The attached column pertains to a W.W. I image that was erroneously believed by some to show the earthly remains of American fighter pilot Quentin Roosevelt following his crash landing. Numerous veterans chime-in explaining why the gent pictured could not have been the late Lt. Roosevelt, among them was Captain Eddie Rickenbacker.
The picture is provided.
The battle of Cantigny (May 28 - 31, 1918) was America's first division sized engagement during the First World War; George Marshall would later opine that the objective was "of no strategic importance and of small tactical value". General Pershing was hellbent on eradicating from the popular memory any mention of the A.E.F.'s poor performance at Seicheprey some weeks earlier, and Cantigny was as good a battleground in which to do it as any. Assessing the battle two weeks after the Armistice, Pershing's "yes men" at the STARS AND STRIPES wrote:
"But at Cantigny it had been taught to the world the significant lesson that the American soldier was fully equal to the soldier of any other nation on the field of battle."
An article from THE NEW REPUBLIC recognizing that 1914 marked the end of an era.
A genuinely funny reminiscence written by an anonymous Doughboy recalling his days as an M.P. in war-torn France during the First World War:
"Now that it is all over I wonder what did I gain from my experiences as an M.P. in the great Army of Newton Baker's Best?...Watching the dawn coming rosily up over snow-clad barracks roofs and rows of tents; informing careless privates, sergeants, lieutenants and even majors to 'button that there button'; listening to the dull bang-slamming of artillery barrages on crossroads; jotting down the names of high-spirited young men found in cafés at the wrong hours -such things aren't of much lasting value."
Click here to read an article about the sexually-transmitted diseases among the American Army of W.W. I - and the M.P.s in particular...
The American writer Willis Gordon Brown recalled his days as a fighter pilot with the R.F.C. and the curious series of crashes that lead to the discovery of a German saboteur within their midst.
"To the Germans this man was a highly respected hero giving his life for the fatherland; to us he became a rat of the lowest order."
World War I had only been raging for six months when this article first appeared. As the journalist makes clear, one did not have to have an advanced degree in history to recognize that this war was unique; it involved almost every wealthy, industrialized European nation and their far-flung colonies; thousands of men were killed daily and many more thousands stepped forward to take their places. The writer recognized that this long anticipated war was an epic event and that, like the French Revolution, it would be seen by future generations as a marker which indicated that all changes began at that point:
"Those who were but a few months ago assuring us that there never could be another general war are most vociferously informing the same audience that this will be the last."
Click here to read about the W.W. I efforts of Prince Edward, the future Duke of Windsor.
The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914
In writing a piece for LA REVUE MONDIALE ten years after the Armistice, Stéphane Lauzanne (1887 - 1928), Editor-in-Chief of the semi-official PARIS MATIN wrote a few bitter-sweet words about the American character and how it was both a hindrance and a benefit to the Allies in the war. Yet he was full of praise when he recalled the bold and forward-thinking manner in which America entered the war and committed both blood and treasure:
"...all America sees far ahead and sees on a grand scale...when America entered the war, it did not say: 'Let us get a few regiments together, give some money to our allies, and send some bushels of wheat to various ports.' No, America envisioned the matter on a big scale. Men were recruited by the millions, and the money to be sent to the Allies was calculated in the millions. The wheat for Europe was grouped in millions of bushels. The material necessary for construction of sixteen great camps was gathered in millions of cubic yards. If America had not seen the problem on this grand scale, would the war have ended as quickly?"
Click here to read an interview with the World War I American fighter pilot Eddy Rickenbacker.