Originally appearing in the Berlin TAGEBLATTT, this dispatch, written by Bernhard Kellerman (1879 - 1951), was later translated and printed in the NEW YORK TIMES magazine, CURRENT HISTORY. It reported on the hardships and morale of German infantry serving in Flanders during the second year of the war.
An American artillery officer from that famous division recalled the last minute of the war to end all wars...
Major General Leonard Wood (1860 - 1927) served as the U.S. Army Chief of Staff between the years 1910 through 1914 and was relieved of that office by President Wilson, who was unnerved by his wariness concerning America's inability to wage a modern war. Having alienated the president and other prominent generals in Washington, he continued on this path by launching the "Preparedness Movement" a year later in which he established four volunteer army training camps across the country.
Wood's admirer's were legion, and this article opines that his finely tuned military mind was not being put to proper use:
"General Wood has committed the sin of having been right from the very start. He has always been right. He has been right when Washington has been wrong. It is upon the heads of the entire pacifist crew who sold their shriveled souls and their country's safety to the devil of German propaganda, that is falling the blame for the blood of those who are dying on the hills of Picardy and the plains of Flanders."
A leaf torn from the chic pages of VANITY FAIR in which eight snap shots depict various high-profile New Yorkers 'absorbed' in their officer training routine. The journalist opined:
"The Business Man's Camp at Plattsburg has accomplished several of it's avowed objects. It has proved itself practicable. It has demonstrated that men of high standing in business, professional and social affairs are willing to make personal sacrifices for the country's good. It has shown that American officers have made good use of lessons taught by the War, and have adapted their tactics to conform to modern exigencies. Finally, the Plattsburg camp has grounded a large number of intelligent Americans in the rudiments of warfare."
You can read an article about General Wood here.
What we enjoyed about this piece by the Muckraking Ida Tarbell (1857 - 1944) was that it was written some six months after the heavy handed George Creel had ceased influencing Yankee magazine editors into printing pro-American blather, and so we tend to feel that her praise of the American Doughboys was quite sincere - and praise she does! Up hill and down dale, the Doughboys can do no wrong in her eyes.
This essay appeared in print around the same time the French had decided that all the Doughboys were just a bunch of racist hurrah-boys and were becoming increasingly sick of them. The Yanks might have squared their debt with the Marquis de Lafayette, but the recently returned Poilus were not above taking an occasional swipe at Ida Tarbell's Doughboys...
Click here to read some statistical data about the American Doughboys of the First World War.
At the end of the First World War, the young women of France were asked the question:
"Who would you choose for a husband, a Frenchman or an American? And what are the qualities and faults which justify your preference?"
Some of the answers were pretty funny (especially the responses made by the irate Frenchmen returning from the Front). After all the votes were tallied, it was discovered that, regardless of their "gold teeth", "big tortoise shell glasses" and shaved faces, the Doughboys were able to charm as much as a quarter of the women asked (which was a good deal better than they thought they would do) Some women, however, were not very impressed.
Click here to read an article about social diseases within the A.E.F..
Click here if would like to read about British Women and American G.I.s during the Second World War...