Deadliest Battle For The USA

I have been studying World War One for a very long time……it has been 100 years since the end of this war and what have we learn?

To be honest…we have learned very little.

To Europe the war was a “Big Deal” because they lost so many young men that a whole generation was damn near wiped out.

It is not so important to us Americans…..but since we did participate in this conflict then what was the deadliest battle for our troops?

A century ago, the first shots were fired in one of the most important American military engagements ever — and the deadliest battle in U.S. history.

World War I’s Meuse-Argonne Offensive, which involved more than a million American soldiers and claimed the lives of 26,277, was launched in northern France on Sept. 26, 1918 to push the German army out of the country and reclaim a rail network vital to supplying enemy troops. The fight lasted a grueling 46 days and generated scores of stories of heroism and sacrifice.

But most notably, it helped bring an end to The Great War.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/americas-deadliest-battle-world-war-is-meuse-argonne-offensive-100-years-later

World War One, The Great War, The War To End All Wars, was considered by many as an accident brought about by events that spiraled out of control…..but to others including myself think that the war was NO accident…..

Not surprisingly, this has brought all sorts of stories and op-eds discussing the disastrous events that killed some 16 million people and wounded an additional 21 million others.

To this day, most observers continue to claim that World War I was an inadvertent war: that is, that none of the countries involved particularly wanted war but war came nonetheless. Some claim it was the major armament programs and offensive military doctrines adopted by European countries in the run-up to the war that made WWI inevitable. Others claim it was the hypernationalistic populaces that caused the war.  Still others blame the tight alliances that European nations formed in the years prior to WWI, which created an environment in which the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand by an anarchist could plunge the entire continent into a bloody war. And then there are those that blame the situation on the irreconcilable interests of a rising Germany and a declining Great Britain. Regardless of the particular explanation invoked, most seem to agree that the war was an accident.

https://thediplomat.com/2014/08/the-great-myth-world-war-i-was-no-accident/

AS I have said…I studied WW1 because of the scope….others study WW2 because of its result……as they say Idealists study WW2; realists study WW1…..

Scenario one: a dominant superpower, serving as the unquestioned head of an international alliance, and possessing unmatched military and economic strength. This superpower appears exceptionally led at the military, political, and bureaucratic levels, and possesses the time and space to conceptualize a focused strategy against a specific threat.

Scenario two: several powerful nations operating in a multipolar world, pursuing divergent interests, with none possessing an absolute advantage over the others. Exceptional political and military leadership is lacking, and the rapid pace of change means these nations are carried forward by events over which they exercise little control. Few are certain what a future threat or strategy may resemble.

Our first scenario describes the world of 1945; the triumphant United States at the head of a new international order and poised to combat a clear challenger. Our second describes the world of 1918: victorious powers fighting over diverging interests, squandering their opportunities of peace, but convinced in their conceit that the world could be ordered in their image.

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/idealists-study-world-war-ii-realists-study-world-war-i-83031

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Africa Goes To War

World War One, the Great War saw the deaths of millions and the destruction of much…….Africa was not spared the carnage.

There is many ways to explain what happened….none do the events justice…..

Sparked in the Balkans as a result of European nationalism and imperial rivalries, the first world war raged from July 1914 to November 1918. It pitted the 48 million soldiers of the Allies – led by the French, British and Russian empires – against the 26 million soldiers of the Central Powers – led by the German, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires, who lost the war.

https://theconversation.com/world-politics-explainer-the-great-war-wwi-100462

07 August 1914 the shooting war began and on the 8th of August 1914 the war moved to East Africa.

A hundred years ago on this day, on August 8th, 1914, the British HMS Asteria and Pegasus protected cruisers bombed Dar-es-Salaam, then the capital of German East Africa, bringing the European so-called “war to end all wars” to the eastern African shores. The day before, Anglo-French forces constituted of Ghanaian, Nigerian, Sierra Leonean, Gambian and Beninese troops had invaded German Togoland in West Africa.
Among World War I campaigns, the East African one was the longest of all: as the armistice was being signed in Europe on November, 11th 1918, the last of the German forces were still fighting their British counterparts. Indeed the general who led them only surrendered two weeks later, on November, 25th 1918.
 
But who knows any of this, whether in America, in Europe or indeed in Africa? As the world commemorates the Centenary of the Great War, the African side of this story remains a footnote, despite huge losses of human lives and major consequences for the future of the African continent.
 
A million people died in East Africa alone during World War I. Many Africans also fought in Europe, defending the interests of their colonial masters. Today, their sacrifice has been largely forgotten.
 
 
I have studied this conflict for years and still having a hard time deciding if it was worth it or not……I say….NOT.
 
 
Then World War One and North Africa…..
 
 
All the carnage should have taught the world a valuable lesson….but instead it just laid the ground work for World War Two……so lightning can strike in the same place more than once.
 
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07 August 1914

The time is 0500…..and it began in the West.

The opening battle of World War One on the Western Front……the Battle of Mulhouse….

The Battle of Mulhouse, one of the August Battles of the Frontiers, comprised the opening French attack of the war, and began at 05:00 on 7 August 1914.

Forming a fundamental component of France war strategy, Plan XVII, the Battle of Mulhouse was intended to secure the recapture of Alsace (with Lorraine to follow separately), territories lost to Germany as a consequence of losing the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71.

Aside from the matter of national pride inherent in the capture of Alsace, French troops there would be well placed to guard the flank of subsequent French invasions further north.

In command of the operation to take Mulhouse was General Bonneau, and he was assigned a detachment of the First Army, plus one cavalry and two infantry divisions Ranged against him was the German Seventh Army under General von Heeringen.

https://www.firstworldwar.com/battles/mulhouse.htm

As a student of history especially the conflicts I am amazed as well as appalled at the carnage of the First World War.

We tried to make sure that this type of carnage would never happen again….WE FAILED miserably….in less than a generation we are at it again…all the carnage and destruction…..and for what?

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100 Years Ago

A Hundred years ago the 28 June was the official end of World War One, the Treaty of Versailles 28Jun1919….

World War I officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919. Negotiated among the Allied powers with little participation by Germany, its 15 parts and 440 articles reassigned German boundaries and assigned liability for reparations. After strict enforcement for five years, the French assented to the modification of important provisions. Germany agreed to pay reparations under the Dawes Plan and the Young Plan, but those plans were cancelled in 1932, and Hitler’s rise to power and subsequent actions rendered moot the remaining terms of the treaty.

The treaty, negotiated between January and June 1919 in Paris, was written by the Allies with almost no participation by the Germans. 

The negotiations revealed a split between the French, who wanted to dismember Germany to make it impossible for it to renew war with France, and the British and Americans, who did not want to create pretexts for a new war. The eventual treaty included 15 parts and 440 articles. Part I created the Covenant of the New League of Nations, which Germany was not allowed to join until 1926. Part II specified Germany’s new boundaries, giving Eupen-Malmedy to Belgium, Alsace-Lorraine back to France, substantial eastern districts to Poland, Memel to Lithuania, and large portions of Schleswig to Denmark. Part III stipulated a demilitarized zone and separated the Saar from Germany for 15 years.

https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-i/treaty-of-versailles-1

Were lessons learned by the failure of the Treaty of Versailles?

he peace treaty following the “war to end all wars” was initially thought to be ushering in a never-ending era of peace and international brotherhood, but not all observers thought so: the German Crown Prince Wilhelm, who had fought against Marshal Petain at Verdun and was now exiled in Holland, blasted the victors’ exclusion of the surrendered governments during the Paris discussions begun that January: the very morning of the signing, he flatly predicted in an interview that a new European war was a certainty ten years hence. Meanwhile, John Maynard Keynes, the great British economist who attended the conference as a representative of the British Treasury, was disgusted with the harsh terms meted out by the western allies and resigned his post in late May. Returning to Britain, he wrote The Economic Consequences of the Peace that summer, flatly predicting another war with Germany in twenty years

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2019/06/28/the_right_lessons_from_versailles_100_years_later_114542.html

The Treaty itself was a precursor to the rise of the Nazis….and ultimately the 2nd World War…..so it failed it is main conquest…to prevent war.

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World War One Still Fascinates

Over a century ago the first World War ended….but it still fascinates some….me for one…..not many Americans realize how devastating this war was……some engagements lost 100,000 men…think about that for a moment.

America was late coming to the party, if we can call it a party, we did nt step in until 1917 and the war began in 1914……but why did we finally take the plunge?

There were many reasons but only a few are considered “official”……

The United States played a crucial role in the outcome of World War I and the subsequent peace treaty, however, the country tried very hard to stay neutral throughout most of the conflict which it saw as a European affair. By 1917, Woodrow Wilson’s policy and public opinion changed in favor of the US entry into World War I for the following 5 reasons that are described below.

https://historylists.org/events/5-reasons-for-the-us-entry-into-world-war-i.html

There has been a debate back and forth on whether the US should have entered or just sat it out…..part of the debate…..

Every war is a tragedy, a failure to resolve sharp differences of ideology and interest or to stop evil men before they can impose their will on others. The First World War was one of the most tragic wars in history: Although none of its major protagonists expected or wanted it to occur, it initiated thirty years of bloodletting on an unprecedented scale and planted the seeds for civil conflicts that continue to rage today. Witness the fate of the Sykes-Picot Treaty, the secret pact drawn up in 1916 by diplomats from Britain and France that mashed together Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds in a new nation called Iraq. 

https://newrepublic.com/article/118435/world-war-i-debate-should-us-have-entered

Then there was World War Two and how the end of World War One was the leading cause of the devastation of World War Two……the crippling conditions imposed on Germany by the Allies were more than the nation could shoulder and thus the beginnings….

WWI ended with Germany signing the Treaty of Versailles. Germany was forced to sign this treaty, because if they did not sign the treaty, then they would be attacked. There was essentially no compromising. The terms of the Treaty of Versailles focused on Germany itself, and not the other countries that were fighting on Germany’s side. Germany got the most punishment because they were the third man in to this war. If Germany had not joined WWI the war could have been a war between just Austria-Hungary and Serbia. Germany joining the war brought several other countries into the war, and made it into a full World War. There were mant terms of the Treaty of Versailles. One of these terms was that Germany had to pay for all of the damage that was caused by the war, evem if it was not their fault. Another term of the Treaty of Versailles was that Germany could have only 100,000 people in their army, and could have almost no Navy or Airforce. This would make it very hard to deend themselves if there were to be another war. Germany also lost land in this treaty, and the League of Nations was set up due to the treaty also. All of these terms led to a very poor economy in Germany, and led to overall chaos.

A fascinating paper…….http://www.markedbyteachers.com/as-and-a-level/history/world-war-i-could-it-have-been-avoided.html

Then came World War Two

…….some of the causes are showing up in today’s world…..A little something to think about on a Spring day.

Lawrence Of Arabia

I just watched a great movie (even though it is not historically accurate)….Lawrence of Arabia (1962) starring Peter O’Toole, who was exceptional as Lawrence…..

The movie was about the Arab Revolt of 1916-1918….it was lead by British intel officer T.E. Lawrence (BTW he was not as popular in the Middle East as the movie would have you believe)…..this movie gave me an interest in the Middle East and World War One that lead to my degrees I got from university……for that I thank Lawrence even if he was a d/bag……

Yes Irene it is time for that history lesson you all dread……

The Arab Revolt of 1916-18 was a major episode of WW1 and, due to the subsequent fame of T.E. Lawrence (“of Arabia”), it has enjoyed a level of public and scholarly attention that continues to this day. The Arab Revolt had its origins in pre-war contacts between the Sharif of Mecca, Hussein ibn Ali, leader of the Hashemite faction, and British authorities in Cairo. The Hejaz region of Arabia (in modern-day Saudi Arabia) had been under Ottoman control since the sixteenth century but Hussein recognised that the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) or “Young Turk” government was focused on extending its control throughout the Ottoman provinces.[i] The immediate pre-war years saw a crackdown on dissenters in Syria and Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq) and this forced Hussein’s hand. In 1914, he made overtures to GHQ in Cairo in order to gauge possible British support for a future revolt.[ii] In the months following the outbreak of war in 1914, a steady supply of small arms and money was ferried across the Red Sea by the Royal Navy and landed on the Arabian coast.[iii]

By 1916, it seemed that Cemel Pasha, governor of Syria and commander of the Ottoman 4th Army was about to act against the Hashemites and their supporters. The Sharif felt that the moment had come to instigate the revolt and with his sons (the Emirs Ali, Abdullah, Feisal and Zeid) he rallied tribesmen to his cause during the summer months. On 5 June 1916, the Emirs Ali and Feisal informed the Turkish commander at Medina, General Fakhri Pasha, of the Arabs’ intention to withdraw from the Ottoman Empire. An attack on Medina was repulsed and the Arabs refocused their efforts to begin attacks on the strategically important Hejaz Railway. On 10 June, Sharif Abdullah proclaimed the revolt in Mecca and further attacks occurred on Ottoman garrisons at Ta’if and Jiddah. The Arab Revolt was truly underway.[iv]

 
Or if you are too busy to read then maybe this video will help understand the incident……
 
 
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Ever Hear Of The “Harlem Hellfighters”?

Sunday and I must get off my butt and start getting the garden ready for the crops of the year…..but before that I need to offer up another history lesson….(I hear those heavy sighs)…..

I have been writing and trying to get more Americans to pay attention to World War One……it was century ago and while American troops were only there for about a year and actually fought for about 6 months we still lost about 116,000 troops……in case you cannot feel the size of that…we lost 53,000 in Vietnam in ten years….

There were and are many stories of the units that fought in this war and one of those units is the Harlem Hellfighters……

A century ago, on Feb. 17, 1919, the US Army’s 369th Infantry Regiment, nearly 3,000 African American soldiers and known as the Harlem Hellfighters, returned from World War I and marched up Fifth Avenue in Manhattan before hundreds of thousands of cheering New Yorkers. The Harlem Hellfighters weren’t supposed to be heroes, but they were among the “hyphenated” troops whose accomplishments demonstrate that the United States’ asymmetric advantage, in war as well as in peace, is diversity.

The 369th Infantry Regiment was part of the Army’s Rainbow Division, 27,000 troops from across the country quickly mustered after the US entered World War I in April 1917. Most of the division shipped out to Europe in August of that year; the Hellfighters didn’t arrive in France until late December. They had not been allowed to march off to war with the rest of their Rainbow Division because “black is not a color of the rainbow.”

American military leaders expected the troops of the 369th to be terrible soldiers. Like most black recruits in World War I, they weren’t intended to fight but to be manual laborers at the front. They were issued inferior uniforms and weapons, and then, in an emergency, they were transferred to the French army, whose officers were explicitly told to treat them as second-class soldiers.

Despite the discrimination and the disadvantages, the men of the 369th became one of the war’s most decorated and celebrated units.

Read the full piece in the Los Angeles Times.

That is my offerings for the day……

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Have a great day……I shall be back in full force come Monday…..