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

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United States of America

Latest hand-picked First World War news. See also: See also 'WWI Films, Footages', 'Memorabilia, Militaria', 'Bravery Medals', 'National WW1 Museum'.

How John Pershing Fought to Keep America`s Army Independent in WW1
Black Jack`s War ќ How John Pershing Fought to Keep America`s Army Independent in the First World War.
(militaryhistorynow.com)

Portrait of War: The U.S. Army's First Combat Artists and the Doughboys' Experience in WWI (book review)
8 U.S. soldiers saw more of the American fighting experience during the Great War than any other U.S. participant. Their mission was a groundbreaking event in the U.S. military history: They were the first combat artists recruited by the army to make a historical record of war.
(petekrass.com)

America's "Ace of Aces" - Eddie Rickenbacker downed 21 German aircrafts in 2 months
It was fortunate for Britain that the American Expeditionary Force arrived in France in June 1917. But well before that young Americans were fighting German pilots in the Lafayette Escadrille. Although not a member of that elite squadron, Eddie Rickenbacker earned himself a striking reputation. In two months of aerial combat, he downed 21 German aircraft and 5 balloons - and the Distinguished Service Cross Oak Leaf Cluster. His first victory took place on April 29, 1918, when he downed a Pfalz D.111. He shot his 7th aircraft, one of 13 Fokker DV11s, out of the sky on Sept. 14. By then, Rickenbacker was flying the greatly superior Spad X111.
(washingtontimes.com)

A More Unbending Battle: The Harlem Hellfighter's Struggle for Freedom in WWI and Equality at Home
Harry Truman's Executive Order 9981 (equality of treatment and opportunity in the armed forces) it was the start of integrating the U.S. military's white ranks with African Americans. Prior to the order (1948) African Americans had to serve in all-black units commanded by whites, doing lesser jobs. Peter N. Nelson explores this painful chapter of America's military history in his analysis of the 369th U.S. Infantry Regiment, the first African American Regiment to fight in WWI. Composed of men from all walks of life in Harlem, the regiment (the 15th New York National Guard Regiment) was assigned to the French Army to reduce tension in the U.S. military.
(mysanantonio.com)

Mexican national was American war hero before becoming U.S. citizen
Lawmakers in Texas would like to see a U.S. Army war hero bestowed with the Medal of Honor, in spite of the fact that the war hero was not an American citizen at the time of his courage. Marcelino Serna, born in Mexico, crossed the Rio Grande in 1916, looking for a job. He was working the sugar beet fields near Denver when the U.S. entered the First World War in 1917. Serna volunteered, and after just 3 weeks of training and still not able to speak English, he was sent overseas. Serna returned a decorated war hero, earning medals of merit and honor from France, UK, Italy and the Distinguished Service Cross from the U.S. Army.
(worldnetdaily.com)

The AEF Way of War: The American Army and Combat in World War I
In the half century that followed WW1, the reputation of the American Expeditionary Forces largely reflected wartime views of a well-led, if makeshift force that did quite well in combat, due largely to John J. Pershing's demand to engage in "open field operations" rather than "trench warfare." 25 years ago, quite the opposite picture emerged, with some military historians arguing that the AEF was an inept, poorly-trained, and ill-led force that turned down the lessons learned by the British and French and as a result had excessive casualties. Recently a new view has emerged, and Prof. Mark Ethan Grotelueschen is one of a number of historians who takes a less extreme view.
(strategypage.com)

Never Been a Time: The 1917 race riot that sparked the Civil Rights Movement
"Race riot" is an expression loaded with stereotypes. But if any conflict between African Americans and white Americans qualifies for that description, it is the one of 1917. The official number of deaths was 48, but at least 100 people (and maybe as many as 200) were killed, "with many of their bodies," author Harper Barnes writes, "including those of small children and infants, burned beyond human recognition in gasoline-ignited shacks or dumped in ... river and its sewage-ridden tributaries." The East St. Louis police force, almost all white, did nothing to stop the brutality, and in some cases encouraged the beatings of African Americans.
(sfgate.com)

Freddie Stowers: The only African-American Medal of Honor recipient from WW1
Freddie Stowers signed up to fight in the First World War: It didn't matter that he was one of the few African-American soldiers to fight, or that he was passed on to the all-black 371st Infantry Regiment, 93rd Infantry Division, due to segregation. Stowers, the only African-American medal recipient from WWI, died on a battleground in France. German forces raised a white flag during a battle, but when his men came out from their trench, the Germans fired, hitting Stowers, who continued to lead his mean, crawling on the ground and yelling encouragement. His story is part of "Red Hand Flag" episode of "History Detectives", which focuses on the 371st Regiment.
(wikipedia.org)

Filipinos First World War US Military Service - website
The mission of this website -- dedicated to all soldiers of Pilipino descent who served in the U.S. military during WW1 -- is to mark our forgotten military history and heritage in the American Armed Forces. Pilipino males who came from the Philippines to work as sakadas (contract workers) in the Hawaiian sugar plantations and other industries were required to register in the U.S. military drafts. While some volunteered, others were drafted. Nearly 4000 Pilipino soldiers had served in the Hawaiian Infantry, and Pilipino soldiers from the Philippines were shipped to the Western Front.
(ww1usmilitaryservice)

Why didn't we listen to their First World War stories?
The last living American veteran of World War I, Frank Buckles, lately toured the WWI memorial in Washington. He did not comment upon the memorial's unkempt appearance (disregarded for 3 decades) but noticed that it honored only veterans from the city. No one had told him that the U.S. has no national WWI memorial. Americans haven't forgotten about the doughboys. We just didn't want to hear about them in the first place. World War I never made its way into popular culture. Movies about the Civil War, WWII and Vietnam are common, and publishers are always ready for new histories of Gettysburg.
(washingtonpost)

Borrowed Soldiers - 2 American units under British command in World War I
Historian Mitchell A. Yockelson's book details the experiences of two American units that were placed under British command in the First World War, in spite of opposition by the top American military officer, General John J. Pershing. Yockelson wrote in "Borrowed Soldiers" about the activation of National Guard units and their deployment as the 27th and 30th divisions. "Initially, it was a disappointment to these guys. But in the end, there was this pride that they were the two American divisions that helped break the Hindenburg Line. They took pride in doing something unique."
(hometownannapolis)

History Detectives: Flag's authenticity and South Carolina black regiment   (Article no longer available from the original source)
As the Great War raged in 1917, a group of African-American draftees and their white officers (all from South Carolina) gathered into the newly built Camp Jackson to train for the trenches. But before they could be sent to fight in the First World War, racism kicked in. They would not be allowed to serve alongside all-white American units. The solution? They would fight for France. Anne Clarkson has studied the regiment and its most famous member, Medal of Honor winner Freddie Stowers. The entire regiment was awarded the Croix de Guerre - the French medal for heroism. History Detectives will ponder whether a flag discovered by Clarkson was carried by the regiment in battle.
(thestate)

They Came to Fight: African Americans and the Great World War   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Members of the UMKC community gathered to recall and honor local and national contributions of African Americans during "the war to end all wars." The exhibition "They Came to Fight: African Americans and the Great World War" was put together by assistant professor of history Pellom McDaniels III. The exhibition covers both local Kansas City and national contributions of African Americans. Local historians Joelouis Mattox and Delbert White spoke with great respect to the memory of Private Wayne Miner - the last American soldier to die in World War I. He died a brave death by volunteering for a dangerous mission when no one else would.
(unews.com)

U.S. Senate rejects the Treaty of Versailles on Nov. 19, 1919
In 1919, the Senate, for the first time in its history, rejected a peace treaty. The Senate`s failure to ratify the Treaty of Versailles and the concurrent obligation for the US to join the League of Nations reflected the animosity between Democratic president Woodrow Wilson and Republican Lodge. Among the first to earn doctoral degrees from the nation`s newly established graduate schools, each man considered himself the country`s preeminent scholar and scorned the other. The emergence of WWI intensified rivalry. In setting policy for ending the war, Wilson sought a "peace without victory," while Lodge demanded Germany`s unconditional surrender.
(politico)

After World War I, a Fight for Pay - The Bonus Army march
John Gill was 10 when his father Theodore took him to visit the veterans on the muddy Anacostia River flats where former WWI soldiers built makeshift shacks. It was 1932, and they had come to collect war bonuses the government had promised. Payouts were scheduled to begin in 1945. But as the Great Depression swept the U.S., the veterans demanded their money early. While they waited, sympathizers such as the Gills visited and gave away cigarettes. The Historical Society of Washington commemorated the 75th anniversary of the Bonus Army's march with an exhibition "Wages of War: Bonus Army to Baghdad." It includes accounts of what happened, buttons and photographs.
(washingtonpost)

WWI as Fulfillment: Power and the Intellectuals by Murray N. Rothbard
Introduction: In contrast to older historians who regarded WWI as the destruction of progressive reform, I am convinced that the war came to the U.S. as the "fulfillment," the culmination, the veritable apotheosis of progressivism in American life. Militarism, conscription, massive intervention at home and abroad, a collectivized war economy, all came about during the war and created a cartelized system that most of its leaders spent the rest of their lives trying to recreate.
(lewrockwell)

The only American World War I unit to fight in Italy - 332nd Regiment   (Article no longer available from the original source)
The 332nd Infantry Regiment of the 83rd "Ohio" Infantry Division was not to be trifled with, as the Austro-Hungarian army learned in 1918. The only American unit to fight in Italy, the 332nd Regiment is the subject of an exhibit at the Ohio Military Museum. "This place is full of fascinating bits of lesser known military history. We`re proud to have one of the largest collections from this elite but small military unit." Instead of the typical U.S. military medals, the uniforms of the 332nd Regiment were adorned with Italian War Medal, Italian Allied Victory Medal and Italian Merit Cross for gallantry. Members received a certificate signed by Benito Mussolini.
(indeonline)

Blood-thirsty Huns: anti-German hysteria swept American homefront
During World War 1, anti-German hysteria swept the American home front, with German soldiers portrayed as pillaging blood-thirsty Huns. Once the US entered the war in April 1917 officials moved aggressively to stamp out German "Kultur." German-Americans, including those in Central Illinois, found themselves under suspicion and persecuted by this superpatriot hysteria. Communities established local defense councils dedicated to "unification," a euphemism for anti-German activities that included the "prosecution of citizens who, by their expressions, appeared to be disloyal."
(pantagraph)

The Great War: WWI vet witness America's rise as a superpower
Frank Buckles, frail but sharp, surrounds himself with totems from another time. And then there are his war stories from World War I. The life of Frank Buckles tracks a timeline for the rise of America as a superpower. He has been witness to it all, and he is one of very few living to tell about it. "For many years, I would read the figures in The Torch (a veterans magazine) in two columns: one was the number of 4.7 million veterans who served, and the other, which kept going down, was the number of us that were still alive. I knew one day it would come to this. But I didn't think I would be one of the few still around to talk about it."
(baltimoresun.com)

First American soldier to die in World War 1 received special funeral
1918, America was in its first World War. They didn`t call it first because no one knew there would be a second. The war was reported daily on the front page of the Phoenix, but the national news hit the hearts of the Muskogee community hard when two of Muskogee`s sons were buried after losing their lives in a battle at St. Mihiel on Sept. 18, 1918. James F. Smith and Charles L. Storey fell at almost the same moment. Smith, a machine gunner, was the first of the 2 to die. The local American Legion post was named in his honor. The Phoenix account of Smith and Storey`s funerals details the compassion Muskogee felt for its soldiers.
(muskogeephoenix)

Remembering WWI Captain Nelson Holderman of the Lost Battalion
As we prepare to celebrate the Memorial Day weekend, it is appropriate to remember Nelson Holderman - one of the most decorated U.S. servicemen in WW1. In 1918, Company L was assigned as a replacement to Company K, 307th Infantry Regiment, 77th Division. They became involved in the Argonne Forest battles and earned the name The Lost Battalion after being surrounded by the enemy for 5 days. Descriptions of the battle noted Holderman as being wounded on Oct. 4, 5, and 7 but, "although suffering great pain and subject to fire of every kind, continuing personally to lead and encourage..." in a series of counterattacks against a large German force.
(tustinhistory.com)

A book about the 368 Americans buried at Flanders Field   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Since he was a boy, Patrick Lernout wondered about the white crosses. Over the years, his curiosity became an obsession. Now he is determined to tell the story of the brave American soldiers who gave their lives for his country's freedom in World War 1. Lernout is writing a book about the 368 Americans buried at Flanders Field, a U.S. military cemetery about a mile from his home in Waregem. "I wanted to show my gratitude to the U.S. by honoring these men."
(sbsun)

Savage Peace: Hope and Fear in America 1919
In 1919, America was embroiled in a communist scare, battles over free speech, a lingering war in arctic Russia, labor strife and racial unrest. Amid the chaos, Woodrow Wilson pursued the League of Nations, leaving leadership to men who used fear of Bolshevism to keep control. Ann Hagedorn examines a turbulent year overlooked in its niche between the Great War and the Roaring `20s. It was a year when hope dissolved into disappointment. The narrative begins Nov. 11, 1918: Armistice Day. With soldiers returning from war with Germany, the country celebrated, expecting peace to bring a better life. Instead, America was to become a world of paranoia.
(popmatters)

U.S. Involvement in World War One and Lusitania
President Woodrow Wilson had promised to stay neutral, but he hardly followed through. In fact the US was never neutral, and the Lusitania did not have 'innocent cargo'. The US had been shipping war materials to Germany's enemies for some time. The sinking of the Lusitania in 1915 by Germany was justified. After warning of "unrestricted submarine warfare" to any ships found in the Atlantic Ocean, the Germans had every right to torpedo the Lusitania. The Lusitania's cargo, according to Howard Zinn contained: 1,248 cases of 3-inch shells, 4,927 boxes of cartridges (1000 rounds per box), 2,000 cases of small-arms ammunition. ...hardly an innocent cargo.
(pennlive)

William McAdoo saved the American World War 1 economy
"When Washington Shut Down Wall Street: The Great Financial Crisis of 1914 and the Origins of America's Monetary Supremacy" by William Silber. When war broke out in Europe in 1914, the U.S. economy was still immature, a global debtor with an unloved currency - subject to recurring panics. After a particularly nasty one in 1907, the US decided to join the rest of the developed world and create a central bank. But by 1914, Congress and the president had yet to hammer out all the details. In the summer of 1914, panicked Europeans, who supplied much of the capital to the US, were cashing in their U.S. stocks and bonds and dollars for gold.
(slate)

The Telegram that plunged America into the First World War
August 5, 1914, after Britain declared war on Germany, a British ship Telconia slipped out to sea to strike the first blow against the kaiser. The Telconia was armed only with grappling hooks, but that blow may well have been the one that won WW1. Off the German coast Telconia cut the German transatlantic cables. This forced Germany to carry on its communications by means that the British could intercept. President Wilson wanted to negotiate a peace "without victory," but each side demanded victory to justify its huge losses. On Jan 16, 1917, Arthur Zimmermann sent a cable offering Mexico an alliance in the event of war between Germany and the U.S.
(americanheritage)

WWI Book recounts America`s deadliest battle: Meuse-Argonne
It`s been 5 years since military historian Michael Clodfelter spent 3 days exploring America`s bloodiest battlefield: the Meuse-Argonne in France. "Most people don`t realize it, but this was the greatest battle in our history." That is why Clodfelter spent years researching and writing the book "The Lost Battalion and the Meuse-Argonne, 1918, America`s Deadliest Battle." More than 26,000 Americans were killed during this World War I battle with the Germans. The book also tells the story of Maj. Charles Whittlesey and "the lost battalion," which was cut off for 5 days during the battle before being rescued.
(ljworld)

Sept. 10, 1919 - New York welcomed home Gen. John J. Pershing   (Article no longer available from the original source)
On Sept. 10, 1919, New York City welcomed home General John J. Pershing and 25,000 soldiers who had served in the US 1st Division during World War 1. New York lived probably the last chapter in its history of great military spectacles growing out of the war. Devoted to honoring General John J. Pershing, Commander in Chief of the American Expeditionary Forces, and to paying tribute to the final array of veteran fighting men to parade down Fifth Avenue, it was a fitting chapter. It was the town's first opportunity to greet the men of the 1st Division and their glorious part in the American Army's smashing drives.
(-)

World War 1 - An American Legacy --- DVD Review
History documentaries seem to take one of two approaches: One is linear, the other is focusing on various aspects of the theme. "World War 1: American Legacy" is in the second camp. It summarizes the linear history of "The Great War" in 21 minutes. The remaining 90min focuses on a variety of Americans and their participation in the war, using them as the vehicle by which to explore the American involvement in WW1. The documentary is not limited to the time period of the U.S. military involvement. Instead, it looks at those who joined the Allied effort before the U.S. formally did so in April 1917.
(blogcritics)

An American waged germ warfare against U.S. in WWI
In 1916, Anton Dilger, an American saboteur working for the germans, rented lodgings not 6 miles from the White House. In his basement, he set up a small lab and, on behalf of the General Staff in Berlin, he began a secret campaign to wage biological warfare on U.S. soil. His target would be the horses and cattle supplied to the Allied armies by the then-neutral US, and he set about cultivating anthrax bacteria and Pseudomonas mallei. But who was Dilger, and how did the son of a Union Army captain become a German secret agent? Robert Koenig has pieced together a detailed portrait using letters, archives and oral history.
(sfgate)

What did America's entry into the Great War 1917-1918 achieve?
Soon the last of the "doughboys" will be gone. What did America's entry into WW1 achieve? My father joined the Navy to stay out of the Army: not to "make the world safe for democracy," nor create a "concert of nations" that would secure "the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in their own governments" and protect "the rights and liberties of small nations" and establish perpetual peace upon a "universal dominion of right." Those were President Wilson`s goals. For them he had led "this great peaceful people into war, the most terrible and disastrous of wars, civilization itself seeming to be in the balance."
(theatlantic)

1st Infantry Division helped establish U.S. power in WWI
A few years into World War I, British and French forces were suffering. Beset by a crushing German offensive and a large-scale mutiny of French soldiers, the Allies welcomed America`s entry into the war in 1917. But they wanted to see America mix forces with their own ranks, not form divisions of their own. But American Expeditionary Force commander Gen. John "Blackjack" Pershing wanted no doughboy to take orders in the field from foreign officers. The reason why U.S. soldiers were called "doughboys" during WWI is unclear. One theory posits that it was a derisive nickname used against U.S. soldiers whom they viewed as soft and naive.
(estripes)

Gen. John J. "Black Jack" Pershing's demise was premature
In the WWI era, no American military figure was better known than Gen. John J. "Black Jack" Pershing. So it was no surprise that reporters gathered like vultures when word got out in 1938 that Pershing was dying. Pershing had accomplished the near impossible, whipping an ill-prepared American military into an effective, 2 million-member fighting machine in World War I and then leading it to victory as its field commander. He had been appointed chief of staff in 1921 and retired three years later as "General of the Armies." Thereafter, he resisted the temptation to get into politics.
(tucsoncitizen)

French honor Americans who died during World War I siege
At Belleau Wood, France, where young Marines fought the enemy with rifles, bayonets and fists during World War I, Memorial Day lives up to its name. The French know; it was 88 years ago when the Marines came riding to their rescue, possibly saving their country. "Let us be worthy of their legacy," said French army chief of staff Gen. Thorette. The French, after 4 years of fighting, were down to their last licks until the Marines arrived for 3 weeks of slaughter that ended in victory on June 25, 1918. Marine Corps commandant Gen. Hagee noted how the Marines fought with little food or sleep, and how they died from artillery fire, machine-gun fire and poison gas.
(estripes)

The American Expeditionary Force, North Russia
The U.S. Army's 339th Infantry, the 1st Battalion of the 310th Engineers and the 337th Field Hospital - in all, 143 officers and 4,344 enlisted men who were later known as "The American Expeditionary Force, North Russia" - were struck by Spanish Flu at sea while on their way to Arkhangelsk. There it joined the Allies, a coalition of forces that included British, French, Canadian, Italian and White Russian troops involved in operations against Bolsheviks. The 1918 influenza supposedly originated at Fort Riley, it followed US troops to the trenches of Europe, claiming in just 6 months far more lives than were lost over the entire 5-year course of WWI.
(masslive)

The Battle of Belleau Wood now remembered by a cemetery
1918, the height of the WW1 and German forces have pushed far into France, coming close to the French capital. The Battle of Belleau Wood occurred near the Marne River. The battle was fought between a mainly US Allied force and German units. The battle is remembered because of its extremely bloody nature and its close proximity to Paris. The Allies attempted to take the woods but were repeatedly forced back by artillery and machine gun fire. After re-taking the woods a total of six times the US Marines managed to force the German forces out, often reduced to using only their bayonets in close quarters combat.
(googlesightseeing)

40 men, 1 woman imprisoned during WWI   (Article no longer available from the original source)
During the nine months between the enactment of Montana's anti-sedition law in February of 1918 and the end of World War I, nearly 150 sedition cases were brought in 32 Montana counties. A few cases were prosecuted even after the war's end. About half of those cases resulted in convictions. Of the 78 convictions, 40 men and one woman went to prison. Although several applied for pardons after the end of World War I, only one man, Josef Hocevar, received an unconditional pardon upon his release.
(billingsgazette)

Telegram that brought US into Great War is found
An original typescript of the deciphered Zimmerman Telegram, one of the greatest coups mounted by Britain's intelligence services, has been discovered. The document is believed to be the actual telegram shown to the American ambassador in London in 1917 that proved Germany's hostility to the US and guaranteed President Woodrow Wilson's entry into the WW1. Historians say no single piece of paper did more to guarantee victory in the Great War for Britain and her allies. It was intercepted and deciphered by Room 40, a predecessor of GCHQ, the Government's top secret listening post, in January 1917.
(telegraph)

American propaganda during WWI - Mobilizing public support
Twice in the twentieth century the US government established agencies whose purpose was to generate and mobilize public support for war. The Committee on Public Information (CPI) during WWI and the Office of War Information (OWI) during WWII directed extensive wartime propaganda efforts at the US public as well as foreign audiences. The scope of activities represented propaganda campaigns of an unprecedented scale in the history of American foreign policy. The WW1 turned out to be a watershed event in the development of modern propaganda. The world`s first experience with total war became wedded with the nation`s first systematic national program of propaganda.
(allacademic.com)


See also

'WWI Films, Footages'

'Memorabilia, Militaria'

'Bravery Medals'

'National WW1 Museum'.