Donald R. McClarey

Bishop Barron is Wrong

Bishop Robert Barron posts on World War I at The Catholic World. Go here to read the post.  He uses as the springboard for his remarks the fact that he had seen the World War I flick on combat on

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

Take Up Our Quarrel With The Foe

      In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place, and in the sky, The larks, still bravely singing, fly, Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the dead; short

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

Bastille Day 1919

  A century ago American troops participated in the Bastille Day parade in Paris which also served as victory parade for the Allies.  A correspondent noted the presence of the Americans:   As Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Forces, Foch leads

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

June 28, 1919: Treaty of Versailles Signed

      A century ago the Treaty of Versailles was signed.  It turned out to be a twenty year truce prior to the onset of World War II, but none of the signatories of course knew that at the

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

The War to Give Birth to Other Wars

No one expected a renewal of war in the lifetime of the generation that had known its horror and its squalors. Winston Churchill, The World Crisis:  Aftermath   Indy Neidell of The Great War looks at the wars that followed

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

Martin Treptow’s Pledge

Martin August Treptow was a barber from Cherokee, Iowa.  Enlisting in the National Guard, during World War I his unit was called up and Treptow found himself in the 168th Infantry, part of the 42nd Division, called the Rainbow Division

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

They Shall Not Grow Old: A Review

      Well, my bride and I watched They Shall Not Grow Old (2018) last Sunday, and technically it was as magnificent as I had heard.  The expertise applied to make World War I era films look like contemporary

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

They Shall Not Grow Old

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,  Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.  They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;  They fell with their faces to the foe. 
 They shall grow

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

Hello Girls of World War I

 “The humblest hello-girl along ten thousand miles of wire could teach gentleness, patience, modesty, manners, to the highest duchess in Arthur’s land”. Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1889)   “Hello girls” was the popular term for

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

February 14, 1919: League of Nations

  Of all his Fourteen Points, the nearest to the heart of President Wilson was the League of Nations, the mechanism, he hoped, that would avoid wars in the future.  Ironically, Wilson would succeed in creating the League, and the

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

January 18, 1919: The Paris Peace Conference Begins

  In examining the Paris Peace Conference, it is hard to be objective.  We know that another World War followed, much more terrible, only two decades later.  It is difficult to view the Paris Peace Conference as anything other than

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

No World War I

Farewell the plumed troop, and the big wars, That make ambition virtue! Othello, Act 3, Scene 3     Alternate history has always fascinated me, and Andrew Roberts, a great contemporary historian, I heartily recommend his recent biography of Churchill,

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

December 13, 1918: Wilson Arrives in France

President Wilson arrived in France a century ago to participate in the Paris Peace Conference.  He received a rapturous reception from the citizens of France but a cooler reception from Clemenceau and the other Allied leaders.  British economist John Maynard

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

The Great Influenza

  In recalling US involvement in World War I, one statistic is startling.  Combat deaths for the US totaled 53,402.  US military deaths from what was called Spanish flu totaled around 45,000.  In 1918 some 675,000 Americans died from the

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

December 4, 1918: Woodrow Wilson Sails for France

  Woodrow Wilson sailed for France a century ago, ironically in the SS George Washington, a German passenger liner interned in New York City at the outbreak of World War I.  He was the second US President to travel abroad

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

December 4, 1918: Woodrow Wilson Sails for France

  Woodrow Wilson sailed for France a century ago, ironically in the SS George Washington, a German passenger liner interned in New York City at the outbreak of World War I.  He was the second US President to travel abroad

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

December 2, 1918: State of the Union Address

  GENTLEMEN OF THE CONGRESS: The year that has elapsed since I last stood before you to fulfil my constitutional duty to give to the Congress from time to time information on the state of the Union has been so

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

Clemenceau Quote

I was seated between Jesus Christ and Napoleon. David Lloyd George, British Prime Minister, on his experiences at the Paris Peace Conference with Wilson and Clemenceau. For you a hundred years is a very long time; for us it does

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

Thanksgiving Proclamation 1918

It has long been our custom to turn, in the autumn of the year, in praise and thanksgiving to Almighty God for his many blessing and mercies to us as a nation. This year we have special and moving cause

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

November 11, 1918: Captain Truman Writes to Bess

Dear Bess: November 11, 1918 I knew Uncle Samuel was holding out on me when your letter came not with Boxley’s and Brelsford’s. Two came this morning and I am of course very happy. We are all wondering what the

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

Armistice Terms

The Armistice was negotiated over a period of two days, November 8-9, 1918.  The term negotiate is not actually accurate.  The Allies through Marshal Foch dictated the terms to be accepted or not by the Germans.  The Germans won a

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

November 1, 1918: Captain Harry Truman Writes to Bess

    Prior to World War I Harry Truman had not met with much success.  Hard working, personable and ambitious, none of the many jobs he took on, or the business ventures he launched, gave him long term financial security. 

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

October 30, 1918: Pershing Opposes an Armistice

    General John J. Pershing was not pleased at the idea of giving an Armistice and expressed his views strongly in a letter on October 30, 1918:   Paris, October 30, 1918. To the Allied Supreme War Council, Paris.

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

October 20, 1918: Germany Responds to Wilson’s Second Note

On October 20, 1918 the German government, through the Swiss, sent out a response to President Wilson’s Second Note:     In accepting the proposal for an evacuation of the occupied territories the German Government has started from the assumption

Read More »