Printed posthumously, the attached article was written by British Lieutenant Colonel Charles A Court Repington (1858 - 1925) as he recalled his conversations with French Field Marshals Ferdinand Foch (1851-1929), Joseph Joffre (1852 - 1931) and a number of other French statesmen about the First World War during a series of chats that took place in the autumn 1924.
One year after the First World War reached it's bloody conclusion, Admiral German Grand Admiral Alfred Von Tirpitz (1849 - 1930) was in a frenzy writing his wartime memoir in order that it arrive at the printing presses before his critics could do the same. One of his most devoted detractor was a naval advocate named Captain Persius who had been riding Tirpitz as early as 1914 for failing to fully grasp the benefits of the U-boat. In 1919 Captain Persius took it upon himself to widely distribute a pamphlet titled, "How Tirpitz Ruined the German Fleet", which was reviewed in this article.
"Tirpitz never realized the power of the submarine... Tirpitz was building Dreadnoughts when he should have been concentrating on submarines, and what is worse was building them with less displacement than the British, less strongly armed and of lower speed."
In 1920 the representatives from the victorious nations who convened at Versailles demanded that Kaiser Wilhelm, Admiral Tirpitz and an assortment of other big shots be handed over for trial - click here to read about it.
Read Another Article About Tirpitz...
Here are a few French thoughts regarding America's late arrival in the war and some additional opinions on the matter of Uncle Sam's inflated ego.
Click here to read an article by a grateful Frenchman who was full of praise for the bold and forward-thinking manner in which America entered the First World War.
Perhaps in his haste to be the reliable cynic, H.L. Mencken (1880 - 1956) decided to ignore the haphazard nature of industrial warfare and indulged in some Darwinian thinking. There is no doubt that this column must have infuriated the Gold Star Mothers of W.W. I, who were still very much a presence at the time this opinion piece appeared, and it can also be assumed that the veterans of The American Legion were also shocked to read Mencken's words declaring that:
"The American Army came home substantially as it went abroad. Some of the weaklings were left behind, true enough, but surely not all of them. But the French and German Armies probably left them all behind. The Frenchman who got through those bitter four years was certainly a Frenchman far above the average in vigor and intelligence..."
The intended readers for the attached article were the newly initiated members of the American Legion (ie. recently demobilized U.S. veterans), who might have had a tough time picturing a Paris that was largely free of swaggering, gum-chewing Doughboys gallivanting down those broad-belted boulevards, but that is what this journalist, Marquis James (1891 - 1955) intended. At the time of this printing, the A.E.F. (American Expeditionary Force) had been shaved down from 4,000,000 to half that number and re-christened the A.F.F. (American Forces in France) and the A.F.G. (American Forces in Germany). With a good bit of humor, the article concentrates on the antics of the American Third Army in Germany as they performed their "Bolshevist busting" duties in the Coblenz region.
With the close of the war came the release of millions of combat veterans onto the streets of the world. Some of these veterans adjusted nicely to the post-war world - but many had a difficult time. Their maladjustment was called Shell Shock and it could manifest itself in any number of ways; in the attached article, written less than a year after the war, one anonymous American veteran explained his own personal encounter with the illness.
Click here to read a post-W.W. I poem about combat-related stress...