March 2003

Access Archives

TRENCH REPORT...What an Irony! For over a year, the Great War Society has been planning its 2003 seminar focusing on the topic of France at War and now diplomatic relations between American and France have dropped to a new low over an issue of war and peace! Nevertheless, the show must go on. If you are going to be anywhere near San Francisco April 11-13, please drop in to see us if only for a day of high quality presentations. [More information below.]. . . Incidentally, our banquet speaker, Frank Jordan who will be speaking on Poet and Foreign Legionaire Alan Seeger, is pushing ahead with plans for a tour of the Western Front in the merry month of May. (Email Frank for more information.) . . .In line with our Seminar plans, you will see that we have dedicated almost this whole issue of the Trip-Wire to matters Gallic. DO NOT miss the excerpt from TGWS/WFA Member Christina Holstein's new book on Fort Douaumont and Verdun.

Commemorating Verdun

New at the Websites of the Great War Society and Our Friends

Click on Title to Access
At France at War

At Legends and Traditions of the Great War

At the Doughboy Center

Keeping with this month's theme, I thought I would include a few stanza from my favorite French war poem, Relief  by Charles Vildrac as translated by C. Middleton:

The man who is marching in front of    me
Whistles a song that his neighbor    sings
A song that is far away from war:
I hum it too, and savour it.
Yet: to think of those killed yesterday!

But the man who has tripped
Between death's legs and then
Recovers himself and breathes again,
Can only laugh or only weep:
He has not the heart to mourn.

Memorable March Dates:
  • 03/01/17 Zimmerman Telegram Released by British;
  • 03/03/18 Treaty of Brest-Litovsk signed;
  • 03/04/15 Flame Throwers First Used nr Verdun by Germans;
  • 03/05/18 Initial Allied Troops Arrive N.Russia;
  • 03/11/18 British Capture Baghdad;
  • 03/14/15 Cruiser Dreseden Sunk off Chile;
  • 03/14/16 Lafayette Escadrille Born;
  • 03/15/15 Battle of Neuve-Chapelle Begins;
  • 03/15/17 Tsar Nicholas II Abdicates;
  • 03/18/15 Naval Assault on Dardanelles Fails;
  • 03/21/18 1st Ludendorff Peace Offensive Launched;
  • 03/22/15 Fortress of Przemsyl Falls.

This Month's
Special Feature


Ordnance Harvest in French Field
Please visit: France at War
The Best Internet Source in English on the French effort in World War I; It just happens to be operated by the Great War Society.

The typical World War I fighter plane had the ability to sustain about 50 seconds of machine gun fire.

They Recaptured Douaumont

Media Player Required
How Ya Gonna Keep Em Down on the Farm After They've Seen Paree?

Lyrics by Sam Lewis and Joe Young; Music by Walter Donaldson


Nobel Laureate Marie Curie
Mobile X-Ray Unit
French Army Medical Service

Click on Image for More Information

New Zealand has lost its last home-grown link to World War I with the death in Hastings of 105-year-old Bright Williams. Mr Williams was cut down by three Machine-gun bullets in the bloodbath at Passchendaele, Belgium, in 1917, and survived an operation in 1999 to remove the last shard of metal from his thigh. He was one of 41,317 New Zealanders wounded in the war, which claimed 16,692 lives from these shores - a 58 per cent casualty rate overall.

Two of the remaining Canadian Veterans have perished since our last issue. Lance Corporal Herb Baldwin, who has died at the age of 105, fought with the Canadian Army in the First World War and won the Distinguished Conduct Medal for an action at Hill 70 in August of 1917. The battle followed an earlier Canadian victory at Vimy Ridge, in which Baldwin also fought. Arthur Bennett Manson died in Vancouver in January, just two months short of his 104th birthday. Dr. Manson, who practised medicine for 50 years, crammed as much activity as he could into his long, full life. He was a labourer, a star baseball player, a celebrated football star known as "Bozo" Manson at McGill University, a respected physician, and a heck of a showoff.


Great War Society Eastbay Chapter

WWI Bookshelf II: Bring Your Favorite Work
10:30 March 8, 2003;
Great War Society Palo Alto Chapter

Wilhelm Caneris in the Great War
10:30 March 15, 2003;
WFA Front Range Branch

Walter Zott on Building Museum-Quality WW I Aircraft Models.
[Also Show & Tell]
March 23, 2003;
Castlerock, Colorado
Contact Carl Barna, 303-463-1504 for information
WFA-USA 2003 Ypres Salient
Tour and Seminar

Tuesday 8 April - 16 April 2003
Sorry, Full-Up!
Details at: (link)
Great War Society Seminar 2003

The French Army, 1914-1918

April 11-13, 2003;
San Francisco, California;
Cathedral Hill Hotel
Complete Program Now Available: (link)
WFA-USA East Coast Chapter Spring Seminar

War Memorial Building, Baltimore, Maryland, Saturday April 26, 2003
Watch for details: (link)
WFA Tennessee–Kentucky Chapter

Saturday June 14, 2003
The Indiana War Memorial
431 North Meridian Street
Indianapolis, IN
The League of World War I Aviation Historians

Annual Meeting
September 10-11, 2003;
Dayton, Ohio;
US Air Force Museum

Great War Dawn Patrol Fly-In
September 12-14, 2003;
Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio;
WFA-USA 2003 National Seminar

Quantico, Virginia,
US Marine Corps University,
September 19-21, 2003
Details: (link)
Send additions/corrections:
Email Response

I will fight before Paris, I will fight in Paris, I will fight behind Paris.      Georges Clemenceau

The following individuals are hereby thanked for their contributions to this issue of the Trip Wire: Alice Horner, Tony Langley, Jim McIntosh. The "harvest" photo is from the CNN website. Until next month, your editor, Mike Hanlon.

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