Newspaper of the 10th Army

An army newspaper from the Eastern Front
Title page: Newspaper of the 10th Army, number 55
Title page der Newspaper of the 10th Army, number 55 dated 7 April 1916
German National Library, First World War Collection, signature: ZD 973

News­pa­per of the 10th Army

An army newspaper from the Eastern Front

The newspaper gets nicer and more readable from issue to issue; I read it from the first to the last letter and am surprised at how many stimulating, educative and moving pieces can be gathered in so few pages. If I ever get back safely, the newspaper will be my most pleasant memory of the war.

Volunteer Gunner Wilhelm Schönfeldt on the Newspaper of the 10th Army, 10 February 1916

The commander of the 10th Army, Colonel-General Hermann von Eichhorn (1848-1918), order the founding of the newspaper. The first issue was published on 9 December 1915 in Vilnius, under the editorship of Lieutenant Urbach. 

In contrast to trench newspapers, army newspapers were produced professionally and with a high circulation in army printing workshops. 

The buildings and machines of a seized printing house were used for the production of the Newspaper of the 10th Army. With an initial circulation of 45,000 copies, the newspaper appeared three times a week, and later six times a week. The newspaper was also sold in field bookshops and bookstores at home. 

Topics addressed included the events of the war, life at the front, the situation at home, but there was also room for humour and entertainment. The naming of the sections was characteristic, e.g. Head Nuts  for puzzles, Funkerei for readers’ letters or Helmet off for the listing of church services. However the most important goal was to reinforce the fighting morale and the perseverance of the soldiers and to influence their behaviour in the manner expected by the military leaders. 

Army newspapers were also monitored by the Field Press Office, which was founded in 1916, and they were provided with pre-written articles, for example, in order to influence the reporting. 

The newspaper also issued specially numbered supplements. The Observer appeared between 1916 and 1918 in 156 issues and offered map sketches, statistical illustrations, technical drawings and book reviews. Floodlight was the picture supplement. The Newspaper of the 10th Army was also published with the same content under the title Scholtz Army Newspaper (later: Lithuanian Army Newspaper).