Men at arms

3rd Army

Army badges often appear on photos as well as among badges for sale. Perhaps one of the most common belongs to the 3rd Army. However, its frequency does not detract from its beauty! Before I had a lot of badges, I got to know the stories of the Great War, then I looked at this badge quite often. The trench dug in the snowy landscape in a pine forest, depicted the Carpathian ridges very nicely in the winter of 1914. In front of the line, a bear tumbles over a smaller mound: this is the advancing Russian army. The inscription: “Durchhalten!” “Endurance!” even then, in 1914 meant a lot.  Reading about the heroic efforts of the Winter Carpathian Battle, this exclamation made sense. Back then, it seemed that the home was in imminent danger, and it all depended on the sacrifice that every buck shivering in the trenches had to make.

Then more and more victims were needed next year and later: soldiers increasingly sought a solution to their personal situation in survival less in heroic standing. It can also be said that they have learned the lessons of the war: it is not a battle that needs to be won, but a war. So the “Durchhalten!” nimbus began to wear out, to change. Perseverance is not so much a heroic show that wants to keep a certain place or situation to the end. It’s become more of a flexible attitude: I don’t push it here right now, I’ll dodge it, but then I’ll gather strength and fight back again. The series of military operations was also characterized by this attitude.

The photo was taken in 1917 or later, judging by the color of the lapel, which is now shown only as a thin stripe. The soldier’s contemplative gaze also reflects a lot of hard experience. Perseverance meant more and more simple survival for him.

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