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The Battle of Amiens: August 8, 1918

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On August 8, 1918, in Amiens, France, a British-led Allied force of 75,000 soldiers began the Battle of Amiens. It was the first battle of the “Hundred Days Offensive,” a string of German defeats that would eventually lead to the end of WWI.

Fold3 Image - Allies take over German trench on August 10, 1918. Dead German soldiers are seen in trench.
Under the direction of British Fourth Army commander, Sir Henry Rawlinson, the offensive was planned in part by French General Ferdinand Foch to protect the Paris-Amiens railway that served to supply the front lines. Troops from Britain, France, Australia, Canada, and the US joined forces to defeat Germany.

At 4:20 A.M., the battlefield was cloaked by a smoke screen laid by the Royal Air Force. Guns blazing, the Allies charged towards German trenches. The intense artillery attack lasted 5 hours and caught the Germans completely by surprise. Many surrendered immediately.

German General Erich Ludendorff referred to the first day of battle as “the black day of the German Army,” because so many Germans surrendered. German spirits were low and according to Ludendorff, “depressed down to Hell.”

The Battle of Amiens effectively ended trench warfare on the Western front because of the speed of the Allied advance. The Germans trenches were overrun pushing the enemy back. Allies captured large numbers of artillery and gathered them in a “captured gun park,” near Amiens.

By August 11, troops had advanced eight miles and 26,000 German soldiers were either captured, killed, or injured. The Allies suffered losses too with more than 19,000 casualties.

Allies were also successful in capturing the Amiens gun, an 11-inch Krupp naval gun that had been mounted on a rail car. The gun had been shelling Amiens all summer, wreaking havoc in the city.

The advantage Allied forces gained at Amiens continued for the next 100 days until the Armistice of November 11, 1918 was signed that ended WWI.

To learn more about the Battle of Amiens or other WWI battles, search our archives!

140 Comments

  1. It is a sign of our national ignorance that the 100th anniversary of WW I, the shaping event of the 20th century, has gone virtually unnoticed. There was little excuse even when the events did not involve US forces, but now we are in the period where the US first became a major player in events outside our hemisphere, when the Soviet Union began the divide into communist and western countries, and the seeds of WW II were planted.
    The WW I generation is gone, but those in their 50s and older knew veterans of that war, and probably remember singing the songs.

    • My grandfather served in the Meuse-Argonne offensive with the Red Diamond Division. He sang so many songs to me as a 4 yr old that they have stayed with me forever as a reminder of a really great man-my Gramps! BTW, his father was the German immigrant in 1890. He had no use for the Kaiser.

    • I couldn’t agree more. I’ve been appalled at the lack of coverage in the media regarding the Centenary of this pivotal event.

      My Great Uncle, John H. Edmondson was a “Dough-Boy,” and I had the pleasure of knowing him for the first 23 years of my life, until he passed away.

      Coincidentally, King George V, Kaiser Wilhelm, and Czar Nicholas II were all my distant cousins. 15th cousins, once removed.

    • I read something once that explained how so many of our problems in the world since WW1, up to the present day, had roots in WW1. Certainly the origins of some problems did go back further, but WW1 was the trigger point or amplification point for so much since, such as the German and Japanese militarism leading to WW2, the rise of communism leading to the Cold War, increased problems in Northern Ireland, unrest in the Mideast leading to modern Islamic terrorism, and Prohibition and the replacement War on Drugs fostering organized crime.

    • Indeed, and heard about my great uncle who spent the last 22 years of his life in a veteran’s hospital.

    • “It is always thus and thus it will always be.”

    • The beginning of a great series of comments. I spent 38 years in the Canadian military. My young father served in the Canadian Army at the end of World War Two. Both of my grandfathers served in the Great War. One of them served in the Canadian Corps along with two other fighting brothers. Two of their siblings served with the Canadian Forestry Corps. All of them, six soldiers of World War I, lived to be octogenarians.George Santayana was correct about education and history. It applies especially to our leaders. But in our democracies it means that electors have to understand, at least in outline, the history of warfare.

    • I agree. I teach history and the 1 or 2 days set for it are a TOTAL JOKE! I often spend better part of 2 weeks on it and include a year by year highlights of events plus 2 power points on it, and a third one that shows some of the things of which I am teaching. I go back to the 1897 Jubilee and go through the Royal Families (ok, I am related to most of them mainly via blood descent or kin) and explain the close ties from that angle. I even cross subjects and have something on “I Vow to thee, my Country” as part of the study.

    • My in-laws named their daughter Victoria, as she was born on November 11, thirty-two years after the armistice. Victory day. Yes, too few remember it as a prominent date, today.

    • Sad…but factual and world changing events are no longer taught by union teachers in our Nation’s government controlled schools…it will be to our loss if it isn’t already…
      In May I met a young high school graduate that knew nothing about the Holocaust….I can only imagine what else is not being caught in these svhools…

    • Ignorance about the First World War? Heck, a lot of people are ignorant about the Cold War; and, more importantly about the issues and consequences involved.

    • I agree. As a kid I knew some of those guys from WWI. It’s sad that the 100th Anniversary of its end came and went without any fanfare.

    • It is sad. More and more History is being left out of textbooks in our schools. History is not passed on from one generation to another. Our Nation is in a real crisis trying to deny and rewrite, destroying memorials of the past, sticking their heads in the sand. Ignorance of the sacrifice of lives for the freedoms (we still have left) this country enjoys. Our country has failed to preserve and protect our history, consequently, now we have the invasion of the Muslim terrorists. I am afraid too many of this generation have already drunk the “kool-aid.”

    • “Keep the Homefires Burning” was written by a graduate of Elmira College, Elmira, NY.

  2. This is not surprising in this day and age. When the “millennials” were asked over the recent 4th of July holiday: what is the significance of 1776, what was the war called, who were we fighting, why was the Declaration of Independence written, who did we want our independence from??? They could NOT answer one question. They are not teaching American history in our schools. The youth of today are learning more about Muslims and their teachings then they are about the American Revolution and/or World War I and World War II. Very sad.

    • My brother-in-law, who fought in the Vietnam War, was invited to speak to a high school history class. The teacher introduced him as a veteran of WWII. She had no idea of when each of those wars was fought and how old a participant would be. That was the teacher. Can you guess how much “history” her class was learning?

    • It is so unfortunate that people want to rewrite history without knowing what the history really was. Too much now is being taught briefly and people are not learning but living in the shallows of the knowledge pool. They are so busy in social media that they buy into any cause of others without understanding the implications of their support. I feel sometimes that I am in Jim Jones compound and everyone is ready to drink the Koolaid. Thank you for your comment.

    • When I was a social studies teacher in the ‘70s through ‘90s my kids knew about our wars, their causes and the periods in between. We can thank Core Curriculum for destroying real knowledge of American history. As long ago as the late ‘90s “Science Fiction” was a senior English option instead of true English at my nieces’ school.

    • I don’t know who you’re listening to. Here in Albany, NY. We have been commemorating history events of all kinds for generations. Our local media and newspapers record every event and commemoration. World War I has been especially noted, since we have two Medal of Honor winners from that war. And what’s with the Muslim comments. The biggest competitor for social studies time is STEM, understandably so. I’d be more concerned when we have a President who thinks Frederick Douglass is still alive.

    • It’s sad that so much of the history of this country is not covered. I am not a fan of “teaching to the test” but that is what has happened because of “No Child Left Behind” and “Common Core” that much of learning get’s left behind. We aren’t developing kids who can think critically. I taught Health and even though WW2 and Vietnam were not part of the “health curriculum” I would show movies like Saving Private Ryan (on D Day) and Pearl Harbor (on Dec. 7th) and telling kids to look at how triage and first aid works as a justification for the tie in with Health. Telling the kids to thank a vet for their sacrifices and service. My son has been in the Army for 24 years and deploys August 20th for the Middle East, he’s already served in Afghanistan. He has a 5 yr old and a set of 2 month old twins that he has to leave. He’s proud to serve and carry on the need to serve. My father was a WW2 Navy vet (with 4 of the 5 brothers in the Navy) and his other grandpa was Army Air Corp. with 23 years of service. My Dad’s oldest brother died in a plane crash in 1943 and the second oldest drove a Higgins boat at Iwo Jima. Knowing what families have sacrificed for this country is so important for students to know and My family has served in the Revolutionary War, Civil War, WW1 and 2, Korea, and on. My-father-law was in charge of laying out all of the Minute Man missile sites in N. America and had a massive heart attack right before the Cuban Missile Crisis. I assume that was because of the stress he felt knowing what was happening at the time. I’m proud that my kids and students are aware of the sacrifices that veterans have made for this country.

    • Well stated Sharon. I agree completely, but what can we (not in academia) do? I try to keep my grandkids informed, but it’s not enough.

    • You are correct, my friend. It’s very, very sad indeed. My distant blood relatives fought in all the wars beginning with the Revolutionary War. “If you love peace, prepare for war.”

    • We’ve been ordered not to teach as we should. We may “hurt someone’s feelings” by doing that. The older of us still teach as we once did and have enough seniority, age or clout that we are left alone until we go to “pasture” after that, as Louis XV stated – The Deluge! Thank heavens, I don’t have to worry about children or grandchildren going to school and coming just as dumb as they entered!

    • I can remember even before the millennials were born the the same type of questions were asked. The intelligence of American society is a reflection upon the education system. If not enough resources are invested in it then the ability to make reasoned judgement is hampered. Also do not blame millenials for not knowing the answers to this question. The proceeding generation are the ones who devised the curriculum for them to be taught. You should be blaming them!

  3. Unfortunately, little was thought in my grade or High schools about the various wars (I.e, Mexican, Spanish American, the Great War, World War II, or Korean). One if my high school history teachers was a Westpoint Grad. He did have a lot to say on Vietnam. Goes to show we’re always looking to fight the next war as we did the last.

  4. MA Longwell, My grandfather also was at Meusse-Argonne. Please contact me, if you wish, to exchange information. He was in the CAC.

    • My brother’s wife grandfather was wounded at the battle of Meusse-Argonne; he was in the 79 Division. What is the CAC?

    • The below is one paragraph about the Army’s Coastal Artillery Corp. Quite a large article in Wikipedia. Google took me there. While Google and Wikipedia may not be the end to met all ends in history, they are a quick source for a good start. Usually.

      “As with the rest of the US Armed Forces, the Coast Artillery was undermanned and poorly equipped except for coastal artillery weapons when war broke out in Europe in 1914. The War Department formed a Board of Review that recommended an increase in strength, which resulted in 105 new CA companies in 1916-17, although these were initially undermanned. After the American entry into World War I, the Coast Artillery as a whole was ordered brought up to strength, and 71 new companies were organized by July 1917.[9]”

      In response to the rapid improvements in dreadnought battleships, approximately 14 two-gun batteries of 12-inch guns on a new M1917 long-range barbette carriage began construction in 1917, but none were completed until 1920.

    • CAC — Coast Artillery Corps. My grandfather was in Battalion E, 58th Division, and was a private. He left Georgetown University to volunteer. When he returned from the war, he graduated.

  5. MA Longwell, my maiden name is Longwell. I seldom find other Longwells. I would like to exchange some information. But, I don’t know how to do connect for that.

  6. My grandmother’s two brothers fought with the US army in WW1 as infantrymen and both were wounded in combat. On my father’s side my grandfather’s brother was in the British army as a Northern Irishman and fought in the same war as a combat infantryman. I had three family members fighting at the same time with two countries in WW1. All were of Irish decent, serving as combat soldiers – an Irish tradition for my family. WW1, WW2, and Vietnam – big wars for my family, all in combat.

  7. philosopher George Santayana, said it best,
    “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

  8. In the photo leading the article is a homing pigeon being released from inside a gun center. Nothing was mentioned of using this bird and form of communication. This was the communication system used when ‘radio’ lines were not evident in the fighting area. Much has changed. FaceTime or Skyping or drone video might be used today even in the heat of battle. How things change.

    • Yes. I saw the photo and even though I knew it was most likely a messaging pigeon it appeared to me to be the Dove of Peace being throttled by a hand from the tank but that’s just me.

  9. Belive it or not my father was there, he wrote a fw songs and has hix appendix out in the battle field. He would be 120 year old if still alive.

  10. But do you know about the Battle of Hamel? The Australians organised a small group of Americans and together they stormed the farmhouses where Germans were getting pissed & so began the success of the Allies.

    • You might want to do a bit of research on the July 1,1916, Battle of Beaumont Hamel, fought before the U.S. declared on Germany and which did not officially involve Australian forces. There are references to the Battle of Beaumont which occured in 1794.
      Cheers!

    • An expanded reply from my post on August 2nd:

      The Battle of Hamel, which preceded that at Amiens, was a “trial” of new tactics developed by Lieutenant General John Monash.

      The tactics came from meticulous planning and execution. Use of tanks carrying munitions to the front, a creeping barrage, sustained bombing by aircraft, pre-conditioning of German troops for two weeks prior to the attack and air drops of medical supplies. And more.

      The objectives were accomplished in 93 minutes, 3 minutes longer than Monash had calculated for.

      Although it was a relatively minor battle, it showed the advantages of Monash’s plan and paved the way for the Battle of Amiens.

      In some ways it could be called a WWI version of “shock and awe”

      There is a very good account on HistoryNet which is a must read.

    • After the initial advance when the first line was reached, Monash assigned individual artillery units to each of his battalions as they moved forward. This meant that if a particular battalion came under fire there was a rapid artillery response. My grandfather was a signalman there and my partner’s grandfather was a gunner on the 25 pounders. Free access to all the WW1 unit and personal digitised diaries on the Australian War Memorial website. A great project funded by Aust Govt.

  11. There are excerpts from Hervey Allen’s WWI memoir “Toward the Flame” in the relatively recently released Library of America collection, “World War I and America.” I read it just a couple days ago and am now ordering the whole book from Amazon. Hervey is a wonderful writer, and I was blown away by his ability to describe his role in events occurring during the battle of Fismette in August of 1918. I assume that many will not know squat about WWI unless we help communicate thereon. It is a little easier for me because I lead an historical society and can schedule a few programs. One window into people’s interest is to mention the specific men from your community who died in WWI. In our case, more than half of them died from the Spanish flu and that pandemic is worthy of its own recounting.

  12. I grew up in a small farm area and the town of about 1500 people and know men (fathers of classmates) that were in WWI, several were in bad shape because of being gassed. Then came WWII and many men from that area went to war. Some died, some were wounded and some came home to start their families and jobs. I became of age and went to Korea, and was in communications behind the front lines. Other were combat types. I personally know six who were in korea from that small town in Minnesota. I day while visiting a farm boy in the Air Force, who I knew in High School. We were in the mess hall and this lad ask me to get the catsip from the nearby table. My next door neighbor handed me the bottle. So many miles away and that happen. Also aboard the troop ship going to Korea I met a brother of one of my High School friends, he was combat type, but he did live to go back to the farm. The in Maryland one of our neighbor’s boy has his name on the wall in D.C.yes that was Vietmam.

  13. My great-uncle was a POW, having been wounded then captured by the Germans during the battles of Mount Sorrel and Hill 70. His life was pretty rough in the coal mines of Marls-Hul in Germany. He made three escape attempts and finally gain freedom on the third. He wrote a book of his confinement and escapes…. ‘The Kaiser’s Guest’ by Frank C MacDonald. Interesting read….

    Incidentally…. the The Hague Conferences, and the 2nd and 3rd Geneva all forbade the use of POW’s in dangerous tasks such as mining, yet in both WWI and II POW’s were use in the same mine.

  14. My grandfather fought in the Meusse-Argonne battle as well. He was wounded and left for dead. When the wagons came by picking up the dead bodies, someone noticed his finger move otherwise he would have been buried and the rest of us never born.

    • Margaret Best, I would like to start a simple mailing list for those with family and friends who fought at the battle of Meusse-Argonne. If you are interested, please email me at spawnofajewishcarpenter@gmail.com . Thank you! Yours, Cindy Miller Smith

  15. The battle of Amiens was the famous battle planned and executed by Sir John Monash who led the Australian troops. They were battle hardened and began to use a process of “peaceful penetration”- going out in small groups after dark and overrunning the German gun placements. They were bushmen who found the flat French fields to their liking. The US soldiers, while new to the game, interacted with the Australians and learned quickly. Great story of the US and Australia in battle together. There is a book by Lucas Jordan worth reading.

    • The Battle of Hamel, which preceded that at Amiens, was a “trial” of new tactics developed by Sir John Monash. The tactics came from meticulous planning and execution. Use of tanks carrying munitions to the front, a creeping barrage, sustained bombing by aircraft, pre-conditioning of German troops for two weeks prior to the attack and air drops of medical supplies. And more. The objectives were accomplished in 93 minutes, 3 minutes longer than Monash had calculated for. Although it was a relatively minor battle, it showed the advantages of Monash’s plan and paved the way for the Battle of Amiens.

  16. You can keep the stories alive. From the ages of 3 and 5 when we went out to eat I would tell my 2 daughters 2 facts from our family history including 1 grandfather who was at Gallipoli and my father at Monte Casino. They would have to repeat them before food was ordered. Now I have 5 grandchildren and it is to them that the stories are told. These memories are what remains of the past.

  17. War has been a massive destructive event as we all know. We also know that Americans are natural builders whether it is due to our nature or our political system. War is or should be our last choice and should be voted by congress. I served in our Navy for over thirty years (active and reserve) and am convinced that it is our best defense which unfortunately is still needed. But land conflict has been turned over to SEALs, Special OPs, Green Berets and others which leads to less destruction. These developments although far too expensive are positive.

    In Europe recently many of the people there told me that they are not interested whatsoever in war and, as we know, are also reluctant to spend their wealth on defense. In 1916 Wilson ran on the platform “he kept us out of war”. We have turned 180 degrees since then. Our forces are everywhere. Hopefully, since we are no longer fighting over economic systems or, in a few cases over racial territory control, we are making progress. We are now engaged mostly in religious conflicts which are more difficult. Religious fighters are willing to die for everlasting life. Until they realize that will not eventuate we will probably have to continue, but we have made considerable progress since WWI.

  18. My Dad’s oldest brother, Pvt Albert Eckert (1893-1973) was a medic in WWI. He refused to talk about his front line experiences since he drove a team (familiar to him growing up on a stock-farm in Texas) for an ambulance. Years later as I read of the Great War, I now realize he did not want to tell of seeing/picking up body parts and soldiers who had been gassed. I was 8 years when asking him.

    • Not that uncommon. I had an uncle whose uncle was in a German POW camp – he would NEVER talk about it. I tried and begged for years not to let it go to the grave with him that it needed to shared so that never again would it happen. I have spoken to people who went through the San Fran earthquake, talked with a grandmother whose aunt survived Titanic, talked with people who went through the WW1 and WW3 bombings of London (my dad was 11-12 at the time), someone who was in Berlin when the war ended in 1945, another person was a school girl in Japan in WW2 and another women who survived a concentration camp – and her older sister went through WW1 and the Russian Revolution in St. Petersburg. I never had any luck with the POW. At least I have a treasure trove from the others to share with my history classes.

  19. My grandfather was in WWI. An article in the Rockford (IL) Daily Register-Gazette on Oct. 23, 1918, had this in the headlines: PRISONER HAUL BY LOCAL BOY. Gilbert Nordenberg captured four Huns before he was wounded. Faced bad conditions. Prairie boys fight over rough ground in their offensive near Verdun.

  20. Very interesting piece of history…My hubby Paul is a native of England but now a proud Australian and he told me that the reason why we had so many Australian soldiers were injured, maned or killed was the English soldiers put us first as “guinea pigs” in the war zone. It was nasty of what England did but we can not change history!

    • This method by the English army of using “colonials” as fodder was a common tactic by the English. Look at Galipoli and the use of non english by gen. Montgomery in N. Africa in WW2. I am an American but have noted this English behavior many times. It is an old and ingrained arrogance.

      An Australian soldier saved my grandmothers brother in WW1 during an1918 offensive. The Aussie took off a Hun head (family lore) with his bayonet as the Hun was about to stab private Bartley Sheehan with his bayonet. The Aussie was also wounded and showed my granduncle the bayonet he used to kill the german, they were both patients in the hospital. Thanks to this Aussie infantryman.

    • Don’t believe it Samantha! My father fought in WWI in the machine gun corps in the British Army. They were the ones who went ahead and cleared the way for the rest. Funny how each country thinks they were the ones who won that war. It was horrific for everyone involved that is why most of them, my father included would never talk about it or their experiences.

  21. I agree not enough is being done in this country (Australia) to commemorate the 100th anniversary of WWI. My mum had a brother and 8 cousins engaged in the War and fortunately only one, Jack Goggin, was KIA. My uncle Patrick Goggin M.M. was in the 53rd Battalion AIF and was taken injured from the field in the Battle of Amiens. He was gassed earlier at Villers-Bretonneux which ended his life at aged 43. Cousin Richard Callaghan also a member of the 53rd Battalion was engaged in hand to hand fighting at Bellicourt between 30th September & 2nd October for which he was awarded a D.C.M. After the war he ended his life by drowning at Coogee Beach in Sydney. He had two brothers who were both wounded in the War. Other cousins served at Gallipoli and one Tom Goggin a Lone Pine and Fromelles veteran also served in the Middle East in WW2. The deeds and suffering of these men who contributed so much to the freedoms were have should never be forgotten.

  22. Response to Jack McEnemy,
    1. Please clarify your Muslim question.
    2. What the hell is STEM?
    3. What president are you referring to?
    Let’s put it on the table please.

    • Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

      Trump thought Douglas was still alive. He has since been informed that he is dead, but may not believe it.

  23. HI M A Longwell,
    My Grandfather was at St. Mihiel and also at Meuse-Argonne with the Red Diamond (5th) Division of the AEF. He was Captain in the 5th Motorized Supply Train. He was wounded in both actions but the wounds were from being gassed. Fortunately, he survived otherwise I would not be here writing this.

    I was lucky in having found a book on eBay entitled “The Fifth U.S. Division in the World War 1917 – 1919” published by The Society of the Fifth Division. There might still be more copies out there. It is a hard back issue.

  24. Sad…but factual and world changing events are no longer taught by union teachers in our Nation’s government controlled schools…it will be to our loss if it isn’t already…
    In May I met a young high school graduate that knew nothing about the Holocaust….I can only imagine what else is not being taught in these public paid for schools… History will repeat itself!!

  25. My great-grandfather’s brother, PVT. Howard Lacey (of Oakland, CA) fought and died in France during WWl. The only additional information I have about what he did in that war is written on the back of his enlistment photo. Following his death, my great grandfather wrote “Uncle Howard Lacey, born mid 1893, killed after wars’ end in train wreck in France near end of 1918.” (World War I).

    I cannot find information regarding a train wreck where US soldiers died. If there is anyone is this community that can offer a direction for me to take it would be much appreciated. All family members who may have known this information have died.

  26. I taught high school and college history 1964 until 1990. Public education went on the toilet after the creation of the federal Dept. of Education in the 1970s. I took my classes to Cantigny park in Wheaton, Illinois in the 1960s . It is doubtful that teachers today have even heard of Cantigny, the first American victory over the Germans in WEI in May 1918. Sad. French Creek Charli

  27. I taught high school and college history 1964 until 1990. Public education went down the toilet after the creation of the federal Dept. of Education in the 1970s. I took my classes to Cantigny park in Wheaton, Illinois in the 1960s . It is doubtful that teachers today have even heard of Cantigny, the first American victory over the Germans in n May 1918. Sad. French Creek Charlie

  28. My uncle Jim Mahon, “Pop”, was in WWI. Someone said he was a commando, whatever that mean. He said to me once, discussing the war, “Oh, Tommy, the smell!” He came from Ireland in 1912 as did Tom Naughton, another uncle. All British, including the Irish, were volunteers until 1918 when a draft was instituted. The Americans had not arrived in force and the Germans were making desperate offenses. The Irish in America had been reluctant for America to enter the war, and the immigrants must have felt glad to be out of it. Then they were drafted in 1917-1918. Meanwhile, the Irish in Ireland refused the draft as a “nation”. The Archbishop of Paris appealed for Catholics in Ireland to fight for the Catholics in France if they could not for the British. The war ended, the draft ended, the Irish voted for Sinn Fein in Nov or Dec 1918 and the elected MPs decided to sit in Dublin instead of Westminster and declared the Republic of Ireland. That war ended in 1921 with the Irish Free State. My uncles always seemed a little PTSD, as we call it now, a little abstracted and sad.

  29. My mother’s cousin, Mark, lost his arm on Nov. 11th 1918, Armistice Day. My brother spoke fluent German but Mark felt that the Germans were sub-humans. Mark also immigrated from Ireland in 1912. Propaganda made the Germans pariahs, and Friedrich Trump, Donald’s grandfather who died of the flu (probably) in 1918 kept a low profile during the was. He was born in Germany, returned to marry a German girl, came back to the US, wife pined for Germany, he returned there but was told that under an 1886 law anyone who left Germany to avoid military service would go to prison. He returned to the US and had Fred in 1905. Friedrich’s mother told him to avoid the Army because some recruits committed suicide from the rough treatment. A draft dodger. Imagine that.

  30. I am a collector of military items from the civil war to Vietnam. I have the honor to do programs for Veterans groups, senior living facilities and private schools only, by choice. I can say at least in the Christian based schools, our children are getting a much better education than that of American Public Schools. The history of our military has almost been obliterated in our public schools. Both of my grandfathers both fought in WWI. My mother’s father served in the U.S. Navy and my dad’s father was a doughboy in France and Germany. I was blessed to have him in my life for 32 years. The stories he told. He was in the Ivy (IV) Division. My dad served in the Army Air Corps in Southeast Asia in WWII as did his younger brother in the Navy. The middle boy served stateside with the Army Air Corps as,a trainer. The youngest brother also served in Korea in 1950-51 as a forward observer for the Army. Believe me when I say PTSD is real. I served with the Air Force from June 1969 to April 1973. I, like my dad, served in multiple locations in SEA. I pity this country with the lack of knowledge that has been omitted from our children/grandchildren. History after all does in fact repeat itself. We now must fight the enemy within the U.S. as well as abroad. For those of you that are not aware, read up on the atrocities by President Wilson against our WWI veterans. A man that promised to keep America out of the war if he was elected. Ha!

    • You are so right about the decline in American schools & education. My daughter is in the Gen X age group & went to a private Christian school for grades Pre-K through 6th. She could answer most all of the questions the latest generation can’t at the end of the 6th grade. She also had a high vocabulary from adults who lived through the aftermath of WWI, WWII, Korea & Vietnam & who talked about national & world events instead of watching Jerry Springer or stupid reality shows. When moving to public schools she coasted for a couple of years before starting high school & AP classes. She graduated #10 out of 380+ students. It is so sad the direction our educational system has veered to now. I fear for what is ahead for my granddaughter & the future coming for children today. Seriously considering home schooling for the first few years.

  31. God bless all who served returned and the hero’s that didn’t

  32. GOD BLESS ALL VETERANS WHO SERVED.
    AND THANK YOU. I SERVED 21 1/2 YEARS.

  33. Its truly sad when kids today aren’t being taught American History correctly. I had direct blood line that served in every war since the French and Indians War. Several very famous relatives served. French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War was George Washington, War of 1812 was William Henry Harrison, Civil War Union: Benjamin Harrison, Civil War Confederate: Robert E. Lee. Fast forward to World War II was General George S. Patton. They were all blood relatives.

  34. My Grandfather was in the war to end all wars. He was in the 37th division. He was an Italian immigrant. He fought in the meuse-argonne offensive and ypres offensive in belgium. He fought at baccart, nancy, and other skirmishes. He was wounded by machine gun fire and gased. He was extremely proud to be an American. His son fought in the Army in three wars, WWII, Korea and Vietnam, His sons fought in Vietnam, Iraq, and the cold war. My mothers ancestors fought in the French and Indian war, American Rev war at Cowpens, Kings Mtn, and near every battle in S.C. My great grandfather was in Lee’s Army of Northern Va. But let me tell you my grandfather from Italy fought like a demon in the trenches and loved America. I take nothing from my Southern roots either. He was a tough little dude. His discharge papers state he was wounded in action. I will never forget him as long as I live and I will always tell his stories.

  35. One of the more interesting aspects of WW1 is that when England was near defeat, Zionist leaders(e.g. C. weitzman) approached England’s government via Balfour and L. George) offered to bring the U.S. into war on the Allied side, if they would secure Palestine for their national home. That being done, Balfour with Lord Rothschild’s help drafted the Declaration promising the Government’s help in establishing a home land for the Jewish people. This day, the world watches while the Zionist continue stealing Palestinian land, brutally occupying what is left of Palestine, and threatens the world with the Samson option. Also note that the British government transferred over 1 million troops from the raging western front to send to Palestine to ensure victory and secure that homeland family for the Zionist.

  36. My grandfather chased Pancho Villa, was a WW1 veteran, and I heard some stories of his experiences. I wish I could have learned more from him. My friends went tonight in southeast Asia and Korea. I corresponding with so many of them for years and really did not realize what they were experiencing until their return.
    Our society has changed and very few people even know the heritage or customs of their own families. “We” live for now; survive day to day in some cases; a bit more ‘self centered’ or ‘individualistic’; I taught from 1974 to 2012 mostly science in middle grades and have seen huge changes in public education. If I wanted to note a historical event, a celebrated day, I could be docked on my teacher performance for not sticking to the designated curriculum!….and once publishers/churches/ and an onslaught of political groups started dictating exact objectives to be taught and TESTING for those objectives, teaching for the moment of understanding faded away. Teacher preparation in history or science is nationally dismal. Truly qualified persons do not go to public K-12 schools to teach in these fields; so you get a lot of misinformation in both fields. Until we as a nation look at what works for students and teachers learning experiences and decide on national values, history will be lost to many. The pledge of allegiance, national songs, the American flag, how many at public events even know the words or the history of our national symbols??? My 1950’s basic education was a treasure chest of celebrating and learning about our national symbols, special days: Labor Day, May Day, Flag Day, Thanksgiving, citizenship, and so many other things. I felt American with all my friends brown, black, white, round eyes, slanted eyes, curly hair, straight hair, freckles, accents, twangs, whatever, we were Americans and proud of it!

    • So true. All of the same things were taught as I went through public schools in the 1950s-1960s. The important lessons learned from teaching American history & values has been lost for so many generations after ours. These are the ideas & ideals that are now lost to the present generations completely. It is also why new comers who go through the citizenship studies are more patriotic than many who were born in our country. Those who come illegally never receive this information & never truly become an ‘American.’

    • Alison, you mention your grandfather chasing Pancho Villa. In 1977 I was in the US Navy at Great Lakes Naval Training Center in North Chicago, IL. On Sundays the serviceman’s center would take some of us to worship at various area churches and the church families would have us over for lunch and conversation.
      One Sunday, we took a long trip to down south of Chicago towards Kankakee, maybe even in Northern Indiana, where I had lunch with a family whose grandfather lived with them. After dinner, I sat quietly and visited with the grandfather. When I told him I grew up in El Paso, Texas, he shared his stories of his adventures in West Texas in 1916 when his unit formed up with General Pershing and rode into Mexico in search of Pancho Villa.
      I regret that I do not even remember his name, and was too young at the time to realize the value of his memories of the Mexican Expedition. Today, I am the archivist and historian for the USS William H. Bates (SSN 680) Association, and have a much greater appreciation for that experience.
      I currently work to preserve the stories and experiences of Cold War Submariners in a nuclear world, and your post triggered me to write on the off chance that your grandfather might be the man I remember.

  37. We have done an ancestry military history of our family and is often the case the major text never includes people of color. The reason for mentioning this is the history but also Americans where sent to the French forces to fight because of the racism. Our relatives were in the 350 Machine Company and were never relieved their hold time on the front. We have every medal they received from the French including the highest medals France could This is why history and ancestry search company rarely have this information and we have to do it on our own..

  38. I’m proud to say that our community, Fort Scott, Kansas is honoring the 100th anniversary of WW1 with events on Veterans Day weekend. A parade, speeches, flag presentations, a display of our appreciation for those who served, and more.

  39. Congrats to David Burgess. At the time of Queen Victoria of England’s death, she was kin to every seated royal head of state in Europe. So, David, that means you may be a distant relative of Queen Victoria, also.

  40. My father was a WW I veteran, and we had a neighbor who had suffered from a gas attack during the war. My father was always very proud that his draft number was the first one drawn in his county – Dodge, Nebraska – when the draft started in 1917.

  41. “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to relive it” – George Santayana.

    So sad and true…I would not be surprised if we had another “War to end all Wars” in the not so near future. As a “Baby Boomer” and history nut, WWI is alive and fresh in my mind, but ask a GenX or Millennial and good god, we ARE doomed. Well at least they can Google it and get the readers digest version of the origins of WWI and the “goat-rope” it caused at its conclusion.

    • Google it? They have no interest in knowing about our country’s history, values or anything else. Survivor, The Bachelor, Snapchat, Facebook, the Kardashians, [sp? – happy to say I’ve never watched one episode], what the latest pop singer is wearing or doing – they spend all their time following these reality shows, while having no knowledge of living in the real world. We are doomed! I have the greatest fear for the world ahead for the babies just getting started today. My 3 1/2 year old granddaughter has Gen X parents who hope to bring her up in the way they were, but I hope it is still possible with the ignorant crazies out there now.

  42. Both of my grandfathers fought in WW1. I was raised in Northern Italy, not far from the area where Ernest Hemingway served with the Red Cross. Schio (Mount Pasubio) and the Asiago plateau where there are still to this day 5 -6 large cemeteries for the British soldiers killed on the spot. These are the lucky dead. We know who they were they have their own graves. As a child there I walked these mountains with family and friends every spring and summer since the area is very beautiful and yet sad. The snow melts and the spring rains down the mountains every year lifting the remains of lost soldiers and military ruble including live lost grenades. We gathers up the remains of many a soldier many without military buttons or dog tags and we put them in bins that near hiking trails to later be buried in a tomb of all mixed nationalities. Amazing that all the bothers at arms dead and buried all together. 18 million men died in WW1. Many battles were so bad that there was no time to mourn or provide a proper burial. My family told me that when they could they would just place the dead in a blast crater from the bombings and cover the best they could, with the hope of later digging them up and send the remains home. That rarely ever happen. So every spring the mountains send up the remains for us to find them and take them for a military burial.

    • Thank you for caring for those who had fallen. Your reverence of the bodies is meaningful.

  43. Memories of an 8 yr. old. While talking with my Scottish grandfather he related being gassed more than once,and showed me many black chunks of metal under his skin in his arms and abdomen. He showed me a sulfur pack used on wounds in the field. I was amazed to see his collection of bullets and in particular some with spikes extending outward for the inside of the slug, gruesome. He had his uniform and medals as well and his bagpipes. He was a royal guard piper later in his career. At some point he was involve in WWII until age and illness ensued. It is sad to say that his home was looted of all memorabilia by grandma’s house guest while she was convalescing in the hospital. My cousin did save the bagpipes. WWI was surely a horrific time for all combatants, Bless them all that served and my Army brothers from VietNam.

  44. I couldn’t agree more with James Horn. My grandfather had just returned from England, having been shot during the battle of Hill 70,when Amiens commenced and he took a shrapnel wound in the shoulder. He and his brother both served and survived. My father served in WW2, I served 27 years and my son served over 20 years. He is the 8th consecutive generation in our family to have served. I produced a project which has documented this so that future generations (at least of my family) will not forget. I hope no one does.

    • David, I too am working on a documentation of my grandfathers participation in the Great War. I would be very interested in how you put it together. I’m looking for software that will make it easy to add photos and letters along with a narrative that I can mass produce for the family and future generations (not much is know about our grandfather since he died young). Any recommendations would be greatly apricated.

    • What is your grand father’s name? The book my great uncle wrote had a few names in it, both from his Canadian unit prior to be wounded and captured, and those he met in the mines.

  45. My mother worked as a dietician in a veterans hospital in the 1950s and sadly was still treating gas attack victims from WWI. Her own father served in the Canadian Army but was never shipped overseas but served as a orderly in a huge tent hospital treating many veterans who were dying from the Spanish Flu epidemic in 1918. His young Uncle Paul Clifton Gale served in a regiment from Illinois and I was lucky to locate details as to his time in France where he survived many battles.

    During WWII my father’s cousins all joined various parts of the Canadian Military and one was lost in his first mission as part of a coastal command squadron around England flying the very poorly equiped Hudson light fighter bomber in 1942. My mother’s brother inlaw served as a Lancaster Pilot and was awarded the DFC at twenty years old. I guess why I still remember or research all of this is to remind myself and others the heavy price our families have paid for our peace and prosperity may we never forget their sacrafices.

  46. I have created a Facebook group called Battle of Meuse-Argonne for Families of Soldiers and Others . If you are a family member or friend of a soldier who fought at the Battle of Meuse-Argonne, please join this new Facebook group. Thank you.

  47. My wonderful grandfather William Robert Gignilliat was in a Savannah company that was ready to ship out to France but instead, to my granfather’s disgust, were sent to Ft, Scrivan on Tybee Island. So when WWII came, even though in his 50’s, quit his job as Vice-President of Southern Natural Gas, and shipped out to England and helped the Army prepare for D Day. So I heard stories of both wars most of my life from my grandfather and his friends. History was always alive in my family and was fascinating to all of us grandkids,

  48. Im 36 and from England. In 2 different high schools we had whole projects in history learning all about both world wars. Even all about the troops from all over the British empire, that fought. All events leading up to both wars, and lots of the battles involved. I dont know how the kids are taught today in our p.c. world, but we had a great experience learning a hell of a lot about both wars and more. Maybe times have changed, as it does seem to me that younger people, expecialy Americans, know little about history. (Sorry americans, still great people)

    • I don’t think “dumbing down” is an American exclusive. I think it’s a disease shared in many countries, and will be our down fall. I’m 80 years old, never had any kids, yet 2/3’s of my property tax goes to education in one manner or another, and I don’t feel I’m getting what I’m paying for. I don’t think the schools are equipping the kids to not repeat history as they sure don’t know history.

    • I’m agreeing with Martin’s reply to your post. The American cities, counties & states paying the highest amounts for education are some of the poorest performing schools. While I do think if teachers were paid better, the schools would attract better educators; but the phrase ‘those who can’t ____, teach isn’t entirely wrong.” K-12 schools do not get the cream of the crop. Teachers who aren’t allowed to discipline students, parents blaming teachers for their kids failures, ever changing curriculuma, lack of uniform goals [& not common core], failure to teach the values that make good citizens, failures of teacher training & subject specialties, & so many ordinary problems that get worse each year all contribute to the ‘dumbing down’ of students today. Not sure many school systems will ever recover, & one reason we are looking at home schooling our little one. P.S. As a history/political science major & a retired public librarian I’ve enjoyed the posts & history information in this thread.

    • Well lets get the discussion back on track and vow to education those we know and can influence (our families and friends hopefully) about the great things are grandfathers and grandmothers did in the Great War. 100 years ago American Doughboys were fighting and dying to end the bloodshed…..and in my grandfathers case (the American Saint Mihiel sector), fighting only 90 miles away from where his German born grandfather lived and fled with his family to the US to escape the European fighting some 85 years earlier. It is those kinds of personal stories we need to capture and pass on to future generations. Never knew my grandfather, but I have all his letters home from the front and a few of his mementos from the war….his helmet, Victory Medal and a German Stormtrooper helmet that he simply mailed home. It is these letters and some photos I plan on putting into a book to pass on to the younger generations. This is my mission.

    • One short comment, then I agree, we need to get back on topic…

      In general I don’t blame the teachers. Many are in that profession because of a desire to teach. I blame the school boards and the system.

      I’m done….

    • Well said Martin

    • Yes, but I do blame the teachers, too. I go back to those who created the public violence in the 1960s. Rather than serve they went to grad school on a deferment while the poor kids from the ghettos were sent over to be cannon fodder. I do not agree that the Vietnam war was fought for the right reasons. I do blame the kids who created the violence and disruption of government. I also blamer Lydon Johnson for his role. However the VIOLENT dissidents were for the most part let wing liberals who have permeated our colleges and universities, our high schools, and now our grade schools. Think about it – recently Atlanta schools – do not allow the Pledge of Allegiance, spoiled football pros take a knee when the Nat’l Anthem is played, no need to prove you are a citizen to vote in elections, and on and on.

  49. I’m glad that ore people are taking the time to remember WWI. All wars need to be remembered, because all wars have meant the supreme sacrifice for many.

  50. I knew about the world wars before I went to school. I had one grandad in WW1 and the other Grandad in WW2. I knew the songs by my Mum working around the house, singing away. I was born 1958 so had to learn from others, but my family made sure we knew, I wanted to know all I could about it, from the age of five I wanted to be an army nurse, after reading about Florence Nightingale, my parents and everyone laughed saying I would change my mind many times over the years, but I never did, I become an nurse. Both my grandads were so proud. It wasn’t just my heroine that made me want that, it was my grandads, both had been injured in the wars, one with a shattered leg, the other lost a lung because of mustard gas, we used to go and see him at the hospital where as a child it would have given most nightmares seeing some of these men, but I didn’t, I was more determined to help anyone I could in that situation, my sister sat outside the ward, she is older than me, but I couldn’t blame her, I remember those men being so loving and caring, but then to know the horrendous situations they were in made me want to do what I become. At my school we learned all about the wars, inScotland where I’m from we were/are extremely proud of all who were in the wars at home and abroad. I’m so thankful to know that my grandchildren have been taught about the wars. I now live in England and know that a lot of schools here still teach about the wars. I was asked to go to a special ceremony a few months back, it was to represent an army nurse from the 70’s but I’m disabled and couldn’t go. I hope when we get to 11th November this year they let everyone know just what those men and women went through, I will say a silent prayer and listen for the lone piper…….I hope you all will too.

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