Spring News

Ah, it's springtime, and as our longtime readers know, that means I'll soon be off to the battlefields of the Great War to lead tours of the key sites of 1914-1918. In May, we will be visiting the Somme, Flanders, and Aisne/Marne sectors to study Germany's Spring (or Ludendorff) Offensives and the brilliant 100-Day Campaign of the British Army. This means, sadly, that this issue will have to cover both April and May.

Also, I'd like to thank all of you who purchased our AEF Battlefields guidebook. It's, of course, still available for those of you who don't yet have a copy, so we've included ordering information in the right column, below. By the way, I have pledged 25 percent of the proceeds to the construction of the National World War One Memorial at Pershing Square and was able to send a contribution of $241 to the WWI Commission this week on behalf of you purchasers. MH

Presenting the 136th Issue of Our
Monthly Magazine of the First World War
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WWI at Home, Camp Fremont & Right Here
   Los Altos History Museum
Los Altos, CA
12 April - 17 June 2018
Featuring the National Archives Traveling Exhibit and Speaker Program
Download Details:

Remembering Seicheprey, April 1918
   Knights of Columbus Museum
New Haven, CT
Guest Speaker: Col. Terrence Finnegan, Author of A Delicate Affair. . .
6:00 P.M., 19 April 2018
Details: HERE

USMC WWI Historical Symposium
   Marine Corps University
Quantico, VA
18-20 July 2018
Registration & Details:

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

Manfred von Richthofen

On 21 April 1918, World War One's greatest air ace lifted off from his airfield at Cappy on the River Somme. Some time later, Australian ground fire killed him and brought down his plane on the heights on the north side of the river. The death of the best-known hero of the war was big news in 1918 and is still a major event to recall 100 years later.

Woodrow Wilson as

President Woodrow Wilson took America into war using his powers of persuasion. Once in, what kind of a war leader was he? One hundred years later, opinions still vary.

Woodrow Wilson as Commander-in-Chief

Ray Stannard Baker's Views

Woodrow Wilson's Blunders as a Wartime President

Dithering, Dreaming and Speechmaking: Wilson’s Strategy During the First World War

"As War Leader, Wilson Was Superb!"

A Number from the Great War

This is the number of divisions General Ludendorff had available to launch Operation MICHAEL on 21 March 1918. Learn more about the significance of Operation MICHAEL HERE.

Governments Don't Always Tell the Truth

We're telling lies; we know we're telling lies; we don't tell the public the truth, that we're losing more officers than the Germans, and that it's impossible to get through on the Western Front.

Lord Rothermere
In conversation, 1917

Purchase My AEF Battlefield Guide
An Electronically Delivered 28-page PDF Document for $14.99
A Concise Summary of the Major U.S. Military Operations of the War with Illustrations, Maps and GPS Navigational Aids
(Click Here for Ordering Information)

U.S. Centennial Organizations & Resources
















Support Worldwar1.com's Centennial Effort
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The Centennial Ticker

A Soldier's Journey
Centerpiece of the New National World War I Memorial

Last summer, the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts and National Capital Planning Commission unanimously approved the conceptual design for America's National World War I Memorial. At the center of the memorial will be a monumental sculpture, a 65-foot by 11-foot bronze by artist Sabin Howard.

In February, Mr. Howard completed two sculptural maquettes at 1:6 scale, one of which is shown in full here. The other photos in this article are details from the models.

The sculpture, “A Soldier’s Journey,” includes the five narrative elements of the archetypal myth of the hero’s journey: departure, initiation, ordeal, aftermath, and return.

The artist's intent is to capture the tumult of battle–what Woodrow Wilson foresaw as “fiery trial and sacrifice”–the courage of American troops in desperate and violent situations.

The soldier also represents the American experience of World War I and the transition of the nation from political isolationism, through great accomplishment and sacrifice on the field of battle.

Nearly all of the figures appear at just over life-scale to make them monumental yet relatable to the public.

The National World War I Memorial, including Sabin Howard's magnificent bronze, is not yet fully funded. It needs the support of every American and the friends of America. Please consider contributing to its construction. This can be accomplished online here:


22-23 April 1918
The Zeebrugge Raid

The Main Assault Ship HMS Vindictive After the Action

Zeebrugge on the Belgian coastline was an outlet for German U-boats and destroyers based up the canal at Bruges, and the British planned to sink three old cruisers Iphegenia, Intrepid, and Thetis, in the channel to block it. These would have to pass a long harbor mole (a causeway or pier), with a battery at the end, before they were scuttled. It was decided therefore to storm the mole using another old cruiser, HMS Vindictive, and two Mersey ferries, Daffodil and Iris II, modified as assault vessels. Two old submarines were to be used as explosive charges, under the viaduct connecting the mole to the shore.

The attack went in on the night of 22-23 April, under the command of Commodore Roger Keyes. Vindictive was heavily hit on the approach and came alongside in the wrong place. Despite much bravery by the landing party, the battery remained in action. One submarine did succeed in blowing up the viaduct, but the first blockship was badly hit and forced to ground before reaching the canal entrance. Only two (Ipheginia and Intrepid) were sunk in place.

Two Block Ships, Intrepid and Iphigenia, in Place

Much was made of the raid. Keyes was knighted, and 11 Victoria Crosses were awarded. The Germans, however, made a new channel round the two ships, and within two days their submarines were able to transit Zeebrugge. Destroyers were able to do so by mid-May.

Source: BBC Website and The Times History of the War

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)

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)

The full brochure covering the trip and registration details can now be downloaded

Click on Title to Access Story
Gentleman Savage: Col. Richard Meinertzhagen

Belgian Refugees in Oxford

An American Filmed the German Army, Until. . . (Video)

Chicagoans in the Great War

Journey's End: The Film

How War Shaped Caterpillar, Inc.

"Side by Side" – America’s WWI Effort Remembered in Britain

Days Past: Arizona and the Great War

Victoria Cross Sold for Record £840,000

"I'm Going to the Crapper" came from the Doughboys

Thanks to each and every one of you who has contributed material for this issue. Until our next issue, your editor, Mike Hanlon.
(Or send it to a friend)

Design by Shannon Niel
Content © Michael E. Hanlon