The Queen of Spades
Directed by: Yakov Protazanov
Starring: Tamara Duvan, Ivan Mozzhukhin, Vera Orlova, Nikolai Panov
Country: United States of America
1916 marked another year in the First World War, a conflict that would not end until November of 1918.
At this near mid-way point in the war, the infamous Gallipoli Campaign came to an end. On the Gallipoli peninsula the Ottoman Empire scored a significant victory over the Allies, as Allied forces withdrew from the battlefield to Egypt. The campaign holds special cultural significance for the Turks, Australians, and New Zealanders, as the struggle helped bring about a sense of national identity for those peoples. To this day, Australia and New Zealand commemorate their soldiers who fought in all wars on Anzac Day, named after the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps that fought during the Gallipoli Campaign.
As one major campaign drew to a close, another began. On the western front of the war, the Battle of the Somme began. The French and British forces, in an attempt to bring the war to a close, launched an offensive campaign against the German Empire.
This would ultimately become the largest battle in the war’s history on the western front, and it would also become one of the bloodiest fights in recorded history, as over one million men were killed or wounded. Much debate has surrounded the outcome of the battle, as Allied forces did push the German lines back, but only by a few miles.
All the violence brought on by the war did have at least one silver lining this year, as the first successful blood transfusion using stored and cooled blood was performed by the British Army. Two major companies also got their start in the middle of the war as well: Boeing was incorporated this year and BMW was founded, too.
1916 was also the year of the infamous Jersey Shore shark attacks, in which five swimmers were attacked by at least one shark on the coastline of New Jersey. These attacks would serve as the inspiration for Peter Benchley to write Jaws several decades later. In another bizarre development in popular culture, this was the year that a circus elephant was hanged in Erwin, Tennessee for killing her handler, Walter Eldridge. In sports news, golfer Jim Barnes won the first PGA Championship.
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