Since New Year's Day I've had a feeling that some clock is ticking away. I've spent some time planning my final battlefield tours. I've been visiting the Western Front since 1990 and this year's trips will be my last. In programming our centennial magazine Over the Top, in which we have been paralleling the war 100 years ago month by month, I am at a loss as to what comes after the Armistice issue in November. (Don't worry subscribers, I'll think of something.) I'm just a little shocked that the Centennial commemoration that I've looked forward to for 20 year has less than a year left. Nonetheless, our readership for the Trip-Wire and our blog, Roads to the Great War, continues to grow, so we are going to keep producing the same level of quality content for you through the Centennial's culmination and then some. . . In our Centennial Ticker section below, you will see two appeals for financial support of America's commemoration of our sacrifices in the Great War. The U.S. Mint's commemorative coins are dandy collectibles for WWI buffs, and Scott Schoner's project to produce the first-ever comprehensive Honor Roll of all of the fallen of the American Expeditionary Force is essential documentation of the nation's fallen. I've personally contributed to both endeavors, and I hope you will choose to do so as well.
2018 Symposium – 1918: Crucible of War
National WWI Museum & Memorial
Kansas City, MO
1-3 November 2018
Registration & Details: HERE
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Portrait of the Month
Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria
Considered the most competent of the royal commanders for the Kaiser's army, Rupprecht would play a critical role in the German spring offensives of 1918.
Your 1918 Map Kit – Part 1
Trench warfare ends on 21 March 1918, when the German Army launches the first of their spring offensives, Operation Michael, in the Somme sector. A war of movement ensued until the Armistice. You'll need some good maps to follow the action as the Centennial news follows the action. Here is a set that covers the first half of the year.
Operation Michael, 21 March through 4 April
Operation Georgette, 9 April
Zeebrugge Raid, 23 April
Operation Blücher, 27 May
Battle of Cantigny, 28 May
The AEF at the Marne: Fifth German Offensive, Château-Thierry, Belleau Wood, Vaux, Rock of the Marne, Second Battle of the Marne, May-August
(Maps Scattered Throughout PDF Document)
Battle of the Piave, 15 June
Battle of Hamel, 4 July
A Number from the Great War
This is the number of New Zealanders who served in foreign theaters during the Great War.
A Prewar Change
On or about December 1910, human character changed. I am not saying that one went out, as one might into a garden, and there saw that a rose had flowered, or that a hen had laid an egg. The change was not sudden and definite like that. But a change there was, nevertheless; and, since one must be arbitrary, let us date it about the year 1910.
1924 Essay "Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Brown"
U.S. Centennial Organizations & Resources
Support Worldwar1.com's Centennial Effort
Shop at Amazon.com
The Centennial Ticker
America's Centennial Commemorations in Europe
A Commemorative Ceremony and a Luminary Event Will Be Held at the Meuse-Argonne Cemetery on 23 September 1918
The American Battle Monuments Commission has organized 18 events in 2018 to commemorate the efforts of the nation in the First World War. Hopefully, some of our readers will be able to attend these events which will be held on the U.S. battlefields and cemeteries where our fallen rest. Below is the full schedule. To get details about a particular event, click on the image to go to the ABMC version of the page, which has clickable links for each event.
U.S. World War I Commemorative Coins Now Available for Purchase
The WWI Centennial Commemorative Silver Dollar
The United States Mint has opened sales for its new 2018 World War I Centennial Silver Dollar. A ceremonial "first purchase" of the coin was made at U.S. Mint Headquarters by Colonel Gerald York, grandson of famous World War I hero, Sergeant Alvin York. He made the first purchase at the Mint's lobby gift shop, in Washington, DC.
This new coin honors the 100th anniversary of American participation in World War I. The World War I Centennial Silver Dollar was authorized by statute in 2014 with bipartisan congressional support. Leroy Transfield designed the coin, and Donald Eberhart sculpted it. The Secretary of the Treasury selected the winning coin design following an open design competition in 2016 judged by a six-member jury comprised of three members each from the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts and Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee and chaired by the Secretary of the Treasury’s designee. Surcharges from the sale of these coins are authorized to be paid to the United States Foundation for the Commemoration of the World Wars to assist the World War I Centennial Commission in commemorating the centennial of World War I.
The World War I Centennial Silver Dollar will be produced in limited quantities and will be available for purchase online from the Mint through to 28 December 2018.
Silver Dollars Representing the Army, Air Service, Marine Corps,
Navy, and Coast Guard
The U.S. Mint has also created special companion medals honoring each of the military branches that served in World War I. These silver companion medals will be available from the Mint as part of five different World War I Silver Dollar and Medal Sets.
Sales website is
No Complete Roster of Americans Who Fell in WWI Exists!
San Antonio-based author and World War One historian Scott R. Schoner is working to correct this. He is completing a 20-year project that will honor the men and women of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. This listing of the 80,000+/- overseas war dead will span three volumes and will be the first comprehensive record of its kind ever published. Previously prepared typewritten lists by the U.S. Army following the war were never published, and these lists also omit the sacrifices of the nearly 3,000 U.S. Marines who died in service in the 4th Marine Brigade, fighting alongside their Army compatriots. Schoner’s work will finally publish the names, units, and dates of death of all known fatalities of the AEF.
With the centennial upon us, Scott is trying to get this work into print and has launched a Kickstarter campaign to get some funding help. Below is a link. Please consider making a contribution to make this invaluable work available to research facilities and the American public.
21 February 1918
Allenby Captures Jericho
General Allenby and His Staff in Occupied Jerusalem
On the morning of 21 February 1918, combined Allied forces of British troops and Australian mounted cavalry capture the city of Jericho in Palestine after a three-day battle with Turkish troops.
Winter rains had put an end to campaigning for British General Edmund Allenby's forces after the advance from the Gaza–Beersheba line to the capture of Jerusalem in December 1917. This lull in the fighting offered the opportunity for the captured territories to be consolidated. Extensive developments were also required along the lines of communication to ensure that frontline troops were adequately supplied, as they were approximately 150 miles (240 km) from their main bases at Moascar and Kantara on the Suez Canal.
Allenby wrote on 25 January: "I want to extend my right, to include Jericho and the N[orth] of the Dead Sea." This advance would remove the more serious threat to his right by pushing all the enemy across the Jordan River and securing the Jordan River crossings. It would also prevent raids into the country to the west of the Dead Sea and provide a narrow starting point for operations against the Hedjaz Railway.
Allenby's Allied troops began the renewed offensive on Tuesday 19 February, on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Despite battling adverse weather conditions and a determined enemy in the Turks, the Allies were able to move nearly 20 miles toward Jericho in just three days.
Australian Lighthorsemen on the Advance
On the morning of 21 February it was apparent that the Turkish line had been broken, and the Allied forces entered the holy city of Jericho without much resistance at just after 8 a.m. Upon realizing they had lost control of the city, Turkish troops chose to retreat rather than fight. During the three-day battle, Allied troops captured [only] 46 Turkish prisoners.
The capture of Jericho proved to be an important strategic victory for the Allies, who now controlled some of the most important roads in the region, including the main road to the coast and the mountain highway leading to Jerusalem. They had also made the northern end of the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth at 1,290 feet below sea level.
Source: History Today and Wikipedia
Our 2018 Centennial Battlefield Tours
The Kaiser's Offensives &
the British Army's 100 Days
6 – 14 May 2018: Study of Germany's Last Effort to Win the War and the British Victory Offensive.
Includes: German advances in the Somme, Flanders, and the Marne Sectors, the Black Day of the German Army, the St. Quentin Canal, and the pursuit to Mons.
Reduced Price — $3,450 (dbl occupancy, sgl supp avail)HERE
The full brochure covering the trip and registration details can now be downloaded
AEF: Pershing's Doughboys Centennial
Now Fully Booked – Waiting List Only
7 – 17 August 2018: Comprehensive Study of the American Expeditionary Force
Includes: All major battles, memorials, cemeteries, and service sites of your family members.
Price — $3,750 (dbl occupancy, sgl supp avail)HERE
The full brochure covering the trip and registration details can now be downloaded
Thanks to each and every one of you who has contributed material for this issue. Until our next issue, your editor, Mike Hanlon.
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Design by Shannon Niel
Content © Michael E. Hanlon