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World War I: Macron rebukes nationalism at commemoration

French President Emmanual Macron delivers remarks on the armistice that ended WWI, and decries the ‘nationalism’ that he claims is resurfacing. USA TODAY

President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, left, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the World War I commemoration in Paris on Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018.(Photo: Francois Mori, AP)

PARIS Bells tolled across France and Europe on Sundayas President Donald Trump and other global leaders gathered to honor the dead of World War I and heed its harshlessons to prevent conflicts.

French President Emmanuel Macron, who has criticized Trump’s “America First” foreign policy,decriedexcessive “nationalism” at the root of World War I and successiveconflicts.

“Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism,” Macron told a gathering of world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin,German Chancellor Angela Merkel andTrump.Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism by saying, Our interest first, who cares about the others? “

Hosting an event to mark the centennial of the armistice that ended World War I, Macron told fellow leaders theyhavea “huge responsibility” to defeat modern forces that threaten a “legacy of peace” from the two world wars of the past century.

“I know there are old demons coming back to the surface,” the French president said. “They are ready to wreak chaos and death.”

Macron did not refer specifically to Trump, who occasionally frowned during the speech.

Trump did not respond to Macron publicly. During a speech later Sunday at a World War I-era cemetery, Trump praised the French leader for hosting the event he called”very beautiful” and “well done.”

In defending “America First,” Trump has often said the United Statesneeds to address its own needs. During a meeting with Macron on Saturday, Trump said other countries need to share the burdens of mutual defense and free trade: “We want to help Europe, but it has to be fair.”

Before the ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe,the bells at Notre Dame and other cathedrals in Paris and across the continentrang at the exact time thearmisticetook effect: the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11thmonth, 100 years ago.

The event itself ran a little lateas Macron and other leaders marched up the Champs-Elysees towardthe event site.

Trump arrived separately, not withoutincident: A topless womanran toward the presidential motorcadebut was quickly caught by police. She hadthe words “fake peacemakers” written on her body.

Anti-Trump demonstrators were arrested throughout the day.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Trump went to the event separately “dueto security protocols.”

Holding umbrellas, the president and first lady Melania Trump greeted Macron and other guests, including Putin.

The Russian president gave Trump a thumbs upand patted him on the upper arm.

During the ceremony, amilitary band played “La Marseillaise”; a choir of veterans later sang the French national anthem a capella. Yo-Yo Ma, seated near the eternal flame at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier beneath the arc, performed cello solos. The French air force staged a flyover.

Other countriesheld similar World War I commemorations,fromAustralia and New Zealand to England and India.

To safeguard Trump and more than 60 other world leaders in attendance, the Paris event took place amid heavy security.

Saturday night, siren-blaring police vehicles began lining the streets around the Arc de Triomphe, commissioned by Napoleon in 1806 to celebrate his military victories and finished more than a decade after his death in exile.

Domestic politics also occupied Trump’s mind.

In a tweet 20minutes before the program, Trumpattributedthe California wildfires to poor supervision of forest lands. “With proper Forest Management, we can stop the devastation constantly going on in California. Get Smart!” he said.

For the American president, the program at the Arc de Triomphebegan a day of commemorations before he boarded Air Force One to head back to Washington.

After aluncheon with other leaders, Trump traveled to a World War I cemetery.

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Trumpcanceleda trip Saturday to another cemetery.The White House cited rainy weather, saying it would have created problems for the helicopters that would have ferried the president.

Except for tweets aboutthe wildfires in California and electionrecounts in Florida, Trump has kept a relatively low profile during his weekend in Paris.

Duringa ceremonial dinner Saturday, the Turkish government released a photo of Trump seated next to its president, Recep TayyipErdogan, hours after Erdogan said he had provided the United Statesand other countries with audiotapes of last month’s murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“I can confirm they sat next to one another and they discussed the ongoing tragic situation with Khashoggi,” Sanders said.

A century ago, many in the USAand Europe recoiled from the mass destruction of World War I, the horrors of trench warfare and gas attacks. The warwiped out monarchies and forged new countries in Europe and the Middle East, but it did not end international rivalries that led to the war.

Germany, angry over war reparations imposed by rivals and eager for revenge, turned to Adolf Hitler. World War II began in 1939.

During events over the weekend, Macron said the global community must work together to prevent conflicts.

“The message, if we want to live up to the sacrifice of those soldiers who said, Never again!, is to never yield to our weakest instincts, nor to efforts to divide us,” Macron told a group of youngsters during a visit Saturday to the Compiegne Forest.

Merkel attended the event atCompiegne, the site where Germany surrendered to France and allies after World War Iand where France surrendered to Hitler’s Germany at the start of World War II.

“A century on, as we see nationalist voices again on the rise across the globe,” tweeted Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former secretary-general of NATO. “we must keep in mind the price we paid to build the peace and enjoy the freedoms we do today.”

Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, said Macron made a good point: “We’re seeing a very concerning trend toward nationalistic, anti-democratic leaders; they are abandoning multilateralism.”

Trump “certainly speaks like that,” she said. “America First.”

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World War I: 100 years on, the US remembers the end of the …

‘War to end all wars’: How World War I still resonates today

As the world marks the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I, the National World War I Museum and Memorial serves as a reminder of the sacrifices U.S. troops made in ‘The Great War.’ Eric Shawn reports from Kansas City, Missouri.

It was called the “Great War,” because no one could conceive that there would ever be another one.

But there was.

And now, at the 11th hour, on the 11th day, of the 11th month, Sunday, November 11th, the world marks the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War One. The global conflict cost an estimated 9 million military lives, cemented the United States as a world power, reshaped history and altered the global order.

“The world came undone during those years. And if it was ever really put back together, it was put back together differently wearing the wounds of World War One that we continue to live with today,” said Matthew Naylor, the president and C.E.O of the National World War One Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri.

“It was a war which completely changed the trajectory of the United States and had such a profound bearing on the globe, the first war that people from all inhabited continents of the globe participated in, truly a global war” he notes.

WORLD WAR I POSTERS OFFER UNIQUE GLIMPSE INTO SOLDIERS’ STORIES 100 YEARS AFTER THE ARMISTICE

“The Europeans themselves, of course, experienced losses that are unheard of today, thank God, we would not tolerate. The type of carnage that there was, 7,200 deaths a week, 300 a day, 5 a minute for more than four years, every minute, every hour of every day, every week for more than four years.

“There never was enough coffins, never enough ways to bury the dead, such was the degree of carnage. It reoriented the world, helped us learn what we can do to one another, and caused the world to gasp and step back.”

Naylor oversees the nation’s preeminent institution that marks the conflict. The stunning and imposing limestone memorial is unique. It was funded in 1919 by local residents who raised $2.5 million dollars in just ten days, or $40 million in today’s dollars, to build it. The memorial was dedicated in 1926, and all five allied commanders from the war attended, as did President Calvin Coolidge.

The museum and Kansas City’s skyline is dominated by the imposing Liberty Memorial Tower that rises above the museum and surrounding 47-acre hilltop park. It commands a sweeping view of the city and serves as apowerful, poignant and solemn reminder of the sacrifices of so many.

Today the museum is visited by half a million people each year, and the horrors from a century ago continue to resonate. Visitors can see tanks, machine guns, gas masks and the other weapons of war that are on display, as well as read the touching personal letters from troops and study the patriotic art of the era, including the famous “Uncle Sam Wants You” recruiting poster. The museum was renovated and vastly enlarged in 2006.

THIS BULLET-SCARRED BIBLE SAVED THE LIFE OF A WORLD WAR I SOLDIER

The first global conflict was so barbaric that it introduced the role of modern mechanized warfare, such as the use of gas on the Western Front and untold new ways for mass killing.

The war started in 1914 and America entered on April 6th, 1917, joining allies Britain, France and Russia against Germany and its allies.

The trench warfare was especially brutal.

“35,000 miles of trenches were created, even though the front was only 436 miles,” says Naylor. “Your friends are going up over the top, and many of them are going to be killed. When is it going to be your turn to do that?”

Chemical weapons like mustard and chlorine gas and phosphates were first deployed on the modern battlefield that all added to the barbaric losses.

AMERICA’S DEADLIEST BATTLE: WORLD WAR I’S MEUSE-ARGONNE OFFENSIVE 100 YEARS LATER

“We soon learned the horrors of their use. The legacies of death and horror remain,” Naylor notes.

The United States’ involvement also marked the emergence of our nation’s role in international affairs.

“In many respects, you cannot think of the 20th century, you can’t think of the American Century without understanding the impact that World War One had in drawing the U.S onto the world stage. It retreated somewhat after the war, but soon found itself drawn back in, arguably a position from which it has never retreated,” Naylor says.

“World War One birthed what we know as modern America, a major player in international affairs, a tremendous industrial and financial powerhouse, a champion of ideals, that’s what drew the U.S. into the war, were those ideals and it has had a profound bearing on the last 100 years and the role of the United States in world affairs.”

The war also advanced social and cultural change here at home.

INCREDIBLE WORLD WAR I DIARY SURFACES

“There was a deconstruction of the previous age and an emergence of the new that World War One really helped birth. We see from the war the impact on civil rights, the experience of African Americans serving with the French, primarily,” Naylor says. “That really added momentum to the civil rights movement and the suffragette movement and the changing roles of women during World War One. “

But today, the war and our country’s contribution to victory, have largely receded from the national consciousness.

The last American veteran, Frank Buckles, died seven years ago at age 110.

“The Civil War and World War Two occupy the public imagination in the way World War One does not,” Naylor explains.

“It’s a very messy war. It is complicated, and so its difficult for people to get their head around. Secondly, the United States involvement was relatively short despite the fact that the largest military campaign in American military history occurred during World War One.”

100-YEAR OLD LETTER FROM WWI UNCOVERED

But the sacrifices of the more than 4 million Americans who served, and of the more than 116,000 U.S. troops who were killed, remain a focal point of the museum.

“The tragedy is once you get past the third or fourth generation, we tend to forget. Part of our work here is to remember those who served and to continue to tell the story and learn from the enduring impact of the war,” notes Naylor.

“Our work now is about interpreting, remembering and understanding the great war. It’s 100 years ago, so we need to continue to protect and preserve those memories, to honor those who served and then to alsoexamine its enduring impact. The reality is that we live in the war’s shadow here, one hundred years later. Every day we wake up dealing with the consequences of decisions made and actions taken during World War One and so our work is about examining that with the hope to create a more just and prosperous future.”

Despite the war’s historical significance, there is no national memorial in Washington, D.C., but one is planned. It will, like the museum, commemorate what was once called “the war to end all wars,” a noble goal that so sadly was not achieved.

“Its legacy cannot be underestimated,” says Naylor. “Our work is to be able to tell that story, and to help people understand and learn.”

Ben Evansky and Lloyd Gottschalk contributed to this report.

Follow Eric Shawn on Twitter: @EricShawnTV

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In photos: World War I, then and now – CNN

But, of course, we now know that it was just the first World War — and a preview of more conflict to come.

Associated Press photographer Laurent Rebours recently visited sites across the former Western Front and took pictures, comparing the scenes now to what they look liked in 1918. The “before” photos below came from the US National World War I Museum and Memorial:

Before: American troops march in Paris during a Fourth of July parade in 1918.After: The same view in 2018, with the Guimet Museum on the right.

Before: A street scene in Bouillonville, France, in September 1918, two months before the armistice was signed. The hill in the background protected the village from German shells.After: Bouillonville in March 2018. Before American troops moved in during World War I, the village was the center of a medical unit for a large part of the German Army.

Before: Wounded Allied troops are treated in an old church in Neuvilly-en-Argonne, France, in September 1918.After: A look inside the same church in 2018.

Before: US Army Gen. John J. Pershing addresses officers of the First Division in Chaumont-en-Vexin, France, before they would leave for the line in April 1918.After: The same estate in April 2018.

Before: An American soldier, left, guards German prisoners as they draw water from a well on November 9, 1918, two days before the armistice was signed. The Germans were captured in the Battle of Argonne.After: The same street in Pierrefitte-sur-Aire, a commune in eastern France.

Before: The first American trucks enter Beauclair, France, with supplies on November 4, 1918.After: A World War I memorial now stands in front of the church.

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World War I | Encyclopedia.com

The Oxford Companion to American Military History The Oxford Companion to American Military History 2000, originally published by Oxford University Press 2000.

After decades of debate about whether Europe slithered over the brink ( David Lloyd George’s phrase) owing to general crisis mismanagement among all participant nations or because of the actions of a clearly identifiable group of people, the overwhelming majority consensus has emerged among historians that the primary responsibility rests in Berlin and Vienna, and secondarily perhaps on St. Petersburg. Judging from the documents, it has become clear that the German kaiser and his advisers encouraged Vienna to settle accounts with Serbia following the assassinations of the heir to the AustroHungarian throne, Archduke Ferdinand, and his wife at Sarajevo in BosniaHerzegovina on 28 June 1914.

By issuing a blank check to AustriaHungary on 5 July 1914, the German government took the first step in escalating a crisis that involved the risk of a world war among the great powers. This risk was high not only because these powers had been arming over the previous years, but also because they had regrouped into two large camps: the Triple Alliance (Germany, AustriaHungary, Italy) and the Triple Entente (Britain, France, Russia). And when, after various diplomatic maneuvers, it became clear toward the end of July that such a world war might indeed be imminent, Berlin refused to deescalate although the decision makers there were in the best position to do so.

The Czarist government, as Serbia’s protector, also had a role in this development; but it was primarily a reactive one after Vienna had delivered a stiff ultimatum in Belgrade and subsequently began to invade its smaller Balkan neighbor. So, while the main responsibility for the outbreak of war is therefore to be laid at the kaiser’s door, the question of why he and his advisers pushed Europe over the brink continues to be a matter of debate. The German historian Fritz Fischer has argued that the kaiser’s government saw the Sarajevo crisis as the opportunity for aggressively achieving a Griff nach der Weltmacht (Breakthrough to World Power Status), as the 1961 German version of Fischer’s first, and highly controversial, book on the subject was entitled. The American historian Konrad Jarausch and others, by contrast, have asserted that Berlin’s and Vienna’s initial strategy was more limited. By supporting AustriaHungary against the Serbs, the two powers hoped to weaken Slav nationalism and Serb expansionism in the Balkans and thus to restabilize the increasingly precarious position of the ramshackle AustroHungarian empire with its many restive nationalities. According to this interpretation, the assumption was that Russia and its ally, France, would not support Serbia, and that, after a quick localized victory by the central powers in the Balkans, any larger international repercussions could be contained through negotiation following the fait accompli.

It was only when this strategy failed owing to St. Petersburg’s resistance that the German military got its way to launch an allout offensive, the first target of which would be Russia’s ally, France. This was the sole military operations plan, the Schlieffen Plan, first developed by Gen. Alfred von Schlieffen, that the kaiser still had available in 1914. The alternative of an eastern attack on Russia had been dropped several years before. Worse, since the German Army was not strong enough to invade France directly through AlsaceLorraine, Helmut von Moltke, chief of the General Staff, had further reinforced the right flank of the invasion force with the aim of reaching Paris swiftly from the north. However, this could only be achieved by marching through Belgium, and it was this violation of Belgian neutrality that brought Britain into the conflict, definitely turning it into a world war.

In a further radicalization of his argument, Fischer asserted in his second book, War of Illusions (1973), that the German decision to start a world war had been made at a War Council on 8 December 1912, and that Berlin used the next eighteen months to prepare it. However, this view has not been generally accepted by the international community of scholars. Unless new documents supporting Fischer emerge, possibly from the Russian archives, the most plausible argument seems to be the one developed by Jarausch and others of a miscalculated limited war that grew out of control.

While diplomatic historians and political scientists have dominated the debate on the outbreak of World War I, social historians have more recently begun to examine the attitude of the masses in that summer of 1914. The older view has been that there was great enthusiasm allround and that millions in all participant countries flocked to the colors expecting to achieve victory no later than Christmas 1914. No doubt there was strong popular support, reinforced by initial serious misconceptions about the nature of modern industrialized warfare. But there have been recent challenges to this view, and it appears that divisions of contemporary opinion were deeper and more widespread than previously believed. French social historians have shown that news of the mobilization was received in some parts of the country with tears and consternation rather than joy and parades. In Germany, too, feeling was more polarized than had been assumed. Thus, there were peace demonstrations in major cities to warn AustriaHungary against starting a war with Serbia. And when the German mobilization was finally proclaimed, the reaction of large sections of the population was decidedly lukewarm. As one young trade unionist wrote after watching cheerful crowds around him near Hamburg’s main railroad station on 1 August 1914: Am I mad or is it the others?

Considering the unprecedented slaughter that began shortly thereafter in the trenches of the western front as well as in the east, this was certainly a good question, and further research may well open up new perspectives on the mentalities of the men and women in 1914 and on the socioeconomic and political upheavals that followed, which ultimately also involved the United States as a participant.

Bibliography

Fritz Fischer , Germany: War Aims in the First World War, 1967.Konrad Jarausch , The Enigmatic Chancellor, 1972.Volker R. Berghahn , Germany and the Approach of War in 1914, 1973.Fritz Fischer , War of Illusions, 1973.James Joll , The Origins of the First World War, 1984.John W. Langdon , July 1914, The Long Debate 19181990, 1991.Samuel R. Williamson, Jr. , AustriaHungary and the Origins of the First World War, 1991.

Volker R. Berghahn

In 1914, Wilson proclaimed U.S. neutrality in keeping with American tradition. He was also aware of the great divisions over the war: although perhaps a bare majority of Americans favored Britain, nearly as many were hostile to the Allies because of ethnic loyalties or suspicions of Britain, the world’s most powerful empire and financial center, or hostility toward czarist Russia with its autocracy and pogroms.

Both Germany and Britain violated U.S. neutral maritime rights, as Wilson strictly defined them, but German submarine warfare seemed more ruthless, particularly with the sinking of the Lusitania, a British passenger liner, in 1915. American trade with the Allies tripled to $3 billion a year between 1914 and 1916 and helped economic recovery in the United States. ProBritish elites and the urban press increasingly emphasized German immoralitythe invasion of neutral Belgium and alleged atrocities there and later the barbarity of sub marine warfare. Seeking to avoid being drawn into the war but also insisting on Americans’ right to aid the Allies, Wilson held Germany to strict accountability for its submarine warfare, and for a while caused Berlin to restrict its Uboats.

After his reelection in 1916, Wilson offered to mediate a peace; but both sides refused. Berlin then decided on unrestricted submarine warfare, beginning 1 February 1917, to starve Britain into terms. Wilson severed diplomatic relations on 3 February. American public opinion was also inflamed by the Zimmermann note, in which Germany sought a military alliance with Mexico against the United States. When submarines sank three American merchant ships, Wilson abandoned temporary armed neutrality and decided to take the United States into the war, in part because his strict accountability policy had failed and in part because he wanted the United States to help shape a treaty for peace.

In his powerful war message of 2 April 1917, Wilson condemned the German submarine campaign as warfare against mankind, and urged Americans to fight, in his famous phrase, to make the world safe for democracy. By a vote of 826 in the Senate (4 April) and 37350 in the House (6 April), Congress adopted a resolution declaring that a state of war existed between the United States and Germany.[See also Germany, U.S. Military Involvement in.]

Bibliography

William Appleman Williams , The Tragedy of American Diplomacy, 1959.Ernest R. May , The World War and American Isolation, 19141917, 1959.Arthur S. Link , Wilson: Campaigns for Progressivism and Peace, 19161917, 1965.N. Gordon Levin, Jr. , Woodrow Wilson and World Politics: America’s Response to War and Revolution, 1968.Ross Gregory , The Origins of American Intervention in the First World War, 1971.Robert H. Ferrell , Woodrow Wilson and World War I, 19171921, 1985.Thomas J. Knock , To End All Wars: Woodrow Wilson and the Quest for a New World Order, 1992.

John Whiteclay Chambers II

Europe’s military elite, accepting Carl von Clausewitz’s military principles of the decisive force, at the decisive place, at the decisive time, were committed to an offensive strategy designed to climax in one or two great decisive battles. Clausewitz’s ideas on war may also have influenced society. The historian John Keegan argues that Europe had been transformed into a warrior society by the acceptance of Clausewitz’s maxims that war was a continuation of political activity and that war is an act of violence pushed to its utmost bounds.

A month after House’s letter, the assassination on 28 June 1914 of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the AustroHungarian throne, precipitated a general European crisis that quickly became unmanageable. The Austrians, given unequivocal support by their ally, Germany, blamed Serbia for the archduke’s death and decided to crush Serbia’s challenge to the fragile AustroHungarian empire. Vienna’s determination to go to war triggered a general conflict. The illusion that modern industrialized wars would be short made this decision easier. Few believed the Polish banker and economist, Ivan S. Bloch, the author of The Future of War in Its Economic and Political Relations: Is War Now Impossible? (1898), who argued that modern military technology had made unlimited war mutually destructive for the participants.

Germany’s Schlieffen Plan, designed to achieve victory over France within six weeks by a gigantic flanking movement through neutral Belgium, came to grief during the First Battle of the Marne (59 September). An ominous portent was that the French, Germans, and British had suffered over half a million casualties in three weeks of fighting. Meanwhile, the Russian offensive in East Prussia was checked and thrown back, with an entire Russian army destroyed at Tannenberg (2630 August).

Following the opening battles, the armies in the west dug in. An almost continuous line of parallel defensive systems was constructed from the North Sea to Switzerland. Protected by barbed wire, usually 50 or more feet deep, these earthworks were frequently built in depth. The front resembled a spiderweb, consisting of thousands of miles of connecting and parallel trenches. Trench warfare also existed to some extent of other frontsin some areas of Russia, Italy, the Balkans, and Palestinethough nowhere did it become as prominent as in France and Flanders.

Europe’s military leaders sought to return to a war of maneuver by rupturing the enemy’s front. To restore the offensive, new weapons such as tanks and chemical warfare were eventually introduced. Highexplosive shells, recoilless carriages, optical sights, improved communications, and cannon ranges of 20 or more miles made indirect artillery bombardment the dominant force of the battlefield. The application of massive and increasingly sophisticated artillery fire proved to be the most effective means of reducing fortifications. But the western defenses, bolstered by dramatic advances in firepower, were so strong and thickly defended that it was possible to break into them but not through them prior to 1918. When breakthroughs were successful, there remained limitations to the advance. The 191618 version of the tank lacked the speed and reliability to maintain the momentum of an attack over battletorn ground before defenders dug in again. Nor could the heavy guns be moved forward rapidly to support a continued advance of the infantry.

The 1930s view, which lingers still among many, is that the generals of the western front were inept and their approaches to winning the war futile. A war of attrition was substituted for a war of intelligence, is the way that Lloyd George, British prime minister and a leading critic of attempts to win the war on the western front, put it. The historian Tim Travers has emphasized that many commanders had difficulty abandoning their nineteenthcentury vision of warfare, which emphasized the lan of the individual soldier over the new weapons technology. But recent studies of the evolution of tactics by Paddy Griffith and Robin Prior and Trevor Wilson have demonstrated that the western front during the last half of the war was not tactically stagnant. The Germans are often considered the most innovative with their elastic defenseindepth and stormtrooper tactics of infiltration. But the British, with more offensive experience than the enemy in 191617, also perfected allarms assaults and advanced techniques of trench raiding prior to the tactical successes of the Germans in the spring of 1918.

Germany, relying on strong support from AustriaHungary, concentrated its resources on the eastern front in 1915. The vastness of that front, and the clear superiority of German artillery and leadership, made possible an advance of some 300 miles. Although Italy joined the Allies in 1915, by the end of the year, Berlin dominated Central and southeastern Europe, had a bridge to Asia and Africa through its Turkish ally, and retained Belgium and the most industrial part of France. Serbia had been defeated and Bulgaria enlisted as an ally. British efforts to find a way around the western front ended in dismal failure in the Dardanelles and Gallipoli campaigns. The central powers, with a more unified command because of Germany’s dominant position, interior lines, and a good system of railways, held a formidable position despite their inferiority in warships, manpower, and industrial capacity.

In 1916, Germany sought to break the stalemate in the west in the tenmonth Battle of Verdun, deliberately seeking a decisive battle of attrition and will. To relieve Verdun, a massive AngloFrench offensive was launched on the Somme in July. When winter brought the fighting to a close, the western front had little changed: Verdun remained in French hands, and the Allies had captured no position of strategical importance on the Somme. Combined GermanAllied casualties exceeded 2 million. Despite the carnage, the warring coalitions faced a bleak future of continued stalemate and exhaustion.

Compared to the great powers of Europe, the United States was a profoundly peaceful and unmilitaristic nation. Prior to America’s entry into the war in April 1917, Wilson’s secretary of the navy, Josephus Daniels, was decidedly antiwar if not pacifistic, and Newton Baker, secretary of war since 1916, was an ardent antimilitarist. The U.S. Navy had expanded to defend American shores and trade routes, but the U.S. Army ranked seventeenth in the world. The United States was the world’s number one industrial power, but the army lacked modern weaponry, including tanks, poison gas, aircraft, heavy artillery, and trench mortars. War mobilization, 191718, failed to remedy this deficiency: the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) largely fought with foreign weapons.

Although legally neutral, the United States had become a vital factor for the Allies with their growing dependence on American credit and material. Caught between the effective Allied naval blockade and Germany’s submarine warfare campaign, America’s right to trade overseas was jeopardized. To keep the United States from being drawn into the global conflict, Wilson attempted mediation. With the European belligerents unable to take the U.S. military seriously, he had little diplomatic leverage except for American economic might. The European nations wanted a peace to reflect their immense sacrifices in blood and treasure. But an acceptable peace to one side represented defeat to the other.

Wilson’s mediation efforts implied that he was prepared to accept a global role for the United States to obtain a compromise peace, but he certainly never imagined any circumstances that would involve American forces in what he referred to as the mechanical game of slaughter in France. Nor apparently could he identify any strategic interest for the United States in the total defeat of Germany, which he believed would result in an unbalanced peace of victors. His formula for a satisfactory end to the fighting as he announced in January 1917 was peace without victory.

Pressed into the war in April 1917 by Germany’s gamble for quick victory through unrestricted submarine warfare, Wilson initially believed that American belligerency would largely be economic and psychological and that the central powers could be forced to the peace table without U.S. troops becoming involved on European battlefields. Pressure from London and Paris and the realization that his voice in any peace conference would be small without an American military presence in Europe changed his mind.

Only once before, during the American Revolution, had the United States fought as part of a military alliance. The General Staff in the War Department, however, quickly concluded that the only way that the United States could fight in Europe was through a collective military enterprise with the British and French on the western front. Nonetheless, America’s leadership was determined to maintain a distinct military and political position. Wilson immediately disassociated himself from the entente’s controversial war objectives by insisting that the United States was an associate power, with freedom to conduct independent goals.

The commander in chief of the AEF, John J. Pershing, proved an excellent choice to defend a separate and distinct U.S. military role in the war. The AEF commander tenaciously adhered to his goal of an independent U.S. force with its own front, supply lines, and strategic goals. His preparations for a winthewar American breakthrough to occur in 1919 in Lorraine to the east and west of Metz profoundly influenced America’s military participation. The United States supported unity of command and the selection of Gen. Ferdinand Foch as generalissimo; but Pershing resisted anything but the temporary amalgamation of American units into French and British divisions, even during the grave military crisis confronting the Allies in the spring of 1918. The German High Command, with Russia knocked out of the war in the winter of 191718, attempted to destroy the French Army and drive the British from the Continent through a series of offensives. Pershing resisted the only means of immediately assisting the depleted Allied forces: the inclusion of American units in British and French divisions. Small numbers of American soldiers, however, began to enter combat under the American flag in May and June. On 28 May, 14 months after the United States entered the war, a reinforced U.S. regiment (about 4,000 men) captured the village of Cantigny. Several days later, the Second Division (which included a Marine brigade) took up a defensive position west of ChteauThierry and engaged the advancing Germans.

Pershing rebuffed efforts by Allied soldiers to share their increasingly sophisticated tactical techniques with his forces. Revisionists have been critical of his emphasis on riflemen, the American frontier spirit, and open field tactics, arguing that he did not comprehend how science and the machine age had revolutionized warfare.

After gaining reluctant approval from Foch for the formation of an independent American force, the U.S. First Army, Pershing went forward with plans to eliminate the threatening salient of St. Mihiel, as a prelude to his Metz offensive. The Battle of St. Mihiel (1216 September 1918) proved to be an impressive but misleading U.S. victory because German forces were in the process of withdrawing to a new and shorter defensive line when the Americans attacked and cut off the salient.

The pressing demands of coalition warfare, however, forced Pershing to delay preparations for his 1919 Metz campaign. Complying with Foch’s strategy, he reluctantly shifted most of his troops some sixty miles northward to the MeuseArgonne sector, where he was expected to participate in simultaneous and converging Allied attacks against the large German salient. Logistical chaos, flawed tactics, and inexperienced men and officers contributed to a disastrous start to the MeuseArgonne offensive (26 September11 November 1918). Pershing hoped to advance ten miles on the first day; his front, however, had moved just thirtyfour miles by the armistice six weeks later, much of the ground gained only during the last phase of the offensive when Germany had exhausted its reserves.

Although only involved in heavy fighting for 110 days, the AEF made vital contributions to Germany’s defeat. With tens of thousands of doughboys crossing the Atlantic to reinforce the Allies, and with the AEF emerging as a superior fighting force, the exhausted and depleted Germans had no hope of avoiding total defeat if the war continued into 1919.

Before Berlin’s appeal in early October for a peace based on Wilson’s Fourteen Points, the United States was on the verge of brilliantly coordinating its participation in the land war in Europe with its political plans to reshape the postwar world. If the war had continued into the spring of 1919, Pershing’s plan to deliver a knockout blow to the German Army probably would have been achieved. Gen. Jan C. Smuts, the South African statesman who served in the British War Cabinet, warned the British government in October: if the war continued another year, the United States would become the diplomatic dictator of the world.

In contrast to Pershing’s wishes for total victory, Wilson hoped to avoid placing Germany at the mercy of the Allies. American participation had not been designed to further the British empire, strengthen French security, or even maintain the European balance of power. Wilson stood not with the interests of the nationstates, but with the rights of humankind. He thus attempted with mixed results to use separate negotiations with Berlin over an armistice to impose his Fourteen Points on the Allies as well as Germany.

As the Great War concluded with the armistice on 11 November 1918, American policy was directed toward the repudiation of power politics and the erection of a permanent peace. Wilsonianism promised an end to war primarily through democratic institutions, the end of secret diplomacy, the selfdetermination for ethnic minorities, and most especially through a League of Nations. It has been argued that this visionary approach raised expectations that were impossible to meet. The war had destroyed the old balance of power in Europe, and the peace settlement made revisionist nations out of the two states that would soon dominate the Continent, Germany and the Soviet Union. The United States, the greatest economic beneficiary of the war, helped make the peace, but with its rejection of the Treaty of Versailles refused responsibility for maintaining it.

A war in which over 65 million troops had been mobilized by the belligerents ended in a twentyyear truce instead of permanent peace. The failure to achieve Wilson’s unrealistic though desirable goal was hardly surprising. But another general war was not inevitable. World War II was caused by many factors, including the flawed peace settlement of 1919, the Great Depression of the 1930s, and the psychological scars of World War I, which enfeebled the democracies. But the inability of the victorious powers, especially Great Britain and the United States, to work together to prevent the resurgence of German military power, was certainly one of the most important reasons for the resumption of war in 1939.

Bibliography

B. H. Liddell Hart , The Real War 19141918, 1930.Edward M. Coffman , The War to End All Wars: The American Military Experience in World War I, 1968.Donald Smythe , Pershing: General of the Armies, 1985.Tim Travers , The Killing Ground: The British Army, the Western Front and the Emergence of Modern Warfare, 19001918, 1987.Allan R. Millett , Over Where? The AEF and the American Strategy for Victory, 19171918, in Allan Millett and Williamson Murray, eds., Against All Enemies: Interpretations of the American Military from Colonial Times to the Present, 1988.Timothy K. Nenninger , American Military Effectiveness in the First World War, in Military Effectiveness, Vol. 1: The First World War, Allan Millett and Williamson Murray, eds., 1988.David Stevenson , The First World War and International Politics, 1988.Robin Prior and and Trevor Wilson , Command on the Western Front: The Military Career of Sir Henry Rawlinson 191418, 1992.John Keegan , A History of Warfare, 1993.David F. Trask , The AEF and Coalition Warmaking, 19171918, 1993.David R. Woodward , Trial by Friendship: AngloAmerican Relations, 19171918, 1993.Paddy Griffith , Battle Tactics of the Western Front: The British Army’s Art of Attack, 191618, 1994.D. Clayton James and and Anne Sharp Wells , America and the Great War, 19141920, 1998.

David R. Woodward

President Woodrow Wilson’s administration improvised a series of solutions to these problems. It exhorted Americans to work and sacrifice for the war and to submerge their differences. It isolated and punished the war’s opponents and rewarded people and organizations whose cooperation it needed. The result of its efforts was what has been called a wartime welfare state, in which government and interest groups sought to manage one another; in which patriotism and idealism and sacrifice existed alongside the determined pursuit of selfinterest; in which those with the greatest power, the strongest organization, or the most badly needed resources tended to secure the largest benefits from Congress and the Wilson administration.

To control domestic public opinion, the administration established a Committee on Public Information, which supplied American media with overwhelming quantities of facts and propaganda. Together with the Department of Justice and the Post Office, the Committee on Public Information defined what Americans were permitted to say in wartime. Notable dissenters, including the Socialist leader Eugene V. Debs and hundreds of others whom government officials felt had opposed government policies or interfered with war production, were sent to prison. The government’s portrayal of a monstrous enemy and its attacks on dissenters, together with the reports of casualties suffered in battle at enemy hands, helped promote a frenzy of antiGerman and antiGerman American feelings in parts of the nation.

Appealing to liberals, at that time a very large faction, the administration made the war, in some respects, a continuation of the prewar Progressive movement. It depicted the struggle against the central powers as a campaign for worldwide reform. It endorsed a federal women’s suffrage amendment as a reward for women’s war work. It extended disability benefits to members of the armed forces, provided financial support to their dependents, and created occupational health and safety standards for war workers. It tried to limit alcohol consumption and abolish prostitution, goals of many reformers. To assure the cooperation of prowar labor unions, the administration approved collective bargaining for the duration of the conflict, provided federal mediation of labor disputes, and gave union officials an opportunity to sit on boards that managed the economybut not to determine the policies of those boards. To the small and weak contingent of racial equality reformers, however, it offered only modest concessions, including positions in government as intelligence workers so that civil rights leaders could inform the government of possible disaffection among African Americans.

American corporations made large gains in wartime. The government enabled business groups to regulate themselves. Executives of leading companies dominated agencies, such as the Council of National Defense and the War Industries Board, that coordinated war production and distribution and arranged prices. It could hardly have been otherwise. Without a large, experienced regulatory bureaucracy of its own, the U.S. government needed not only the products of factories run by these businessmen but also their expert knowledge of how their industries operated. The president and Congress provided some checks on abuses by businesses. They declined for several months to give precise authority to the Council of National Defense and the War Industries Board; for a long time they failed to stop the War Department from resisting control over procurement by the businessdominated agencies. Congress passed legislation that in principle outlawed conflicts of interest. In some cases, the administration even used federal agencies to run important segments of the war economy, such as the railroad system. Yet the bureaucracy that managed railroads for the Railroad Administration was recruited from executives who had managed the railroads before the government took them over, so even that organizationa supposed example of war socialismcontinued the practice of selfregulation.

The economic war agencies operated largely through a system of incentives, often using indirect methods rather than overt commands to achieve their objectives. They established a priority system in which companies that volunteered to manufacture war goods were given greater access to raw materials, workers, fuel, and transportation than those whose activities were deemed less essential. (To put it another way, companies that chose not to cooperate might receive barely enough of what they needed to keep them going). These agencies offered cooperating businesses the chance to earn very large profits, partly because prices for whole industries were set at a level that could make the most inefficient producers profitable. Because the people who awarded contracts and negotiated their terms came from the industries that received the awards, executives who sought those contracts could feel confident that they were dealing with knowledgeable persons, not insensitive government officials. Businesses could engage in collusion without fear of being prosecuted. Although producers in the lumber, steel, automobile, and other industries drove very hard bargains with the war agencies, and in some cases threatened to refuse contracts for vital war products, American capitalists used publicity about their war work to restore an image of private enterprise that had been seriously tarnished in the prewar years. Certain large business leaders also appreciated the wartime opportunity to substitute cooperation for competitiona change some of them hoped would be permanent.

Incentives and publicity played significant parts in other areas of war mobilization. To induce farmers to expand production, the federal government set a minimum price for wheat. It ran massive propaganda campaigns encouraging citizens to conserve food and fuel and to help pay for the war by purchasing government Liberty bonds. The Committee on Public Information and the Treasury Department staged Liberty bond rallies at which movie stars, war heroes, politicians, and other celebrities appeared to promote bond sales. Government publicity encouraged men of military age to join the armed forces and promoted a public climate in which ablebodied slackers felt extremely uncomfortable. Though thousands held back out of conscientious objection or for other reasons, plenty of Americans wanted to enlist. Still, the government decided not to rely on volunteers alone. It instituted conscription, administered by a Selective Service System, which sent two and threequarter million men to the armed forces. The Selective Service System also promoted economic mobilization, inducing essential civilian workers to stay where they were by exempting them from the draft, but warning them that they must work or fight.

From women suffragists to civil rights leaders, from union officials to corporate executives, American civilians sought to turn the war to their advantage or to the advantage of the groups to which they belonged. Their political leaders and representatives did the same. After announcing that politics is adjourned, President Wilson asked the voters to elect candidates from the Democratic Party in 1918 as a referendum on his war leadership. (They responded by giving Republicans control of both houses of Congress.) Several of the state councils of defense, which had been established to foster mobilization, became political organizations, usually dominated by Republicans. Many wartime measures were intensely politicalfor example, the decisions to fix minimum prices for certain products and not others, and to pay part of the cost of the war by progressive taxation and by taxes on excess profits.

The wartime welfare state, created for temporary purposes and staffed largely by volunteers rather than by a standing bureaucracy, dissolved at the end of the war. But the memory of the wartime system remained in the minds of those who had run it, and some of its components persisted in the 1920ssuch as a federal system of medical benefits to veterans and governmentsponsored cooperation among businesses. During the Great Depression, several wartime agencies were resurrected with new names and altered purposes, including the War Finance Corporation, restored in Herbert C. Hoover’s administration as the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, and a host of New Deal organizations such as the National Recovery Administration, which traced its origins to the War Industries Board. Shortlived though it may have been, the wartime system for managing America’s home front in 1917 and 1918 contained some of the germs of the late twentiethcentury welfare state, and was a progenitor of modern big government.[See also Agriculture and War; Civil Liberties and War; Economy and War; Industry and War; Public Financing and Budgeting for War.]

Bibliography

David M. Kennedy , Over Here: The First World War and American Society, 1980.Robert H. Ferrell , Woodrow Wilson and World War I: 19171921, 1985.David R. Woodward and and Robert Franklin Maddox , America and World War I: A Selected Annotated Bibliography of EnglishLanguage Sources, 1985.John Whiteclay Chambers II , To Raise an Army: The Draft Comes to Modern America, 1987.Ronald Schaffer , America and the Great War: The Rise of the War Welfare State, 1991.

Ronald Schaffer

Essentially a civil war in Europe with global implications, World War I destroyed some empires and weakened others. The 1917 Revolution in Russia, following the czarist regime’s collapse, culminated in the Bolshevik seizure of power. With military defeat in 1918, the Otto man and AustroHungarian Empires disintegrated, while Germany replaced the kaiser’s government with the Weimar Republic. New nations such as Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia emerged from former empires. Victory for the European Allies came at a high price. They owed over $11 billion to the United States, which was transformed from a net debtor to a net creditor. New York replaced London as the world’s financial center. The European Allies also faced increasing demands for selfrule from their colonies. They no longer controlled sufficient military and economic resources to shape world affairs as before.

By war’s end, the United States and Japan were among the victorious powers at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, along with the United Kingdom, France, and Italy, with U.S. president Woodrow Wilson playing a leading role. He made the League of Nations an essential part of the Treaty of Versailles with Germany. The United States and the Allies, refusing to recognize the Bolshevik government in Russia, excluded the Soviet Union from Paris. Still, the specter of Bolshevism loomed over the conference.

Wilson sought a peace settlement that would protect democratic and capitalist nations. Affirming the principle of national selfdetermination, he called for a postwar League of Nations to provide collective security for its members. He expected the League, under American leadership, to protect its members’ territorial integrity and political independence against external aggression, and thereby preserve the peace.

Within the belligerent countries, the war had enhanced the state’s role in the economy and society, but it also generated a backlash. Democratic governments in Western Europe retained civilian control, while autocratic governments in Central and Eastern Europe had succumbed to both military rule and revolution. Western democratic governments lost authority after the war. British elections in 1918 that kept Prime Minister David Lloyd George in office also registered Irish demands for selfrule. France experienced political instability after Premier Georges Clemenceau’s resignation following his defeat in the presidential election.

Americans likewise reacted against Wilson’s strong wartime leadership. The 1918 elections reduced the Democrats to the minority in Congress. After the war, as wartime agencies removed regulations, the United States experienced rapid inflation, labor strikes, and economic recession. The American Expeditionary Forces returned from France and quickly demobilized. Congress reorganized the armed forces with the National Defense Act of 1920, reducing the regular army to nearly its prewar level.

Rapid readjustment and demobilization produced social unrest in the United States in 191920. Regardless of their wartime patriotism, African Americans were primary victims of urban race riots and rural lynchings, while socialists and other radicals, whether immigrants or nativeborn, were targets of the Red Scare. Wilson was partly responsible for this postwar impact, given his negative attitudes toward black people, new immigrants, and labor strikes, and his international focus, resulting in a neglect of postwar reconstruction at home. He contributed to the Red Scare, too, by advocating the League of Nations as a barrier against Bolshevism. Nevertheless, under Henry Cabot Lodge’s leadership, the Republican Senate kept the United States out of Wilson’s League by rejecting the Treaty of Versailles.

Americans reacted against the wartime regulatory state and international involvement. Voters in 1920, including women who had just gained the suffrage under the Nineteenth Amendment, elected Republican senator Warren G. Harding to the presidency. Promising less government at home and less entanglement abroad, he epitomized one postwar alternative to Wilsonianism.

The postwar legacy of World War I was very different from Wilson’s hopes. The League of Nations failed to maintain peace when aggressive nationsnotably Communist Russia, Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, and Imperial Japanlater challenged the Versailles peace. These revisionist powers rejected democracy and capitalism and challenged the status quo. They exploited the AngloAmerican revisionism of the treaty’s critics, such as John Maynard Keynes in The Economic Consequences of the Peace (1920), to justify their aggression. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, which resulted in part from the postwar failure to create a sustainable world economy, they turned modern nationalism into a hostile force that culminated in World War II.

Yet the longterm impact of World War I also included the enduring legacy of Wilsonianism. Wilson had emphasized the principle of national selfdetermination in the peacemaking. To curb nationalist excesses and aggression, he had advocated collective security through the League of Nations, hoping to enable free nations to participate in a new world order of peace and prosperity. He had endeavored to shape public opinion in favor of democracy and capitalism as well as internationalism. Despite his failure after World War I, Wilson’s ideals deeply influenced the statecraft of future generations. Wilsonianism would continue to shape the international history of the twentieth century.

Bibliography

Burl Noggle , Into the Twenties: The United States from Armistice to Normalcy, 1974.Barry D. Karl , The Uneasy State: The United States from 1915 to 1945, 1983.Robert H. Ferrell , Woodrow Wilson and World War I, 19171921, 1985.Klaus Schwabe , Woodrow Wilson, Revolutionary Germany, and Peacemaking, 19181919: Missionary Diplomacy and the Realities of Power, 1985.Arthur Walworth , Wilson and His Peacemakers: American Diplomacy at the Paris Peace Conference, 1919, 1986.Lloyd E. Ambrosius , Woodrow Wilson and the American Diplomatic Tradition: The Treaty Fight in Perspective, 1987.Manfred F. Boemeke, Gerald D. Feldman, and Elisabeth GlaserSchmidt, eds., The Treaty of Versailles: A Reassessment after 75 Years, 1998.

Lloyd E. Ambrosius

During the years between the two world wars, contentions abounded between the adherents of Sidney B. Fay of Harvard University and Bernadotte Schmitt of the University of Chicago, who took respectively the sides of the central powers and the Allies, and based their books and articles on the national documentary collections and memoirs. At the end of World War II, the American and British governments took control of the German Foreign Office files and opened them, which revealed the bias of the earlier German documentary collection, Die Grosse Politik der Europaeischen Kabinette: 18711914. Opinion now is that German nationalism bears primary responsibility for starting the war.

American entrance into the great European conflict, which made it a true world war, produced an argument in the 1930s between Charles Seymour of Yale University and the popular historian Charles A. Beard, in which Seymour singled out German submarine warfare, especially the resort to unrestricted use of submarines beginning 1 February 1917, contrary to historical American neutral rights, as the cause of President Woodrow Wilson’s decision to move from neutrality to intervention. Beard belittled such a monocausal contention, writing that the cause of any large event is necessarily complex, akin to a chemist pouring reagents into a test tube and obtaining a precipitatebut the latter is not the cause. Historical opinion now favors multicausality within a larger cultural and economic context provided by U.S. ties with the Allies.

In the making of the peace it is possible to say that the Wilsonian internationalists, the champions of the American president, such as historians Arthur Link and Arthur Walworth, have held the field. But questions remain, notably about whether the American people were prepared in 1919 for, if not a world government, then a world organization. Historians have agreed that Wilson himself was not his own best advocate. Thomas J. Knock has argued that Wilson undermined the progressive internationalist coalition by wartime repression. There is particular concern about the Wilson design of the Covenant of the League of Nations, which was neither fish nor fowlneither a general scheme to promote international law and arbitration, which was in the American diplomatic tradition, nor a design for a postwar alliance of the victorious powers, which such conservative senators as Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts might have approved on a shortterm basis. Historians have remarked on the extraordinary nationalism of post1918 America, the inchoate but ardent desire to promote peace, and the victory of isolationism. They are unsure that any American president, seeking an acceptable peace, could have done anything other than what President Warren G. Harding did, which was to declare agreement with the nonpolitical provisions of the Treaty of Versailles.[See also Disciplinary Views of War.]

Robert H. Ferrell

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World War IClockwise from top right: Melee combat on the Western Front, air combat above Italian Alps, British infantry inside a trench, a dreadnought firing its main guns, a cavalry charge on the Middle Eastern Front, view from a British plane over the Western FrontDate

July 28, 1914 November 11, 1918

Europe, the Pacific, the Atlantic, Southeast Asia, the Mediterranean and Africa

5,525,000

22,477,500 KIA, WIA or MIA

4,386,000

16,403,000 KIA, WIA or MIA

World War I (often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War and the Great War) was a global conflict lasting from 1914 to 1918, involving most of the world’s nations including all of the great powers, eventually forming two opposing military alliances, the Allies and the Central Powers.

Prior to World War II, the First World War was seen as one of the most devastating conflicts in world history as over nine million combatants and seven million civilians died as a result of the war, due to the belligerents’technological and industrial sophistication, and the tactical stalemate caused by gruelingtrench warfare.As such, many people at the time dubbed the conflict as “the war to end all wars”. While warfare would continue, the aftermath of World War I paved the way for both political and military change.

During the 19th century, the major European powers went to great lengths to maintain a balance of power, which resulted in the existence of both political and military alliances.

The situation in Europe before the war was uneasy. Imperialism, militarism, and nationalism are at high points, and an arms race between the great empires of Europe drove militarization to never-before-seen heights. Unresolved territorial conflicts created international tension, and multiple regional conflicts saw the break down of diplomatic relationships. Just before the outbreak of the war, much of Europe had allied themselves into two power camps, the Triple Entente and the Triple Alliance.

A trigger for a war was the assassination of Austro-Hungarian Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo at 28 June 1914, by Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip. The assassination brought Austria-Hungary to declare war on Serbia, and the conflict quickly escalated into most of Europe’s Great Powers declaring war on each other. World War I became the war between the greatest empires in the world.

1915-1918

See also: Gotha Raids on London (Codex Entry)

As an act of all-out war, the German Air Force performed many bombing raids on London. The main goal was to spread chaos and terror among Brits. At the beginning, Germans were using Zeppelins, but in 1917 they started replacing airships with better and harder to hit Gotha G.IV bombers.

21 February – 18 December 1916

The Battle of Verdun was the longest and one of the deadliest battles ever fought on the Western Front. The German Army attacked the Fortified Region of Verdun in an attempt to rapidly capture Meuse Heights, from which they can then gain an advantage over the city of Verdun itself. Due to heavy French resistance, German advancement slowed down significantly a few days into the battle as both sides experienced heavy casualties. The battle ended with French victory, but the grueling fight had taken a toll on both sides, with several hundred thousands of casualties.

June 1st – June 8th 1916

See also: Fort De Vaux (Codex Entry)

As the German Army advanced on Verdun, Fort de Vaux posed a threat to their left flank. The fort was constantly bombed by Germany since the Battle of Verdun began and a final assault began on 1 June. After a valiant defense by the French troops, the battle ended with their surrender on 7 June as they had ran out of water. The fort would not be recaptured by French forces until November.

April 1917

See also: Bloody April (Codex Entry)

In April 1917, Franco-British forces launched the Nivelle Offensive, named after and led by French General Robert Nivelle, one part of which is the Battle of Arras. In the Battle of Arras, the Royal Flying Corps has been involved in an arms race with the Luftstreitkrafte, the German Air Force. The battle in the air was a disaster for the RFC, as the German air superiority was too hard to counter. Unfortunately, as the battle takes place, British air recon as well as artillery never stopped, ultimately marked the failure for the Germans on the ground.

2327 October 1917

See also: Battle of Malmaison (Codex Entry)

The main component of the April 1917 Nivelle Offensive was the Second Battle of the Aisne, a French assault on German positions on the strategically important ridge of Chemin des Dames. However, the offensive was a dismal failure, with incredibly high French losses while failing to achieve the objective. Months later, on the night of October 23, French forces focused an assault on Chemin des Dames, advancing with the help of tanks and a creeping artillery barrage. On October 27, French forces had captured the village and fort of La Malmaison and taken control of Chemin des Dames.

Autumn 1917

Later in 1917, the region of Butte-de-Tahure, Marne, controlled by the Germans, is being invaded by the French in order to gain back land. As the battle comes to life, the village of Tahure has been entrenched and bombarded by French artillery, completely devastating the village, and the French eventually taken the region at the cost of losing the village of Tahure, pushing the Germans back.

21 23 March 1918

The stalemate on the Western Front broke in 1918, when Germany began the Spring Offensive, also known as Kaiserschlacht (The Emperor’s Battle in German). As the start of the opening offensive Operation Michael, the German Army, led by Erich Ludendorff, launched a rapid attack near the commune of Saint Quentin. With a surprise attack, the German Army managed to break through the Allied lines, pushing towards the city of Amiens, an important Allied railway and communications center. However, the Allies had managed to halt the German forces just east of Amiens, and by April, the operation was terminated.

23 April 1918

In April 1918, the British Royal Navy aimed to cripple the Imperial German Navy by attacking the Bruges-Zeebrugge Port, however, U-boats stashed in concrete defenses made an aerial bombardment on the port ineffective. Therefore, on the midnight of 23 April, the ships of HMS Vindictive, Thetis, Intrepid, and Iphegenia , alongside submarines of British Navy boarded the mole, destroying the only connection between German reinforcements. However, the attack was a strategic failure, but was classified as a success for the British. Casualties in this battle were low, with 8 Germans killed, 16 Germans wounded, and an estimated 200 British deaths.

15 July 6 August 1918

The Second Battle of the Marne saw Germany’s last offensive in the Spring Offensive, Operation Marneschutz-Reims, and was also the site of a major Allied counteroffensive.

8 – 12 August 1918

During the Spring Offensive, Germany had advanced the lines to the east of Amiens. With the support of tanks, Imperial soldiers attempted to penetrate the line further and reach Amiens, but they were stopped by the Allied forces. In August, after the success of the Battle of Soissons, the Allies performed a successful offensive on German forces in the region, and this victory was the beginning of a major Allied offensive known as the Hundred Days Offensive.

26 September – 11 November 1918

The Meuse-Argonne offensive was part of the Hundred Days Offensive, performed by American and French forces.

8 10 October 1918

In 1918, during the Hundred Days Offensive, the Entente forces began another armored offensive with over 320 tanks on the city of Cambrai. After the controversial First Battle of Cambrai in 1917 (also the first and the greatest tank battle in World War I), the tank tactics had developed significantly. Combined with exhausted German defenders, the battle was an overwhelming success for the Entente forces.

17 25 October 1918

Another Allied attack in the Hundred Days Offensive, the battle involved the Allies assaulting the retreating German forces near Le Cateau after the Second Battle of Cambrai, who had taken positions near the Selle river. The battle saw major combat over the Le Cateau-Wassigny Railway and ended with Allied victory.

Winter of 1914/1915

On the dawn of 1915, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, now at war with Russia, aims to capture the areas of Galicia to push the Russians back. An encounter on Lupkow Pass brought forth a bitterly contested area that would continue for the remainder of the war.

4 June – 20 September 1916

Aiming to push the Hapsburg forces of the Austro-Hungarian Empire back and regain the land from them, General Aleksei Brusilov spearheaded a tactical offensive on the 4th of June 1916.

September – October 1917

The German Empire launched an amphibious operation to occupy the West Estonian Islands, which was part of the Russian Republic as an autonomous governorate of Estonia. Initially, advances failed twice and eventually landed on 19 September at the Hiiumaa and captured the island. This operation was successful for the Germans and captured prisoners and guns. In this offensive, the Zeppelin was utilized alongside the Dreadnought.

24 October – 19 November 1917

The Isonzo River has been widely contested since 1915, with a total of elevenengagements between the Italian Army and the Austro-Hungarian forces. However, on the battle of Caporetto on 24 October, which marks the twelfth battle, the Austro-Hungarian Empire deployed poison gas, similar to the British Livens projectors,on the Italian trenches, prompting the Italians to flee, but killed approximately 500-600 soldiers. With the use of specialized tactics, alongside the help of the German forces, the handicapped Italian Army was massively defeated in the twelfth engagement.

24 October 3 November 1918

Since 1915, the Italian Front existed as a series of battles between the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Kingdom of Italy. The Battle of Vittorio Veneto, which occurred on the anniversary of Italy’sdefeat in the Twelfth Battle of the Isonzo River. This is the final offensive on the Italian Front and concluded the Italian Front with decisive Italian victory.

The main reason of conflict between British and Ottoman Empires was domination over the Suez Canal and Middle Eastern oilfields, which were the most important strategic objects in the region, allowing their armies to transport troops and extract oil, which was essential for modern armies.

6-8 September 1914

It was the first battle in the Middle East. British and Indian troops landed in Al-Faw Cape to take control over Fao Fortress. With the support of dreadnoughts and artillery, British troops captured the fort and took 300 prisoners.

26 January – 4 February 1915

At the beginning of 1915, the German-led Ottoman Army performed an attack on the Suez Canal. Ottoman soldiers crossed the Sinai Peninsula and started the raid, but their invasion failed, due to strongly held defenses.

25 April 1915 – 9 January 1916

British plan was to perform a massive invasion on the Ottoman Empire. Firstly, Britain had to capture Gallipoli peninsula and go to Constantinople. Gallipoli battle was the greatest landing operation of World War I. The naval attack never repelled. Due to heavy casualties on both sides, the conflict was withdrawn to Egypt. The Battle of Gallipoli was the first moment when Australians and New Zealanders fought under their own flag, which brought Australia their freedom from the British Empire.

28 January 1915 – 30 October 1918

After an unsuccessful raid on Suez Canal, Ottoman forces were pushed into Sinai Desert. Many battles occurred, such as battles of Gaza, Romani and Maghdaba. In 1918, the British Empire finally beat the Ottoman Empire and won the Middle-Eastern front.

June 1916 October 1918

In 1915, an Arab-nationalist movement began within the Ottoman Empire. Sharif Hussein bin Ali, Emir of Mecca, had negotiated with the British Empire to lead an uprising and secure an independent Arab state. In June 1916, Hussein declared himself the King of the Kingdom of Hejaz and began a rebellion against the Ottoman Empire. T. E. Lawrence, better known as the Lawrence of Arabia, was sent to Hejaz as a British liaison and to lead the revolt, showing strong skills as a strategist and securing multiple victories.

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World War I Fast Facts – CNN

The Central Powers consisted of Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, Germany and the Ottoman Empire (now Turkey).

The United States declared neutrality until German submarine warfare threatened American commercial shipping.

Timeline:June 28, 1914 – Gavrilo Princip, who has ties to the Serbian terrorist-type group the Black Hand, assassinates Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary.

July 28, 1914 – Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia.

August 1, 1914 – Germany declares war on Russia.

August 4, 1914 – Germany invades Belgium. President Woodrow Wilson declares that the United States is neutral. Britain declares war on Germany.

August 10, 1914 – Austria-Hungary invades Russia, opening the fighting on the Eastern Front.

August 26-30, 1914 – Battle of Tannenberg, Prussia.

September 12, 1914 – First battle of the Aisne in France begins, marking the beginning of trench warfare.

November 3, 1914 – Russia declares war on the Ottoman Empire.

November 5, 1914 – Great Britain and France declare war on the Ottoman Empire.

April 22-May 25, 1915 – Second Battle of Ypres, marking the first wide-scale use of poison gas by Germany.

May 7, 1915 – A German U-20 submarine sinks the British passenger ship, the Lusitania; 1,198 are killed, including 128 Americans.

June 1915-November 1917 – Battles of the Isonzo, Italy.

1915 – Battle of Krithia, Gallipoli peninsula, Ottoman Empire.

February 21-July 1916 – Battle of Verdun, France, the war’s longest battle, with almost a million casualties.

May 31-June 1, 1916 – Battle of Jutland, North Sea near Denmark – a sea battle between British and German navies.

July 1, 1916-November 1916 – First Battle of the Somme River, France. The British introduce the tank.

June 26, 1917 – American troops begin landing in France.

November 20, 1917 – Battle of Cambrai, France.

December 3, 1917 – Russia signs an armistice with Germany.

March 3, 1918 – Russia signs the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, ending hostilities with the Central Powers and withdrawing Russia from this war.

March 21-April 5, 1918 – Second Battle of the Somme River.

September 29, 1918 – Bulgaria signs an armistice.

October 30, 1918 – Ottoman Empire signs an armistice.

November 3, 1918 – Austria-Hungary signs an armistice.

November 11, 1918 – Germany accepts the armistice terms demanded by the Allies, ending the war.

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World War I Fast Facts – CNN

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World War I Centennial | National Archives

As the largest repository of American World War I records, the National Archives invites you to browse the wealth of records and information documenting the U.S. experience in this conflict, including photographs, documents, audiovisual recordings, educational resources, articles, blog posts, lectures, and events.

April 6, 2017, marks the 100th anniversary of Americas entrance into the Great War. After remaining neutral for three years, the United States reluctantly entered what was supposed to be “The War to End All Wars.” By declaring war, President Woodrow Wilson committed the nation to join the other Allied countries in their efforts to defeat the German-led Central Powers.

Explore more records, information, articles and resources at the National Archives organized by subject area.

Begin your research with these World War I overview guides and resources from the National Archives. The records highlighted here represent a small portion of the National Archives holdings, many of which have not yet been digitized. Contact the National Archives to plan a research visit.

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World War I Centennial | National Archives

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Amazon Best Sellers: Best World War I History

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The Fading Battlefields of World War I – The Atlantic

This year will mark the passing of a full century since the end of World War Ia hundred years since the War to End All Wars. In that time, much of the battle-ravaged landscape along the Western Front has been reclaimed by nature or returned to farmland, and the scars of the war are disappearing. Some zones remain toxic a century later, and others are still littered with unexploded ordnance, closed off to the public. But across France and Belgium, significant battlefields and ruins were preserved as monuments, and farm fields that became battlegrounds ended up as vast cemeteries. In these places, the visible physical damage to the landscape remains as evidence of the phenomenal violence and destruction that took so many lives so long ago.

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The Fading Battlefields of World War I – The Atlantic

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World War I: Macron rebukes nationalism at commemoration

French President Emmanual Macron delivers remarks on the armistice that ended WWI, and decries the ‘nationalism’ that he claims is resurfacing. USA TODAY President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, left, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the World War I commemoration in Paris on Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018.(Photo: Francois Mori, AP) PARIS Bells tolled across France and Europe on Sundayas President Donald Trump and other global leaders gathered to honor the dead of World War I and heed its harshlessons to prevent conflicts. French President Emmanuel Macron, who has criticized Trump’s “America First” foreign policy,decriedexcessive “nationalism” at the root of World War I and successiveconflicts. “Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism,” Macron told a gathering of world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin,German Chancellor Angela Merkel andTrump.Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism by saying, Our interest first, who cares about the others? ” Hosting an event to mark the centennial of the armistice that ended World War I, Macron told fellow leaders theyhavea “huge responsibility” to defeat modern forces that threaten a “legacy of peace” from the two world wars of the past century. “I know there are old demons coming back to the surface,” the French president said. “They are ready to wreak chaos and death.” Macron did not refer specifically to Trump, who occasionally frowned during the speech. Trump did not respond to Macron publicly. During a speech later Sunday at a World War I-era cemetery, Trump praised the French leader for hosting the event he called”very beautiful” and “well done.” In defending “America First,” Trump has often said the United Statesneeds to address its own needs. During a meeting with Macron on Saturday, Trump said other countries need to share the burdens of mutual defense and free trade: “We want to help Europe, but it has to be fair.” Before the ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe,the bells at Notre Dame and other cathedrals in Paris and across the continentrang at the exact time thearmisticetook effect: the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11thmonth, 100 years ago. The event itself ran a little lateas Macron and other leaders marched up the Champs-Elysees towardthe event site. Trump arrived separately, not withoutincident: A topless womanran toward the presidential motorcadebut was quickly caught by police. She hadthe words “fake peacemakers” written on her body. Anti-Trump demonstrators were arrested throughout the day. White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Trump went to the event separately “dueto security protocols.” Holding umbrellas, the president and first lady Melania Trump greeted Macron and other guests, including Putin. The Russian president gave Trump a thumbs upand patted him on the upper arm. During the ceremony, amilitary band played “La Marseillaise”; a choir of veterans later sang the French national anthem a capella. Yo-Yo Ma, seated near the eternal flame at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier beneath the arc, performed cello solos. The French air force staged a flyover. Other countriesheld similar World War I commemorations,fromAustralia and New Zealand to England and India. To safeguard Trump and more than 60 other world leaders in attendance, the Paris event took place amid heavy security. Saturday night, siren-blaring police vehicles began lining the streets around the Arc de Triomphe, commissioned by Napoleon in 1806 to celebrate his military victories and finished more than a decade after his death in exile. Domestic politics also occupied Trump’s mind. In a tweet 20minutes before the program, Trumpattributedthe California wildfires to poor supervision of forest lands. “With proper Forest Management, we can stop the devastation constantly going on in California. Get Smart!” he said. For the American president, the program at the Arc de Triomphebegan a day of commemorations before he boarded Air Force One to head back to Washington. After aluncheon with other leaders, Trump traveled to a World War I cemetery. Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Trumpcanceleda trip Saturday to another cemetery.The White House cited rainy weather, saying it would have created problems for the helicopters that would have ferried the president. Except for tweets aboutthe wildfires in California and electionrecounts in Florida, Trump has kept a relatively low profile during his weekend in Paris. Duringa ceremonial dinner Saturday, the Turkish government released a photo of Trump seated next to its president, Recep TayyipErdogan, hours after Erdogan said he had provided the United Statesand other countries with audiotapes of last month’s murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. “I can confirm they sat next to one another and they discussed the ongoing tragic situation with Khashoggi,” Sanders said. A century ago, many in the USAand Europe recoiled from the mass destruction of World War I, the horrors of trench warfare and gas attacks. The warwiped out monarchies and forged new countries in Europe and the Middle East, but it did not end international rivalries that led to the war. Germany, angry over war reparations imposed by rivals and eager for revenge, turned to Adolf Hitler. World War II began in 1939. During events over the weekend, Macron said the global community must work together to prevent conflicts. “The message, if we want to live up to the sacrifice of those soldiers who said, Never again!, is to never yield to our weakest instincts, nor to efforts to divide us,” Macron told a group of youngsters during a visit Saturday to the Compiegne Forest. Merkel attended the event atCompiegne, the site where Germany surrendered to France and allies after World War Iand where France surrendered to Hitler’s Germany at the start of World War II. “A century on, as we see nationalist voices again on the rise across the globe,” tweeted Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former secretary-general of NATO. “we must keep in mind the price we paid to build the peace and enjoy the freedoms we do today.” Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, said Macron made a good point: “We’re seeing a very concerning trend toward nationalistic, anti-democratic leaders; they are abandoning multilateralism.” Trump “certainly speaks like that,” she said. “America First.” Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/11/11/macron-world-leaders-rebuke-nationalism-world-war-event-attended-trump/1966474002/

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World War I: 100 years on, the US remembers the end of the …

‘War to end all wars’: How World War I still resonates today As the world marks the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I, the National World War I Museum and Memorial serves as a reminder of the sacrifices U.S. troops made in ‘The Great War.’ Eric Shawn reports from Kansas City, Missouri. It was called the “Great War,” because no one could conceive that there would ever be another one. But there was. And now, at the 11th hour, on the 11th day, of the 11th month, Sunday, November 11th, the world marks the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War One. The global conflict cost an estimated 9 million military lives, cemented the United States as a world power, reshaped history and altered the global order. “The world came undone during those years. And if it was ever really put back together, it was put back together differently wearing the wounds of World War One that we continue to live with today,” said Matthew Naylor, the president and C.E.O of the National World War One Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri. “It was a war which completely changed the trajectory of the United States and had such a profound bearing on the globe, the first war that people from all inhabited continents of the globe participated in, truly a global war” he notes. WORLD WAR I POSTERS OFFER UNIQUE GLIMPSE INTO SOLDIERS’ STORIES 100 YEARS AFTER THE ARMISTICE “The Europeans themselves, of course, experienced losses that are unheard of today, thank God, we would not tolerate. The type of carnage that there was, 7,200 deaths a week, 300 a day, 5 a minute for more than four years, every minute, every hour of every day, every week for more than four years. “There never was enough coffins, never enough ways to bury the dead, such was the degree of carnage. It reoriented the world, helped us learn what we can do to one another, and caused the world to gasp and step back.” Naylor oversees the nation’s preeminent institution that marks the conflict. The stunning and imposing limestone memorial is unique. It was funded in 1919 by local residents who raised $2.5 million dollars in just ten days, or $40 million in today’s dollars, to build it. The memorial was dedicated in 1926, and all five allied commanders from the war attended, as did President Calvin Coolidge. The museum and Kansas City’s skyline is dominated by the imposing Liberty Memorial Tower that rises above the museum and surrounding 47-acre hilltop park. It commands a sweeping view of the city and serves as apowerful, poignant and solemn reminder of the sacrifices of so many. Today the museum is visited by half a million people each year, and the horrors from a century ago continue to resonate. Visitors can see tanks, machine guns, gas masks and the other weapons of war that are on display, as well as read the touching personal letters from troops and study the patriotic art of the era, including the famous “Uncle Sam Wants You” recruiting poster. The museum was renovated and vastly enlarged in 2006. THIS BULLET-SCARRED BIBLE SAVED THE LIFE OF A WORLD WAR I SOLDIER The first global conflict was so barbaric that it introduced the role of modern mechanized warfare, such as the use of gas on the Western Front and untold new ways for mass killing. The war started in 1914 and America entered on April 6th, 1917, joining allies Britain, France and Russia against Germany and its allies. The trench warfare was especially brutal. “35,000 miles of trenches were created, even though the front was only 436 miles,” says Naylor. “Your friends are going up over the top, and many of them are going to be killed. When is it going to be your turn to do that?” Chemical weapons like mustard and chlorine gas and phosphates were first deployed on the modern battlefield that all added to the barbaric losses. AMERICA’S DEADLIEST BATTLE: WORLD WAR I’S MEUSE-ARGONNE OFFENSIVE 100 YEARS LATER “We soon learned the horrors of their use. The legacies of death and horror remain,” Naylor notes. The United States’ involvement also marked the emergence of our nation’s role in international affairs. “In many respects, you cannot think of the 20th century, you can’t think of the American Century without understanding the impact that World War One had in drawing the U.S onto the world stage. It retreated somewhat after the war, but soon found itself drawn back in, arguably a position from which it has never retreated,” Naylor says. “World War One birthed what we know as modern America, a major player in international affairs, a tremendous industrial and financial powerhouse, a champion of ideals, that’s what drew the U.S. into the war, were those ideals and it has had a profound bearing on the last 100 years and the role of the United States in world affairs.” The war also advanced social and cultural change here at home. INCREDIBLE WORLD WAR I DIARY SURFACES “There was a deconstruction of the previous age and an emergence of the new that World War One really helped birth. We see from the war the impact on civil rights, the experience of African Americans serving with the French, primarily,” Naylor says. “That really added momentum to the civil rights movement and the suffragette movement and the changing roles of women during World War One. ” But today, the war and our country’s contribution to victory, have largely receded from the national consciousness. The last American veteran, Frank Buckles, died seven years ago at age 110. “The Civil War and World War Two occupy the public imagination in the way World War One does not,” Naylor explains. “It’s a very messy war. It is complicated, and so its difficult for people to get their head around. Secondly, the United States involvement was relatively short despite the fact that the largest military campaign in American military history occurred during World War One.” 100-YEAR OLD LETTER FROM WWI UNCOVERED But the sacrifices of the more than 4 million Americans who served, and of the more than 116,000 U.S. troops who were killed, remain a focal point of the museum. “The tragedy is once you get past the third or fourth generation, we tend to forget. Part of our work here is to remember those who served and to continue to tell the story and learn from the enduring impact of the war,” notes Naylor. “Our work now is about interpreting, remembering and understanding the great war. It’s 100 years ago, so we need to continue to protect and preserve those memories, to honor those who served and then to alsoexamine its enduring impact. The reality is that we live in the war’s shadow here, one hundred years later. Every day we wake up dealing with the consequences of decisions made and actions taken during World War One and so our work is about examining that with the hope to create a more just and prosperous future.” Despite the war’s historical significance, there is no national memorial in Washington, D.C., but one is planned. It will, like the museum, commemorate what was once called “the war to end all wars,” a noble goal that so sadly was not achieved. “Its legacy cannot be underestimated,” says Naylor. “Our work is to be able to tell that story, and to help people understand and learn.” Ben Evansky and Lloyd Gottschalk contributed to this report. Follow Eric Shawn on Twitter: @EricShawnTV

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In photos: World War I, then and now – CNN

But, of course, we now know that it was just the first World War — and a preview of more conflict to come. Associated Press photographer Laurent Rebours recently visited sites across the former Western Front and took pictures, comparing the scenes now to what they look liked in 1918. The “before” photos below came from the US National World War I Museum and Memorial: Before: American troops march in Paris during a Fourth of July parade in 1918.After: The same view in 2018, with the Guimet Museum on the right. Before: A street scene in Bouillonville, France, in September 1918, two months before the armistice was signed. The hill in the background protected the village from German shells.After: Bouillonville in March 2018. Before American troops moved in during World War I, the village was the center of a medical unit for a large part of the German Army. Before: Wounded Allied troops are treated in an old church in Neuvilly-en-Argonne, France, in September 1918.After: A look inside the same church in 2018. Before: US Army Gen. John J. Pershing addresses officers of the First Division in Chaumont-en-Vexin, France, before they would leave for the line in April 1918.After: The same estate in April 2018. Before: An American soldier, left, guards German prisoners as they draw water from a well on November 9, 1918, two days before the armistice was signed. The Germans were captured in the Battle of Argonne.After: The same street in Pierrefitte-sur-Aire, a commune in eastern France. Before: The first American trucks enter Beauclair, France, with supplies on November 4, 1918.After: A World War I memorial now stands in front of the church.

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World War I | Encyclopedia.com

The Oxford Companion to American Military History The Oxford Companion to American Military History 2000, originally published by Oxford University Press 2000. After decades of debate about whether Europe slithered over the brink ( David Lloyd George’s phrase) owing to general crisis mismanagement among all participant nations or because of the actions of a clearly identifiable group of people, the overwhelming majority consensus has emerged among historians that the primary responsibility rests in Berlin and Vienna, and secondarily perhaps on St. Petersburg. Judging from the documents, it has become clear that the German kaiser and his advisers encouraged Vienna to settle accounts with Serbia following the assassinations of the heir to the AustroHungarian throne, Archduke Ferdinand, and his wife at Sarajevo in BosniaHerzegovina on 28 June 1914. By issuing a blank check to AustriaHungary on 5 July 1914, the German government took the first step in escalating a crisis that involved the risk of a world war among the great powers. This risk was high not only because these powers had been arming over the previous years, but also because they had regrouped into two large camps: the Triple Alliance (Germany, AustriaHungary, Italy) and the Triple Entente (Britain, France, Russia). And when, after various diplomatic maneuvers, it became clear toward the end of July that such a world war might indeed be imminent, Berlin refused to deescalate although the decision makers there were in the best position to do so. The Czarist government, as Serbia’s protector, also had a role in this development; but it was primarily a reactive one after Vienna had delivered a stiff ultimatum in Belgrade and subsequently began to invade its smaller Balkan neighbor. So, while the main responsibility for the outbreak of war is therefore to be laid at the kaiser’s door, the question of why he and his advisers pushed Europe over the brink continues to be a matter of debate. The German historian Fritz Fischer has argued that the kaiser’s government saw the Sarajevo crisis as the opportunity for aggressively achieving a Griff nach der Weltmacht (Breakthrough to World Power Status), as the 1961 German version of Fischer’s first, and highly controversial, book on the subject was entitled. The American historian Konrad Jarausch and others, by contrast, have asserted that Berlin’s and Vienna’s initial strategy was more limited. By supporting AustriaHungary against the Serbs, the two powers hoped to weaken Slav nationalism and Serb expansionism in the Balkans and thus to restabilize the increasingly precarious position of the ramshackle AustroHungarian empire with its many restive nationalities. According to this interpretation, the assumption was that Russia and its ally, France, would not support Serbia, and that, after a quick localized victory by the central powers in the Balkans, any larger international repercussions could be contained through negotiation following the fait accompli. It was only when this strategy failed owing to St. Petersburg’s resistance that the German military got its way to launch an allout offensive, the first target of which would be Russia’s ally, France. This was the sole military operations plan, the Schlieffen Plan, first developed by Gen. Alfred von Schlieffen, that the kaiser still had available in 1914. The alternative of an eastern attack on Russia had been dropped several years before. Worse, since the German Army was not strong enough to invade France directly through AlsaceLorraine, Helmut von Moltke, chief of the General Staff, had further reinforced the right flank of the invasion force with the aim of reaching Paris swiftly from the north. However, this could only be achieved by marching through Belgium, and it was this violation of Belgian neutrality that brought Britain into the conflict, definitely turning it into a world war. In a further radicalization of his argument, Fischer asserted in his second book, War of Illusions (1973), that the German decision to start a world war had been made at a War Council on 8 December 1912, and that Berlin used the next eighteen months to prepare it. However, this view has not been generally accepted by the international community of scholars. Unless new documents supporting Fischer emerge, possibly from the Russian archives, the most plausible argument seems to be the one developed by Jarausch and others of a miscalculated limited war that grew out of control. While diplomatic historians and political scientists have dominated the debate on the outbreak of World War I, social historians have more recently begun to examine the attitude of the masses in that summer of 1914. The older view has been that there was great enthusiasm allround and that millions in all participant countries flocked to the colors expecting to achieve victory no later than Christmas 1914. No doubt there was strong popular support, reinforced by initial serious misconceptions about the nature of modern industrialized warfare. But there have been recent challenges to this view, and it appears that divisions of contemporary opinion were deeper and more widespread than previously believed. French social historians have shown that news of the mobilization was received in some parts of the country with tears and consternation rather than joy and parades. In Germany, too, feeling was more polarized than had been assumed. Thus, there were peace demonstrations in major cities to warn AustriaHungary against starting a war with Serbia. And when the German mobilization was finally proclaimed, the reaction of large sections of the population was decidedly lukewarm. As one young trade unionist wrote after watching cheerful crowds around him near Hamburg’s main railroad station on 1 August 1914: Am I mad or is it the others? Considering the unprecedented slaughter that began shortly thereafter in the trenches of the western front as well as in the east, this was certainly a good question, and further research may well open up new perspectives on the mentalities of the men and women in 1914 and on the socioeconomic and political upheavals that followed, which ultimately also involved the United States as a participant. Bibliography Fritz Fischer , Germany: War Aims in the First World War, 1967.Konrad Jarausch , The Enigmatic Chancellor, 1972.Volker R. Berghahn , Germany and the Approach of War in 1914, 1973.Fritz Fischer , War of Illusions, 1973.James Joll , The Origins of the First World War, 1984.John W. Langdon , July 1914, The Long Debate 19181990, 1991.Samuel R. Williamson, Jr. , AustriaHungary and the Origins of the First World War, 1991. Volker R. Berghahn In 1914, Wilson proclaimed U.S. neutrality in keeping with American tradition. He was also aware of the great divisions over the war: although perhaps a bare majority of Americans favored Britain, nearly as many were hostile to the Allies because of ethnic loyalties or suspicions of Britain, the world’s most powerful empire and financial center, or hostility toward czarist Russia with its autocracy and pogroms. Both Germany and Britain violated U.S. neutral maritime rights, as Wilson strictly defined them, but German submarine warfare seemed more ruthless, particularly with the sinking of the Lusitania, a British passenger liner, in 1915. American trade with the Allies tripled to $3 billion a year between 1914 and 1916 and helped economic recovery in the United States. ProBritish elites and the urban press increasingly emphasized German immoralitythe invasion of neutral Belgium and alleged atrocities there and later the barbarity of sub marine warfare. Seeking to avoid being drawn into the war but also insisting on Americans’ right to aid the Allies, Wilson held Germany to strict accountability for its submarine warfare, and for a while caused Berlin to restrict its Uboats. After his reelection in 1916, Wilson offered to mediate a peace; but both sides refused. Berlin then decided on unrestricted submarine warfare, beginning 1 February 1917, to starve Britain into terms. Wilson severed diplomatic relations on 3 February. American public opinion was also inflamed by the Zimmermann note, in which Germany sought a military alliance with Mexico against the United States. When submarines sank three American merchant ships, Wilson abandoned temporary armed neutrality and decided to take the United States into the war, in part because his strict accountability policy had failed and in part because he wanted the United States to help shape a treaty for peace. In his powerful war message of 2 April 1917, Wilson condemned the German submarine campaign as warfare against mankind, and urged Americans to fight, in his famous phrase, to make the world safe for democracy. By a vote of 826 in the Senate (4 April) and 37350 in the House (6 April), Congress adopted a resolution declaring that a state of war existed between the United States and Germany.[See also Germany, U.S. Military Involvement in.] Bibliography William Appleman Williams , The Tragedy of American Diplomacy, 1959.Ernest R. May , The World War and American Isolation, 19141917, 1959.Arthur S. Link , Wilson: Campaigns for Progressivism and Peace, 19161917, 1965.N. Gordon Levin, Jr. , Woodrow Wilson and World Politics: America’s Response to War and Revolution, 1968.Ross Gregory , The Origins of American Intervention in the First World War, 1971.Robert H. Ferrell , Woodrow Wilson and World War I, 19171921, 1985.Thomas J. Knock , To End All Wars: Woodrow Wilson and the Quest for a New World Order, 1992. John Whiteclay Chambers II Europe’s military elite, accepting Carl von Clausewitz’s military principles of the decisive force, at the decisive place, at the decisive time, were committed to an offensive strategy designed to climax in one or two great decisive battles. Clausewitz’s ideas on war may also have influenced society. The historian John Keegan argues that Europe had been transformed into a warrior society by the acceptance of Clausewitz’s maxims that war was a continuation of political activity and that war is an act of violence pushed to its utmost bounds. A month after House’s letter, the assassination on 28 June 1914 of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the AustroHungarian throne, precipitated a general European crisis that quickly became unmanageable. The Austrians, given unequivocal support by their ally, Germany, blamed Serbia for the archduke’s death and decided to crush Serbia’s challenge to the fragile AustroHungarian empire. Vienna’s determination to go to war triggered a general conflict. The illusion that modern industrialized wars would be short made this decision easier. Few believed the Polish banker and economist, Ivan S. Bloch, the author of The Future of War in Its Economic and Political Relations: Is War Now Impossible? (1898), who argued that modern military technology had made unlimited war mutually destructive for the participants. Germany’s Schlieffen Plan, designed to achieve victory over France within six weeks by a gigantic flanking movement through neutral Belgium, came to grief during the First Battle of the Marne (59 September). An ominous portent was that the French, Germans, and British had suffered over half a million casualties in three weeks of fighting. Meanwhile, the Russian offensive in East Prussia was checked and thrown back, with an entire Russian army destroyed at Tannenberg (2630 August). Following the opening battles, the armies in the west dug in. An almost continuous line of parallel defensive systems was constructed from the North Sea to Switzerland. Protected by barbed wire, usually 50 or more feet deep, these earthworks were frequently built in depth. The front resembled a spiderweb, consisting of thousands of miles of connecting and parallel trenches. Trench warfare also existed to some extent of other frontsin some areas of Russia, Italy, the Balkans, and Palestinethough nowhere did it become as prominent as in France and Flanders. Europe’s military leaders sought to return to a war of maneuver by rupturing the enemy’s front. To restore the offensive, new weapons such as tanks and chemical warfare were eventually introduced. Highexplosive shells, recoilless carriages, optical sights, improved communications, and cannon ranges of 20 or more miles made indirect artillery bombardment the dominant force of the battlefield. The application of massive and increasingly sophisticated artillery fire proved to be the most effective means of reducing fortifications. But the western defenses, bolstered by dramatic advances in firepower, were so strong and thickly defended that it was possible to break into them but not through them prior to 1918. When breakthroughs were successful, there remained limitations to the advance. The 191618 version of the tank lacked the speed and reliability to maintain the momentum of an attack over battletorn ground before defenders dug in again. Nor could the heavy guns be moved forward rapidly to support a continued advance of the infantry. The 1930s view, which lingers still among many, is that the generals of the western front were inept and their approaches to winning the war futile. A war of attrition was substituted for a war of intelligence, is the way that Lloyd George, British prime minister and a leading critic of attempts to win the war on the western front, put it. The historian Tim Travers has emphasized that many commanders had difficulty abandoning their nineteenthcentury vision of warfare, which emphasized the lan of the individual soldier over the new weapons technology. But recent studies of the evolution of tactics by Paddy Griffith and Robin Prior and Trevor Wilson have demonstrated that the western front during the last half of the war was not tactically stagnant. The Germans are often considered the most innovative with their elastic defenseindepth and stormtrooper tactics of infiltration. But the British, with more offensive experience than the enemy in 191617, also perfected allarms assaults and advanced techniques of trench raiding prior to the tactical successes of the Germans in the spring of 1918. Germany, relying on strong support from AustriaHungary, concentrated its resources on the eastern front in 1915. The vastness of that front, and the clear superiority of German artillery and leadership, made possible an advance of some 300 miles. Although Italy joined the Allies in 1915, by the end of the year, Berlin dominated Central and southeastern Europe, had a bridge to Asia and Africa through its Turkish ally, and retained Belgium and the most industrial part of France. Serbia had been defeated and Bulgaria enlisted as an ally. British efforts to find a way around the western front ended in dismal failure in the Dardanelles and Gallipoli campaigns. The central powers, with a more unified command because of Germany’s dominant position, interior lines, and a good system of railways, held a formidable position despite their inferiority in warships, manpower, and industrial capacity. In 1916, Germany sought to break the stalemate in the west in the tenmonth Battle of Verdun, deliberately seeking a decisive battle of attrition and will. To relieve Verdun, a massive AngloFrench offensive was launched on the Somme in July. When winter brought the fighting to a close, the western front had little changed: Verdun remained in French hands, and the Allies had captured no position of strategical importance on the Somme. Combined GermanAllied casualties exceeded 2 million. Despite the carnage, the warring coalitions faced a bleak future of continued stalemate and exhaustion. Compared to the great powers of Europe, the United States was a profoundly peaceful and unmilitaristic nation. Prior to America’s entry into the war in April 1917, Wilson’s secretary of the navy, Josephus Daniels, was decidedly antiwar if not pacifistic, and Newton Baker, secretary of war since 1916, was an ardent antimilitarist. The U.S. Navy had expanded to defend American shores and trade routes, but the U.S. Army ranked seventeenth in the world. The United States was the world’s number one industrial power, but the army lacked modern weaponry, including tanks, poison gas, aircraft, heavy artillery, and trench mortars. War mobilization, 191718, failed to remedy this deficiency: the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) largely fought with foreign weapons. Although legally neutral, the United States had become a vital factor for the Allies with their growing dependence on American credit and material. Caught between the effective Allied naval blockade and Germany’s submarine warfare campaign, America’s right to trade overseas was jeopardized. To keep the United States from being drawn into the global conflict, Wilson attempted mediation. With the European belligerents unable to take the U.S. military seriously, he had little diplomatic leverage except for American economic might. The European nations wanted a peace to reflect their immense sacrifices in blood and treasure. But an acceptable peace to one side represented defeat to the other. Wilson’s mediation efforts implied that he was prepared to accept a global role for the United States to obtain a compromise peace, but he certainly never imagined any circumstances that would involve American forces in what he referred to as the mechanical game of slaughter in France. Nor apparently could he identify any strategic interest for the United States in the total defeat of Germany, which he believed would result in an unbalanced peace of victors. His formula for a satisfactory end to the fighting as he announced in January 1917 was peace without victory. Pressed into the war in April 1917 by Germany’s gamble for quick victory through unrestricted submarine warfare, Wilson initially believed that American belligerency would largely be economic and psychological and that the central powers could be forced to the peace table without U.S. troops becoming involved on European battlefields. Pressure from London and Paris and the realization that his voice in any peace conference would be small without an American military presence in Europe changed his mind. Only once before, during the American Revolution, had the United States fought as part of a military alliance. The General Staff in the War Department, however, quickly concluded that the only way that the United States could fight in Europe was through a collective military enterprise with the British and French on the western front. Nonetheless, America’s leadership was determined to maintain a distinct military and political position. Wilson immediately disassociated himself from the entente’s controversial war objectives by insisting that the United States was an associate power, with freedom to conduct independent goals. The commander in chief of the AEF, John J. Pershing, proved an excellent choice to defend a separate and distinct U.S. military role in the war. The AEF commander tenaciously adhered to his goal of an independent U.S. force with its own front, supply lines, and strategic goals. His preparations for a winthewar American breakthrough to occur in 1919 in Lorraine to the east and west of Metz profoundly influenced America’s military participation. The United States supported unity of command and the selection of Gen. Ferdinand Foch as generalissimo; but Pershing resisted anything but the temporary amalgamation of American units into French and British divisions, even during the grave military crisis confronting the Allies in the spring of 1918. The German High Command, with Russia knocked out of the war in the winter of 191718, attempted to destroy the French Army and drive the British from the Continent through a series of offensives. Pershing resisted the only means of immediately assisting the depleted Allied forces: the inclusion of American units in British and French divisions. Small numbers of American soldiers, however, began to enter combat under the American flag in May and June. On 28 May, 14 months after the United States entered the war, a reinforced U.S. regiment (about 4,000 men) captured the village of Cantigny. Several days later, the Second Division (which included a Marine brigade) took up a defensive position west of ChteauThierry and engaged the advancing Germans. Pershing rebuffed efforts by Allied soldiers to share their increasingly sophisticated tactical techniques with his forces. Revisionists have been critical of his emphasis on riflemen, the American frontier spirit, and open field tactics, arguing that he did not comprehend how science and the machine age had revolutionized warfare. After gaining reluctant approval from Foch for the formation of an independent American force, the U.S. First Army, Pershing went forward with plans to eliminate the threatening salient of St. Mihiel, as a prelude to his Metz offensive. The Battle of St. Mihiel (1216 September 1918) proved to be an impressive but misleading U.S. victory because German forces were in the process of withdrawing to a new and shorter defensive line when the Americans attacked and cut off the salient. The pressing demands of coalition warfare, however, forced Pershing to delay preparations for his 1919 Metz campaign. Complying with Foch’s strategy, he reluctantly shifted most of his troops some sixty miles northward to the MeuseArgonne sector, where he was expected to participate in simultaneous and converging Allied attacks against the large German salient. Logistical chaos, flawed tactics, and inexperienced men and officers contributed to a disastrous start to the MeuseArgonne offensive (26 September11 November 1918). Pershing hoped to advance ten miles on the first day; his front, however, had moved just thirtyfour miles by the armistice six weeks later, much of the ground gained only during the last phase of the offensive when Germany had exhausted its reserves. Although only involved in heavy fighting for 110 days, the AEF made vital contributions to Germany’s defeat. With tens of thousands of doughboys crossing the Atlantic to reinforce the Allies, and with the AEF emerging as a superior fighting force, the exhausted and depleted Germans had no hope of avoiding total defeat if the war continued into 1919. Before Berlin’s appeal in early October for a peace based on Wilson’s Fourteen Points, the United States was on the verge of brilliantly coordinating its participation in the land war in Europe with its political plans to reshape the postwar world. If the war had continued into the spring of 1919, Pershing’s plan to deliver a knockout blow to the German Army probably would have been achieved. Gen. Jan C. Smuts, the South African statesman who served in the British War Cabinet, warned the British government in October: if the war continued another year, the United States would become the diplomatic dictator of the world. In contrast to Pershing’s wishes for total victory, Wilson hoped to avoid placing Germany at the mercy of the Allies. American participation had not been designed to further the British empire, strengthen French security, or even maintain the European balance of power. Wilson stood not with the interests of the nationstates, but with the rights of humankind. He thus attempted with mixed results to use separate negotiations with Berlin over an armistice to impose his Fourteen Points on the Allies as well as Germany. As the Great War concluded with the armistice on 11 November 1918, American policy was directed toward the repudiation of power politics and the erection of a permanent peace. Wilsonianism promised an end to war primarily through democratic institutions, the end of secret diplomacy, the selfdetermination for ethnic minorities, and most especially through a League of Nations. It has been argued that this visionary approach raised expectations that were impossible to meet. The war had destroyed the old balance of power in Europe, and the peace settlement made revisionist nations out of the two states that would soon dominate the Continent, Germany and the Soviet Union. The United States, the greatest economic beneficiary of the war, helped make the peace, but with its rejection of the Treaty of Versailles refused responsibility for maintaining it. A war in which over 65 million troops had been mobilized by the belligerents ended in a twentyyear truce instead of permanent peace. The failure to achieve Wilson’s unrealistic though desirable goal was hardly surprising. But another general war was not inevitable. World War II was caused by many factors, including the flawed peace settlement of 1919, the Great Depression of the 1930s, and the psychological scars of World War I, which enfeebled the democracies. But the inability of the victorious powers, especially Great Britain and the United States, to work together to prevent the resurgence of German military power, was certainly one of the most important reasons for the resumption of war in 1939. Bibliography B. H. Liddell Hart , The Real War 19141918, 1930.Edward M. Coffman , The War to End All Wars: The American Military Experience in World War I, 1968.Donald Smythe , Pershing: General of the Armies, 1985.Tim Travers , The Killing Ground: The British Army, the Western Front and the Emergence of Modern Warfare, 19001918, 1987.Allan R. Millett , Over Where? The AEF and the American Strategy for Victory, 19171918, in Allan Millett and Williamson Murray, eds., Against All Enemies: Interpretations of the American Military from Colonial Times to the Present, 1988.Timothy K. Nenninger , American Military Effectiveness in the First World War, in Military Effectiveness, Vol. 1: The First World War, Allan Millett and Williamson Murray, eds., 1988.David Stevenson , The First World War and International Politics, 1988.Robin Prior and and Trevor Wilson , Command on the Western Front: The Military Career of Sir Henry Rawlinson 191418, 1992.John Keegan , A History of Warfare, 1993.David F. Trask , The AEF and Coalition Warmaking, 19171918, 1993.David R. Woodward , Trial by Friendship: AngloAmerican Relations, 19171918, 1993.Paddy Griffith , Battle Tactics of the Western Front: The British Army’s Art of Attack, 191618, 1994.D. Clayton James and and Anne Sharp Wells , America and the Great War, 19141920, 1998. David R. Woodward President Woodrow Wilson’s administration improvised a series of solutions to these problems. It exhorted Americans to work and sacrifice for the war and to submerge their differences. It isolated and punished the war’s opponents and rewarded people and organizations whose cooperation it needed. The result of its efforts was what has been called a wartime welfare state, in which government and interest groups sought to manage one another; in which patriotism and idealism and sacrifice existed alongside the determined pursuit of selfinterest; in which those with the greatest power, the strongest organization, or the most badly needed resources tended to secure the largest benefits from Congress and the Wilson administration. To control domestic public opinion, the administration established a Committee on Public Information, which supplied American media with overwhelming quantities of facts and propaganda. Together with the Department of Justice and the Post Office, the Committee on Public Information defined what Americans were permitted to say in wartime. Notable dissenters, including the Socialist leader Eugene V. Debs and hundreds of others whom government officials felt had opposed government policies or interfered with war production, were sent to prison. The government’s portrayal of a monstrous enemy and its attacks on dissenters, together with the reports of casualties suffered in battle at enemy hands, helped promote a frenzy of antiGerman and antiGerman American feelings in parts of the nation. Appealing to liberals, at that time a very large faction, the administration made the war, in some respects, a continuation of the prewar Progressive movement. It depicted the struggle against the central powers as a campaign for worldwide reform. It endorsed a federal women’s suffrage amendment as a reward for women’s war work. It extended disability benefits to members of the armed forces, provided financial support to their dependents, and created occupational health and safety standards for war workers. It tried to limit alcohol consumption and abolish prostitution, goals of many reformers. To assure the cooperation of prowar labor unions, the administration approved collective bargaining for the duration of the conflict, provided federal mediation of labor disputes, and gave union officials an opportunity to sit on boards that managed the economybut not to determine the policies of those boards. To the small and weak contingent of racial equality reformers, however, it offered only modest concessions, including positions in government as intelligence workers so that civil rights leaders could inform the government of possible disaffection among African Americans. American corporations made large gains in wartime. The government enabled business groups to regulate themselves. Executives of leading companies dominated agencies, such as the Council of National Defense and the War Industries Board, that coordinated war production and distribution and arranged prices. It could hardly have been otherwise. Without a large, experienced regulatory bureaucracy of its own, the U.S. government needed not only the products of factories run by these businessmen but also their expert knowledge of how their industries operated. The president and Congress provided some checks on abuses by businesses. They declined for several months to give precise authority to the Council of National Defense and the War Industries Board; for a long time they failed to stop the War Department from resisting control over procurement by the businessdominated agencies. Congress passed legislation that in principle outlawed conflicts of interest. In some cases, the administration even used federal agencies to run important segments of the war economy, such as the railroad system. Yet the bureaucracy that managed railroads for the Railroad Administration was recruited from executives who had managed the railroads before the government took them over, so even that organizationa supposed example of war socialismcontinued the practice of selfregulation. The economic war agencies operated largely through a system of incentives, often using indirect methods rather than overt commands to achieve their objectives. They established a priority system in which companies that volunteered to manufacture war goods were given greater access to raw materials, workers, fuel, and transportation than those whose activities were deemed less essential. (To put it another way, companies that chose not to cooperate might receive barely enough of what they needed to keep them going). These agencies offered cooperating businesses the chance to earn very large profits, partly because prices for whole industries were set at a level that could make the most inefficient producers profitable. Because the people who awarded contracts and negotiated their terms came from the industries that received the awards, executives who sought those contracts could feel confident that they were dealing with knowledgeable persons, not insensitive government officials. Businesses could engage in collusion without fear of being prosecuted. Although producers in the lumber, steel, automobile, and other industries drove very hard bargains with the war agencies, and in some cases threatened to refuse contracts for vital war products, American capitalists used publicity about their war work to restore an image of private enterprise that had been seriously tarnished in the prewar years. Certain large business leaders also appreciated the wartime opportunity to substitute cooperation for competitiona change some of them hoped would be permanent. Incentives and publicity played significant parts in other areas of war mobilization. To induce farmers to expand production, the federal government set a minimum price for wheat. It ran massive propaganda campaigns encouraging citizens to conserve food and fuel and to help pay for the war by purchasing government Liberty bonds. The Committee on Public Information and the Treasury Department staged Liberty bond rallies at which movie stars, war heroes, politicians, and other celebrities appeared to promote bond sales. Government publicity encouraged men of military age to join the armed forces and promoted a public climate in which ablebodied slackers felt extremely uncomfortable. Though thousands held back out of conscientious objection or for other reasons, plenty of Americans wanted to enlist. Still, the government decided not to rely on volunteers alone. It instituted conscription, administered by a Selective Service System, which sent two and threequarter million men to the armed forces. The Selective Service System also promoted economic mobilization, inducing essential civilian workers to stay where they were by exempting them from the draft, but warning them that they must work or fight. From women suffragists to civil rights leaders, from union officials to corporate executives, American civilians sought to turn the war to their advantage or to the advantage of the groups to which they belonged. Their political leaders and representatives did the same. After announcing that politics is adjourned, President Wilson asked the voters to elect candidates from the Democratic Party in 1918 as a referendum on his war leadership. (They responded by giving Republicans control of both houses of Congress.) Several of the state councils of defense, which had been established to foster mobilization, became political organizations, usually dominated by Republicans. Many wartime measures were intensely politicalfor example, the decisions to fix minimum prices for certain products and not others, and to pay part of the cost of the war by progressive taxation and by taxes on excess profits. The wartime welfare state, created for temporary purposes and staffed largely by volunteers rather than by a standing bureaucracy, dissolved at the end of the war. But the memory of the wartime system remained in the minds of those who had run it, and some of its components persisted in the 1920ssuch as a federal system of medical benefits to veterans and governmentsponsored cooperation among businesses. During the Great Depression, several wartime agencies were resurrected with new names and altered purposes, including the War Finance Corporation, restored in Herbert C. Hoover’s administration as the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, and a host of New Deal organizations such as the National Recovery Administration, which traced its origins to the War Industries Board. Shortlived though it may have been, the wartime system for managing America’s home front in 1917 and 1918 contained some of the germs of the late twentiethcentury welfare state, and was a progenitor of modern big government.[See also Agriculture and War; Civil Liberties and War; Economy and War; Industry and War; Public Financing and Budgeting for War.] Bibliography David M. Kennedy , Over Here: The First World War and American Society, 1980.Robert H. Ferrell , Woodrow Wilson and World War I: 19171921, 1985.David R. Woodward and and Robert Franklin Maddox , America and World War I: A Selected Annotated Bibliography of EnglishLanguage Sources, 1985.John Whiteclay Chambers II , To Raise an Army: The Draft Comes to Modern America, 1987.Ronald Schaffer , America and the Great War: The Rise of the War Welfare State, 1991. Ronald Schaffer Essentially a civil war in Europe with global implications, World War I destroyed some empires and weakened others. The 1917 Revolution in Russia, following the czarist regime’s collapse, culminated in the Bolshevik seizure of power. With military defeat in 1918, the Otto man and AustroHungarian Empires disintegrated, while Germany replaced the kaiser’s government with the Weimar Republic. New nations such as Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia emerged from former empires. Victory for the European Allies came at a high price. They owed over $11 billion to the United States, which was transformed from a net debtor to a net creditor. New York replaced London as the world’s financial center. The European Allies also faced increasing demands for selfrule from their colonies. They no longer controlled sufficient military and economic resources to shape world affairs as before. By war’s end, the United States and Japan were among the victorious powers at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, along with the United Kingdom, France, and Italy, with U.S. president Woodrow Wilson playing a leading role. He made the League of Nations an essential part of the Treaty of Versailles with Germany. The United States and the Allies, refusing to recognize the Bolshevik government in Russia, excluded the Soviet Union from Paris. Still, the specter of Bolshevism loomed over the conference. Wilson sought a peace settlement that would protect democratic and capitalist nations. Affirming the principle of national selfdetermination, he called for a postwar League of Nations to provide collective security for its members. He expected the League, under American leadership, to protect its members’ territorial integrity and political independence against external aggression, and thereby preserve the peace. Within the belligerent countries, the war had enhanced the state’s role in the economy and society, but it also generated a backlash. Democratic governments in Western Europe retained civilian control, while autocratic governments in Central and Eastern Europe had succumbed to both military rule and revolution. Western democratic governments lost authority after the war. British elections in 1918 that kept Prime Minister David Lloyd George in office also registered Irish demands for selfrule. France experienced political instability after Premier Georges Clemenceau’s resignation following his defeat in the presidential election. Americans likewise reacted against Wilson’s strong wartime leadership. The 1918 elections reduced the Democrats to the minority in Congress. After the war, as wartime agencies removed regulations, the United States experienced rapid inflation, labor strikes, and economic recession. The American Expeditionary Forces returned from France and quickly demobilized. Congress reorganized the armed forces with the National Defense Act of 1920, reducing the regular army to nearly its prewar level. Rapid readjustment and demobilization produced social unrest in the United States in 191920. Regardless of their wartime patriotism, African Americans were primary victims of urban race riots and rural lynchings, while socialists and other radicals, whether immigrants or nativeborn, were targets of the Red Scare. Wilson was partly responsible for this postwar impact, given his negative attitudes toward black people, new immigrants, and labor strikes, and his international focus, resulting in a neglect of postwar reconstruction at home. He contributed to the Red Scare, too, by advocating the League of Nations as a barrier against Bolshevism. Nevertheless, under Henry Cabot Lodge’s leadership, the Republican Senate kept the United States out of Wilson’s League by rejecting the Treaty of Versailles. Americans reacted against the wartime regulatory state and international involvement. Voters in 1920, including women who had just gained the suffrage under the Nineteenth Amendment, elected Republican senator Warren G. Harding to the presidency. Promising less government at home and less entanglement abroad, he epitomized one postwar alternative to Wilsonianism. The postwar legacy of World War I was very different from Wilson’s hopes. The League of Nations failed to maintain peace when aggressive nationsnotably Communist Russia, Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, and Imperial Japanlater challenged the Versailles peace. These revisionist powers rejected democracy and capitalism and challenged the status quo. They exploited the AngloAmerican revisionism of the treaty’s critics, such as John Maynard Keynes in The Economic Consequences of the Peace (1920), to justify their aggression. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, which resulted in part from the postwar failure to create a sustainable world economy, they turned modern nationalism into a hostile force that culminated in World War II. Yet the longterm impact of World War I also included the enduring legacy of Wilsonianism. Wilson had emphasized the principle of national selfdetermination in the peacemaking. To curb nationalist excesses and aggression, he had advocated collective security through the League of Nations, hoping to enable free nations to participate in a new world order of peace and prosperity. He had endeavored to shape public opinion in favor of democracy and capitalism as well as internationalism. Despite his failure after World War I, Wilson’s ideals deeply influenced the statecraft of future generations. Wilsonianism would continue to shape the international history of the twentieth century. Bibliography Burl Noggle , Into the Twenties: The United States from Armistice to Normalcy, 1974.Barry D. Karl , The Uneasy State: The United States from 1915 to 1945, 1983.Robert H. Ferrell , Woodrow Wilson and World War I, 19171921, 1985.Klaus Schwabe , Woodrow Wilson, Revolutionary Germany, and Peacemaking, 19181919: Missionary Diplomacy and the Realities of Power, 1985.Arthur Walworth , Wilson and His Peacemakers: American Diplomacy at the Paris Peace Conference, 1919, 1986.Lloyd E. Ambrosius , Woodrow Wilson and the American Diplomatic Tradition: The Treaty Fight in Perspective, 1987.Manfred F. Boemeke, Gerald D. Feldman, and Elisabeth GlaserSchmidt, eds., The Treaty of Versailles: A Reassessment after 75 Years, 1998. Lloyd E. Ambrosius During the years between the two world wars, contentions abounded between the adherents of Sidney B. Fay of Harvard University and Bernadotte Schmitt of the University of Chicago, who took respectively the sides of the central powers and the Allies, and based their books and articles on the national documentary collections and memoirs. At the end of World War II, the American and British governments took control of the German Foreign Office files and opened them, which revealed the bias of the earlier German documentary collection, Die Grosse Politik der Europaeischen Kabinette: 18711914. Opinion now is that German nationalism bears primary responsibility for starting the war. American entrance into the great European conflict, which made it a true world war, produced an argument in the 1930s between Charles Seymour of Yale University and the popular historian Charles A. Beard, in which Seymour singled out German submarine warfare, especially the resort to unrestricted use of submarines beginning 1 February 1917, contrary to historical American neutral rights, as the cause of President Woodrow Wilson’s decision to move from neutrality to intervention. Beard belittled such a monocausal contention, writing that the cause of any large event is necessarily complex, akin to a chemist pouring reagents into a test tube and obtaining a precipitatebut the latter is not the cause. Historical opinion now favors multicausality within a larger cultural and economic context provided by U.S. ties with the Allies. In the making of the peace it is possible to say that the Wilsonian internationalists, the champions of the American president, such as historians Arthur Link and Arthur Walworth, have held the field. But questions remain, notably about whether the American people were prepared in 1919 for, if not a world government, then a world organization. Historians have agreed that Wilson himself was not his own best advocate. Thomas J. Knock has argued that Wilson undermined the progressive internationalist coalition by wartime repression. There is particular concern about the Wilson design of the Covenant of the League of Nations, which was neither fish nor fowlneither a general scheme to promote international law and arbitration, which was in the American diplomatic tradition, nor a design for a postwar alliance of the victorious powers, which such conservative senators as Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts might have approved on a shortterm basis. Historians have remarked on the extraordinary nationalism of post1918 America, the inchoate but ardent desire to promote peace, and the victory of isolationism. They are unsure that any American president, seeking an acceptable peace, could have done anything other than what President Warren G. Harding did, which was to declare agreement with the nonpolitical provisions of the Treaty of Versailles.[See also Disciplinary Views of War.] Robert H. Ferrell

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World War IClockwise from top right: Melee combat on the Western Front, air combat above Italian Alps, British infantry inside a trench, a dreadnought firing its main guns, a cavalry charge on the Middle Eastern Front, view from a British plane over the Western FrontDate July 28, 1914 November 11, 1918 Europe, the Pacific, the Atlantic, Southeast Asia, the Mediterranean and Africa 5,525,000 22,477,500 KIA, WIA or MIA 4,386,000 16,403,000 KIA, WIA or MIA World War I (often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War and the Great War) was a global conflict lasting from 1914 to 1918, involving most of the world’s nations including all of the great powers, eventually forming two opposing military alliances, the Allies and the Central Powers. Prior to World War II, the First World War was seen as one of the most devastating conflicts in world history as over nine million combatants and seven million civilians died as a result of the war, due to the belligerents’technological and industrial sophistication, and the tactical stalemate caused by gruelingtrench warfare.As such, many people at the time dubbed the conflict as “the war to end all wars”. While warfare would continue, the aftermath of World War I paved the way for both political and military change. During the 19th century, the major European powers went to great lengths to maintain a balance of power, which resulted in the existence of both political and military alliances. The situation in Europe before the war was uneasy. Imperialism, militarism, and nationalism are at high points, and an arms race between the great empires of Europe drove militarization to never-before-seen heights. Unresolved territorial conflicts created international tension, and multiple regional conflicts saw the break down of diplomatic relationships. Just before the outbreak of the war, much of Europe had allied themselves into two power camps, the Triple Entente and the Triple Alliance. A trigger for a war was the assassination of Austro-Hungarian Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo at 28 June 1914, by Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip. The assassination brought Austria-Hungary to declare war on Serbia, and the conflict quickly escalated into most of Europe’s Great Powers declaring war on each other. World War I became the war between the greatest empires in the world. 1915-1918 See also: Gotha Raids on London (Codex Entry) As an act of all-out war, the German Air Force performed many bombing raids on London. The main goal was to spread chaos and terror among Brits. At the beginning, Germans were using Zeppelins, but in 1917 they started replacing airships with better and harder to hit Gotha G.IV bombers. 21 February – 18 December 1916 The Battle of Verdun was the longest and one of the deadliest battles ever fought on the Western Front. The German Army attacked the Fortified Region of Verdun in an attempt to rapidly capture Meuse Heights, from which they can then gain an advantage over the city of Verdun itself. Due to heavy French resistance, German advancement slowed down significantly a few days into the battle as both sides experienced heavy casualties. The battle ended with French victory, but the grueling fight had taken a toll on both sides, with several hundred thousands of casualties. June 1st – June 8th 1916 See also: Fort De Vaux (Codex Entry) As the German Army advanced on Verdun, Fort de Vaux posed a threat to their left flank. The fort was constantly bombed by Germany since the Battle of Verdun began and a final assault began on 1 June. After a valiant defense by the French troops, the battle ended with their surrender on 7 June as they had ran out of water. The fort would not be recaptured by French forces until November. April 1917 See also: Bloody April (Codex Entry) In April 1917, Franco-British forces launched the Nivelle Offensive, named after and led by French General Robert Nivelle, one part of which is the Battle of Arras. In the Battle of Arras, the Royal Flying Corps has been involved in an arms race with the Luftstreitkrafte, the German Air Force. The battle in the air was a disaster for the RFC, as the German air superiority was too hard to counter. Unfortunately, as the battle takes place, British air recon as well as artillery never stopped, ultimately marked the failure for the Germans on the ground. 2327 October 1917 See also: Battle of Malmaison (Codex Entry) The main component of the April 1917 Nivelle Offensive was the Second Battle of the Aisne, a French assault on German positions on the strategically important ridge of Chemin des Dames. However, the offensive was a dismal failure, with incredibly high French losses while failing to achieve the objective. Months later, on the night of October 23, French forces focused an assault on Chemin des Dames, advancing with the help of tanks and a creeping artillery barrage. On October 27, French forces had captured the village and fort of La Malmaison and taken control of Chemin des Dames. Autumn 1917 Later in 1917, the region of Butte-de-Tahure, Marne, controlled by the Germans, is being invaded by the French in order to gain back land. As the battle comes to life, the village of Tahure has been entrenched and bombarded by French artillery, completely devastating the village, and the French eventually taken the region at the cost of losing the village of Tahure, pushing the Germans back. 21 23 March 1918 The stalemate on the Western Front broke in 1918, when Germany began the Spring Offensive, also known as Kaiserschlacht (The Emperor’s Battle in German). As the start of the opening offensive Operation Michael, the German Army, led by Erich Ludendorff, launched a rapid attack near the commune of Saint Quentin. With a surprise attack, the German Army managed to break through the Allied lines, pushing towards the city of Amiens, an important Allied railway and communications center. However, the Allies had managed to halt the German forces just east of Amiens, and by April, the operation was terminated. 23 April 1918 In April 1918, the British Royal Navy aimed to cripple the Imperial German Navy by attacking the Bruges-Zeebrugge Port, however, U-boats stashed in concrete defenses made an aerial bombardment on the port ineffective. Therefore, on the midnight of 23 April, the ships of HMS Vindictive, Thetis, Intrepid, and Iphegenia , alongside submarines of British Navy boarded the mole, destroying the only connection between German reinforcements. However, the attack was a strategic failure, but was classified as a success for the British. Casualties in this battle were low, with 8 Germans killed, 16 Germans wounded, and an estimated 200 British deaths. 15 July 6 August 1918 The Second Battle of the Marne saw Germany’s last offensive in the Spring Offensive, Operation Marneschutz-Reims, and was also the site of a major Allied counteroffensive. 8 – 12 August 1918 During the Spring Offensive, Germany had advanced the lines to the east of Amiens. With the support of tanks, Imperial soldiers attempted to penetrate the line further and reach Amiens, but they were stopped by the Allied forces. In August, after the success of the Battle of Soissons, the Allies performed a successful offensive on German forces in the region, and this victory was the beginning of a major Allied offensive known as the Hundred Days Offensive. 26 September – 11 November 1918 The Meuse-Argonne offensive was part of the Hundred Days Offensive, performed by American and French forces. 8 10 October 1918 In 1918, during the Hundred Days Offensive, the Entente forces began another armored offensive with over 320 tanks on the city of Cambrai. After the controversial First Battle of Cambrai in 1917 (also the first and the greatest tank battle in World War I), the tank tactics had developed significantly. Combined with exhausted German defenders, the battle was an overwhelming success for the Entente forces. 17 25 October 1918 Another Allied attack in the Hundred Days Offensive, the battle involved the Allies assaulting the retreating German forces near Le Cateau after the Second Battle of Cambrai, who had taken positions near the Selle river. The battle saw major combat over the Le Cateau-Wassigny Railway and ended with Allied victory. Winter of 1914/1915 On the dawn of 1915, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, now at war with Russia, aims to capture the areas of Galicia to push the Russians back. An encounter on Lupkow Pass brought forth a bitterly contested area that would continue for the remainder of the war. 4 June – 20 September 1916 Aiming to push the Hapsburg forces of the Austro-Hungarian Empire back and regain the land from them, General Aleksei Brusilov spearheaded a tactical offensive on the 4th of June 1916. September – October 1917 The German Empire launched an amphibious operation to occupy the West Estonian Islands, which was part of the Russian Republic as an autonomous governorate of Estonia. Initially, advances failed twice and eventually landed on 19 September at the Hiiumaa and captured the island. This operation was successful for the Germans and captured prisoners and guns. In this offensive, the Zeppelin was utilized alongside the Dreadnought. 24 October – 19 November 1917 The Isonzo River has been widely contested since 1915, with a total of elevenengagements between the Italian Army and the Austro-Hungarian forces. However, on the battle of Caporetto on 24 October, which marks the twelfth battle, the Austro-Hungarian Empire deployed poison gas, similar to the British Livens projectors,on the Italian trenches, prompting the Italians to flee, but killed approximately 500-600 soldiers. With the use of specialized tactics, alongside the help of the German forces, the handicapped Italian Army was massively defeated in the twelfth engagement. 24 October 3 November 1918 Since 1915, the Italian Front existed as a series of battles between the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Kingdom of Italy. The Battle of Vittorio Veneto, which occurred on the anniversary of Italy’sdefeat in the Twelfth Battle of the Isonzo River. This is the final offensive on the Italian Front and concluded the Italian Front with decisive Italian victory. The main reason of conflict between British and Ottoman Empires was domination over the Suez Canal and Middle Eastern oilfields, which were the most important strategic objects in the region, allowing their armies to transport troops and extract oil, which was essential for modern armies. 6-8 September 1914 It was the first battle in the Middle East. British and Indian troops landed in Al-Faw Cape to take control over Fao Fortress. With the support of dreadnoughts and artillery, British troops captured the fort and took 300 prisoners. 26 January – 4 February 1915 At the beginning of 1915, the German-led Ottoman Army performed an attack on the Suez Canal. Ottoman soldiers crossed the Sinai Peninsula and started the raid, but their invasion failed, due to strongly held defenses. 25 April 1915 – 9 January 1916 British plan was to perform a massive invasion on the Ottoman Empire. Firstly, Britain had to capture Gallipoli peninsula and go to Constantinople. Gallipoli battle was the greatest landing operation of World War I. The naval attack never repelled. Due to heavy casualties on both sides, the conflict was withdrawn to Egypt. The Battle of Gallipoli was the first moment when Australians and New Zealanders fought under their own flag, which brought Australia their freedom from the British Empire. 28 January 1915 – 30 October 1918 After an unsuccessful raid on Suez Canal, Ottoman forces were pushed into Sinai Desert. Many battles occurred, such as battles of Gaza, Romani and Maghdaba. In 1918, the British Empire finally beat the Ottoman Empire and won the Middle-Eastern front. June 1916 October 1918 In 1915, an Arab-nationalist movement began within the Ottoman Empire. Sharif Hussein bin Ali, Emir of Mecca, had negotiated with the British Empire to lead an uprising and secure an independent Arab state. In June 1916, Hussein declared himself the King of the Kingdom of Hejaz and began a rebellion against the Ottoman Empire. T. E. Lawrence, better known as the Lawrence of Arabia, was sent to Hejaz as a British liaison and to lead the revolt, showing strong skills as a strategist and securing multiple victories.

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August 23, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: World War I  Comments Closed

World War I Fast Facts – CNN

The Central Powers consisted of Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, Germany and the Ottoman Empire (now Turkey). The United States declared neutrality until German submarine warfare threatened American commercial shipping. Timeline:June 28, 1914 – Gavrilo Princip, who has ties to the Serbian terrorist-type group the Black Hand, assassinates Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary. July 28, 1914 – Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia. August 1, 1914 – Germany declares war on Russia. August 4, 1914 – Germany invades Belgium. President Woodrow Wilson declares that the United States is neutral. Britain declares war on Germany. August 10, 1914 – Austria-Hungary invades Russia, opening the fighting on the Eastern Front. August 26-30, 1914 – Battle of Tannenberg, Prussia. September 12, 1914 – First battle of the Aisne in France begins, marking the beginning of trench warfare. November 3, 1914 – Russia declares war on the Ottoman Empire. November 5, 1914 – Great Britain and France declare war on the Ottoman Empire. April 22-May 25, 1915 – Second Battle of Ypres, marking the first wide-scale use of poison gas by Germany. May 7, 1915 – A German U-20 submarine sinks the British passenger ship, the Lusitania; 1,198 are killed, including 128 Americans. June 1915-November 1917 – Battles of the Isonzo, Italy. 1915 – Battle of Krithia, Gallipoli peninsula, Ottoman Empire. February 21-July 1916 – Battle of Verdun, France, the war’s longest battle, with almost a million casualties. May 31-June 1, 1916 – Battle of Jutland, North Sea near Denmark – a sea battle between British and German navies. July 1, 1916-November 1916 – First Battle of the Somme River, France. The British introduce the tank. June 26, 1917 – American troops begin landing in France. November 20, 1917 – Battle of Cambrai, France. December 3, 1917 – Russia signs an armistice with Germany. March 3, 1918 – Russia signs the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, ending hostilities with the Central Powers and withdrawing Russia from this war. March 21-April 5, 1918 – Second Battle of the Somme River. September 29, 1918 – Bulgaria signs an armistice. October 30, 1918 – Ottoman Empire signs an armistice. November 3, 1918 – Austria-Hungary signs an armistice. November 11, 1918 – Germany accepts the armistice terms demanded by the Allies, ending the war.

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August 5, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: World War I  Comments Closed

World War I Centennial | National Archives

As the largest repository of American World War I records, the National Archives invites you to browse the wealth of records and information documenting the U.S. experience in this conflict, including photographs, documents, audiovisual recordings, educational resources, articles, blog posts, lectures, and events. April 6, 2017, marks the 100th anniversary of Americas entrance into the Great War. After remaining neutral for three years, the United States reluctantly entered what was supposed to be “The War to End All Wars.” By declaring war, President Woodrow Wilson committed the nation to join the other Allied countries in their efforts to defeat the German-led Central Powers. Explore more records, information, articles and resources at the National Archives organized by subject area. Begin your research with these World War I overview guides and resources from the National Archives. The records highlighted here represent a small portion of the National Archives holdings, many of which have not yet been digitized. Contact the National Archives to plan a research visit.

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July 16, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: World War I  Comments Closed

Amazon Best Sellers: Best World War I History

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July 5, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: World War I  Comments Closed

The Fading Battlefields of World War I – The Atlantic

This year will mark the passing of a full century since the end of World War Ia hundred years since the War to End All Wars. In that time, much of the battle-ravaged landscape along the Western Front has been reclaimed by nature or returned to farmland, and the scars of the war are disappearing. Some zones remain toxic a century later, and others are still littered with unexploded ordnance, closed off to the public. But across France and Belgium, significant battlefields and ruins were preserved as monuments, and farm fields that became battlegrounds ended up as vast cemeteries. In these places, the visible physical damage to the landscape remains as evidence of the phenomenal violence and destruction that took so many lives so long ago.

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June 4, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: World War I  Comments Closed


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