"28 June 1919: Post-War Peace Aims - What did the U.S., Britain, and France Want?"

In October 1918, the tide of World War I began to shift decidedly in favor of the Allies—comprising France, Britain, the United States, and Italy—as they recognized their impending victory. With foresight towards establishing a lasting peace, they slated a preliminary conference to take place in early 1919 in Paris. The agenda for this conference was to outline the critical issues to be addressed with Germany and its allies. Subsequent discussions were planned with other significant allied nations, notably Japan, followed by engagements with smaller states such as Belgium and Serbia. Ultimately, the leaders of the main Allied powers, known as the Big Four—President Wilson from the USA, Prime Minister David Lloyd George of Britain, Prime Minister Vittorio Orlando of Italy, and Premier Georges Clemenceau of France—intended to convene with German representatives to forge a treaty. However, this process proved to be unfeasible as the complexity of the issues far exceeded initial…

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"21 April 1918: Manfred von Richthofen - The Red Baron Shot Down" by Scott Lyons

Manfred von Richthofen, widely known as the 'Red Baron', was a figure of valor and tactical prowess during the tumultuous skies of the First World War. Born into an aristocratic Prussian family on 2 May 1892 in Breslau, Germany (present-day Wrocław, Poland), he would rise to become a legendary German flying ace, claiming an unparalleled 80 victories against Allied aircraft. Richthofen initially served with the cavalry; however, his destiny took a soaring turn upon transferring to the Luftstreitkrafte (Imperial German Air Service) in 1915. By 1917, his escalating notoriety as a pilot propelled him to command Jasta 11, lifting him to national hero status within Germany. His astute fighter tactics granted him prestigious awards, including the Pour le Merite, commonly referred to as the 'Blue Max', Oak Leaves with Swords and Diamonds, and Iron Crosses of both the 1st and 2nd Class. Driven by a fierce commitment to the skies, Richthofen's squadron's aircraft, distinguished by their red…

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"8 March 1917 - The February Revolution: Prelude to Tsardom's Fall and Global Impact" by Scott Lyons

On the precipice of World War I in 1917, Russia found herself at the heart of an immense historical upheaval that would alter not only her course but the world's as well. Two revolutions unfolded, each rippling across the globe, signaling irreversible change. When Nicholas II ascended the throne in 1894, it was with the expectation of lifelong rule, continuing the lineage of absolute power bequeathed by his father, Alexander III. Yet, barely two decades into his reign, Nicholas would witness the disintegration of both his authority and the tsarist regime itself—a monumental descent catalyzed by socioeconomic tribulations. The societal fabric of Russia bore scars from economic stagnation intertwined with burgeoning industrialization, leading to widespread urban food shortages and rural discontent over sluggish land reform. Political unrest fomented among moderates, who pressed for Western-inspired liberalism, and socialist factions championed more drastic solutions. However, it was the…

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"April 1922 - October 1952" - The Rise and Fall of Dictatorial Regimes in Germany and Soviet Union" by Scott Lyons

In the volatile aftermath of the Great War and the stringent demands placed by the Versailles Treaty, seeds were sown for the rise of one of history's most notorious dictators, Adolf Hitler. In a similar vein, the untimely demise of Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin precipitated Joseph Stalin's grip on power in the Soviet Union. Exploring the landscape of these leaderships reveals a stark reality that their similarities in governance and control mechanisms—encompassing terror, exile, execution, repression, and propaganda—overwhelmingly eclipsed their differences, creating an atmosphere of dread that was deemed necessary to emerge from the Great Depression's shadow. Both Hitler and Stalin were charismatic leaders who capitalized on the discontent and economic turmoil of their respective nations. They both appealed to nationalist sentiments, promising to restore their countries to greatness and rid them of perceived enemies. However, their methods of achieving these goals were vastly…

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"20 April 1918: All Bark and Bite: Sergeant Stubby Wounded in France During World War I" by Scott Lyons

On the campus of Yale University in July 1917, a young (1-2 years old) Boston terrier wandered to the parade grounds where young Army members of the 102nd Infantry were training. The dog immediately became attached to Corporal James Robert Conroy and a (dog's) lifetime of love, friendship and comradeship began. Conroy hid the pup aboard ship departing from Newport News, Virginia, to France to fight in the First World War. Named "Sergeant Stubby" for his bobbed tail, the pup was taught by Corporal Conroy to salute--whereupon the canine companion would sit up on his hind legs, and pull his right paw up to his head. Sergeant Stubby even had his own dog tags which read "STUBBY, 102nd INF, 26th DIV." (Bausum 2014, 24) Once Conroy brought Stubby aboard the ship departing from Newport News, Virginia, there was no turning back. The little dog quickly became an integral part of the 102nd Infantry, going beyond just being a companion to Conroy. He was officially inducted into the Army as a…

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"24 December 1914: Allied and Central Powers break for a Christmas Truce"

The Christmas Truce of 1914, an event that took place during World War I, is one of the most poignant and memorable moments of the war. In the midst of the fighting, soldiers on both sides of the Western Front, exhausted and cold from months of conflict, paused for a moment of peace and goodwill. Despite the efforts of the military authorities to prevent such a truce, the men on the front lines, driven by a shared humanity, broke ranks and came together in a unique display of fraternity. The truce was not spontaneously decided on, but rather the result of a series of small gestures and actions. Reports from the front lines describe the British troops hearing the Germans singing carols on Christmas Eve, and lighting candles and small trees. The British soldiers, emboldened by this show of good cheer, began to shout Christmas greetings across the no man's land that separated the two armies. To their surprise, the Germans responded in kind, and soon the two sides were exchanging shouted…

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"21 February 1916: The Battle of Verdun Begins: The Great War's Longest Battle" by Scott Lyons

The Battle of Verdun is one of the most iconic battles of the First World War--and the longest at 301 days. Fought between the German Empire and the French Republic from 21 February to 18 December of 1916, the battle was a spectacle of the war's brutality and devastation. At the center of the Battle of Verdun was the fortified region of Verdun-sur-Meuse, which was a strategically important area because of its excellent defensive position and its good observation for artillery fire. The German Empire launched an attack on the French Second Army, which was stationed on the east bank of the Meuse. The Germans hoped to capture the Meuse Heights and lure the French strategic reserve into battle, in order to inflict catastrophic losses on the French at little cost to their own infantry. However, the battle was delayed for several days by poor weather, giving the French time to organize a more extensive defense. The battle began on 21 February 1916, with the Germans capturing Fort Douaumont…

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"19 February 1915: Tragedy of Leadership: The Ill-Fated Gallipoli Campaign Begins" by Scott Lyons

Winston Churchill, a man with a burning ambition and a delusion of grandeur, his innate desire to take control and command of the situation, led to the catastrophic failure of the Gallipoli campaign. The ambitious Churchill could visualize great movements and combinations in his mind, which he believed could have turned the tide in favor of Britain during the Great War. Churchill had proposed a bold strategy to break the deadly stalemate in the Western Front. It involved Britain and the French-led Allied forces attacking the Gallipoli Peninsula on the northern side of the narrow 38-mile Dardanelles strait in northwest Turkey. The invasion was aimed at giving the British a clear sea route to their ally, Russia, and also knocking the fading Ottoman Empire, the “sick man of Europe” out of the war. The Gallipoli Campaign, also known as the Dardanelles Campaign or the Battle of Gallipoli, is considered one of the most infamous military operations of the First World War. It lasted from 19…

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Missouri Seeks Funding To Repair Great War Monument in Cheppy, France St. Louis Post-Dispatch 13 October 2013

Missouri seeking funds to repair military monument in France Kurt EricksonJEFFERSON CITY — A century-old statue honoring Missouri soldiers who died in a fierce battle against German soldiers in World War I could be getting a facelift.According to the Missouri National Guard, the federal organization that oversees battle monuments around the world wants $30,000 to rehabilitate the World War I Missouri Memorial located in Cheppy, France.“Cheppy Monument is a historic and important symbol of the country’s history. It is in need of repair due to weathering and age,” the National Guard said in a budget request to Gov. Mike Parson earlier this month.The monument was erected in 1922 in honor of Missouri soldiers who died during a battle at the site in September 1918.The dead were members of the 35th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army, comprised of National Guard soldiers from Missouri and Kansas. Of the 27,000 troops, more than half were from Missouri. Missouri seeking funds to repair…

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"11 November 1918: The Great War Ends and Another War Readies" by Scott Lyons

The Armistice of 11 November 1918 marked a historic moment in world history, as it brought an end to the First World War, or World War I, that had ravaged large parts of Europe and beyond. The signing of the armistice was a significant moment for the Entente, which had been engaged in a bitter struggle against the Central Powers, led by Germany. The truce was signed at Le Francport near Compiègne, following negotiations initiated by the German government with the American President Woodrow Wilson. The basis for the ceasefire was the earlier declared "Fourteen Points" by President Wilson, which later formed the basis of the German surrender at the Paris Peace Conference the following year. Top right: Photo Credit: USAMHI Marshal Foch's Train. Caption: This train car was used to hold negotiations with the Germans and where the armistice was signed at 5 a.m., on Nov. 11, 1918. (WWI Signal Corps Collection). This file is a work of a U.S. Army soldier or employee, taken or made as part of…

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Western Front Battles

1914
Battle of Le Cateau
Battle of St. Quentin, also called the Battle of Guise
First Battle of the Marne
First Battle of the Aisne
Siege of Antwerp
First Battle of Albert
First Battle of Arras
Battle of the Yser
First Battle of Ypres
First Battle of Champagne

1915
Battle of Neuve Chapelle
Second Battle of Ypres
Second Battle of Artois
Battle of Loos
Second Battle of Champagne

1916
Battle of Verdun
Battle of Hulluch
Battle of the Somme
Battle of Fromelles
Battle of Pozières
Battle of Ginchy

1917
Nivelle Offensive
Battle of Arras (1917)
Battle of Vimy Ridge
Second Battle of the Aisne, also called the Third Battle of Champagne
Battle of Messines
Third Battle of Ypres, also called the Battle of Passchendaele
Battle of La Malmaison
Battle of Cambrai (1917)

1918
German spring offensive
Second Battle of the Somme (1918)
Third Battle of the Aisne
Battle of Cantigny
Battle of Belleau Wood
Second Battle of the Marne
Battle of Soissons (1918)
Battle of Château-Thierry (1918)
Hundred Days Offensive
Battle of Amiens
Second Battle of the Somme (1918), also known as the Third Battle of the Somme
Battle of Saint-Mihiel
Battle of Epéhy
Battle of the Hindenburg Line
Meuse-Argonne Offensive, also called the Battle of the Argonne Forest
Battle of Cambrai (1918)
Battle of the Sambre (1918), also known as the Second Battle of the Sambre

Eastern Front battles

1914
Battle of Stallupönen
Battle of Gumbinnen
Battle of Tannenberg
Battle of Galicia
First Battle of the Masurian Lakes
Battle of the Vistula River
Battle of Łódź (1914)
Battle of Limanowa

1915
Siege of Przemysl
Battle of Bolimov
Second Battle of the Masurian Lakes
Great Retreat (Russian)
Sventiany Offensive

1916
Lake Naroch Offensive
Brusilov Offensive
Battle of Lutsk
Battle of Kostiuchnówka
Battle of Kowel

1917
Kerensky Offensive
Russian Revolution

1918
Operation Faustschlag

Gallipoli Campaign: 1915-1916

Battle of the Nek
Battle of Chunuk Bair
Battle of Gully Ravine
Battle of Hill 60 (Gallipoli)
Battle of Krithia Vineyard
Battle of Lone Pine
Battle of Sari Bair
Battle of Scimitar Hill
Landing at Anzac Cove
Landing at Cape Helles
First Battle of Krithia
Second Battle of Krithia
Third Battle of Krithia