July and August 2011

Access Archives

TRENCH REPORT: As you can see from our masthead, this issue of the Trip-Wire will cover two months. Much of my time in July will be taken up preparing for my group tour of the Italian Front or the trip itself. I hope you will enjoy this issue, it includes a good helping of our usual variety of World War I topics. The next issue should include some new material and images on the Great War in Italy. All the best until September.MH

This Month's Internet Feature

The Visual Side of the Great War

Postcards are popular among WWI collectors and archivists. Here are some on-line collections:

  • Bowman Grey (Univ. North Carolina) Collection of WWI Postcards

  • An International WWI Collection

  • New York Public Library Contains both Photos and Postcards

  • Propaganda Postcards

  • Life in a U.S. Army Cantonment

    Learn More About
    Over the Top

    Online magazine of the
    First World War

    Next Issue:
    Werner Voss:
    Teenage Ace

    All of our back issues available on CDs with special features. Now accepting credit cards and Paypal. (link).

    New at Our Own & Our Friends' Great War Websites

    Click on Title or Icon to Access

    Recall the 95th Anniversary of the opening of the Battle of the Somme with this downloadable illustrated teacher's guide from the Imperial War Museum. (Good for young persons too.) At Great War Society Sites
    June 28th was the 92nd Anniversary of the Signing of the Versailles Treaty. Here are some of discussions of that subject:
    At WFA-USA Sites

    A World War I-era destroyer was the first American ship to engage the Japanese during the attack on Pearl Harbor. The USS Ward had been built in 1918 at Mare Island, California, naval shipyard in a record 17 days and saw service with the fleet before the Armistice. On 7 December 1941, several hours before the air attack, she encountered a Japanese midget submarine while patrolling outside the harbor, engaged and successfully sank her opponent. Later in the war, after being reconfigured as a fast transport vessel, the Ward was lost to kamikazes at Leyte.

  • Kitchener of Khartoum Rose
    After the British war minister died at sea in June 1916, an award-winning hybrid rose was named in his honor. The rose pictured above is a commercially available version of the hybrid.

    A World War I Event Calendar

    Download Word Document Calendar
    We have resumed maintaining our WWI Calendar. There is simply more information than we can display here on the Trip-Wire. We count on all of you who schedule WWI events to contact us with new and updated information.
    (send an email with schedule information)
    National World War I Seminar
    The Soon to Be
    World War One Historical Association presents:
    War Art & the Art of War
    9-10 September, 2011

    Citi-Garden Hotel
    South San Francisco, CA
    Near S.F. International Airport
    (Download Program and Registration Form)
    Western Front Association
    U.S. Branch Chapter Meetings

    Check for Your Region
    Regularly Updated
    Great War Society Monthly Chapter Meetings

    Berkeley, San Francisco, and
    Palo Alto, CA
    Regularly Updated
    Upcoming Events at the National World War I Museum

    Kansas City, MO

    New Exhibits and Lectures Scheduled

    Regularly Updated
    Send additions/corrections for our master schedule:
    Email Response

    Claude Stanley Choules (3 March 1901 5 May 2011) was the last World War I combat veteran in the world. The one-time Royal Navy petty officer died in Sydney, Australia. During the Great War he served on battleship HMS Revenge and witnessed both the surrender and scuttling of the High Seas Fleet. Rest in Peace to a generation.

    Have you forgotten yet?. . .Look up, and swear by the green of the spring that you'll never forget.

    Siegfried Sassoon

    Entrance Crown Prince's Tunnel, Mort Homme, Verdun 1919

    Page Two

    War Dogs in the Alps

    In preparing for my upcoming trip to the Italian Front, I've discovered a lot of photos showing an extensive use of war dogs in the mountain sectors. Here is a selection. MH

    Esther -- Champion Ratter with One Hour's Take

    Italian War Dog Kennel

    Dog Sleds atop the Adamello, Highest Battlefield on the Italian Front

    The Popular Wine Ration Delivery Squad

    Austrian Officers with Their Mascot. Every Unit Seemed to Have One.

    Progress Report
    Boots on the Ground at the Sgt. York Discovery Trail

    During the weekend of 20 May, as part of his Eagle Scout Service Project Josiah Mastriano organized and led a restoration effort on the actual battlefield where Sergeant Alvin York knocked out a German machine gun and captured 132 German soldiers in 1918. The team's work included fixing a drainage problem at an artesian well that was making the trail muddy, replacing old trail logs, cleaning up the Sgt. York Memorial Park, and replacing old town signs. However, the most challenging aspect of the project was moving some 37 tons of gravel -- 30 tons of which was moved by hand, to repair and improve over one kilometer of the trail. The Sergeant York Historic Trail was inaugurated in 2008 on the 90th anniversary of Alvin York's exploits. (link)

    World War I Headlines
    in the
    21st Century

    Charlie Chaplin Shoots Down a Zeppelin! Rare WWI Film Discovered

    New Excavations of the Tunneling at La Boisselle

           Insightful Review of Two Major WWI Histories

              World War I Veteran & Hollywood Star Rin Tin Tin To Be Symbol of Dog Hero Awards

                 New Survey of Gallipoli Battlefield Finds More Tunnels Than Previously Known

                    Everyday Stories from WWI Preserved in Massive European Archive

    100 Years Ago

    The Agadir Crisis, also called the Second Moroccan Crisis, was the international incident sparked by the deployment of the German gunboat Panther, to the Moroccan port of Agadir on 1 July 1911. The visit was, ostensibly, to protect the lives of German citizens and deter the French from annexing Morocco. The visit was interpreted by the French as an attempt to subvert agreements reached at the Algeciras Conference and by Britain as a threat to Gibraltar and British trade routes. The crisis ended with Germany's acceptance of territory in the Congo in return for recognition of France's claim to Morocco.
    Click Here to Visit the Website of Our Contributing Editor Tony Langley
    War in a Different Light

    Subscribe to Our Online Magazine

    Page Three

    Something to Think About:
    Unanticipated Consequences of War

    Don't let the title of this article fool you. It is brimming with interesting details about how the war changed a region and the American nation in ways no one ever considered beforehand. In this award winning article--which appeared in the March 2001 issue of the Journal of American History--Walter Hickel explores in more depth one aspect of the history of the War Risk Insurance program--its impact on the economics, politics, and social relationships of the South. Dr. Hickel argues that because of the relative poverty of the region during this era, the impact of this regular source of income, independent of the usual social and economic lines of descent in Southern society, was greater and more significant than elsewhere in the country. Not only did the program have an outsized economic impact, Hickel argues, but it altered gender and race relationships as well.

    Click on the image above to download a pdf version of the article.

    The Real Deal

    Through the wheat fields at Belleau Wood, as depicted in a recent, highly authentic reenactment of the famous assault produced for the U.S. Marine Corps Museum at Quantico, Virginia.

    2010 Tomlinson Award Winning World War I History

    The Final Battle; Soldiers of the Western Front and the German Revolution of 1918

    Reviewed by Len Shurtleff

    Author Scott Stephenson is associate professor of military history at the U.S. Army Command & General Staff College. This work won the 2010 Western Front Association Tomlinson Book for the best work of history in English on World War One.

    This well-crafted and thoroughly researched monograph is the first in many years to explore the return home of the defeated Imperial Army. It concerns chiefly the choices made by frontline veterans (Frontschweine) impacting the German revolution from October to December 1918. While the upheavals of October and November 1918 had little effect -- thanks to superior leadership from experienced junior officers -- on the discipline of approximately 1.5 million German frontline troops in the West, support troops behind the lines, garrisons at home, and battleship sailors were in full revolt providing the revolution with most of its energy.

    As they marched home under command and fully armed, arriving frontline soldiers played an important but now forgotten role in determining the course of the revolution and in the survival of the badly splintered Ebert government. In the early stages of revolution beginning in November 1918, frontline veterans ensured the fall of the Kaiser, preserved the political influence of the officer caste, and created the basis for the "stab in the back" myth. By demobilizing themselves soon after arrival across the Rhine, they deprived the Ebert government of any support from the old army and paved the way for creation of the Freikorps made up of both veterans and underage youth, which fought in the ensuing civil upheaval and ultimately helped undermine the fledgling Weimar Republic.

    The Final Battle; Soldiers of the Western Front and the German Revolution of 1918, Scott Stephenson, Cambridge, 2010, ISBN 978 0 521 15946 5
    Thanks to each and every one of you who has contributed material for this issue. Until next month, your editor, Mike Hanlon.
    (Or send it to a friend)
    (Or send us a comment on the TRIP-WIRE)

    For further information on the events of 1914-1918 and membership information visit the Directory Pages of:

  •      The Great War Society

  •      The Western Front Association, U.S. Branch

  •      Over the Front -- League of WWI Aviation Historians