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danelectro59

World War I

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My grandfather fought in WW I in Harry S. Truman's regiment.

Truman was chosen to be an officer, and then battery commander in an artillery regiment in France. His unit was Battery D, 129th Field Artillery, 60th Brigade, 35th Infantry Division, known for its discipline problems. During a sudden attack by the Germans in the Vosges Mountains, the battery started to disperse; Truman ordered them back into position using profanities that he had "learned while working on the Santa Fe railroad." Shocked by the outburst, his men reassembled and followed him to safety. Under Captain Truman's command in France, the battery did not lose a single man. On November 11, 1918 his artillery unit fired some of the last shots of World War I into German positions. The war was a transformative experience that brought out Truman's leadership qualities; he later rose to the rank of Colonel in the Army Reserves , and his war record made possible his later political career in Missouri.

Harry_S._Truman_WW_I.jpg

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Quite right. The US hadn't really been involved in too many foreign skirmishes with ground forces up until that point. Our strength lied within our naval forces, which still lagged behind Britain and Germany. What The Kaiser and his brain trust (Hindenburg and Ludendorf) knew was that America had fresh, eager young troops by the millions to send over and face a war weary German army. When Wilson asked Congress for a declaration of war in April, 1917, it immediately put the Central Powers on a timetable to defeat the Allies or at least sue for a decent settlement. Hence, the Big Push in March of 1918 which nearly worked.

I could go on an on about this.

The United States only tipped the scales for the allies in that war. We were still practically using civil war tactics and airpower was not significant enough to unfortunatley change the tactics on the ground too much.

WW1 was only a "coming out party" for the American Expeditionary Forces.

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The United States only tipped the scales for the allies in that war. We were still practically using civil war tactics and airpower was not significant enough to unfortunatley change the tactics on the ground too much.

WW1 was only a "coming out party" for the American Expeditionary Forces.

Right, but we still had over 55,000 battle deaths in what was roughly six months of combat operations. And that was when the Germans were basically running on fumes. Makes you think if we would have jumped in after the Lusitania sinking, how many more casualties would have occurred. Might have been right up there with the Brits and French.

And really, the only reason the US had any role in the settlement was because of Wilson's Fourteen Points, which the other Allied nations scoffed at but the Germans loved because it spared them further humiliation. The world may be a different place had they accepted the proposal.

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I visited the battlefield of the Somme and Vimy Ridge last March.

Specifically, at the Somme, where the Newfoundlanders' trenches were.

The trenches ARE STILL THERE. Grown over with grass and not as deep as they used to be, but still there, after all that time. You can just imagine where you're standing was a living hell where thousands of men died.

It's also interesting to note, that when you go there the distance between the two lines doesn't seem like very far, but it might as well have been a million miles for the men fighting there.

As I said, I also visited Vimy Ridge, that would be where Canada spent months digging tunnels and made a surprise attack on the Germans, and won one of the first major victories of the war.

juno1.jpg

Edited by Jarlaxle 56

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What gets me is what a total shock WW1 was. WW2 was definitely on a much bigger scale, but it wasn't the first war of its kind.

Ah but it was.

Whole cities full of civilians being totally decimated (take your pick in Europe) or being wiped from the face of the earth (Atom bomb at Hiroshima).

That didn't happen in WW1.

WW1 was so unlike anything that had ever happened before...all the new technology like tanks and gas and bombs, and the mass deaths that they caused...

Times that by ten for WW2.

Mind-boggling.

It still has nothing on WW2, specifically the German-Soviet war.

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I don't think any European should ever underestimate Amerca's distaste for European style imperialism, especially in the late 19th century and into the early 20th century.

Hehe, America had it's own unique brand of expansionism and conquer. Ask the Native Americans. You're still on their lands today.:D:P

At least the Brits got out of the lands they conquered. :D

Britain and France could have prevented WW2 had they not treated Germany the way they had after WW1. Wilson objected to most of your nation's treatment of Germany, he saw no point in it.

Of course he didn't. His country didn't suffer 1 million deaths in WW1.

Call me a patriot, but I think we were better than the British and the French, especially in view of the post WW1 era.

Better than the British or French from 1918 to 1939 perhaps, but absolutely NOT better than the British or French from 1945 to the present day.

America has taken over where the British and French left off in the 1930s. ;)

Edited by Mangani

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Hehe, America had it's own unique brand of expansionism and conquer. Ask the Native Americans. You're still on their lands today.:D:P

The Americas were invaded by Europeans from many nations long before there was a 'United States of America.' And besides, the westward expansion was pretty much done by folks who were born on this continent, not outside conquerors.

At least the Brits got out of the lands they conquered. :D

Oh, I didn't realize you all had pulled out of Northern Ireland.

... you mean the Brits got "handed their hat" by the Americans don't you?

Of course he didn't. His country didn't suffer 1 million deaths in WW1.

How many deaths were suffered in Africa, India and Asia under the British Empire?

In WW1 Britain's chickens had finally come home to roost. As did France and Germany's too btw.

Better than the British or French from 1918 to 1939 perhaps, but absolutely NOT better than the British or French from 1945 to the present day.

Ireland, French Indo-China, Rhodesia, Algeria... should I go on?

America has taken over where the British and French left off in the 1930s. ;)

No, European Imperialism died at the hands of Nazi Germany and Lend Lease. ;)

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The Americas were invaded by Europeans from many nations long before there was a 'United States of America.' And besides, the westward expansion was pretty much done by folks who were born on this continent, not outside conquerors.

Ah yes ye old "imperialism is OK aslong as you don't arrive by boat", your caught up in nationalistic hubris just as much as we brits were a century ago Del.

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:( yes it is good to pay our respects and remember the fallen - but can we PLEASE stop turning these things into a pissing contest - NO WAR is greater (for want of a better word) than any other.

So c'mon fellas - we're better than this surely. Just had to get that off chest.

Although, that said, before WWII came along, WWI was actually referred to as "The Great War".

If you, like me am a 'native' Briton (for want of another better word !) you most likely do have an ancestor who perished in those bloody, muddy fields of France and/or Flanders. One of my own distant blood, Corporal Walker, was never found - missing in action, like so many tens of thousands, he lies down there, sunk in the muddy ground where he fell.

Such an indescriminate lottery, those flying pieces of ammo - they care not who they claim. They recognise not a man's colour, creed or religion.

And the whole course of the world's history is literally changed upon the whim of such a "hit or miss". Consider if you will, the fortunes during that Great War, of the young Private Adolf Hitler. Survived several near misses, which claimed so many of his close comrades, and could have taken him as well.

On a much lighter note, if that's appropriate, can I reccomend to anyone who has never seen it - a certain comedy series, made several years ago, and called "Blackadder Goes Forth". Yes, I did say comedy series - that may sound a bit strange under the circumstances, but it has taught so many people the bitter ironies, and the sheer madness of the events surrounding those 4 or so years.

And at the end of it all - the final image - the peaceful tranquility of those poppy fields, where only the occasional tweeting of the birds is heard. The booming thunder of those mighty guns is now only a distant memory.

Thank God. Amen.

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Ah yes ye old "imperialism is OK aslong as you don't arrive by boat"...

In my opinion there is nothing exactly nefarious about what happens when a hunter gatherer culture can no longer compete for the land and recourses that an agrarian society discovers and decides to make use of. This is just the normal progression of humanity. And at least in terms of the many small farmers, ranchers and trappers who settled in the North American West, they weren't exactly a bunch of Conquistators sent by some Emporer.

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In my opinion there is nothing exactly nefarious about what happens when a hunter gatherer culture can no longer compete for the land and recourses that an agrarian society discovers and decides to make use of. This is just the normal progression of humanity. And at least in terms of the many small farmers, ranchers and trappers who settled in the North American West, they weren't exactly a bunch of Conquistators sent by some Emporer.

Is that resources?

So you have no problem with someone invading "your" country for the same reasons?

Not an emperor.

Just by the US government.

Remember Little Big Horn?

The British troops committed genocide in Tasmania too.

Your logic does not make it right.

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So you have no problem with someone invading "your" country for the same reasons?

Not an emperor.

Just by the US government.

Remember Little Big Horn?

The funny thing about the plains indian wars especially with the Sioux nation over the land they were upset about --- IT WASN'T ORIGINALLY THEIR LAND!

Ask any member of the Crow Indian Nation and they will tell you that the Sioux were murderers who stole their land. And that is why the Crow indians were fighting with the US Calvary at Little Big Horn.

If you think the Indian nations of North America (including the Aztecs) were without blame for their own share of "expansion" then you haven't read the whole history.

The British troops committed genocide in Tasmania too.

What do you mean by "too"?

Are you saying that the British committed genocide against north Amrican indians? Because if you are, that just isn't true. It's a myth about smallpox infected blankets; that while their was a letter written about whether or not it would work --- it never actually happened.

http://custer.over-blog.com/article-11602057.html

Your logic does not make it right.

My logic is not to make it right or wrong. It is what it is, just like the Roman conquest of the British Isles and the Greek conquest of Persia.

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The funny thing about the plains indian wars especially with the Sioux nation over the land they were upset about --- IT WASN'T ORIGINALLY THEIR LAND!

Ask any member of the Crow Indian Nation and they will tell you that the Sioux were murderers who stole their land. And that is why the Crow indians were fighting with the US Calvary at Little Big Horn.

If you think the Indian nations of North America (including the Aztecs) were without blame for their own share of "expansion" then you haven't read the whole history.

What do you mean by "too"?

Are you saying that the British committed genocide against north Amrican indians? Because if you are, that just isn't true. It's a myth about smallpox infected blankets; that while their was a letter written about whether or not it would work --- it never actually happened.

http://custer.over-blog.com/article-11602057.html

My logic is not to make it right or wrong. It is what it is, just like the Roman conquest of the British Isles and the Greek conquest of Persia.

I doubt any truth in the story about infected blankets, however, it is common knowledge that a lot of the diseases, like Small Pox and Plague were introduced by the Europeans when their ships landed.

If the Sioux and the Crow were fighting over disputed land, what business was it of the government?

It was only a ploy to encourage discontent between the Indian nations.

Divide and Conquer.

Just like the Greeks and the Romans.

What about The Apaches', broken and decimated and forced to live on reservations so "entrepeneurs" could build The New World.

While they may not have extinguished nations, the British, French and American troops / civilian militia wiped out many tribes.

The same happened in India, South Africa, Australia and all other "civilised" countries around the world regardless of who's flag claimed the land.

This all proves one thing and that is, as a supposed intelligent species, we have learned nothing.

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Harry Patch, the last British survivor to have fought in the WW1 trenches, has died in a Somerset nursing home. He was 111.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/

Thats a great age to live too, all brave the lot of them.

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This is an interesting thread to read. It mystifies me that so many Americans have all but totally forgotten WW1.

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