Kansas WW1

Commemorating the First World War Centennial in Kansas

Category: Research & Histories (page 2 of 54)

Centennial Countdown to the Great War: October 1918

In October 1918, under increasing military pressure on all fronts, Germany seeks an end to the fighting.  The new German Chancellor, Prince Maximilian of Baden, sends President Wilson a public note requesting peace negotiations on the basis of the Fourteen Points and the “five particulars” set forth in his recent speech in New York.  Further exchanges culminate in an American demand for submission to Allied military supremacy, cessation of “illegal and inhumane practices” such as submarine attacks on passenger ships, and regime change in Germany.  When Generals Hindenburg and Ludendorff threaten to resign if Wilson’s conditions are accepted, the Kaiser accepts Ludendorff’s resignation but orders Hindenburg to remain.  The Allies’ general offensive on the Western Front succeeds in seizing Cambrai and driving the Germans from the Hindenburg Line, while to the south the American Army begins the second phase of the Meuse-Argonne offensive.  The “lost battalion” is cut off by the Germans in the Argonne Forest and Corporal Alvin York earns the Medal of Honor by leading an attack on a German machine-gun emplacement.  The Austro-Hungarian Empire rapidly disintegrates as a republic is proclaimed in Vienna and as Hungary, Czechoslovakia and other nations in central Europe declare their independence.  In the Near East, the Egyptian Expeditionary Force captures Damascus and Aleppo, leading to an armistice between the Ottoman Empire and Great Britain.  The German High Seas Fleet is ordered to sea for a final battle, but when crews begin to refuse orders the operation is cancelled and the Dreadnought squadrons are dispersed.  In the United States, the proposed Woman Suffrage Amendment to the Constitution fails in the Senate.  As mid-term Congressional elections draw near, President Wilson begs Americans to elect a Democratic Congress. ...read more

The 353rd ‘All Kansas’ Infantry at Meuse Argonne – Part I

Extracted (with editing for brevity) from the History of the 353rd ‘All Kansas’ 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.

‘On October 12th the 353rd Infantry received replacements from the 86th Division. Again we were at “war strength,” with nearly a thousand men to a battalion. ...read more

The Hello Girls Come to Broadway (Almost)

I have previously written about The Hello Girls, the 223 bi-lingual female telephone operators that served on the Western Front in 1918. Since then there have been two new developments to report.

First, the previously-referenced documentary film by James Theres is now making the rounds, and you can view the trailer here. ...read more

The Annals of Kansas, #51

One hundred years ago in Kansas, November 1-10, 1918:

November 1, 1918

  • The State Industrial Welfare Commission approved recommendations that women workers be given a minimum weekly wage of $11 for an eight-hour day.
  • ...read more

    C-SPAN2 & 3, October 27 – 28

    This week’s WWI viewing on the C-SPAN networks.  All times here are Central.

    C-SPAN2

    David Pietrusza:  TR’s Last War.  Airs at 5:00 a.m. Sunday, October 28.

    Neal Bascomb:  The Escape Artists.  Airs at 6:10 a.m. Sunday, October 28.

    C-SPAN3 ...read more

    The Lost Battalion

    Lost Battalion site today

    Recently the public’s eye was drawn to the heroism of 1st Lieut. Erwin Bleckley of Wichita, who was remembered there on October 6th.  His story is part of the lore of The Lost Battalion, one of the most widely known events involving the U.S. Army in World War 1. Unlike the Sgt. York site the location of this action is well-known, lying in rugged wooded terrain unchanged from 1918, except for the size of the trees. However, the land is privately owned and sometimes not accessible to visitors. If you are able to get in, there are still visible remains of rifle pits. If not, the monument shown above is on the nearest road. ...read more

    C-SPAN3, October 20 -21

    After a number of World War I programs last weekend, C-SPAN cut back a bit this week.  Hopefully they’ll remember the centennial observance on November 11!

    As usual, all times given here are Central.

    American Artifacts:  The Lost Battalion.  Airs at 9:00 a.m. Saturday, October 20. ...read more

    Memorials to the Missing – Meuse Argonne, Montfaucon and Sgt. York

    The Meuse-Argonne Offensive (September 26th – November 11th, 1918), was the largest battle in U.S. military history as measured by either the casualty rate or the number of ground forces involved.

    Twenty-two divisions saw action, about 1.2 million soldiers were deployed, 26,277 were killed and 95,786 were wounded. ...read more

    C-SPAN2 & 3, October 11 – 15

    It appears we’re getting closer to the anniversary of the Armistice.  The C-SPAN networks are piling on the World War I programming.  Let’s hope it keeps up!

    As usual, all times are Central, and we’re not responsible for schedule changes (not that anyone is really blaming us . . . ) ...read more

    The North Staffordshire Tapestry

    The last post was about the North Staffordshire regiment. Click here to read an article about an amazing WW1 artifact – the N Staffs Tapestry.

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