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World War I

It's pretty much forgotten today, isn't it?

There is virtually no one alive from that time period now, and most people have probably forgotten what the purpose of the war was in the first place.

Unlike Word War II which continues to be fresh and influential for many people, World War I seems insignificant.

by Anonymousreply 24102/13/2013

As a history buff, WWI is much more interesting to me.

There is an excellent series about WWI that airs from time to time on the History Channel. Catch it sometime.

My favorite part of the war is the eastern theater, how it causes the collapse of the Russian Empire and the rise of Bolshevism.


by Anonymousreply 110/25/2011

It also seems in retrospect that it was largely an unnecessary war (like so many others). Unlike in World War II where there was a Nazi threat that was attacking other countries and taking over the world, World War I seems to have started because every European country decided to declare war on each other once Ferdinad was assassinated.

It was basically a bitchfest of one set of neighbors against another. Millions of men died for no reason and didn't really even need to be sent there.

by Anonymousreply 210/25/2011

The last WWI vet recently died. I believe he was 110.

The WWII vets are now dropping like flies.

by Anonymousreply 310/25/2011

I think Downton Abbey has brought it back in vogue for the British. Somme is the new 'grief porn' instead of 9/11.

by Anonymousreply 410/25/2011

Monday 3 August 1914 - Whitehall, London.

After a long speech in the House of Commons, Sir Edward Grey had just helped the Prime Minister draft an ultimatum to be sent to Berlin if Belgium were invaded.

It must have been 8 or 9 p.m., for Grey remembered the lamplighter turning up the gaslamps in the courtyard below. Turning to a friend, his voice dropped to a deathly low as he remarked:

"The lamps are going out all over Europe... and we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime."

by Anonymousreply 510/25/2011

Part of the reason that WWII gets more "fame," as it were, is that it occurred just as motion pictures had reached a maturity. Yes, moving pictures existed between 1914 and 1918, but there was no studio system able to capitalize upon the event the way Hollywood did in the 1940s. Fiction and non-fiction films about WWII proliferated between 1939 to 1945 and since then filmmakers have gone back to the well over and over again.

Another reason is that the United States was only marginally involved in WWI, only about a year and a half, and the actual fighting of our soldiers was less than a year.

Historians and academics are much more aware of it because World War I continues to influence events to this day.

by Anonymousreply 610/25/2011

J.R.R. Tolkein was at the Battle of the Somme - a horrible battle with massive loss of lives. Some people speculate it influenced "The Lord of the Rings".

by Anonymousreply 710/25/2011

If you fly over Northern France (or, now, visit via Google Maps) you can see the Hindenberg Line, marked by thousands of tiny British Cemeteries.

Millions died in the Somme...

by Anonymousreply 810/25/2011

Better Link:

by Anonymousreply 910/25/2011

A few years back, I visited Verdun. You can still see the remains of the trenches. It's haunting and breathtaking.

by Anonymousreply 1010/25/2011

Europeans commemorate it every year

by Anonymousreply 1110/25/2011

They commemorate it every night, R11, at sundown by the Menin Gate.

by Anonymousreply 1210/25/2011

I too find it more interesting than WWII. There's the tragic English poetry, too. Have you seen Joyeux Noel, the Oscar winning film about a poignant true story involving an impromptu Christmas soccer game between the Germans and Allies? Goodbye to All That and The Guns of August are great reads, also.

by Anonymousreply 1310/25/2011

We learned a little about how sulfur mustard (the main component of mustard gas) acts on the body in biochemistry. It sounds like one of the most agonizing things to which the human body can be subjected.

by Anonymousreply 1410/25/2011

One of the main reasons there's little interest in World War I is there aren't a lot of great history books written about it.

Go to your local library and you're liable to find way more material on WW II, and most of it's better written than the stuff on WW I. Historians know what the causes of the Second War were and can go into depth about what transpired and why. But as R2 said, in the First War millions died for no real reason.

by Anonymousreply 1510/25/2011

[quote]Have you seen Joyeux Noel, the Oscar winning film about a poignant true story involving an impromptu Christmas soccer game between the Germans and Allies?

Now there's an opera about the event. "Silent Night" is the name of the opera. I think the world premiere will be in December.

by Anonymousreply 1610/25/2011

Not really, if you consider that what was done to Germany after WWI set the stage for the rise of Hitler, which led to WWII. The aftermath of WWI also saw the demise of three of Europe's most prominent royal families - the Hapsburgs, the Romanovs and the Hohenzollerns.

by Anonymousreply 1710/25/2011

WWI was responsible for WWII

by Anonymousreply 1810/25/2011

Has there been a Glee episode about it?

by Anonymousreply 1910/25/2011

r19, they're prepping an episode that features the kids singing the tunes from "Oh! What a Lovely War!" as we speak.

by Anonymousreply 2010/25/2011

French and Belgian farmers still turn up unexploded shells when they plow their fields, and they sometimes are killed in the process. In France they are considered casualties of WWI and their families are entitled to a military pension.

A favorite fun fact about WWI is that Krupp (German) and Vickers (British) held numerous patents on fuses and other parts of the ammunition both countries used. During the war both companies kept careful records and paid each other in full for the use of the other company's patents as soon as the war was over.

by Anonymousreply 2110/25/2011

isn't "all quiet on the western front" required reading anymore?

by Anonymousreply 2210/25/2011

If you want to read something chilling, read the telegrams the Czar "Willy" and the Kaiser "Nicky" (cousins, don't forget) exchanged as their countries drifted towards war.

by Anonymousreply 2310/25/2011

The Canadian memorial in France is stunning.

by Anonymousreply 2410/25/2011

If you are interested in a good read that will give you a better history of the area where WWI started, I recommend "Balkan Ghosts." I had no idea that so many empires collapsed in the 19th century that led to the power vaccum which lead to WWI. My history teachers told me someone assassinated King Franz Joseph... lot more to it than that.

by Anonymousreply 2510/25/2011

Although WW2 is a more interesting read, WW1 arguably had a more profound effect. My parents, who lived through WW2, always referred to WW1 as the "Great War". More lives were lost of course. But also the dislocation which the war caused shook up European society more. In the English countryside it swept away the agrarian highly class-structured life which had existed there since the Middle Ages. Hence that sense of nostalgia when people look back to the time before. For all its silly plot lines, Downton Abbey does portray that sense of irreversible upheaval and the breaking down of barriers and conventions.

by Anonymousreply 2610/25/2011

If you think that WWI is in the past, you're a fool. Every problem we face in the Middle East is a direct result of the First World War.

by Anonymousreply 2710/25/2011

One of my favorite stories from The Great War:

Citizens of the Ottoman Empire had raised funds themselves for their government to build two dreadnoughts, the Reshadieh and the Sultan Osman I. The ships were built in Great Britain and were nearing completion when war broke out in August, 1914.

The British promptly seized both ships for themselves, an act which solidified the Ottomans' already burgeoning alliance with Germany.

Still, the Ottomans were technically neutral. Meanwhile, the German battlecruiser Goeben was alone in the Mediterranean when the war broke out and raced to the east, away from the British at Gibraltar and Malta. In order to strengthen their relationship with the Ottomans, the Germans sold the Goeben to the Ottomans for a nominal fee; the German crew were now members of the Ottoman navy and so wore the fez instead of their sailor caps when they stood at attention as the ship sailed into Istanbul.

by Anonymousreply 2810/25/2011

Amen to R26 and R27. This war truly represented a loss of innocence to Western civilization. If one can understand cause and effect of this war, and the ramifications of the treaty at the end of this war, one can understand the world's current situation. There's a certain logical progression that leads us to where we are today. It certainly isn't all good, and more than occasionally bizarre and insane, but that progression does exist.

by Anonymousreply 2910/25/2011

WWI was over supply lines and control of oil in the Middle East. This latest shit in over there is just a continuation.

by Anonymousreply 3010/25/2011

Future scholars will consider WWI/WWII to be one long war with a brief respite. They are inextricably connected. Consider how we look at "the 30 Years War" which had starts and stops.

by Anonymousreply 3110/25/2011

Many current scholars consider it one long war already.

by Anonymousreply 3210/25/2011

If you're Canadian it's not forgetten. You can't go through school in Canada without being told by your history teacher "Canada was made a country at Vimy Ridge".

But I imagine in 2014 we will be getting every historians two cents on the lasting importance of WWI on the U.S., Canada, Britain, and Europe.

by Anonymousreply 3310/25/2011

Excuse me that's "forgotten".

by Anonymousreply 3410/25/2011

If it weren't for WW1, none of us would be alive to post on Datalounge, which would not exist because of it's dependency on the existence of the Internet.

So it's kind of tragic that the war even happened at all.

by Anonymousreply 3510/25/2011

Why wasn't mustard gas used during World War II? I would think Hitler would have been all over that.

by Anonymousreply 3610/25/2011

it was outlawed. still is

by Anonymousreply 3710/25/2011

Too bad zyclon b wasn't outlawed as well.

by Anonymousreply 3810/25/2011

[quote]Why wasn't mustard gas used during World War II? I would think Hitler would have been all over that.

Hitler had experienced gas attacks and seen the horror first hand during WWI. He refused to even consider it.

by Anonymousreply 3910/25/2011

The causes of the war were basically 19th century. The early 20th century technology made it a nightmare.

It's a myth that the first war caused the second. The idea of another world war was unpopular everywhere including Germany. Unfortunatly Germany got a crazy dictator. No Hitler, no WWII.

by Anonymousreply 4010/25/2011

Gas wasn't used partially because of a fear of retaliation and partly because it wasn't very practical.

by Anonymousreply 4110/25/2011

But why would Hitler have cared about laws?

by Anonymousreply 4210/25/2011

"Hitler had experienced gas attacks and seen the horror first hand during WWI. He refused to even consider it."

Because he didn't want to put Allied soldiers through horror?

Or because he thought that if he used it, the Allies would then use it, and he didn't want to put German soldiers through that horror?

Either way, it still makes no sense to me that he would let Germany lose rather than use mustard gas. I would think that when everything was crashing down around him and the Allies were closing in, he would have used any and every weapon at his disposal to try to stop them.

by Anonymousreply 4310/25/2011

[quote] If you want to read something chilling, read the telegrams the Czar "Willy" and the Kaiser "Nicky"

You've got it backwards, R23.

Nicholas was the Tsar; Wilhelm was the Kaiser.

by Anonymousreply 4410/25/2011

[quote]It's a myth that the first war caused the second. The idea of another world war was unpopular everywhere including Germany. Unfortunatly Germany got a crazy dictator. No Hitler, no WWII.[/quote]

I disagree. Without WWI there wouldn't have been a Treaty of Versaille and Germany wouldn't have been brought to it's knees paying restitution to the allies. The uncertainty and frustration at the lack of real solutions to get out of the economic black whole Germany had fallen into left a political space wide open for a man like Hitler who made promises and followed through. Even though he used for to follow through the majority of Germans just wanted some order and economic certainty in there lives again. WWI created the situation where Germans would respond to someone like Hitler and then he led them into war.

by Anonymousreply 4510/25/2011

Yeah, I was going to say that I find WWI to be commemorated a lot more in Canada than it is in the States.

It has a lot to do with the sacrifices and the whole becomming a nation thing, (plus we were in the war from the very beginning, before America) but I also think it has to do with how the poppy as a commemoration of WWI is inextricably tied to Canada, "In Flander's Field" being written by Canadian soldier John McCrae. It is a world-wide symbol of WWI and Rememberance Day now.

by Anonymousreply 4610/25/2011

In high school, they would have an actor come in playing the part of a soldier in the trench and he would tell us a first-hand account of the horrors of WWI. We spent more time in school covering WWI than we did WWII.

I remember having to write 'letters from the trench' in elementary school and high school history, personifying a soldier and his experiences. Our high school had a plaque/memorial with the faces and names of all living WWI vets.

Also, Canadian culture and media is saturated with how WWI defined us a people. From Anne of Green Gables to the Canadian Heritage minutes on tv, which are played constantly.

Here's one of the WWI minute clips about "In Flander's Fields" (it has hottie Colm Feore as McCrae)

by Anonymousreply 4710/25/2011

World War I was a family feud which devastated Europe. The U.S. came in very late and the increase in troops helped bring and end to the War. We got involved because Germany was conspiring with Mexico to Attack the U.S. and retake Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California.

Wilson did not want to punish Germany the way France and Britain did.

WW I also brought about the end of the Ottoman empire and the creation of the countries in the Middle East in a very haphazard way.

by Anonymousreply 4810/25/2011

World War I gets more play in the UK because it took more lives and was more traumatic. World War II gets more play in the US because we barely participated in World War I.

by Anonymousreply 4910/25/2011

World War I was much more important in creating our contemporary world. It was the beginning of the oil tyranny, the rise of the Arab nations (brought about by a few ignorant and amoral British fags), the rise of the nation state system, communism and fascism...., the international financial system, etc.

by Anonymousreply 5010/25/2011

[quote]Why wasn't mustard gas used during World War II? I would think Hitler would have been all over that.

If the wind currents changed, the gas could blow back on the people who sent it. It was extremely unreliable, because they could end up poisoning themselves.

by Anonymousreply 5110/25/2011

"If the wind currents changed, the gas could blow back on the people who sent it. It was extremely unreliable, because they could end up poisoning themselves."

But Wikipedia says it can be deployed in air-dropped bombs or artillery shells. So why not have dropped it over London? It seems like the whole point of the Blitz was to inflict horror on British civilians - I don't buy that Hitler wanted to spare them the horror of mustard gas.

by Anonymousreply 5210/25/2011

[quote]You've got it backwards, [R23]. Nicholas was the Tsar; Wilhelm was the Kaiser.

Of course. My only defense is that I went back and quickly added those names in an effort to clarify.

I hang my head in shame.

by Anonymousreply 5310/25/2011

The "Special Relationship" between the UK, the USA and Israel was born of WWI as noted by the Balfour Declaration of 1917.

by Anonymousreply 5410/25/2011

Our school district's history curriculum was awful. We spent a week, two at most, on WWI and all it amounted to was "it happened because Franz Ferdinand was shot," "armies used trench warfare," and "it ended with the Treaty of Versailles." You know, the sort of bullet points necessary to pass a standardized test and absolutely nothing more. I never once heard a teacher even mention Somme and guarantee 90% of my graduating class wouldn't have been able to tell you where in the world it is let alone what happened there.

I've been trying to fill these shameful gaps in my education but there's an overwhelming amount of information on the subject. Can anyone recommend a good book or series, preferably one that focuses on the political causes and consequences, that would provide a solid foundation to build upon?

by Anonymousreply 5510/25/2011

My grandfather is 100 years old-he was born in 1911!

by Anonymousreply 5610/25/2011

Almost every village in Germany has a memorial to the dead of WWI, and it's interesting to see the effects of trench warfare. You'll read the plaque and see clusters of names, maybe 4 or 5 from a village of maybe 1000, who all died on the same day, probably the same attack, and then weeks or months pass and there's another cluster of names all on the same day. It was such an amazing slaughter.

by Anonymousreply 5710/25/2011

It's a big deal in Europe and for Canada, Australia and New Zealand (Vimy Ridge, Gallipoli). As mentioned, it doesn't rate as big a mention in the US due to their later involvement. It's also fair to say it was the birth of the modern world. In time, it will probably be studied far more rigorously than WWII.

Mustard gas was agreed not to be used by either side after WWI. That even the Nazis and Japanese stood by that in light of all the other atrocities they committed speaks to how horrible it really was.

by Anonymousreply 5810/25/2011

WWII is more championed in America because the stakes were so obvious. We love clear cut battles and Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan more than fit the bill. Add the incomprehensible horror of the Nazi extermination campaign on Jews, Slavs, homosexuals and the other undesirables and you have the makings of a grand narrative that suits the U.S. (And Soviet Russia) to a T.

by Anonymousreply 5910/25/2011

"Mustard gas was agreed not to be used by either side after WWI. That even the Nazis and Japanese stood by that in light of all the other atrocities they committed speaks to how horrible it really was."

Wow, Hitler had principles - who knew?

by Anonymousreply 6010/25/2011

WW I was all about Europe and the death throes of monarchies and empires. It really didn't have much to do with the U.S. at all.

I'm not sure why we got dragged into it.

by Anonymousreply 6110/25/2011

R58, Japan used mustard gas extensively against the Chinese during that time period. Was their agreement exclusively with the Allies?

by Anonymousreply 6210/25/2011

[quote]But Wikipedia says it can be deployed in air-dropped bombs or artillery shells. So why not have dropped it over London? It seems like the whole point of the Blitz was to inflict horror on British civilians - I don't buy that Hitler wanted to spare them the horror of mustard gas.

In WWI, the British and the French developed their own poison gasses. By the end of the war, they combined the two into a mixture known as "White Star." It didn't get the notoriety that mustard gas did, but it killed a lot more people.

by Anonymousreply 6310/26/2011

WW1 proved that gas is quite useless as a weapon. It is not only unreliable but defense against it is not difficult for a modern, industrialized nation.

The only effect is that life is more miserable for BOTH parties.

Since WW1 it has only be used against technological and/or economical inferior opponents. Examples: Italy against Ethiopia, the US against the Vietcong, Japan against China. .

by Anonymousreply 6410/26/2011

[R6] there is another reason for the much larger number of WW2 films. There was almost no action worth a film in WW1.

Pearl Harbor, The longest day, Tora Tora, A Bridge to far, etc. shows a battle limited in time and place with a well defined result.

But what are you going to show in a film about the battle of the Somme, or Verdun, or Ieper? Months of slaughter, disappearing towns and villages, farmland changing into mud. And after months of battle the front has moved a few hundred meters.

by Anonymousreply 6510/26/2011

[R45] You may blame the Allies for the Treaty of Versailles of 1919. But you should look at the Treaty of Versailles of 1871 which ended the Franco-Prussian war, France lost Alsace and Lorraine and had to pay war indemnity of five billion Francs. For the French the 1919 treaty was a revenge for the 1871 one.

And what if Germans had won? Wikipedia: The British military historian Correlli Barnett claimed that the Treaty of Versailles was "extremely lenient in comparison with the peace terms that Germany herself, when she was expecting to win the war, had had in mind to impose on the Allies".

by Anonymousreply 6610/26/2011

The Pat Barker novels about WW1 are great.

by Anonymousreply 6710/26/2011

Exactly right, r59. I agree that WWI is more interesting in its geopolitical implications and origins -- it's basically the boiling point of all European conflict since the middle ages. And I disagree about what people are saying about there being 'no point' -- the idea of war being waged out of ethical obligation is both new and very strange. War was always an issue of expressing dominance over other countries, maybe inserting some of your ruling family into their ruling family, and hopefully acquiring a chunk of land while you're at it. World War I was the last of an older reasoning for war, but it wasn't without reason.

But WWII has more interesting characters -- Stalin, Churchill and FDR on one side, and of course the fascinating tyrants on the other. There is also of course much more of a good vs. evil narrative, with the evil so dramatic and awful that it is very fascinating for a lot of people. While WWI is more interesting to analyze and discuss, WWII is the one you want to watch a movie about.

by Anonymousreply 6810/26/2011

Communism was a result of the severe casualties the Russians suffered at the hands of the inept Czar. Nazism was a reaction against Communism and the treaty of Versailles.

Therefore WWI influenced the rest of the 20th century down to today.

Had Czar Nichols II NOT mobilize his troops our world would be entirely different today.

by Anonymousreply 6910/26/2011

Lenin pulled Russia out of WWI in 1918. Had America NOT entered the war, Germany surely woud have won.

by Anonymousreply 7010/26/2011

Feel like an idiot yet, OP?

by Anonymousreply 7110/26/2011

How a country remembers a war seems to depend on a range of things, including casualty rates (civilian and military), timing (pre or post television), etc.

For Australia, the war with the highest number of casualties was WWI (60,000 deaths from a total population of 4,000,000). WWI was also the war that produced the ANZAC legend.

Australia had 40,000 deaths in WWII, but many people who subsequently migrated to Australia had lost people in WWII.

Australia had around 600 deaths in the Boer War, 340 in Korea and around 500 in Vietnam - the Boer War remains well known for grainy film footage and the Breaker Morant legend; Korea still seems raw (perhaps, oddly enough, in part due to M.A.S.H.); and many people remember the anti-Vietnam war marches, conscription and vivid photograph and film coverage.

by Anonymousreply 7210/26/2011

[quote]One of the main reasons there's little interest in World War I is there aren't a lot of great history books written about it.

How about Barbara Tuchman's Pulitzer Prize winning "The Guns of August", R15? Tuchman is an extraordinary historian and writer, eminently readable. Per the NYT: "“Fascinating . . . One of the finest works of history written . . . A splendid and glittering performance,” or the Chicago Tribune: “MORE DRAMATIC THAN FICTION . . . A MAGNIFICENT NARRATIVE . . . elegantly phrased, skillfully paced and sustained . . . The product of painstaking and sophisticated research.”

If anyone is looking for a history of the origins and early days of WWI, I suggest starting--or continuing--here.

by Anonymousreply 7310/26/2011

One unique American response to WW1 came in consequence to the Gold Star Mothers Association, mothers who had lost sons in the war. They lobbied for Congress to sponsor and fund pilgrimages for mothers and wives of every American service person buried overseas. These pilgrimages differed from those of the Commonwealth in that they were organized, funded, and staffed by officers of the US government, whereas the families of the UK, Canadian and ANZAC soldiers had to arrange and pay private companies for their visits.

One lesson learned by the military in World War I was that, in combat, there was no time for prejudice. So too in death -- as the American cemeteries in France were planned and filled, there was no time for segregation, and the (mostly) men were buried without regard for race. But in 1930, when the groups of US mothers began to be ferried over for their trips, the black survivors were segregated onto their own ships and trips. Once in France, the French saw no difference between the black and white groups and treated each with the highest civility. For the black women, this was often their first and only taste of freedom and respect.

The pilgrimages took place from 1930 - 1933 as 6000 women were taken to visit the overseas graves. Below is a link written by one of the officer escorts that describes the program and many of those involved.

by Anonymousreply 7410/26/2011

R72 -- I remember from reading that there was tension between the UK and the Australians as Aus felt it was in their interest to take part in Vietnam whereas the UK was against it. This caused problems when it came time to award VCs to Australians for heroism in Vietnam. Now, I think Australia awards its own medals as a result.

by Anonymousreply 7510/26/2011

And once you've read Guns of August, move on to Tuchman's The ZImmerman Telegram, which is a better read than any spy thriller. She tells the story of the US's late involvement in WWI:

"In the dark winter of 1917, as World War I was deadlocked, Britain knew that Europe could be saved only if the United States joined the war. But President Wilson remained unshakable in his neutrality. Then, with a single stroke, the tool to propel America into the war came into a quiet British office. One of countless messages intercepted by the crack team of British decoders, the Zimmermann telegram was a top-secret message from Berlin inviting Mexico to join Japan in an invasion of the United States: Mexico would recover her lost American territories while keeping the U.S. occupied on her side of the Atlantic. How Britain managed to inform America of Germany's plan without revealing that the German codes had been broken makes for an incredible, true story of espionage, intrigue, and international politics as only Barbara W. Tuchman could tell it"

by Anonymousreply 7610/26/2011

[R62] it's been a while since high school history, but I think it was tied to the Geneva protocol and aspects of the Treaty of Versailles. I may have made a mistake mentioning Japan in the same breath there, or perhaps they just ignored it, but there was some consensus about what weapons were and weren't off-limits amongst the big power players post-WWI. How that computes with the Final Solution is another issue entirely.

I'm not too surprised to hear that Japan used it though. I mean mustard gas is pretty tame next to stories about the Rape of Nanking.

by Anonymousreply 7710/26/2011

Almost everyone has this vision of WWI being trenches and stalemate with soldiers marching grimly into machine gun fire along the Western Front, but the war on the Eastern Front was very fluid and sort of the last hurrah for old school warfare with huge cavalry battles and Cossacks waving their swords and charging their Austro-Hungarian opponents. Much more interesting, but more or less forgotten.

by Anonymousreply 7810/26/2011

"Seasons of mist and mellow fruitfulness. I was engaged to a young man at the beginning of the War, but he fell on Flanders Field," said Miss Brodie. "Are you thinking, Sandy, of doing a day's washing?"

"No, Miss Brodie."

"Because you have got your sleeves rolled up. I won't have to do with girls who roll up the sleeves of their blouses, no matter how fine the weather. Roll them down at once, we are civilized beings. He fell the week before Armistice was declared. He fell like an autumn leaf, although he was only twenty-two years of age. When we go indoors we shall look on the map at Flanders, and the spot where my lover was laid before you were born."

by Anonymousreply 7910/26/2011

R72, have you read any of the books by aussie historian Patsy-Adam Smith?

Her acclaimed book 'The Anzacs' is incredibly moving as well as horrifying. The text was based on first-person accounts from the soldiers themselves, taken from military records and personal letters.

I heard somewhere that the average height of australian men decreased by two inches for a generation (30 years) as a result of The Great War taking the lives of so many fit, strapping young farmboys.

Here's wiki's entry for Patsy Adam-Smith:

by Anonymousreply 8010/26/2011

One of my favorite fun facts about WWI is the role the Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus played. The German General Staff sent officers to travel with the circus before the war to study their methods.

The fact that the circus was able to break the tents, load the show onto a train, move the show 100 miles overnight, unload the wagons and set up the show in time for the next day's matinee (and do it again and again in all kinds of weather) greatly impressed the Germans, and they adopted many of their methods to make the German Army more mobile and take full advantage of the outstanding German rail network.

The WWI German field kitchen was copied almost directly off Ringling's pie tent where they had hot food ready and waiting for the circus employees even before the bigtop was unloaded from the train.

by Anonymousreply 8110/26/2011


Neat fact. Thanks for sharing!

by Anonymousreply 8210/26/2011

Because the Germans felt the Trearty of Versailles was such a terrible burden, WWI was really World War, Part 1.

There was no way another war wouldn't happen, and Hitler was able to exploit German discontentment with an extreme and bizarre but unifying call for national pride.

Karma's a bitch, though. They thought the Jews were a problem -- but I hope now they're enjoying their mosques!

by Anonymousreply 8310/26/2011

Lest we forget

by Anonymousreply 8410/26/2011

Announcement of War, Munich - 2 August 1914:

by Anonymousreply 8510/26/2011

Right on R83! However we gays would suffer again the next time around. However instead of a pink triangle they'll just slit our throats in the town square.

by Anonymousreply 8610/26/2011

Another book by Barbara Tuchman: “The proud Tower. A portrait of the world before the war 1890 – 1914”.

Then there is Lyn MacDonald. She has written a couple of books about the British army in WW1. (British includes Australia, Canada, etc, sorry).

I liked “1914” which covers the same period as “The guns of August”. And “1918” which tells the story of the end of the war.

by Anonymousreply 8710/26/2011

Speaking about WWI and films I wish they would do a film in Canada about the life of General Arthur Currie. What a Greek tragedy!

by Anonymousreply 8810/26/2011

r65, one can make an excellent film from "static" war, and a number of great films have been made with WWI as the topic: The Big Parade; Wings; Wooden Crosses; All Quiet on the Western Front; Hell's Angels; The Dawn Patrol; Sergeant York; Paths of Glory; Doctor Zhivago; The Blue Max; Oh! What a Lovely War!; Zeppelin; Nicholas & Alexandra; Gallipoli; A Very Long Engagement; Joyeux Noel....

by Anonymousreply 8910/26/2011

To me World War II is more interesting if only because of the technological ramp up that it caused.

The computers we use today got their start, at least a programmable computer, with ENIAC. ENIAC was built to calculate balistic tables and do trigonometric calculations.

A room full of vacuum tubes has now been replaced by a device that you can hold in the palm of your hand. All because of the materials, physics and chemistry research spawned by the events of WW II.

by Anonymousreply 9010/26/2011

Some of my fave books about World War I:

"Dreadnought: Britain, Germany and the Coming of the Great War" and "Castles of Steel: Britain, Germany and the Winning of the Great War at Sea," both by Robert K. Massie, focusing on the naval arms race between Britain and Germany, how it influenced their diplomacy and the road to war.

"The Road to Verdun: World War I's Most Momentous Battle and the Folly of Nationalism" by Ian Ousby, a fascinating book that works as both a heartbreaking account of the battle of Verdun while examining the political theory of nationalism and how it played a role in World War I.

"Back to the Front: An Accidental Historian Walks the Trenches of World War I" by Stephen O'Shea, a journalist recounting his hike from the English Channel in Belgium to the foothills of the Alps near the border with Switzerland -- the extent of the Western Front.

"A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East" by David Fromkin, all about how British and French dolts fucked up the future by messing up the Middle East during the War.

by Anonymousreply 9110/26/2011

"World War I was a family feud which devastated Europe."

Exactly. And it was totally unnecessary to begin with. All those men lost their lives for nothing.

by Anonymousreply 9210/26/2011

Years ago I saw a book in a bookstore in Frankfurt Germany that was a history of WWI as fought in the Colonies, mostly Africa. It was an amazing book with tons of wonderful photos of native troops and a couple of white officers standing proudly in front of some pipsqueak little cannon and holding rifles that looked like American Civil War surplus.

It made me realize that while men were being killed by the 1000's in Europe, there was this other war being fought over huge chunks of the globe by forces not much stronger than your average New Jersey Boy Scout troop. All of a sudden African Queen doesn't seem nearly as silly.

by Anonymousreply 9310/26/2011

Yes, r93. Have you seen "Black & White in Color" (1976)? It's a marvelous (Oscar-winning) film about French and German colonists who go to war against each other...having found out 6 months after the war started. Very funny, but also very, very biting and profound.

by Anonymousreply 9410/26/2011

delicious film

by Anonymousreply 9510/26/2011

There's a World War I t.v. movie made in England called "All the King's Men" based on the true story of a British regiment that disappeared (eg. was wiped out) in Turkey at Galipolli. It stars Sir David Jason and Dame Maggie Smith with Ian McDiarmid, David Troughton and Patrick Malahide.

Brief glimpses of the soldiers' cocks as they take a swim in the water.

by Anonymousreply 9610/26/2011

[quote]I wish they would do a film in Canada about the life of General Arthur Currie.

Oh God! The man was unpleasant enough to look at... Maybe Chaz Bono could play him?

For Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc.. it was the first large scale war that they engaged in. A big part of their population suddenly found themselves among in Europe and it highlighted the sense that though they were British subjects, they were something other than British. The fact that none of them declared war, that the UK declaration of war automatically included the dominions (as they were called), prompted each of these nations to pursue of course of full autonomy with regards to their Foreign affairs. They were each given a seat at the Versailles negotiations and in the league of nations(which the US protested was just Britain padding it's own votes) and were finally declared in 1926 to be fully equal to the UK and in no way subservient.

So for them it is really the birth of their nations.

by Anonymousreply 9710/26/2011

CBC has archives of broadcasts and other special events about WWI on their site. Link below will take you there.

It is a Canadian site and most of the recordings are about Canada but it is interesting nonetheless.

by Anonymousreply 9810/27/2011

I'll see your CBC website and raise you the British Pathe website:

by Anonymousreply 9910/27/2011

Justin Trudeau played a real-life Canadian soldier in a CBC drama about World War I about 10 years ago. Supposedly he shows his butt in it.

by Anonymousreply 10010/27/2011

Well, thank heaven for that, R100.

A historical drama becomes a tragedy of historical proportions if no one shows his butt.

by Anonymousreply 10110/27/2011

[quote]I wish they would do a film in Canada about the life of General Arthur Currie.

[quote]Oh God! The man was unpleasant enough to look at... Maybe Chaz Bono could play him?

Oh please, you know that they will just cast Paul Gross and pad his uniform a little right? Besides, if a human being like Conrad Black, who is hideous inside and out IMO, gets a tv movie, why not Arthur Currie?

by Anonymousreply 10210/27/2011

Sir Arthur Currie

He's not really a troll. More like actor Don Porter who was Ann Sothern's boss on Private Secretary series or Sally Field's Gidget's father on the 60's series.

He's certainly not a Paul Gross type though.

by Anonymousreply 10310/27/2011

You need the full pear shaped body to get the full effect. Here's his statue in Ottawa.

by Anonymousreply 10410/27/2011

[quote]Speaking about WWI and films I wish they would do a film in Canada about the life of General Arthur Currie. What a Greek tragedy!

I'm curious, r88. As far as I know, Currie was a brilliant, innovative, brave leader in WWI and was honored by many countries besides being a Canadian national hero. He also was married to the love of his life until his youngish death at 58.

True that a Canadian tycoon spread lies about his service, but Currie sued for libel and won.

What am I missing about his life being a "Greek tragedy"?

by Anonymousreply 10510/27/2011

What r105 said

by Anonymousreply 10610/27/2011

{R55}: Another good book is Diana Prestons' The Lusitania: An Epic Tragedy. It was carrying American passengers and Americans had been warned not to sail on it the day of its' last voyage. The Lusitania was smuggling ammunition to Britain with American knowledge (knowledge is arguable). Six days out, the Lusitania was torpedoed by a German U-Boat, with the loss of over 100 lives, some American. This played a big part in America entering WWI. Another piece of the puzzle added.

by Anonymousreply 10710/27/2011

r107, I love that book, too.

by Anonymousreply 10810/27/2011

I meant over 1000 lives.

by Anonymousreply 10910/27/2011

[quote]What am I missing about his life being a "Greek tragedy"?

Well, there was financial fraud, using the militia's funds to pay for the trappings of his commission. Also his near bankruptcy. He was a great soldier but he was rather poor at everything else he did.

by Anonymousreply 11010/27/2011

WWI was the first war where nations fought other nations that they had no grip with. This was a war of alliances.

After the big empires broke up into smaller countries, alliances started to form. And if one in your alliance got attacked you were in war also.

by Anonymousreply 11110/27/2011

Has anyone seen the World War I t.v. program Justin Trudeau was in? Did they end up including the nude scene of his butt?

In this article it says he did a group nude scene in the water:

by Anonymousreply 11210/27/2011

[quote]Well, there was financial fraud, using the militia's funds to pay for the trappings of his commission. Also his near bankruptcy. He was a great soldier but he was rather poor at everything else he did.

True about the spot of financial fraud when he was a young man, and I don't know that he was "rather poor at everything else he did." Perhaps you're more familiar with his life than I am.

In any case, all that isn't exactly the House of Atreus.

by Anonymousreply 11310/27/2011

[quote]What am I missing about his life being a "Greek tragedy"?

I think that exploring the libel suit would be interesting, it was about being accused of wasting lives in the capture of Mons. We remember Currie as a hero and a brilliant tactician, but I thought that the attacks on Currie during his life were what made it so short.

by Anonymousreply 11410/27/2011

[quote]During the war, Currie had continued to deny Garnet Hughes a combat post, believing Hughes would be a danger to the men in his command when under fire. Although Hughes attained the rank of brigadier-general by 1918, he ended the war in an obscure administrative posting in London. Garnet's father, Sir Sam Hughes, was removed from the cabinet in 1916, but he continued to use his seat in the House of Commons to attack Currie's reputation. After Sam Hughes died in 1921, Garnet Hughes did the same through newspapers owned by his family.

[quote]In June 1927, the city of Mons erected a plaque commemorating their liberation by the Canadian Corps; as this event was reported in Canadian newspapers, Currie's enemies took the opportunity to again question the final day of fighting. The Hughes-controlled Port Hope Evening Guide, in a front-page editorial, wrote "It is doubtful whether in any case there was a more deliberate and useless waste of human life than in the so-called capture of Mons..." Currie sued the newspaper for libel, seeking $50,000 in damages. At the trial, Currie testified that he had been under orders from Allied Supreme Commander Ferdinand Foch to pursue German forces; to do otherwise would have been treason. Many of Currie's senior officers testified that Currie urged them to advance with caution, avoiding unnecessary casualties. At the end of the trial, the jury returned a verdict after four hours,[30] finding the newspaper guilty, and awarding Currie $500 in damages[31]. One member of the jury, a former serviceman, dissented.[32]

[quote]After the trial, Currie was invited to a dinner in Port Hope by some of the men who had served under him. With tears in his eyes, Currie read a telegram he had received the day before from the father of George Price: "As father of George Lawrence Price, the only Canadian killed on Armistice Day, I wish to convey to you, Sir, my humble hope that you will succeed in bringing to justice those responsible for bringing this case before the public, because all of this simply renews old wounds that are best forgotten.

by Anonymousreply 11510/27/2011

R111, this was hardly the first war with national alliances. Alliances had played a major part in warfare for centuries. If it wasn't for the skillful manipulation of alliances, neither Germany nor America would be the nations they are today.

Unless you mean alliances that divided the world in half with a "choose a side" mentality, in which case, yes, it is the first.

by Anonymousreply 11610/27/2011

So a guy is denied a post because Currie is afraid that he will get people needlessly killed and in return he spends the rest of his life defending himself against accusations that he got people needlessly killed. I guess Greek Tragedy isn't the first thing that comes to mind. More like "no good deed goes unpunished."

by Anonymousreply 11710/27/2011

This is one of the most interesting threads ever on DL.

It also shows there are actually adults posting here.

by Anonymousreply 11810/27/2011

Let me change that, r118. Tonight's "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" has an extended scene with Snoopy as a WWI flyng ace battling the Red Baron, getting shot down and crossing the French countryside on foot.

So WWI is not completely unknown by today's kids

by Anonymousreply 11910/27/2011

The World War I songs played by Schroeder on his toy piano while Snoopy dances are:

The "Happy" Songs:

"It's a Long Way to Tipperary"

"Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit-Bag"

The "Sad" Songs:

"There's a Long, Long Trail"

"Roses of Picardy"

by Anonymousreply 12010/27/2011

[quote]Six days out, the Lusitania was torpedoed by a German U-Boat, with the loss of over 100 lives, some American. This played a big part in America entering WWI. Another piece of the puzzle added.

I've heard that before. But then why did it take nearly two years after the sinking of the ship for the U.S. to declare war? It can't all be due to Wilson's intervention, can it?

by Anonymousreply 12110/28/2011

I think Gavrillo Princep, the teenager who killed the Archduke Frans Ferdinand, should go down as the most influential person of the 20th century. His single act sparked WWI; which led to the Russian revolution and decades of Communism; caused the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, and the subsequent rise of the Arab nations; WWII; the resultant Holocaust, which led the establishment of Israel, which bequeathed us the tribulations of the middle east today; the EU, which emerged out of a fear that Europeans would go to war again unless they were tied together economically. I think they hanged him.

by Anonymousreply 12210/28/2011

We only have jerky grainy old footage of soldiers in the trenches for WWI, and the political situation of the times is hard to comprehend now, whereas by the 40s hollywood and the movies had a multitude of footage about WWII, both movies and newsreels which are still endlessly replayed now.

by Anonymousreply 12310/28/2011

[quote]I think Gavrillo Princep, the teenager who killed the Archduke Frans Ferdinand, should go down as the most influential person of the 20th century . . . . I think they hanged him.

No, he got a 20 year sentence (no death penalty because of his young age) and died of tuberculosis in 1918.

In Sarajevo there used to be (maybe still are) footprints in the concrete of the sidewalk where he fired the shot, so tourists could stand where he stood and reenact his deed.

His victims, Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie, were one of the most interesting royal couples ever. He was a useless prick on most levels, but he fought like hell to marry Sophie, and by all accounts they were very much in love.

Other than Sophie, he lived to hunt. He kept careful records of the animals he had shot in his hunts, and the total exceeded 250,000 animals, so maybe he had it coming.

by Anonymousreply 12410/28/2011

WWI was not really fought over the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand.

It was a convenient excuse but the war would have been made to happen for some other reason if the Archduke had escaped with his life.

by Anonymousreply 12510/28/2011

True, R123 - but there are some World War I movies - "All Quiet On the Western Front" being one of the most famous examples.

by Anonymousreply 12610/28/2011

You enjoyed my Ringling Bros Circus trivia, so ponder this:

Its estimated that about 6 million horses and mules served in WWI, and resupplying the stock became a major issue. Troops were told to shoot at the horses first, the enemy soldiers second because the soldier could be replaced and the horse couldn't be.

Britain lost 480,000 horses during the war, one horse for every 2 men killed. Clydesdales suffered higher than average casualties because they were used to pull the heavy guns through the mud and literally worked themselves to death in the process.

Horses and mules also required about 10X as much food per pound of body weight than a soldier, so supplying feed to the horses at the front became a logistical nightmare for both sides, the food being the largest single commodity shipped by volume by both sides. The failure of the Italian feed crops in 1917 was a factor in Germany agreeing to the armistice since there was no way they could have fed the horses through the winter of 1918.

At the time, the British military command considered the entry of the USA into the war to be better news because we could (and did) supply 1,200,000 fresh horses and mules than because of the troops we supplied. Of that 1.2 million shipped to Europe fewer than 200 ever came home again.

by Anonymousreply 12710/28/2011

r121, here's how it went down (so to speak):

As part of their war effort, Britain instituted a naval blockade of Germany. The Germans responded with "unrestricted submarine warfare": rather than surfacing the U-boat and stopping a ship to determine whether it was neutral or enemy, or whether it was carrying war material to Britain, the German U-boats simply shot their torpedoes at whatever ships happened to be in the water around the British Isles.

The Lusitania happened to be one of those ships. The sinking of this ship certainly outraged the United States, but the country wasn't ready to go to war -- most Americans still felt it was a European affair (we'd never gotten involved in European conflicts before). President Woodrow Wilson rattled his sabre but got a promise from Germany to conduct a restricted submarine warfare -- surfacing and warning before sinking.

By 1917, however, the British naval blockade was causing serious difficulties for Germany. Their military leaders determined that the only way to end the war successfully was to get Britain out of the war -- this would allow them to overrun France, then turn around and knock out Russia (which was starting its revolution).

To do this, however, required a revival of unrestricted submarine warfare. They knew this could possibly bring the U.S. into the war against them, but they theorized that an all-out effort could get rid of the Brits before the U.S. (which had a relatively small army at the time) could get over to France.

As a result, in February and March of 1917, several American ships were sunk -- and several American merchant sailors killed, creating increased tension with the U.S.

The breaking point came when the Germans sent a telegram to Mexico seeking an alliance and promising the Mexicans would get Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California back should they be successful. The Mexicans demurred and the Brits -- who had intercepted the telegram (it was sent on the diplomatic channel) -- passed it on to President Wilson.

It was the combination of unrestricted submarine warfare and the Zimmermann Telegram that brought the U.S. into the war against Germany in the spring of 1917.

by Anonymousreply 12810/28/2011

Very, very interesting R127.

by Anonymousreply 12910/29/2011

drinking morning coffee, read this entire thread. thanks all- fabulous discussion.

by Anonymousreply 13010/29/2011

[quote]Their military leaders determined that the only way to end the war successfully was to get Britain out of the war -- this would allow them to overrun France, then turn around and knock out Russia (which was starting its revolution).

[quote]To do this, however, required a revival of unrestricted submarine warfare. They knew this could possibly bring the U.S. into the war against them, but they theorized that an all-out effort could get rid of the Brits before the U.S. (which had a relatively small army at the time) could get over to France.

And then, barely 20 years later, history repeated itself all over again, with nearly the same cast of characters.

by Anonymousreply 13110/29/2011

General Pershing's 1948 funeral:

by Anonymousreply 13210/29/2011

Wonderful thread, all.

My grandfather served in France and never talked about it. These days I wonder, given some of his tendencies, I wonder if he had PTSD. I'm sure my uncle who was in Africa during WWII did.

If you've never seen Jean Renoir's Grand Illusion, I recommend it as a look at WWI as a transition, from a nineteenth-century world to a twentieth-century world.

They used to call WWI the war to end all wars. We know how that turned out.

by Anonymousreply 13310/29/2011

The Unknown Soldier of World War I:

State Funeral

23 October-II November 1921

by Anonymousreply 13410/29/2011

Another Unknown Soldier link:

by Anonymousreply 13510/29/2011

[quote]General Pershing's 1948 funeral

Pershing was an honorary member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority, and he donated the iron fence around the TriDelta house at the University of Nebraska (where he once taught and graduated from law school). It was made from WWI cannons that had been melted down for scrap.

(His sister was a TriDelta and he thought rather highly of them.)

He was very unpopular when he taught at West Point and his nickname there was "Nigger Jack" because he had commanded Black troops and spoke highly of their ability as soldiers. That was sanitized into "Blackjack Pershing" for public consumption when he became famous.

by Anonymousreply 13610/29/2011

The remains of a Canadian soldier killed during the First World War and missing for nearly a century found a final resting place during a military ceremony in northern France on Tuesday.

The ceremony was held for Pte. Alexander Johnston of Hamilton, who was killed on Sept. 29, 1918, during the Battle of the Canal du Nord, part of the Hundred Days Offensive, which led to the end of the war a few weeks after his death.

He received full military honours as he was buried in Le Cantimpré Canadian Cemetery with five of his relatives in attendance, along with a Canadian Forces contingent and Canada's ambassador to France, Marc Lortie.

Johnston's great-grandniece from Ottawa, a trumpeter in the Governor General's Foot Guards, played the Last Post at the service in Sailly-lez-Cambrai.

"I just thought the whole thing was incredible," said Cpl. Ann Gregory, a 26-year reservist who has played the piece at numerous military services, including funerals for Canadian veterans.

"Playing today I felt like I was playing not only for him, but also for the others that had fallen and others whose remains haven't been found," she said. Remains found in 2008

Johnston's remains were uncovered in Raillencourt Saint-Olle, France, during the excavation for a factory in 2008 but weren't identified until March of this year following an intensive search of historical records and DNA testing.

"There were some collar tags with the remains, which identified the regiment that he was serving with. The Department of National Defence, through a very extensive search, basically used forensic science and genealogy research, and over a period of three years, eventually identified my father," Gregory said.

"Using mitochrondial DNA, which means it must come from the mother's side of the family — it's the only DNA that survives that length of time — they did genetic testing with my father and identified that it was truly his grand-uncle, my great-grand-uncle," she said.

Don Gregory was the final genetic link and shares mitochondrial DNA with Johnston. It’s a strain of DNA that ends with him.

"[Johnston] was my great-grandmother's brother, and certainly it's a shame that she passed away a few years ago," Ann Gregory said.

Janet Roy, a genealogist who tracked down Johnston's living relatives, said finding the identity of a person lost decades earlier is rewarding.

"We get to bring people back from the dead really — connect them with families," she said.

Curtis Hildebrandt, an analyst and reporting officer with Warnex Pro-DNA Services Inc., which conducted DNA tests on samples of bone and teeth taken from Johnston's remains, said identifying the long-lost soldiers is different from the work he does on criminal cases.

"This is a little more heartfelt because they've actually stood up for you and your country," he said.

Gregory, attending the ceremony with her father, Don Gregory, who was raised in Hamilton and lives in Ottawa, said it has given her a chance to connect with her past.

"I'm going to meet relatives from Scotland I've never met before," she said. "It's incredible and we get to share the story with the world."

Johnston was born in Coatbridge, Scotland, on Aug. 20, 1885, and moved to Hamilton in his late 20s, according to a news release from Department of National Defence. He joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force in January 1918 and entered combat on Sept. 4 of that year with the 78th Battalion.

"He was in three very important battles within 15 days and was killed at the front in a very heavy battle," Gregory said. 'Lest we forget'

Nearly 28,000 members of the Canadian armed forces who died in the First and Second World Wars and the Korean War have no known or maintainable grave.

The federal government, the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces operate a casualty identification program that seeks to determine the identity of and find a permanent resting place for those lost soldiers. The process involves searching through military personnel records, birth and marriage certificates and census data along with analyzing DNA evidence collected from living relatives.

Gregory said she was grateful for that effort.

"I think it's incredible all the work that they put into identifying him and everything, and then doing the right thing, doing the proper service," she said.

Johnston's story will also help bring attention to members of the Canadian military who made the ultimate sacrifice, Gregory said.

"For me it ties into the whole Remembrance Day service and 'lest we forget,'" she said.

by Anonymousreply 13710/29/2011

I have enjoyed reading this thread very much.

by Anonymousreply 13810/29/2011

Good article on the 73 Belgian soldiers and civilians who still work full time dealing with the unexploded ammunition from WWI. They're sitting on over 20,000 shells filled with poison gas waiting for a facility to open that can process them. Even when it opens it will only handle 20 per day.

They'll still be dealing with this decades from now:

by Anonymousreply 13910/29/2011

Link to a recent, interesting article on the tolerance of brothels close to the front lines in France.

"Unsurprisingly, this subject tends to be shrouded in secrecy. But the unique circumstances of the Great War encouraged a few men to discuss their indulgences in their letters, diaries, memoirs and interviews. Their language suggests that consorting with ladies of the night was commonplace.

Extraordinarily, visits to French brothels by British soldiers were officially sanctioned. It was traditional for the British army to accept the local customs wherever they were stationed.

The French thought nothing of allowing their soldiers to use brothels and, not wanting to offend their allies, the British High Command insisted that they should be kept ‘in bounds’ for most of the war."

One in ten soldiers died on the Somme and the average life span for a junior officer was six weeks. Even though many Brits were shocked at first, they didn't want to die virgins. Good (and sad) read with photos even though it's the Daily Mail.

by Anonymousreply 14010/29/2011

From "Eye-Deep in Hell," John Ellis' excellent book about the Western Front:

Robert Graves spoke of a brothel in Calais outside which he had seen a queue of a hundred and fifty men waiting outside the door, each to have his short turn with one of the three women in the house.... Each woman served nearly a battalion of men every week for as long as she lasted. According to the assistant provost mashal, three weeks was the usual limit -- after which she retired on her earnings, pale but proud.

by Anonymousreply 14110/29/2011

During WWII the brothels on Hotel Street in Hawaii had a strict 3 minute time limit, and the prostitutes each had three rooms--one where the current customer was being serviced, another where the last customer was getting dressed, and a third where the next customer was getting undressed. The girl would go from room to room and service upwards of 100 customers per day working a minimum of 20 days per month (at $3 per customer).

If you're interested, here's a good article in pdf form that goes into great detail on the brothels:

by Anonymousreply 14210/29/2011

"During WWII the brothels on Hotel Street in Hawaii had a strict 3 minute time limit"

The guys were only allowed 3 minutes with a prostitute? That's fine for the guys who only last 2 minutes, but what about the others who want longer?

by Anonymousreply 14310/29/2011

Our high school history teacher told us an interesting story. During one of the battles, one of the allied groups were certain they were being crept up on at night because they could distinctly see shadows rising in the battlefield. The next morning, they found out that it was dead soldiers, and their "movement" was the frost pushing them out of the mud.

by Anonymousreply 14410/29/2011

There were plenty of soldiers doing their training right in England and going to brothels, sanctioned or not. When I was in high school in the 90's they had us watch a documentary about the life of Dr. John McCrae. They even stated that in the film that before McCrae was sent to the front he worked as a doctor for the Canadian battalions training in England where the most common illness he was dealing with was the different venereal diseases the troops were getting. I guess the Canadians didn't trust they'd last long enough at the front to get to lose there virginity in France.

by Anonymousreply 14510/30/2011

My childhood pediatrician was stationed in Germany at the end of WWII, and after you got a few drinks in him he told the greatest stories about dealing with the VD epidemic in Germany after the war. He was in charge of inspecting brothels in a large chunk of Bavaria and treating the whores with penicillin to try keep things in check. It was very much a scene right out of The Third Man with black marketeers offering him huge sums of money for the drug, and sultry prostitutes with false papers hiding their Nazi past. He loved every minute of it.

Anyway, he always said that the Army never admitted just how bad the infection rate was among the troops. Here was the largest Army in the world anxious to go home, but there was no way they could send them home to their wives and sweethearts with a raging case of the clap, and as soon as you slowed things down to inspect, test, and treat the troops, you made the problem worse because they had nothing to do all day except get drunk and screw hookers. The infection rate actually went up after they started testing.

Penicillin was still a wonder drug, and it worked very quickly, so the solution was to just start moving them home, first by slow train and then by slower boat, and pray that the penicillin got the job done before they hit the docks on the East Coast.

by Anonymousreply 14610/31/2011

I got involved in geneology for my family after my dad died and I got copies of my great-grandfathers WWI records. I found out that my g-granddad spents most of his time in hospitals in England. First with laringitis when he got there, then with the symptoms of the early stages of syphilis, and then recuperating from the "cure"(606 and mercury).

Apparently they told him that by the time he was sent back to Canada he'd be cured. He learned the hard way that was not exactly true because he married my g-grandmother right away and their first child was stillborn.

R146 reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend about how weirded out I felt about discovering this. She told me that she discovered how common syphilis infection rates were in the world wars because as her grandmother's caregiver when she was going through dementia, the first thing the doctors want to know is if her husband had been a vet. I guess every once in a while a case of dementia from that generation turns out to be caused by a undetected case of syphilis brought back after the war ended.

by Anonymousreply 14710/31/2011

In August 1914, lord Kitchener, the Secretary of State for War, composed a personal message to the troops. The last sentences:

In this new experience you may find temptations both in wine and women. You must entirely resist both temptations, and, while treating all women with perfect courtesy, you should avoid all intimacy.


Kitchener, Field Marshall

If only they had listened.

by Anonymousreply 14810/31/2011

All detailed from Walter Millis' "Road to War":

America was oriented to Britain because Britain alone had supported us during the Spanish-American war. At its outset in 1914 we were occupying the Mexican port of Vera Cruz. The economy, which had been in a slump for two years, crashed.

Colonel House's disarmament mission, which also aimed at a US, UK, German, Japanese entente to invade China, had failed.

British sympathizers in the US acted quickly to evade neutrality. J.P. Morgan set up a purchasing agency for the British and the French sent theirs to Bethlehem Steel by October, 1914. The need to reboot the economy by taking orders was seen as more important than strict neutrality. German trade was strangled by a British blockade the U.S. did not resist.

After the Lusitania, Wilson sent what amounted to an ultimatum to Germany. But war did not come and US opinion got angry when it was revealed that having stopped our cotton shipments to Germany, Britain was taking them herself and then sending them on to Germany for her own profit. However, the Administration scotched his problem by having an agent steal a German operative's briefcase and publish the Germans' attempt to sway American opinion and sabotage munitions shipments.

In 1916 came the hunt for Pancho Villa in Mexico. Then in December, the Germans began moving the Belgium population to forced labor in the fields or German factories. Then the Germans began unrestricted submarine warfare.

Wilson immediately suspended diplomatic relations, but he was still working on a peace plan. Then came the Zimmerman telegram, causing outrage (not just about Mexico but Japan too). A huge naval bill was introduced, and the pacifists led by LaFollete filibustered it. Then came the critical time. The Germans sank the Alqonquin, the Czar was overthrown by Revolution (dumb Americans didn't realize this was a German victory), and the allies made huge gains in France, making the war seem less risky. Meanwhile unions had called a national railway strike which put everyone in a fever pitch and government scrambled to avert. Then the Vigilancia, City of Memphis, and Illinois were sunk on three successive days. SO Wilson gave in and called for war, as much to stop the rail strike as to go to war.


by Anonymousreply 14910/31/2011

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie,

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

by Anonymousreply 15010/31/2011

Here's a cool article on those crazy masks like the guy in boardwalk empire. for vets mutilated by the War.

by Anonymousreply 15110/31/2011

Here's a video of them fitting masks on WWI vets in Paris

by Anonymousreply 15210/31/2011

Armistice Day bump.

(Remembrance Day bump for our friends in the UK and Canada)

[quote]News of the armistice being signed was officially announced towards 9 a.m. in Paris. One hour later, Foch, accompanied by a British admiral, presented himself at the Ministry of War, where he was immediately received by Georges Clemenceau, the Prime Minister of France. At 10:50 a.m., Foch issued this general order: "Hostilities will cease on the whole front as from November 11 at 11 o'clock French time The Allied troops will not, until further order, go beyond the line reached on that date and at that hour." Five minutes later, Clemenceau, Foch and the British admiral went to the Élysée Palace. At the first shot fired from the Eiffel Tower, the Ministry of War and the Élysée Palace displayed flags, while bells around Paris rang. Five hundred students gathered in front of the Ministry and called upon Clemenceau, who appeared on the balcony. Clemenceau exclaimed "Vive la France!"—the crowd echoed him.

by Anonymousreply 15311/10/2011

Sickeningly, some generals ordered the fighting to continue right up until the final minute of World War One. Hundreds of soldiers were killed in the final hours even though it was known that the war would end before noon that day.

by Anonymousreply 15411/10/2011

Do you observe the minute's silence (11.00 on 11/11/11 this year) where you live? We did today.

by Anonymousreply 15511/10/2011

These are remarkable now/then pictures.

"With not a soul in sight, the peace and tranquility of these rural landscapes comes through loud and clear in a gallery of beautiful images.

Yet, nearly 100 years ago, these same serene scenes played host to some of the bloodiest and most violent battles of World War One in which 10 million soldiers died.

British photographer Michael St Maur Sheil has spent the last few years taking hauntingly poignant pictures of some of the most notorious battlefields of the Great War as they are today."

by Anonymousreply 15611/10/2011

Just in case anyone's interested, World War I involved many other nations aside from Britain, Britain's Anglo colonies, a brief American appearance and the odd German.

by Anonymousreply 15711/11/2011

Another Bump for the Bonus Army.

by Anonymousreply 15811/11/2011

A top secret passage through Canada brings 140,000 Chinese labourers to the Western Front.

YPRES, Belgium —

Under pristine, white tombstones in the British military cemeteries dotting the landscape throughout Belgium and northern France, the graves of thousands of Chinese labourers can be found.

Some 140,000 Chinese men were recruited by the Allies during the First World War to fill a critical labour shortage at the Western Front. While their contributions have often been overlooked or even forgotten, there is evidence of their work everywhere in and around Ypres and along the coast of north-west France, not far from the site of the Battle of the Somme.

You just have to know where to look.

The Chinese Labour Corps unloaded cargo ships and trains, chopped down trees for timber, and maintained docks, railways, roads and airfields. Skilled mechanics repaired vehicles and even worked on tanks. Later, after the Armistice, the Chinese stayed behind to clean up the mess. As late as 1919, Chinese labourers remained in France and Belgium to help clear the rubble, bury the dead and clean up the battlefields.

Though the Corps was the largest ethnic minority group to participate in the Great War, their story is often left out of the history books, said Belgian historian Philip Vanhaelemeersch.

"In the West, the labourers were no war heroes. They fought no battles, they had no share in any of the great victories during the war," said Vanhaelemeersch, a Sinologist at University College West-Flanders in Bruges. "Their presence in Europe during the war was, at best, a footnote in the history books on the war."

Crucial link between China and the West

The Chinese recruits "figured importantly as messengers between Chinese and Western civilizations," wrote Xu Guoqi, author of "Strangers on the Western Front," a new book published this year on the Corps.

"Although most of the Chinese labourers were illiterate farmers with no clear ideas about China or the world when they were selected to go to Europe, they had a part in developing that new national identity and would play an important role in China's internationalization," Xu wrote.

Vanhaelemeersch agreed. "Chinese labourers to Europe during the war was China's first ever entering the international political scene," he said. "Today, the increasing interest in the Corps perfectly fits in the international agenda of the new superpower which China wants to be."

Secret passage through Canada

Contrary to the recruitment campaigns that exploited Chinese labourers during the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway in the late 19th century, members of the Chinese Labour Corps signed contracts promising daily wages, food, clothing, housing and medical support. The labourers' families also received regular payments.

Such rewards were tempting enough to encourage thousands of men to sign up for three years of work on the front lines of a war they knew very little about. Most of the labourers recruited by the British came from the north-east provinces of Shandong and present-day Hebei. The French also recruited labourers from China's southern provinces.

En route to Europe, more than 80,000 labourers passed through Canada, landing in Vancouver and travelling by train across the country to Halifax. Most Canadians don't know about this for one simple reason: Their passage through Canada was a top secret operation.

Capt. Harry Drummond Livingstone, a 29-year-old doctor with the Canadian Army Medical Corps, served at a recruiting station in Shandong Province. He examined thousands of men; only the strongest were selected to be a member of the Corps. Those who passed the medical examination were given uniforms – a dark blue tunic, dark blue pants, and a straw hat and hatband marked "CLC" – before marching out to the ships bound for Vancouver.

In his diary, Livingstone described the Chinese tradition of setting off firecrackers before a long pilgrimage: "...strings of firecrackers [are] set off, thousands in all, which noise brings safe journey, no storms or submarines."

by Anonymousreply 15911/11/2011

I had a little bird, And its name was Enza. I opened the window And in-flew-enza.

by Anonymousreply 16011/11/2011

Tomorrow is the world premier of "Silent Night," the opera based on the Christmas Truce of 1914.

by Anonymousreply 16111/11/2011

[quote] How Britain managed to inform America of Germany's plan without revealing that the German codes had been broken makes for an incredible, true story of espionage, intrigue, and international politics

The Zimmerman telegram was a fake. I learned that in history class thirty years ago.

by Anonymousreply 16211/11/2011

Neurosurgery and neurology were pretty much born in WWI. Men were in trenches. Gunshots entered through sandbags and through rifle holes that were left open between sandbags for firing at the enemy. Hence, a lot of head wounds.

I once found neurology textbooks (in my laundry room, of all places, in the "Here take a book" area) from shortly after WWI. The case studies were all head wounds from WWI. They learned so much about the brain, depending on where the bullet hit.

by Anonymousreply 16311/11/2011

Hear the words I sing, war's a horrid thing. Ding a ling a ling a ling a ling a ling.

by Anonymousreply 16411/11/2011

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge, Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs And towards our distant rest began to trudge. Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind; Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots Of disappointed shells that dropped behind.

GAS! Gas! Quick, boys! — An ecstasy of fumbling, Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time; But someone still was yelling out and stumbling And floundering like a man in fire or lime... Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight, He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace Behind the wagon that we flung him in, And watch the white eyes writhing in his face, His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin; If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,

Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, —

My friend, you would not tell with such high zest

To children ardent for some desperate glory,

The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori.

by Anonymousreply 16511/11/2011

During World War I, the French created a dummy version of Paris to the city's immediate north. The plan was to fool German planes into thinking the Potemkin city was the real thing, thus leaving the City of Lights untouched by bombs.

London's Daily Telegraph explains that the fake city wasn't just a bunch of cardboard cutouts. Far from it. There were "electric lights, replica buildings, and even a copy of the Gare du Nord—the station from which high-speed trains now travel to and from London."

The painters went so far as to use paint to create "the impression of dirty glass roofs of factories." Fake trains and railroad tracks were lit up as well. There was a phony Champs-Elysées.

by Anonymousreply 16611/11/2011

After the destruction of a monument to the last Americans killed in WWI when the Nazis overran the Maginot Line and started WW2, Hitler ordered that no other Allied cemeteries or monuments be harmed. One German soldier that lopped off the head of the eagle sculpture at the US Cemetery in the Somme was court-martialed.

Still in Canada, rumors of the destruction by the Germans of the Vimy monument were so persistent that Hitler heard about them and stopped to be photographed in front of it to show it still stood.

Also, for propaganda...

by Anonymousreply 16711/12/2011

Nice 10 part documentary about WWI.

Watching it now on a Saturday night plus reading Datalounge. I love it!

by Anonymousreply 16811/12/2011

The story that German troops crucified a Canadian Soldier to a barn door with their bayonets in 1915 was one of the most persistent urban legends of the war.

by Anonymousreply 16911/12/2011

Thanks to r73 I've started reading the guns of August. Very good book, thanks for the recommendation.

by Anonymousreply 17012/30/2011

[quote]The story that German troops crucified a Canadian Soldier to a barn door with their bayonets in 1915 was one of the most persistent urban legends of the war.

And a big problem was so many Canadians believed it, they inflicted atrocities of their own.

by Anonymousreply 17112/30/2011

"My childhood pediatrician was stationed in Germany at the end of WWII, and after you got a few drinks in him he told the greatest stories about dealing with the VD epidemic in Germany after the war."

Goodness, some people grow up way too fast.

by Anonymousreply 17212/30/2011

R168, I just watched the first part of the doc you linked to. I'm also reading Guns of August. Already there are some discrepancies between the two, or maybe some omissions in the documentary that seem to try and paint the Germans in a more positive light. Anyone else notice this?

The doc seems to put more blame on Serbia and Russia, and implied that Germany was pulled into the conflict against her will, almost as a victim of circumstances. The book shows Germany as the primary cause of the war. Planning and plotting for more than a decade before 1914. They had their attack on France via Beligum all ready to go, and were just looking for an excuse, which the assassination provided.

The doc also paints Franz Ferdinand as nearly a pacifist, just waiting for an opportunity to give the Slavs equal rights. I'm more inclined to believe Barbara Tuchman's book rather than the doc at this point.

by Anonymousreply 17312/31/2011

It was a war he break up the Ottoman Empire's stranglehold on the oil supply lines. It worked. You don't hear anything about them anymore (not they we learned anything about them in school anyway.) It was a war for oil and in a few hundred years, historians will look back on WWI, WWII, Vietnam and Iraq/Afghanistan as the 100 years War or The Oil Wars.

War sucks. There's nothing noble about it and EVERYONE who comes within an inch of combat, absolutely comes home with PTSD.

by Anonymousreply 17412/31/2011

R174, are there any books out there that back up that claim? Everyone pretty much ignored Turkey at the very beginning. No one even declared war on Turkey until Germany maneuvered them into attacking Russia.

by Anonymousreply 17512/31/2011

I guess all wars are terrible but that one seemed particularly horrible for the soldiers.

by Anonymousreply 17612/31/2011

r176 I've always thought the same thing. The trench warfare, poison gas, close-range fighting, mud and infection etc. must have been horrifying. I just can't imagine.

by Anonymousreply 17712/31/2011

What does ANY of this have to do with LADY GAGAAAAAAAA??!?!!?!!?!

by Anonymousreply 17812/31/2011

r175, check out "A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East" by David Fromkin.

by Anonymousreply 17912/31/2011

Dang this is a good thread! I too watched part 1 of the documentary. Will be watching the rest.

by Anonymousreply 18001/01/2012

World War I: rarely covered on film

Few directors have tried to depict the 'Great War.' Steven Spielberg is the latest, though his 'War Horse' falls short of the rich, dramatic works by Jean Renoir, David Lean and others.

by Anonymousreply 18101/02/2012

And another reason for World War I

by Anonymousreply 18201/03/2012

We didn't learn anything about the Ottoman Empire in school. It just sort of giantly loomed over to the East, never mentioned. The British wanted to control all of that oil and now they along with the Americans almost do.

by Anonymousreply 18301/03/2012

Russia was almost a greater aggressor than Germany. They wanted Constantinople since the days of Catherine the Great.

by Anonymousreply 18401/03/2012

There are clearly plenty of old men on DL who were alive during WWI.

by Anonymousreply 18501/03/2012

Thank you for bumping this up. I must of missed it when it was originally started. I find it all very fascinating. It is threads like these that keep me coming back to the DL. As someone said earlier, it brings the smart people out. Thank you to all who have posted and added to my education.

by Anonymousreply 18601/03/2012

Why has it been so long since we have had another World War? I think we are due for World War III

by Anonymousreply 18701/03/2012

[quote] We didn't learn anything about the Ottoman Empire in school

We learned that it was "The Sickman of Europe" in my Catholic HS.

by Anonymousreply 18801/03/2012

reading about their youth and the brothels, found this nteresting."First Aid Treatment After Exposure to Venereal Disease". A WWI Era film.

by Anonymousreply 18901/03/2012

How ya gonna keep keep em from paintin' the town?

Jazzin' around?

by Anonymousreply 19001/03/2012

There's a great new book that attributes much of the cause for WWI to Russian Imperialism. It's "The Russian Origins of the First World War" by Sean McMeekin.

I got it on Amazon.

by Anonymousreply 19101/03/2012

R185, being sarcastic or stupid? I vote for the latter.

Ever heard of Wikipedia, Google or history books in general? I thought not.

by Anonymousreply 19201/03/2012

R192 is autistic.

by Anonymousreply 19301/03/2012

Well, R191, it could very well be that the Tsar and his military were seeking to regain some of their swagger after Imperial Russia's humiliating defeat in the Battle of Tsushima with the Japanese.

That defeat to Tsar Nicholas' forces would be like the USA losing a war against Argentina today.

by Anonymousreply 19401/03/2012

r. 194, Nicholas II should have learned that the 1905 Russian Revolution was an outgrowth of the regional Russo-Japanese War.

He should have thought about the consequences to the throne and his family should a global war not go well for Russia. He paid for his bad judgment with his life -- and sadly with his family's, Russia's and the world's.

by Anonymousreply 19501/03/2012

It was all that German wife of his fault!

by Anonymousreply 19601/03/2012

Hey, Maria Pavlova the Elder. You're German, too!

by Anonymousreply 19701/03/2012

Da, but Russia became my soul … and I eventually became Orthodox when it briefly looked like I might be a Tsar's mamma.

So I say again, it was all that German woman's fault!

by Anonymousreply 19801/03/2012

Can someone explain to me why people don't get shell shock WW I style any more?

If you google shell shock videos on youtube, you will see people shaking / "dancing" / grimacing uncontrollably.

Is that how PTSD still manifests today? Or was it a cultural thing?

by Anonymousreply 19901/03/2012

Thank You for this interesting thread and great links.

by Anonymousreply 20001/04/2012


by Anonymousreply 20101/04/2012

This is the shaking I mean as a part of shellshock.

Do people get severe shellshock like this nowawdays? Or do they just give them powerful medication to relieve the shakes?

by Anonymousreply 20201/04/2012

r199, I don't know anything about modern cases of PTSD, but if those conditions don't manifest now as much as they did during and after the Great War, it may be because the human mind, having seen so much horror over the past century -- in person, in film and on television -- is slightly more adapted to what their experiencing, whereas the soldiers in the Great War had no concept of the horror they were about to experience.

by Anonymousreply 20301/04/2012

This has been a wonderful thread, thank you all for contributing. In school, we only briefly covered WW I and I can tell you there is more information here than I got in a classroom.

Also thank you to the poster who linked the excellent WWI documentary. I've watched the first two parts and will be watching the others as time permits.

Not to hijack the thread, but while I was perusing the WWI doc Youtube page, I stumbled across an amazing WWII documentary series called "Apocalypse: The Second World War." I'm also watching this right now and it is one of the best WWII docs I have ever seen. It is entirely made up of colorized footage taken during the war (by both Allied and Axis forces, as well as private citizens) and the narration over the footage is first-rate. The entire series is linked here if anyone is interested.

by Anonymousreply 20401/04/2012

R 4:

If you haven't seen it, "Nicholas and Alexandra" is on YouTube.

Spend some time watching the first installment (there about a dozen) and I think you'll you'll be hooked if you like historical movies.

Irene Worth as the Dowager Empress, Nicholas' mother, is wonderful. Her best line, "Do you believe that, Nicky?!"

by Anonymousreply 20501/05/2012

Why did the United States even get involved? We were not attacked as far as I know, as we were with Pearl Harbor.

by Anonymousreply 20601/05/2012

We were a pawn, R206, brought in on the side of the UK by the Zionist Federation as part of the Balfour Declaration. "You give us Palestine and we'll give you the US army to win this war" was the deal between Chaim Weizmann and Arthur Balfour brokered by Baron Rothschild.

by Anonymousreply 20701/05/2012

I think the sinking of the Lusitania and the Zimmerman Telegram were the more likely, less Antisemitic causes of our entry into WWI.

by Anonymousreply 20801/05/2012

WWI immensely improved the fields of neurology and neurosurgery. Many soldiers survived head wounds, because they were so far away from the rifles that shot them. In the past, soldiers were closer to each other, charging into battle. The distance between trenches meant soldiers could survive a head shot.

I had a book I found in my laundry room's "free book" section, no doubt put there by relatives after an elderly doctor had died, all about neurological cases from WWI. They found that different parts of the brain responded very differently to injury, depending on what was affected (speech, memory, hallucinations, etc). They'd never known that before, since they didn't have the scientific instrumentation to do experimental brain surgeries on large numbers of people. The gunshot wounds told them a lot about different areas of the brain.

As for shell shock -- those were MASSIVE shells being exploded constantly. No doubt some of the men were suffering concussive injury to the brain. When we watch war movies, they always stop shooting or bombing after a few seconds (or greatly reduce the sound of the shooting and bombing) because 1.) an audience doesn't want to be subjected to the REAL sounds of war for very long and 2.) an audience needs to hear the dialog.

In real life, those massive ground concussions went on for hours and hours without pause during WWI.

by Anonymousreply 20901/05/2012

We still remember, we who dwell In this far land beneath the trees, Thy starlight on the Western Seas.

by Anonymousreply 21001/05/2012

Chaim Weizman, Arthur Balfour, and Baron Rothschild were none of them American. 'Splain, please.

by Anonymousreply 21101/05/2012

I still believe the Zimmerman telegram was a fake.

by Anonymousreply 21201/05/2012

Please do not feed the Jews-run-the-world troll.

by Anonymousreply 21301/05/2012

[quote]I think the sinking of the Lusitania and the Zimmerman Telegram were the more likely, less Antisemitic causes of our entry into WWI.

Facts are facts. The truth can't be anti-semitic any more than the sun, moon and stars can be. The Zimmerman telegram was a hoax and the USA did not enter the war in response to the sinking of the Lusitania which occured two years before the US entered the war.

by Anonymousreply 21401/05/2012

[quote] Do people get severe shellshock like this nowawdays?

No, because warfare no longer consists of men underground in trenches and huge artillery guns continually lobbing giant shells into the earth. How do you think you would feel being in a trench while shells concussed the earth around you nonstop. Some of it was psychological and some of it was no doubt a physical response to constant large and small concussive head and body injury.

by Anonymousreply 21501/05/2012

The problem with World War I was that Germany was not really defeated. The war was fought on foreign soil, and Germany was intact and economically far less devastated than either Britain or France. It was much stronger. The Versailles reparations were not that onerous and well within their means. Germans felt they had been betrayed politically. Remember they had just knocked Russia out of the war and clearly believed they were winning whilst General Haig had killed 2 million Britons in useless frontal attacks.

by Anonymousreply 21601/05/2012

BTW, we tried concussive bombing in Vietnam to destroy their tunnels. As soon as a part of a tunnel collapsed, the VC gathered civilians from nearby villages and had them dig it out. It cost billions to use bombs, but cost nothing to grab some shovels and have people dig you out in a few hours.

by Anonymousreply 21701/05/2012

[quote]Please do not feed the Jews-run-the-world troll.

Please read up on the Balfour Declaration. It is relevant today as Israel goads the USA and the UK into attacking Iran.

by Anonymousreply 21801/05/2012

WWI destroyed the French and Belgian countryside.

by Anonymousreply 21901/05/2012

I also believe the Zimmerman Telegram was a hoax.

by Anonymousreply 22001/05/2012

Nonsense R220. It would have been stupid for the germans not to encourage Mexico. The U.S. had been diverted twice. In 1913 Wilson sent the troops into Vera Cruz. In 1915 he sent them after Pancho Villa, who had raided New Mexico. Virtually the whole American army was engaged and could not be spared for Europe.

by Anonymousreply 22101/05/2012

[quote]Some of it was psychological

The psychological part of concussive weapons carried through to the last part of the 20th century. When the U.S. put their battleships (USS Missouri and USS New Jersey) in the Str. of Hormuz in 1987, Iran didn't make a move on them and issued no warnings. Today, our battleships have been turned into museums and we have no powerful ships to use for gunboat diplomacy. Iran is issuing warnings to keep our carriers away from the Str. of Hormuz.

by Anonymousreply 22201/05/2012

Sorry 1914 Vera Cruz, not 1913.

by Anonymousreply 22301/05/2012

I just read the OP and I had to comment about its stupidity.

Of course WW-I is not going to be "remembered" in the same way as WW-II, which is still within living memory. As for people having "forgotten" (???)what the purpose of the war was in the first place, of course they're not going to hear about it from any of their relatives. If they're interested, they can do some simple research.

What an idiotic post.

by Anonymousreply 22401/05/2012

Some of those in the United States who still held out for neutrality at first claimed the telegram was a fake. This notion was dispelled two days later, when Zimmermann himself confirmed its authenticity.

by Anonymousreply 22501/05/2012

World War II was a continuation of WWI because the Allies did not have a clear-cut military victory.

by Anonymousreply 22601/07/2012

Did anyone else here think that the Masterpiece Theatre adaptation of Sebastian Faulks' novel Birdsong was pretty brilliant? It's on Netflix if you missed it. It's my favorite WWI novel besides Ford Maddox Ford's Parade's End.

by Anonymousreply 22705/10/2012

[quote]I just read the OP and I had to comment about its stupidity.

Of course WW-I is not going to be "remembered" in the same way as WW-II, which is still within living memory. As for people having "forgotten" (???)what the purpose of the war was in the first place, of course they're not going to hear about it from any of their relatives. If they're interested, they can do some simple research.

What an idiotic post.

Obviously not "an idiotic post," asshole. As other posters have pointed out, this thread has been one of the most intelligent and thoughtful threads in a long time.

Why don't you run along and post the 500th "Presenting Holes" thread and let the grown-ups talk.

by Anonymousreply 22805/10/2012

A deserving up.

by Anonymousreply 22902/11/2013


by Anonymousreply 23002/11/2013

"Do people get severe shellshock like this nowawdays?"

Today "shell shock" is thought of as a type of "post-concussion syndrome", not PTSD. In a concussive injury the brain is shaken so badly that neurons and small blood vessels are sheared, and it can take months or years for the brain to function normally, or it may never entirely recover.

I'm sure it still happens today, although traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorders are getting all the press. Considering how the VA is treating injured vets these days, any post-concussion syndrome injuries are probably being undertreated. The poor bastards are probably told to take anitdepressants and get out.

by Anonymousreply 23102/11/2013

Nobody now remembers the Armenians.....oh yes we do.

by Anonymousreply 23202/12/2013

They don't even teach WWII in schools anymore, just the Holocaust part.

by Anonymousreply 23302/12/2013

r233, as a World History teacher in high school, I can tell you that's not correct. (In fact, one of the things I stress is perspective -- today, we think of World War II as being the Nazis, the Blitz and the Holocaust, but at the time, the vast majority of Americans perceived the primary enemy as the Japanese -- due to the attack on Pearl Harbor -- and the Germans as secondary -- and hence the shameful rounding up of Japanese-Americans into camps.)

And the students often find World War I even more interesting, perhaps because it is less familiar (and more complex in its origins).

by Anonymousreply 23402/12/2013

"Nobody now remembers the Armenians.....oh yes we do."

The Kardashians?

by Anonymousreply 23502/12/2013

r227: I saw the Birdsong adaptation but loved the book much more when I read it a year or so after it came out. The sections set in the tunnels (not trenches in this case) are so vivid and unforgettable. Faulks is not a great writer, maybe, but a very good one. I still consider Birdsong one of my favorite books ever. Also read Pat Barker's Regeneration Trilogy. These books really kindled my interest in WWI. Started to read "Guns of August" by Tuchman (history natch, not fiction) but dropped it for some reason. This wonderful thread has made me want to go back to that book. Or check out Amazon to find an even better history of that war. Thanks to all who posted on this great thread.

by Anonymousreply 23602/12/2013

Just the thought of mustard gas is enough to literally terrify me.

The horrors of ttench warfare and gas is unimaginable.

by Anonymousreply 23702/12/2013

WWI marked the beginning of the decline of Western Civilization.

by Anonymousreply 23802/12/2013

Princep's foot prints

by Anonymousreply 23902/13/2013

I remember the first big war like it was yesterday. The memories...

by Anonymousreply 24002/13/2013

How could Joan Rivers remember the first World War? She wasn't even old enough for kindergarten.

by Anonymousreply 24102/13/2013
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