Desolate waste on Chemin Des Dames battlefield, France


Desolate waste on Chemin Des Dames battlefield, France


Nowhere on the Western front was there more terrible fighting or more utter desolation of a once lovely countryside than on the plateau lying northeast of Soissons, which has come to be known in history as the Chemin de Dames. "Scarred beyond recognition, the earth churned over a thousand times by the bursting shells, this rolling country-side will not regain its beauty for generations." Because its southern crests, rising above the Aisne dominated the country for a long distance southward, the British fought hard to conquer the plateau in the latter half of September, 1914, after the first battle of the Marne. They succeeded in getting up on the hills at some points but not in gaining the main ridge. Then in January, 1915, after the British army had removed to the left flank of the battle line near the sea coast, the French attempted again to conquer the plateau, but were forced back further than ever by a powerful German counter-attack. The plateau was now covered by the Germans with a vast network of trenches, gun emplacements and underground shelters, upon which the French made no further serious attempts until April, 1917, when two great armies attacked them. In this attack and another, made in the autumn, the French, at awful sacrifice of life, drove the Germans clear north of the Ailette. The following winter among the divisions which at different times held the famous ridge was the 26th American, the "Yankee Division." But the Germans came back and were not driven out until October, 1918, a few weeks before the close of the war.

Spatial Coverage



1 stereograph : b&w
1 gelatine silver print stereograph (8 x 15 cm) mounted on card (9 x 18 cm)


Copyright. The Keystone View Company
No known restrictions on publication


World War through the stereoscope

Download File(s)


Keystone View Company, “Desolate waste on Chemin Des Dames battlefield, France,” Monash Collections Online, accessed July 18, 2024,

Item Relations

This item has no relations.