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 Serbia 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

Advertisements

” 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

Not in our Time: A Warning

Time is a strange thing. This coming April 6, World War I and the United States turn 100. 100 years since Congress declared war on the German Empire. 100 years since U.S. Doughboys, carrying automatic weapons and wearing steel helmets, marched off to war in France, in Belgium, in Italy, and in Siberia.  These troops … Continue reading Not in our Time: A Warning

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

The Veteran Transformation of November 11, 1918

November 11, 1918, dawned as any other day for the exhausted men of the U.S Army’s 26th Division, nicknamed the “Yankee Division” because it was a National Guard division from New England. The Yankees had been on the front since February, with only one brief rest for two weeks in August. They had taken so … Continue reading The Veteran Transformation of November 11, 1918

If U.S. Wars were Arrested Development Characters

Let's be honest, we all watch far too much television. In the old days, when our ancestors had no electricity and far too many brain cells, they occupied their time by reading silly things like the Iliad and other such classics. Because of this, they were able to associate current events with Classical literature, forming … Continue reading If U.S. Wars were Arrested Development Characters