Donald R. McClarey

The Beginning of the Rise of George C. Marshall

    A century ago George C. Marshall, an acting Colonel on the Operations Staff of the American Expeditionary Forces, was finishing up a military miracle, overseeing the movement of 400,000 American troops to participate in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.  Marshall

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

Great War Week by Week

  One of the best resources on the internet during the centennial of World War I has been the Great War series on YouTube.  I highly recommend it to anyone who has an interest in the Great War, but I

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

Prelude to the Meuse-Argonne Offensive

      A century ago the United States First Army, personally commanded by General John J. Pershing, was deep in preparation for the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, the largest battle in American history that the American public  today knows virtually nothing

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

September 12, 1918: First Army Attacks at Saint Mihiel

  The First United States Army launches its first offensive on September 12, 1918 against the salient of St. Mihiel.  The attack force consisted of three US corps and a French corps.  By the time the battle ended on September

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

August 10, 1918: First United States Army Formed

  The announcement of the formation of the First United States Army in France:   “The first American field army has been organized. It is under the direct command of General John J. Pershlng, Commander in Chief of the American

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

Black Day of the German Army

He who has not fought the Germans does not know War. British Army military maxim One hundred years ago the Battle of Amiens (August 8, 1918-August 12, 1918) was underway, a joint British and French offensive.  The Battle marks the

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

August 4, 1918: Ludendorff Whistles as it Grows Dark for Germany

  Quartermaster General Erich Ludendorff, de facto commander of the Imperial German army, issued this terse statement on August 4, 1918: Foch’s plan was undoubtedly to cut off the entire arc of our front south of the Aisne by a

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

July 30, 1918: Martin Treptow Killed in Action

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

July 30, 1918: Joyce Kilmer Killed in Action

  I THINK that I shall never see A poem lovely as a tree. A tree whose hungry mouth is prest Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast; A tree that looks at God all day, And lifts her leafy arms

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

Rouge Bouquet

    In a wood they call the Rouge Bouquet There is a new-made grave to-day, Built by never a spade nor pick Yet covered with earth ten metres thick. There lie many fighting men, Dead in their youthful prime,

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

Quotes Suitable for Framing: Father Francis P. Duffy

Men pass away, but institutions survive. In time we shall all go to join our comrades who gave up their lives in France. But in our own generation, when the call came, we accepted the flag of our fathers; we

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

The Robe of Christ

THE ROBE OF CHRIST (For Cecil Chesterton) AT the foot of the Cross on Calvary Three soldiers sat and diced, And one of them was the Devil And he won the Robe of Christ. When the Devil comes in his

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

July 18, 1918: Marine Mustang From Croatia Earns Medal of Honor

“I am Cukela. I attack.”     Louis Cukela immigrated to the US from what is now Croatia in 1913 at the age of 25.  His English would always be somewhat broken, but that did not prevent from becoming a

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

American Expeditionary Forces

  A good overview of the growth of the American Expeditionary Forces in France during World War I.  The narrator seems to have a German accent which does give a slight surreal quality to the video.

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

July 15, 1918: Second Battle of the Marne Begins

  On July 15, 1918, the Germans began what would be their final offensive on the Western front in World War I.  The attack on the French Fourth Army east of Reims was stopped on the first day by fierce

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

High Flight

Something for the weekend.  High Flight.  One hundred years ago on Bastille Day 1918, Lieutenant Quentin Roosevelt, youngest child of President Theodore Roosevelt, died in combat at 20 years old.  He shared with his father a brilliant mind, an exuberant

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

Winston Churchill: July 4, 1918

A speech given by the half-American Winston Churchill at a celebration of the Fourth of July at the city of Westminster, England on July 4, 1918:   We are, as the Chairman has stated, met here to-day in the City

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

Fortnight For Freedom: 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

Quotes Suitable For Framing: Vera Brittain

      One day I was leaving quarters to go back to my ward, when I had to wait to let a large contingent of troops march past me… Though the sight of soldiers marching was now too familiar

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

Joseph Girard

When I was a boy and I first saw the film Sergeant York, I wondered if John J. Pershing, who was still alive in 1940, had played himself in the scene in which Sergeant York is presented with the Medal

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

Quotes Suitable for Framing: John J. Pershing

      The deadliest weapon in the world is a MARINE and his rifle! General John J. Pershing Like most soldiers General Pershing had little fondness for the Marine Corps, viewing them as competitors and headline hunters.  He attempted

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

It Says So In Your Dossier

I have been reading a biography of Lawrence of Arabia the past few days, Hero by Michael Korda, and it has directed my attention back to the magnificent film, Lawrence of Arabia (1962).  I have always thought highly of the

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

June 1918: The High Tide

  Looking at a map of the Western Front a hundred years ago would have been depressing for a supporter of the Allied cause.  The Germans were only 39 miles from Paris, and they had made huge gains in Flanders

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

Battle of Belleau Wood

“We have Americans opposite us who are terribly reckless fellows.” German Private, Belleau Wood, June 11, 1918   Prior to World War I most Americans were barely aware of the existence of the Marine Corps.  The Navy’s army made the

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

June 1918: Germans at the Gates of Paris

  As June dawned a hundred years ago, the crisis of the War was unfolding for the Allies.  The offensive code named Operation Blucher undertaken at the end of May had been a success with the Germans now only thirty-nine

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

May 28, 1918: Battle of Cantigny

Appropriate that on this Memorial Day we remember the first victory of US troops in World War I:  the battle of Cantigny fought a century ago.               A relatively minor affair compared to the

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

1918 Decoration Day Proclamation of President Wilson

The American-born boys and the Greeks, Irish, Poles, Jews, and Italians who were in my platoon in the World War. A heap of them couldn’t speaker write the American language until they larned it in the Army. Over here in

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

Theodore Roosevelt on Lincoln and Free Speech

On May 16, 1918 Congress passed an amendment to the Espionage Act of 1917,  This Amendment is known to history as The Espionage Act of 1918.  Here is the text:   Whoever, when the United States is at war, shall

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

Pershing Compromises

The guiding star of General Pershing in France was that the Americans were to form a separate Army and operate as a cohesive unit.  An Allied Supreme War Council was held on May 1-2, 1918.  The discussions were often contentious

Read More »

Operation Georgette Comes to a Halt

On April 29, 1918 the German offensive code named Operation Georgette ground to a halt.  It had come tantalizingly close, fifteen miles, of the Channel ports of Boulogne, Dunkirk and Calais.  The situation became so critical that on April 11

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

ANZAC DAY 1918

Today is Anzac Day, in Australia and New Zealand.   It commemorates the landing of the New Zealand and Australian troops at Gallipoli in World War I.  Although the effort to take the Dardanelles was ultimately unsuccessful, the Anzac troops demonstrated

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

April 10, 1918: The Angel of the Trenches Earns His Nickname

  Joao Baptista DeValles was born in 1879 in Saint Miquel in the Azores.  At the age of 2 his family moved to New Bedford, Massachusetts.  His first name anglicized to John, he quickly proved himself a brilliant student, eventually being fluent in

Read More »