What World War I Unleashed In America

One hundred years ago the US was preparing to send its forces to Europe to join in the fighting to save the world….from what most are not sure….but save it nonetheless….Dough boys are on their way.

I have been saying for a long time that World War One was the event that shaped the world we live in today….it all began on the fields of Belgium and France in 1914.

A new PBS documentary recalls the bloody battles, the social turbulence and the nation-changing legacy of the terrible conflict.

One hundred years ago, two events three days apart set the 20th century’s trajectory. On April 9, 1917, in Zurich, Vladimir Lenin boarded a train. Germany expedited its passage en route to St. Petersburg — known as Leningrad from 1924 to 1991 — expecting him to exacerbate Russia’s convulsions, causing Russia’s withdrawal from World War I, allowing Germany to shift forces to the Western Front. Lenin boarded the train three days after the United States, responding to Germany’s unrestricted submarine warfare and other provocations, declared war. Soon 2 million Americans would be in Europe. They, and the promise of many more, compelled Germany to accept an armistice at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.

Source: What World War I unleashed in America

Then there are all sorts of stories told about WW1….some are true and some are myths….and let us look at some of the myths from that war.

One hundred years ago, on April 6, 1917, Congress voted to declare war on imperial Germany. The First World War was the pivot of the 20th century: It took the lives of 17 million people and resulted in the collapse of three major empires (the German, the Ottoman and the Austro-Hungarian). In the aftermath, totalitarian regimes both right and left came to power, leading to a second, far bloodier global conflict. Alas, for most Americans, the “Great War” holds little interest, particularly compared with the Civil War, World War II and Vietnam — all conflicts remembered as titanic moral struggles that transformed the nation. This neglect has given rise to some serious misconceptions about the war in which more than 116,000 Americans died.

Source: Five myths about World War I – The Washington Post

This war was important in so many ways and yet we try to block it out as best we can……why?

We must never forget or ignore the wars that our soldiers were asked to fight.  This country already does a disservice to the vets let us not compound the disrespect.

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14 thoughts on “What World War I Unleashed In America

  1. Shame that other than a few major battles, Sergeant York, and “Over There!”, we know jack all about WW1 in this country. I had to learn more by digging up documentaries (in which I learned the last day of the war killed more Americans than the D-Day invasion, all because the commanders already had a plan and didn’t want it to go to waste, even though they were laying down arms in less than 24 hours–the waste infuriated me). Then, of course, was Philip Gibbs’ amazing book “Now it Can Be Told” (my review: https://thechattyintrovert.com/2017/02/02/now-it-can-be-told-by-p-gibbs/ ).

    We have a lousy attention span in this country when it comes to our history, especially military history (and military present if we’re being honest). And as the anniversary unfolds, even the ignorant ones in power will fall into the cycle of war with eerie parallels…hell, aren’t they doing it already?

    1. Sounds like a book I need to add to my library than for sharing that…..I try to make Americans open their eyes to what WW1 brought into being….sadly few want to know they dwell on the latest hate filled news……chuq

      1. Well, it’s gonna have very little about the Americans in it, but will give you an on-the-ground feel of a correspondent going back and forth between the lines, the people he meets, the conversations he overhears…the more I got into it, the more I wondered how many veterans really stayed sane after all that…it’s like a world gone mad.

      1. Neat. I’ll have to put that on my buy list for next year (I think my shelves will sag and drop if I add any more this year–gotta make room, anyway). Haig is a nutty character, all about his own destiny and fulfilling it, and never seemed to consider that his men wouldn’t be thinking along those lines. I don’t recall if he ever visited the front himself after these awful battles, and from what I’d found in some resources, dismissed the carnage as “exaggeration.” Wonder how different it would be if he had visited the right places at the right times. But maybe that’s what made WWI so lousy for the vets–their generals were often 30 miles back in comfy chateaus, not seeing what the men were, which helped the hateful version of history along.

  2. I agree completely with that last part, we should never forget what these men went through. The real causes of that war were not even close to being as heroic as the actions and courage of the millions of men who fought it.

    1. I will be posting other posts on WW1 from now until 2018……Americans need to know what happened and why we should avoid a repeat….chuq

      1. Yeah definitely, the past has far too many lessons to be allowed to be forgotten. If we let it happen again, then we’ve failed this generation, that’s why it is so important that people do keep posting about these things. Great work 🙂

      2. Thanx I appreciate the kind words…I will do my part for these soldiers and civilians should never be forgotten….chuq

  3. As I live in Europe, we have constant reminders of WW1. Every town and village in Britain has a memorial to those who fell. Even local churchyards contain the bodies of soldiers brought back after the war, and you cannot drive around France or Belgium without being overwhelmed by the size of the battlefield cemeteries there.
    Given the involvement, and the loss of life suffered by Americans in that conflict, I find it very strange that it is little-known over there, and rarely discussed. If you can access it anywhere, I thoroughly recommend this landmark TV series, from the early 1960s. It has never been done better.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057753/
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. I will try to keep the memory alive as long as I can….I do not want this war to be a forgotten war…..this country is already trying to forget Korea and soon it will be Vietnam….I cannot let that happen….chuq

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