Great War (1914-1918): The Society and Culture of the First World War discussion

95 Years Ago

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message 1: by Gabriele (new)

Gabriele Wills (muskoka) | 20 comments You may be interested in my blog today.

message 2: by Mark (new)

Mark Mortensen | 68 comments America has formally declared war but five times. The fourth time was 95 years ago today on April 6, 1917, when President Wilson, following votes in Congress, proclaimed war to enter into the Great War known today as World War I.

WWI history is severely overlooked in the United States. The American youth of the early 20th Century were very similar to our other generations past and present. They were talented, energetic, striving to better themselves through education and work, preferring peace and the “good life” to war, but when called upon in a time of need often the best stepped forward trusting in the cause to sacrifice for others.

Those failing to find a connection to the First World War generation need to only realize that they were the parents of the Second World War generation. Following service in WWI as a lot they came home in 1919 quickly married and started families. Roughly 10 years later they sacrificed by guiding their children through the Great Depression. They remained optimistic to pass a better life on to the next generation only to realize that their college age sons and daughters would be roused to action with WWII our nation’s last formally declared war. As parents they hung a service flag banner in the front window of their home. Mothers slept with thoughts that a blue service star might become a Gold Star, while fathers would stir at night suffering from WWI nightmares full of first hand the imagery of life on the front lines. The first to complement the WWI generation are those from the WWII “Greatest Generation”.

message 3: by Terry (new)

Terry | 38 comments Great post ! I served in the Air Force until retiring in 2000. As someone who had knowledge of the timeframe that included WW I, some of the places I served, Kosovo, Iraq, central Africa, clearly had unresolved issues that are echoes of those times.

message 4: by KOMET (new)

KOMET | 73 comments Today I salute our Canadian neighbors north of the border, for it was 95 years ago TODAY (April 9th, 1917) that the Canadian Expeditionary Force distinguished itself in the Battle of Vimy Ridge on the Western Front.

Vimy Ridge was a vital strategic point on the Douai plain (northeast of Arras in Northern France) which gave the Germans a commanding view of the surrounding terrain. Indeed, both the French and the British tried several times up to 1917 to outflank the Germans and regain possession of Vimy Ridge. All their attempts failed.

On April 9th, 1917, as part of the British-led Battle of Arras, the Canadian Expeditionary Force sprang into action.

"The Canadian objective was to take the German-held high ground along an escarpment at the northern end of the offensive. Supported by a creeping barrage, the Canadians captured most of the ridge on 9 April. The town of Thélus fell on the 10th, as did the crest of the ridge once the Canadians overcame a salient of considerable German resistance. The final objective, a fortified knoll near Givenchy-en-Gohelle, fell to the Canadians on 12 April, and the Germans retreated to the Oppy–Méricourt line. Canadian success is attributed to technical and tactical innovations, meticulous planning and training, and powerful artillery support, and the failure of the Germans to properly apply their new defensive doctrine. For the first time all four divisions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force fought together and the battle remains a Canadian symbol of achievement and sacrifice."

message 5: by Jim (new)

Jim | 4 comments KOMET wrote: "Today I salute our Canadian neighbors north of the border, for it was 95 years ago TODAY (April 9th, 1917) that the Canadian Expeditionary Force distinguished itself in the Battle of Vimy Ridge on ..."

Thanks for that, KOMET. My great-grandfather is still up on that ridge along with my great-uncle. Nice to see that people still remember.

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