First World War in the News is an edited review of hand-picked World War I (1914-1918) articles - covering everything from the soldiers and generals to the trenches and militaria.

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World War II

American Civil War

Alvin York - The most famous WWI soldier in America

Latest hand-picked First World War news.

German machine gun captured by Alvin York at Museum of Appalachia
Of the 2 million American soldiers who served in France during the First World War, one name became synonymous with the doughboy war, an authentic all-American hero: Alvin Cullum York. York may be the greatest American combat hero of all time. Now, a part of the battlefield feat that made York a legend has come to the land of his beginning. A German machine gun that York seized in the closing days of the war is on permanent loan to the Museum of Appalachia in Norris. It took 2 years of working through red tape to get the German Maxim M1908/15 light machine gun to Norris from the Nahant, Mass., Public Library, which has the weapon for the past 92 years.
(oakridger.com)

Proud son of World War I hero Sgt. Alvin York gives tours at park named for father
A couple from Kentucky pull off U.S. Highway 127 to visit the home of Alvin C. York, the WWI hero who captured 132 POWs in a firefight against the German Army. Before leaving, the couple ask if they can have their picture taken with tour guide, a man who bears a striking resemblance to Alvin York. For the past 14 years Andrew York, the son of Alvin C. York, has been giving historical tours of the family home in Pall Mall, as well as the nearby grist mill and post office/general store - part of Sgt. Alvin C. York State Historic Park. When Andrew York goes to work, he wears a ranger's uniform. The tour begins in the living room: A WWI German helmet rests on the fireplace mantle...
(knoxnews.com)

How Sergeant Alvin C. York Became America`s Hero
More than a million Americans sailed to Europe 1917-1918 to fight in the Great War. One emerged as the exemplary doughboy: Alvin York, who after WWI was wearing Medal of Honor and Croix de Guerre. In 1918 he performed a feat of bravery that would amaze his countrymen and etch his place in the history books. When all the participants in the epic conflict are gone, very soon, their stories preserved only in books, Alvin York`s name will live on. In 1918 a battalion (known as the Lost Battalion) of 600 Americans was surrounded near the Argonne Forest. Corporal York`s unit, part of the 82nd Infantry Division, was ordered to push back the Germans and cut a rail line...
(americanheritage)

A historic find frustrates: Trouble with captured German machine gun
Sergeant Alvin York's capture of a heavily fortified German machine gun nest made York an American legend. Which is why Nahant's public library was thrilled to discover one of the captured German machine guns in attic. Research showed that Mayland Lewis had plucked the weapon from a pile given up by Germans. Prized as a souvenir of the war, it was paraded through the town on 1919 Armistice Day. Its rediscovery stoked dreams of a big windfall for the library as auctioneers valued the weapon at $100,000. But the dreams didn't last long: Officials learned that the gun is illegal and that they can do very little with it - and ATF wants to destroy it.
(boston)

In depth: Army Officer Sgt. York Battle Site Located
Last December a group announced that they had found the battle site where Sergeant Alvin C. York won the Medal of Honor on Oct 8, 1918. US Army Lieutenant Colonel Douglas Mastriano says the researchers are simply in the wrong place. "The claim by Mr. Birdwell that they found the spot where York earned the Medal of Honor is completely wrong. Their declaration is not supported by battlefield archeology, German archival data, military doctrine or terrain analysis and most importantly, the Germans that York fought and captured were never there." But what about the artifacts found? Mastriano explained many of the artifacts are French light Chauchat machine gun bullets.
(cbn)

The claim about Sgt. York's battlefield remains disputed
Two researchers who think they pinpointed the World War 1 battlefield where Sgt. Alvin C. York's valor earned him a Medal of Honor showed off a display of artifacts, including shell casings that they contend came from his sidearm. York was part of an Oct. 8, 1918, surprise attack on German machine gunners. When the sergeant in command of the 17-man unit was wounded, York, a pacifist who had become his unit's sharpshooter, led 7 others in killing 25 Germans and taking 80 POWs. His deeds made him a national hero. The claim by Tom Nolan and Michael Birdwell that they located the location of the battle remains disputed.
(cbn.com)

Army officer says site of Sgt. York's WW1 exploits has been found
An Army officer pursuing the exact spot of the legendary feats of the greatest hero of World War I says he`s got the 90-year-old bullets to prove his claim. Lt. Col Doug Mastriano said that he`ll show the two rounds he found in the French forest and that he believes are from Sgt. Alvin York`s Colt .45. "There`s no other account of anyone firing a pistol in that area." In April, after a group of academics issued a claim with 80% certainty that they had found the spot, Mastriano said the group had gotten it wrong by an entire valley.
(estripes)

Sgt. Alvin York is the most famous soldier of World War I   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Despite all the attention, no one knows the exact location in France where he captured 132 Germans and killed 25 others. The German fired killing six Americans. York survived and as the Germans charged, bayonets drawn, he shot them from the back forward. 132 Germans surrendered thinking they faced many more Americans. -- Tom Nolan went on a mission. He studied maps. He took historic records and imposed those details. He mapped out where York and 16 others circled behind a group of German machine guns. Last spring, Nolan tried to find the exact spot where it happened. He found old artifacts. One belonged to a wounded soldier in York's division.
(newschannel5)

Location of American WWI hero`s deed debated
There is little dispute about the seemingly incredible exploits of America`s greatest WW1 hero. Sgt. Alvin York, then a corporal and a crack shot, did indeed take out a group of German machine-gunners, killing 25 German soldiers and capturing 132 others with only 7 other surviving U.S. soldiers, a Springfield rifle and a .45-caliber pistol for help. But precisely where in the French Argonne region, near the little town of Chatel Chehery, York performed his feats in October 1918 has never been known. Last month, a group of academics, primarily from York`s home state of Tennessee, issued a claim with 80% certainty that they had found the spot.
(estripes)