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 »
Donald R. McClarey

March 21, 1918: Operation Michael Begins

And then, exactly as a pianist runs his hands across the keyboard from treble to bass, there rose in less than one minute the most tremendous cannonade I shall ever hear…It swept round us in a wide curve of red

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

March 1918: The Coming Storm in the West

By March of 1918 most observers of the bloody stalemate on the Western Front realized that it was likely that 1918 would see a great change.           On March 3, 1918 Imperial Germany signed a treaty

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

State of the Union: 1917

    Woodrow Wilson began the modern custom of Presidents delivering their annual messages on the State of the Union personally to Congress in speech form.  His December 4, 1917 State of the Union speech was necessarily dominated by American

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

The Long Ride of Colonel Young

“Get a good life insurance policy, with your family as beneficiary. Bring your Bible and yourself.” Advice of Charles Davis Young to a friend joining the Tenth Cavalry   The first black colonel in the United States Army, Charles Davis

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

October 30, 1918: Theodore Roosevelt Responds to the Fourteen Points

    As the War was nearing its close, Theodore Roosevelt responded in the Kansas City Star with a blistering assessment of  the Fourteen Points that President Wilson was seeking to make the basis of the peace:   THE European

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

January 8, 1918: Wilson’s Fourteen Points Speech

Without a doubt the most consequential speech he ever delivered, Wilson’s Fourteen Point Speech has been carefully analyzed and debated since it was given a century ago.  Delivered to a joint session of Congress, the speech clearly laid out the

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

Theodore Roosevelt on 50-50 Loyalty

      During World War I Theodore Roosevelt contributed what we would call op ed pieces to The Kansas City Star.  They make fascinating reading.  It is interesting how many of the issues he discusses remain hot topics today. 

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

1917 Thanksgiving Day Proclamation

By the President of the United States of America A ProclamationIt has long been the honored custom of our people to turn in the fruitful autumn of the year in praise and thanksgiving to Almighty God for His many blessings

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

La Marseillaise

God of mercy and justice See our tyrants, judge our hearts Thy goodness be with us Defend us from these oppressors You reign in heaven and on earth And before You all must bend In your arms, come support us

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

Gas

GAS! Gas! Quick, boys!– An ecstasy of fumbling, Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time; But someone still was yelling out and stumbling And floundering like a man in fire or lime.– Dim, through the misty panes and thick green

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

Alvin C. York Addresses the 82nd Division

  I had orders to report to Brigadier General Lindsey, and he said to me, “Well, York, I hear you have captured the whole damned German army.” And I told him I only had 132. Alvin C. York    

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

How Ya Gonna Keep ’em Down On the Farm?

    Something for the weekend.   How Ya Gonna Keep ’em Down On the Farm?  With music by Walter Donaldson and words by Joe Young and Sam M. Lewis, the humorous song became immensely popular in 1919, especially with troops

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

Patton and the Tank: A Love Affair Begins

  Through the mud and the blood to the green fields beyond. Brigadier General Hugh Elles, Commander British Tank Corps, Battle of Cambrai       Captain George S. Patton was not a happy man.  A personal aide to General

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

Goodbye Broadway, Hello France

  Something for the weekend.  Goodbye Broadway, Hello France.  A century ago the first American units had landed in France, the vanguard of the American Expeditionary Forces that would grow to over two million men.  To commemorate this vast event,

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

August 27, 1917: President Wilson Responds to the Peace Plea of Pope Benedict

Eventually President Wilson would incorporate parts of the peace plan, go here to read about it, Pope Benedict proposed on August 1, 1917 in his Fourteen Points Peace Plan, but on August 27, 1917 Wilson formally rejected the Pope’s Plan:

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

World War I in Six Minutes

Posts about World War I will become an increasing part of this blog over the next year and so a good short video giving a brief introduction to the Great War.

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

August 14, 1917: Food Administration Grain Corporation

  One of the frequently overlooked aspects of American involvement in World War I, is the massive shipments of food from the United States to the Allies that kept them from experiencing the type of dearth of food that afflicted

Read More »

Joan of Arc, They Are Calling You

I commend you to God; may God watch over you and grant you grace so that you can maintain the good cause of the Kingdom of France. Joan of Arc     Something for the weekend.  Joan of Arc, They

Read More »

Quotes Suitable for Framing: Alvin C. York

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 »

Benedict XV, Rudyard Kipling, John Bunyan and G. K. Chesterton

The cheapest and most childish of all the taunts of the Pacifists is, I think, the sneer at belligerents for appealing to the God of Battles. It is ludicrously illogical, for we obviously have no right to kill for victory

Read More »

August 1, 1917: The Pope’s Peace Plan

    On August 1, 1917 Pope Benedict addressed a peace plan to the heads of the belligerent nations.  The plan had not a prayer of success, as both the Central and Allied Powers had reasons to believe that a

Read More »

August 2, 1917: The Green Corn Rebellion

  US participation in the Great War was popular but not completely so.  The Socialist Party of America was strongly anti-war, and held 1200 elective offices around the country, including one seat in Congress, 32 seats in state legislatures  and

Read More »

On the Firing Line With the Germans

The things you find on Youtube.  Thirty-two year old  Wilbur H. Durborough, an American reporter, for seven months in 1915 followed the German army taking photographs for the Chicago Newspaper Enterprise Association.  He was also producing a movie documentary on

Read More »

The Choice

  The thirty-third in my on-going series on the poetry of Rudyard Kipling. The other posts in the series may be read here, here , here , here, here , here, here, here, here, here, here, here , here, here, here

Read More »

The Lion’s Brood

  Theodore Roosevelt had advocated American entry into World War I, and wanted to fight himself.  Being denied that privilege by President Wilson, he took solace in the fact that each of his sons volunteered for the War. His son

Read More »

Bastille Day and Les Sammes

Uncle Sam shaking hands with the Marquis de Lafayette, French poster-1917 On Bastille Day 1917, General John J. Pershing reviewed French troops and pinned the Croix de Guerre on men who had earned the award by their valor.  The Star

Read More »

Harley Goes to War

  Harley-Davidson had been building motorcycles since 1904.  During World War I the War Department purchased about 20,000 from Harley. ( Indian supplied the most motorcycles for the War, approximately 50,000.)  The Harley military motorcycle was based on their series

Read More »

July 4, 1917: Lafayette We Are Here!

    One hundred years ago a moving scene occurred in Paris.  After official American and French ceremonies at noon to commemorate Independence Day, a battalion of the American 16th regiment, from the newly formed 1rst Division, marched through Paris

Read More »

Fortnight For Freedom: Over There

        Something for the weekend.  George M. Cohan wrote Over There, the song which will always be associated with America in World War I.  He was immortalized by James Cagney in the 1942 film biopic Yankee Doodle

Read More »