a sports artist for the San Francisco Chronicle to draw for Yank magazine as an Army combat artist in WWII and got close enough to his subjects (he volunteered as a medic when needed) to receive a bronze star.

Drawing shows two privates, John Minihan of Rockford, Illinois on the right, and Sal de George of Manhattan on the left, kneeling to operate a machine gun from their dugout during the American offensive on Mt. Austen during the World War II Battle of Guadalcanal. Their gun is the iconic M1917 Browning water-cooled sustained-fire GPMG

It is closely related to this one, which was not as fleshed out:

Sketch shows an enlisted man, John H. Minihan of Rockford, Illinois from the side. He kneels as he operates his machine gun from a dugout on the island of Guadalcanal during World War II.

Similarly, this sketch by Brodie is in the same vein, but is inside a fortress made of aluminum rather than jungle earth:

The drawing shows a World War II gunner wearing an oxygen mask as he stands before an open slot in a B-17 airplane firing his machine gun during the Battle of Guadalcanal.

Brodie later went back to war, with his pencils, and covered Korea, French Indochina, and Vietnam.

He died in 2010.

Thank you for your work, sir.

Frohe Weihnachten!

With the holidays coming up and the loss of my mother who hailed from the Harz Mountains this year, it fell to me to make the standard-issue Pfeffernüsse to the old family recipe just as it fell to her some 30 years ago on the passing of my oma. To keep it as throw-back as possible, I made sure to drink a nice Doppel Bock out of my grandfather’s stein while wearing a surplus Einheitsmütze (the Pickelhaube is too heavy!) as my GSDs watched from afar.

I’m digging it. All they needed after this was the powdered sugar before they were packed up for my two adult kids and my brother in Pittsburgh. Made with black pepper (hence the name) anise, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and nutmeg, they are spicy and really do smell and taste like no other cookie. They have always meant Christmas to me.

With all this being said, here are two 101-year-old German Red Cross posters from WWI. The first, drawn by Walter Püttner, shows a Christmas angel (Christkind) pulling a sleigh loaded with bundles and delivering one to a German soldier.

Text: Christmas collection by the Bavarian Red Cross for the armed forces. Rehse Archiv für Zeitgeschichte und Publizistik. Via the Library of Congress

The second, by Adolf Franz Theodor Münzer, has a Christmas tree (Weihnachtsbaum) decorated with candles in front of a red cross.

Text: Christmas in the field! 1917. Contribute money and gift packages for our warriors! Via LOC

Sorry, though, no Pfeffernüsse left to share.