Kansas WW1

Commemorating the First World War Centennial in Kansas

Author: James Patton (page 1 of 16)

The 353rd ‘All-Kansas’ Infantry Regiment

The 353rd Infantry Regiment, 89th ‘Rolling W’ Division, was established at Camp Funston, Kansas on September 5th, 1917. The initial strength was 2,974 men, all draftees from Kansas, so the regiment was named ‘The All-Kansas’. The 89th division was under the command of Maj. Gen. Leonard Wood (1860-1927), the famous Apache fighter, the former CO of Teddy Roosevelt in Cuba and who, along with Teddy, had been a spokesman for the ‘Preparedness Movement ’in the U.S. and one of the founders of the ‘Plattsburg’ Camps for the training of future officers in 1916.
Over the course of the next few months we will follow the progress of the All-Kansas men as chronicled in the History of the 353rd Infantry Regiment, 89th Division, National Army September 1917 – June 1919, by Capt. Charles F. Dienst and associates, published by the 353rd Infantry Society in 1921. ...read more

Memorials to the Missing – Italy, and Vera Brittain

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) Giavera Memorial to the Missing and Cemetery are located in the Piave River valley about twelve miles northeast of Treviso, Italy. There are 417 graves and a large stone plaque listing 151 names under the inscription: ...read more

Germany gets a new National Anthem

In a  previous post I discussed the popularized event known as the KINDERMORD VON YPERN, where the German ‘student battalions’  rashly attacked en masse, supposedly singing Deutschland, Deutschland über alles, the first verse of Das Lied der Deutschen (“The Song of the Germans”), a rowdy Pan German song  favored by students in beer halls. Long after the Christian symbolism of the inspirational sacrifice of beloved youth had grown old, the song was still on everyone’s lips. ...read more

Langemark Cemetery and the Kindermord

Langemark is a village in West Flanders, Belgium that was the site of three engagements in the First World War. Towards the end of the First Battle of Ypres, Oct. 21st– November 14th, 1914, the German command sensed a weak spot in the British defenses here and rashly sent inexperienced German reservists of the XXVI Corps in Napoleonic-style waves against Tommy Atkins and the Mad Minute, resulting in heavy casualties.  On April 22nd, 1915, at the start of the Second Battle of Ypres, the Germans used gas for the first time on the Western Front near here, panicking French colonial troops into a retreat that was stopped by the Canadians at Frezenberg Ridge. Finally, during the second phase of the Third Battle of Ypres (August 16th -18th, 1917), also called the Passchendaele Offensive, British units pushed the Germans out of Langemark but lost momentum and the ANZAC’s had to be brought in to get to the top of the ridge. ...read more

Tommies and Doughboys

Many of you know that during World War 1 the British soldiers were known as “Tommies” and the Americans as “Doughboys”. But did you ever wonder where these sobriquets came from?

As for ‘Tommy’, there is a charming story that the Duke of Wellington came up with the term, in memory of an outstanding soldier in his command who died in heroic circumstances in 1794, but the actual source is considered to be from The Soldier’s Account Book, issued by the War Office beginning in 1815. At the head of each page there was a sample ‘filled-in’ line that the clerks could use as a template, and this sample soldier was named “Thomas Atkins”. ...read more

World War 1 Rifles and the Mad Minute

Much has been said about how the military strategists of 1914 failed to appreciate the effect of the profound developments in weapons technology that came about starting in the 1880’s. Machine guns are most often mentioned, with quick-firing artillery next on the list, but often overlooked are the lowly rifles, a new generation of which were accurate to 1,000 yards and capable of sustained fire in excess of ten rounds per minute, with box magazines and stripper clips for fast loading. ...read more

DC Memorial Still Not Approved

The projected date for completion of the future National World War 1 Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington, DC is now November 11th, 2021. Read the whole story here.

Memorials to the Missing – Soissons

Soissons is an ancient cathedral city on the Aisne River in northern France, about sixty miles from Paris and just five miles from the western end of a prominent ridgeline called the Chemin-des-Dames, which formed an important part of the Western Front. Well within the range of German heavy artillery, the city was heavily damaged during the war. ...read more

Today is National Poppy Day

As a Legionnaire myself, I urge you to join with The American Legion in commemorating those who died in all of our conflicts, including WW1. Learn  more here.

Also, I urge you to watch the Memorial Day ceremony at Aisne Marne Cemetery in France which will be broadcast at 9:00 PM Monday on CSPAN3. You can read more about this here. ...read more

Newspaper Clippings 1914-1926

The Library of Congress has digitized the Otto Spengler clipping service files. Read more about this here.


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