2014

The champagne during the First World War

You will discover the impact of the 1st WW on the vineyards in the South of Aisne and the Marne.

The war has changed the life of the wine growers who had to face many difficulties during several years.

You will also discover old items that were used in the vineyards.


Free entry !


The trains during the First World War

This exposition will show you the importance of the railway during the First World War in France and also in the surroundings of Château-Thierry and Belleau.

From the beginning of the war the trains served to take the reservists to the garrisons. The material became more efficient, with locomotives more powerful and the increase of number of railway tracks. They could bring more soldiers on the front, or injured ones to the hospitals. They could also transport heavy material or artillery.

The railway had to adapt itself to the fluctuation of the front changing constantly.

New railways were built such as narrow tracks ; these ones could be built more quickly and could be combined with the countryside and the heart of the towns.

 

Come and discover this new exposition from May 8th to July 28th.

 

2013

Gases during the 1st WW

This exposition of the season : (from May 8th until July 22nd 2013).

 

The first battle with the use of gas was used for the first time at Ypres by the Germans. The gases were sent in waves, but the impact was limited ; indeed, these same waves could also turn back with the wind on the Germans self.  The number of deaths has remained limited. Besides a lot of soldiers have been injured by them with bad consequences on their health during several years.

 

After a certain time new items were created to help the soldiers and also the animals  to protect themselves against these gases. At the beginning of the war these simple protective hoods will progressively improve and become more efficient against gases.

 

Second exposition : "The taxis of the Marne"

This expostion will take place from July 27th until Novembre 11th 2013.

 

End of August 1914, German troops crossed Belgium very quickly, passed through Château-Thierry, arrived at Meaux and headed at a high speed towards Paris; the French army was then forced to retreat.

 The population evacuated Paris. The crowd in the stations was so important that the railway companies only issued a daily amount of notes corresponding to the available places. This forced the population wanting a travel voucher to wait for hours, and sometimes 1 or 2 days.

 General Gallieni, Governor of Paris organized than free trains to evacuate Paris to the province. Those who could travel by car were overloaded with luggage. For the others, trains were frequently stopped to allow the passage of military trains that had priority.

 

The French government also left the capital to go to Bordeaux, and while massed in the North; most of the French defense had only reinforced the garnison of Paris without help of transportation.

 Beginning of September, while the 1st Army crossed the Marne around Meaux, Gallieni displayed a proclamation in which he denounced the retreat of the French Government to Bordeaux, and announced that he intended to defend Paris until the end.

 He launched a requisition order fot all the private vehicles and of course the taxies. Of the 10,000 taxis in service in Paris, only 3,000 were still in circulation, most drivers had been mobilized for the war.

 

About 1,100 cars, mainly Renault, went to the front on request of General Gallieni, carrying more than 6,000 officers and soldiers.

 

These taxis carried five soldiers per vehicle plus the driver, some soldiers of the 7th Infantry Division, made the trip on the step, despite the size of their bag (30kg minimum).

 

Drivers were instructed to follow the precedent taxi and with only one lighting lantern. The majority of these taxis were demobilized on September 8th, but the ride lasted eleven days for 50 of them.

 The valiant drivers brought back new troops to the front, while ensuring the repatriation of the wounded.

 The enemy was finally stopped and the battle of the Marne gave his name to the taxis. The taxi drivers, were paid 0.20Francs per km traveled (price of a newspaper) in this crazy race.

 This event with the Taxies of the Marne had a psychological effect on the French population and also impressed the Germans and the Germans troops who saw that the French were united.

A real taxi of the Marne exposed on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd of September 2013 (just in front of the museum - free admission)

A real taxi of the Marne - Mr Brice Bellier, private collectionner
A real taxi of the Marne - Mr Brice Bellier, private collectionner

Register now for a guided tour in Belleau Wood !

  

 

departure at 2.15 pm from our Museum of Belleau

 

2017 June 24th - 9,00 €

 

belleauwood@lesportesdelachampagne.com

 

(other dates: "guided tours individuals)

 

 

 

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