Wonder Woman & the Great War: How WWI gets the Heroine it’s Always Needed

WARNING: SPOILERS FOLLOW Wonder Woman struck the big screen in a blaze of action and glory last week, depicting the heights to which people will go for each other - and the lows of which humanity is capable. The settings for the film could not have been more different - a paradise island where the … Continue reading Wonder Woman & the Great War: How WWI gets the Heroine it’s Always Needed

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How Experience in WWI brought the U.S. Army to Victory in WWII

We’re in the early months of the centennial of U.S. participation in World War I, the so-called, “War to end all wars.” With the vantage of 20/20 hindsight, we now know that rather than “making the world safe for democracy,” as Woodrow Wilson hoped, World War I instead set the stage for the next round … Continue reading How Experience in WWI brought the U.S. Army to Victory in WWII

Why 1866 Set the Stage for Two World Wars

When some search for the roots of the First World War, there is a tendency to look towards the Balkans. After all, it was the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in Sarajevo in 1914 that precipitated the kick-off of the greatest and most deadly bar-brawl in the history of the … Continue reading Why 1866 Set the Stage for Two World Wars

” Look! Here are the Americans!” The U.S. in World War I and Popular Memory

One hundred years ago this week, the United States entered World War I. “Too late to make a difference!” say some, often British or Commonwealth. “Should never have joined it at all,” say others, usually non-interventionist Americans. “World war what?” say many, usually all other Americans. “Thank you,” say a great many, almost always French. No … Continue reading ” Look! Here are the Americans!” The U.S. in World War I and Popular Memory

When the United States Army Went to War Armed with French Weapons

France. What a silly place, am I right? They eat frogs, they're on their, like, millionth government since the Revolution, and they keep needing us 'Muricans to save them during world wars. Well, that is one way of viewing the Franco-American narrative, I suppose, if one were to overlook the incredibly vital French aid during the American … Continue reading When the United States Army Went to War Armed with French Weapons

Anatomy of a World War I Artillery Barrage

A lot has been said about the role of artillery in World War I, in both its intensity and ferocity. On the opening day of the Somme on July 1, 1916, British guns hurled 250,000 high explosive and shrapnel shells towards German positions. During the beginning of the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917, over 3,000 … Continue reading Anatomy of a World War I Artillery Barrage

Walking a World War I Battlefield

I've been to a lot of battlefields: from the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Civil War. Most are neatly marked with "this thing happened here" or "Robert E. Lee's horse drank from a puddle here." I've even been to a few from the Soviet-Afghan War and Operation Enduring Freedom, although I saw … Continue reading Walking a World War I Battlefield

Tolkien and Combat Stress: Writing as a Release

I’ve been mulling over this idea of going back and revisiting old favorites, both in literature and film. If you’re like me, you read a lot of books growing up and probably had your favorites that you revisited time and again. Same with movies, TV shows, and documentaries. As we’ve gotten older – and our … Continue reading Tolkien and Combat Stress: Writing as a Release

“Of the Highest Order:” June 16, 1918

He bent low. His back ached. He could smell the earth below his face, the stinking, ever-present mud. Mercifully, free of gas. For now. The soft lip of the trench - or, what had been a trench before German artillery had blasted it to ever-living hell - was a dim reflection in the early morning … Continue reading “Of the Highest Order:” June 16, 1918