Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day: Actual Sounds of World War One

On October 9, 1918, a British sound engineer, Will Gaisberg, with primitive equipment recorded immediately behind a unit of the Royal Garrison Artillery the sounds of a gas-shell bombardment. He determined to preserve the noise of war before the coming armistice caused it to vanish forever. Only ten WW1 soldiers survive the Great War, including one U.S. soldier.

Click to hear two minutes of these historic sounds.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's a studio reproduction. An artillery gun does not sound like a bass drum. And departing artillery shells do not sound like a whizzler toy. Maybe people in 1918 were were not familiar enough with these sounds to tell a studio reproduction apart from the real deal, but here in 2008 -- it's obvious that the recording is not authentic.

Kent Brandenburg said...

I don't think I believe you anonymous. These are the sounds of gas shell bombardment, not artillery. The man who made the recording died later that year from the effects of breathing the gas himself. I've not read anyone who says it is a hoax. I think it's just a poor recording because recording equipment wasn't very advanced.

http://books.google.com/books?id=paPRxPJ7jjEC&pg=PA28&lpg=PA28&dq=Will+Gaisberg+World+War+One&source=web&ots=u0KagVslrC&sig=M3J__TPLaKyzpEhBpJ54jLyiol4&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=9&ct=result

Nicholas Z. Cardot said...

I think that Anonymous is off base here. I thank you for posting this. Happy belated Veterans day to you all. Thank you for your support of our nation's military!

bryen said...

I think I have to go along with Anonymous on this one. The clincher for me is the war bonds message at the end. This definitely sounds like it was done in a studio for the folks back home. Also these soldiers aren't being bombarded with gas it sounds like they are (supposedly) bombarding the enemy with it.

Anonymous said...

It says, at the end of the description, that ten soldiers survived the war. Are you kidding me? If ten soldiers survived, then about half of america's population was killed. The same would go for every country that participated in the war. There would not be enough men to maintain a viable gene pool, and there would be virtually no men between the ages of 18-45. And the sounds reminded me of children's cartoons. This is a complete hoax.

Anonymous said...

I know it was long ago that the comment was posted; and I know there's a high likelihood of it being a spoof.

But 10 soldiers 'survive' the war; present tense. It means of all the soldiers that lived through the war only 10 of them remained alive at the time of writing of the article. And that's 1 US soldier, the 9 others were from other countries.

Peatman said...

What they meant by the survivors is the number of WW1 soldiers who are still alive today. Which is an astonishing and precious thing.

These sounds do seem kind of odd. It sounds like they're using clay pigeon catapults, definitely not like artillery guns. Who knows what the whizzing sound is, it might indeed be a kind of claxon to let gunners know shells have been fired, or something like that.