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World War One

               World War One Film Clips

Brother against Brother

It was a Second Rate War (The American Mercury, 1924)

"In the conflict which some still persist in calling the Great War, though it was great only in size, there was so much jumble and muddle and half-hearted experiment and so little visible military skill and ingenuity that a far-seeing and keen-thinking British colonel has declared that if the nations of the earth will only use their brains, the inevitable next war will show combat so transformed and reformed that the struggle of 1914 - 1918 will seem, by comparison, little more than a clash 'between barbaric hordes...'"

 

''Merry Christmas, Major X'' (Der Welt Spiegel, 1914)

Written a few months after the war began, this German short story was written about a particular front line rifle company and the contempt that they shared for one of their officers. Its a good read.

 

Napoleon Takes Charge (Literary Digest, 1922)

The "Napoleon" who plays the Monday-morning-quarterback in these columns was created by the tireless researcher Walter Noble Burns (1872 – 1932); his version of Bonaparte explains what went wrong on the Western Front and how he would have beat the Kaiser - but not before he dishes out liberal amounts of defamation for the senior commands on both sides of No Man's Land.

"The war's stupendous blunders and stupendous, useless tragedies made me turn over in my sarcophagus beneath the dome of the Invalides. I can not conceive how military men of even mediocre intelligence could have permitted the Allied Army to waste its time by idly lobbing over shells during a three-years' insanity of deadlocked trench warfare."

Click here to read an article about life in a W.W. I German listening post...

 

A Wartime Footing for the USMC (Sea Power Magazine, 1918)

The ranks of the United States Marine Corps began to swell in the early March of 1917, shortly after the Kaiser launched his campaign of unrestricted submarine warfare. When Congress declared war the following April, the expansion began is earnest:

"The Act of Congress making naval appropriations for the present fiscal year carries a proviso increasing the Marine Corps from its permanent legal enlisted strength of seventeen thousand and four hundred to a temporary war strength of seventy-five thousand and five hundred with a proportional increase in commissioned and warrant officers and the addition of two major generals and six brigadier generals."

This article is illustrated with 12 photographs.

Click here to read about the African-American soldiers who served in France.

 

Relief Agency Structures on U.S. Army Camp Grounds (Architectural Record, 1918)

Illustrated with as many as twelve pictures, this article from ARCHITECTURAL RECORD points out what the recreational buildings looked like on the grounds of the various U.S. Army camps that were hastily erected following the Congressional declaration of war in April of 1917.

 

How the YMCA Got it Wrong (The Home Sector, 1919)

There were many benevolent organizations that volunteered to go abroad and cheer up the American military personnel serving in W.W. I Europe; groups such as the Jewish Welfare Board, the Knights of Columbus, the War Camp Community Service and the Salvation Army - to name just a few, but the Y.M.C.A. (Young Men's Christian Association) was the only one among them that irked the Doughboys. In this 1919 exposé former STARS and STRIPES reporter Alexander Woollcott (1887 - 1943) levels numerous charges against the Y, believing that they had misrepresented their intentions when they asked the War Department to grant them passage. Woolcott maintains that their primary mission was proselytizing rather than relief work.

Click here to read another article about the YMCA.

From Amazon: My Hut: A Memoir of a YMCA Volunteer in World War One

 


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