July & August


Heading for the Italian Front

My travel tours are taking me to Austria, Slovenia, and Italy at the end of July and early August with the centennial of the Battle of Caporetto as the centerpiece of the trip. Alas, I won't be able to produce an August issue of the Trip-Wire. Of course, you'll be reading about some of the things we've discovered on this upcoming trip in future issues, the first of which will come out 1 September. If you're curious as to how such a monumental disaster as the Battle of Caporetto could happen, I recently addressed that on our daily blog, Roads to the Great War. Click on this page to read the article HERE

By the way, last month's "Hard Boiled" WWI veteran was mystery writer Raymond Chandler, who served with Canada's forces during the war. There were no winners last month, better luck with our new veteran below.   MH

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Centennial Conference:
The National Guard in World War I

   Faneuil Hall
Boston, MA
19-20 October 2017
Flyer & Call for Papers: HERE

Centennial Conference:
The National Guard in World War I

   Faneuil Hall
Boston, MA
19-20 October 2017
Flyer & Call for Papers: HERE

1917 America Joins the Fight

   National WWI Museum & Memorial
Kansas City, MO
3-4 November 2017
Registration Now Open, Details HERE

Click on Image to Visit Our Daily Blog.

Poster of the Month

Artist Unknown, Parliamentary Recruitment Poster No.51

The image of a young girl carrying an infant and standing beside the rubble of a shell-damaged house is an adapted photographic image of No.2 Wykenham Street, Scarborough, after a German bombardment. Four people were killed in this house including both parents and two children, the youngest aged 5. (IWM Collection)

Lesser Known Operations of the AEF

1st Division Report by Col George Marshall on the German Trench Raid Resulting in the First U.S. Combat Casualties

2nd Division, Marine Brigade at Soissons

5th Division at Frapelle

28th Pennsylvania Division at Fismette

29th Blue-Grey Division and the Worst Gas Experience of the War (PDF)

42nd Rainbow Division at Croix Rouge Farm

89th Division, 11th Field Artillery Fires the Last Shot of the War

Can You Name This WWI Veteran?
Win a Free Issue of OVER THE TOP!

Hint: Goodbye, Broadway. Hello, France.

If you can name this World War I veteran, we will send you a free issue of our monthly subscription magazine, OVER THE TOP. Email your answers HERE.

The American Entry

From a military point of view, the assistance which will result from the entrance of the United States into the war will amount to nothing.

Admiral Eduard von Capelle, German Navy

U.S. Centennial Organizations & Resources
















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The Centennial Ticker

More Outstanding WWI Centennial Videos

Last month I recommended the terrific video produced by the American Battle Monuments Commission for the Flanders Field Cemetery visitors center. I know from the comments I've received, many of you were equally impressed. As it turns out, there are more videos being produced for the U.S. Centennial of a similar quality. Here are three that have been brought to my attention. Believe me, in about 25 minutes of viewing you will find yourself impressed and moved by both the stories being told and the dedication of the people who put these together. Well done!

Battlefield Experience: The Meuse-Argonne Offensive
American Battle Monuments Commission

Click on Image to View

They Deserve Their Own Memorial
Centennial Commemoration Commission

Click on Image to View

Help Build America's WWI Memorial
Centennial Commemoration Commission

Click on Image to View
and See How to Make a Contribution

Simply Fabulous!
The Online Image Collection of the National World War I Museum

If you are a connoisseur of the imagery of the Great War, or if you need some photos or graphics to liven up your own WWI project or presentation, let me recommend the website of one of America's great treasures, the National World War I Museum and Memorial. Below are a few examples that I liked, but–better yet–you can browse on your own at the site's user-friendly database search page HERE.

American Troopships Passing the Statue of Liberty

A Tribute to Women Volunteer Ambulance Drivers

The Yanks Have Arrived

Poster for Anne Morgan's Volunteer Committee

The Dogged Combatants

The 806th Pioneer Infantry Ready for Action

31 July 1917
The Battle of Passchendaele Opens

The name Passchendaele has become synonymous for waste of life and pointless orders
to continue the attack irrespective of the ground conditions.

Tony Noyes, Battlefield Guide Par Excellence and Friend

Images of the Battlefield

The dispiriting losses to the French in their part of the Allied offensive of April 1917 had led to widespread mutinies during the summer. As a result, the burden of continuing the attack on the Germans in the fall of 1917 fell to the British forces. Sir Douglas Haig, the British commander-in-chief, chose the Ypres salient as the site for his new offensive. He believed this area offered the greatest scope for a breakthrough, and the Royal Navy supported him, hoping that the army could capture the ports on the Belgian coast that the Germans were using as bases for their submarine offensive against Britain's seaborne trade.

The offensive began on 31 July 1917, but made disappointingly small gains. The British artillery bombardment, which was needed to shatter the enemy's defensive trench system, also wrecked the low-lying region's drainage system, and unusually rainy weather turned the ground into a wasteland of mud and water-filled craters. For three months, British troops suffered heavy casualties for limited gains.

On 16 August the attack was resumed, to little effect. Stalemate reigned for another month until an improvement in the weather prompted another attack on 20 September. The Battle of Menin Road Ridge, along with the Battle of Polygon Wood fought by the Australians on 26 September and the Battle of Broodseinde on 4 October, established British possession of the ridge east of Ypres.

In October, the Canadian Corps, now commanded by Lieutenant General Sir Arthur Currie, took its place in the front lines. On 26 October the 3rd and 4th Divisions launched the first Canadian assault, in rain that made the mud worse than ever. Three days of fighting resulted in over 2,500 casualties, for a gain of only a thousand or so yards (1 km). A second attack went in on 30 October. In a single day, there were another 2,300 casualties and only another thousand yards (1 km) gained. On 6 November, the 1st and 2nd Divisions launched a third attack that captured the village of Passchendaele, despite some troops having to advance through waist-deep water. A final assault on 10 November secured the rest of the high ground overlooking Ypres and held it despite heavy German shelling. This marked the end of the Passchendaele offensive.

Sources: Imperial War Museum, Library and Archives of Canada and BBC Website

Our 2017 & 2018 Centennial Battlefield Tours
Now Accepting Bookings For All Tours


Caporetto and the Italian Front

24 July – 3 August 2017: The Most Important Battle of the Italian Front

Includes: The Eleven Battles of the Isonzo, Caporetto 1917, Monte Grappa, and Vittorio Veneto. We will also follow the advance of the American Doughboys sent to the Italian Front.

Reduced Price — $3,950 (dbl occupancy, sgl supp avail)

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



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

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
John Haldane Invents the First Gas Mask

The Greatest Period of Changes in War Tactics and Technologies in History? (Yep, WWI)

Smithsonian Magazine on World War I Memorials Around the World

"Lest We Forget" Archive of Great War Mementos

7 Scientific Advances That Came out of World War I

Centennial Commemoration of the Battle of Messines (YouTube Video)

KIA: Grand Prix Champion and Ace: Georges Boillot

June 1917: Bombers Over London

Book Review: America and the Great War: A Library of Congress Illustrated History

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