July 2003

Access Archives

TRENCH REPORT: Please give special attention to our "New at the Websites..." feature this month. There is a new site on the War in the Near East which will be the theme of the GWS 2004 Seminar. Several members have also contributed interesting material on their own areas of research. The WFA-USA now has the largest and best WWI Links page on the Web. We've also begun posting some of the papers presented at the 2003 seminar on France at War. And there's more . . . If you're in DC during July, you might want to stop at the National Archives. On July 10th at 7pm Tom Fleming will be lecturing on his new WWI book Illusion of Victory; Steve Harris will discuss his book Harlem's Hell Fighters at noon on July 22nd; and on July 26th there will be an all-day seminar for beginning genealogical researchers on military records . . . Columnist James Robbins who has contributed our main war poetry article to our Legends and Traditions website has a new article on-line I recommend. Just click to read The Fate of the WWI Commonwealth Graves Cemetery at Kut.

Italian Hero / Austrian Traitor
Cesare Battisti
Meets His Fate
Click to Learn Battisti's Story

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

Click on Title to Access
A Major New Great War Society Site
At TGWS Members Contributions
At France at War
At the Doughboy Center

Leaving for the Front

Jacqueline Winspear of the Great War Society has written a crackerjack post-World War I mystery. When the story opens in 1929, Heroine-Detective Maisie Dobbs, the novel's namesake, has followed a long winding trail to her new office in Bloomsbury. Starting from the nearby vegetable stalls of Covent Garden she had rapidly advanced to service in an upper-crust house, been discovered as intellectually gifted, won her way into Cambridge University, given it all up to serve as a VAD Nurse on the Western Front, lost her life's love to war injuries and built a new career for herself as an apprentice private investigator. Detective Dobbs has emerged from this experience determined, logical and plucky. Given her innate language skills and her Upstairs-Downstairs history, Maisie is also able to circumvent the rigid British class-structure by adjusting her conversational style. She can chat-up anyone without setting off alarms. Well drawn are her helpers: mentor/guru Maurice Blanche who gives just enough advice to allow Maisie to resolve things herself and her former patient and current handyman Billy Beale who takes the Archie Goodwin role.

I won't give away the central mystery of the book, but will share with you the fact that its solution is rooted back in the Great War and requires Maisie's painful recollection of her own life and service of those days.

Jacqueline Winspear will be on a signing tour in Texas and both Northern and Southern California mid-July through mid August. Send me an email if you would like the full schedule. The link below will allow you to learn more about Maisie Dobbs.

(Maisie Dobbs at Amazon.com)

Memorable July Dates:
  • 07/01/16 First Day on the Somme;
  • 07/02/17 Greece Declares War on Central Powers;
  • 07/04/18 Australian & US Forces Capture Hamel;
  • 07/05/15 Germany Give A-Hungary Blank Check;
  • 07/09/15 German Army in SW Africa Surrenders;
  • 07/09/19 Germany Ratifies Treaty of Versailles;
  • 07/15/18 With the help of US Forces, last German Offensive of the war halted at River Marne;
  • 07/16/16 Russian Victory Over Turks at Erzican;
  • 07/16/18 Czar Nicholas and Family Murdered;
  • 07/18/18 French-US Army Launches Aisne-Marne Offensive;
  • 07/18/18 US Troops Arrive in Siberia;
  • 07/20/17 Alexander Kerensky Comes to Power in Russia;
  • 07/23/14 Austria-Hungary Issues Ultimatum to Serbia;
  • 07/28/14 Austria-Hungary Declares War on Serbia;
  • 07/30/14 Germany Declares War, Ultimatum to Russia;
  • 07/31/17 Third Ypres, Passchedaele, Starts.

Media Player Required
I Didn't Raise My Boy to be a Soldier

Pre-War US Hit Song


Sgt. Andre Maginot &
His Verdun Memorial

Wounded with French 44th Territorial Regiment at Verdun

Advocate for Veterans & Defense
Namesake of Maginot Line

Click on Image for More Information

The world's oldest Great War veteran has gone west. Giovanni Frau, born in December 1890, died near his home on the Island of Sardinia in January. In his 112 years he witnessed the dawn of two centuries, over 40,000 sunrises and the birth of eight children. Frau attributed his longevity to eating the bread and drinking the wine he produced on his own farm. He left Sardinia only once, to serve in the Italian Army during the war.

Three participant in World War I received the US Medal of Honor through special acts of Congress: BG William Mitchell and the unknown soldiers of France and Great Britain.


The League of World War I Aviation Historians

Annual Meeting
September 10-11, 2003;
Dayton, Ohio; (link)
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)
WFA-USA NE/NY Fall Seminar

Saratoga Springs, NY
New York Military Museum,
Saturday, October 25, 2003.
(full program now available)
WFA-USA Florida-Gulf Chapter Fall 2003 Seminar

November 8, 2003;
Central Florida Community College, Ocala
First Century of Flight

Celebrate Freedom Foundation
Columbia, South Carolina

WWI Aircraft Featured
5-9 November, 2003;
(email for info.)
Zelandia's Great War

Celebrate Freedom Foundation
Auckland, New Zealand

Seminar 7-10 Nov, 2003
Burial of New Zealand's Unknown Soldier Nov 11, 2003;
(email for info.)
Send additions/corrections:
Email Response

This Month's
Special Feature

Offspring of Verdun
The Maginot Line

On Line Resources for Focused Topics

Typical Maginot Line Turret Based on Verdun Design

. . .I had a tiny round hole in my head. My horse, lying on top of me, had lashed out one last time before dying, and that had brought me to my senses. I tried to say something, but my mouth was stiff with blood, which was beginning to congeal. The shadows all round me were growing huger and huger, and I wanted to ask how it was that the sun and moon were both shining simultaneously. I wanted to point to the sky, but my arm wouldn't move.

      Cavalryman and Artist Oskar Kokoshka, wounded on the Eastern Front, August 1915.

The following individuals are hereby thanked for their contributions to this issue of the Trip Wire: Sue Neeson, Maggie Haas, Christina Holstein, Don Kington, Tom Olson and Tony Langley. The Kokoshka quote is from his autobiography. Until next month, your editor, Mike Hanlon.

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