Pack your little kit, show your grit!

Do your bit! It’s not too late to join up  — on the 2017 trip to the battlefields in France. From Meuse-Argonne.com:

Hello, readers!  Space is still available on the World War 1 Historical Association’s June 2017 Pilgrimage to the Western Front, but the deadline for reserving your seat is December 31, 2016!  So don’t put off your decision-making too long; and please share this post with your friends who might be interested in the tour!!  Details can be found at our website:  http://ww1ha.org/2017-ww1-battlefield-pilgrimage/.

Tour Guide’s Skill Set

This tour is being led by webmaster Randal Gaulke.  Many readers know that Randal has been traveling to the American battlefields of France almost annually since 1986.  In planning the 2017 tour he has been working with Paul Guthrie and John Snow, both directors of the WW1HA, to plan the tour.  Paul has organized / overseen seven tours for the WW1HA and its predecessor organization, and John Snow has traveled to the area frequently, too.  Randal has outlined his experience in an October 8, 2016, blog post that can be accessed here:  http://meuse-argonne.com/?p=1603.)

shb-randy-on-the-map

Randal Gaulke gives a talk in 2007 on the map in the Mont Sec Memorial to U.S. troops in the St. Mihiel Salient. (Blogger’s note: That is Susan in the center of the photo with the suspiciously red hair.)

Endorsement From a 2017 Participant

Through this website, Randal also has the opportunity to help planning trips, including Valerie Young; who is booked on the 2017 tour.  She has written this endorsement:

Randy has been an invaluable resource to me this year in the planning of my personal journey to the Meuse-Argonne to bring to life the grandfather I never knew. His website was my initial introduction to his vast knowledge of the history and geography of the area. His recommendations for books, maps, other websites, and travel insights were tremendously helpful. We then had a lunch meeting where I shared my ideas about an individual journey; his great awareness and input validated my confidence and respect for him, his commitment to the Meuse-Argonne, and his desire to enable others to experience it as he has for so many years.

With Randy’s help, I was able to “follow in the footsteps” that my grandfather took nearly 100 years ago. Randy helped me find a guide/driver and accommodations, and provided important information on specific battlefield monuments and sites related to my grandfather’s infantry unit. His detailed knowledge of the area is essential to anyone planning a trip there. I am now writing about my grandfather’s military journey, and look forward to joining the tour in June 2017.

Making It Personal to the Participant

All of the organizing and presentation of history aside, there comes a time on a tour when a person is just struck by something that resonates with his / her soul–and that is why reading history or exploring Google Earth does NOT provide the same experience as a pilgrimage!

For the webmaster, one such occasion was listening to a Volksbund (German War Graves Association) employee talk about the last (annual) visit of an aging spouse to her husband’s grave at the cemetery.  She knew she would be meeting him again soon.

For two members of the 8th Kuerassier Regiment on the 2005 tour, it was touring Helly Ravine near Fort Douaumont.  Following their visit, they questioned whether reenacting was just playing cowboys and Indians; and they had a new-found understanding of the terrible conditions for the soldiers during the Verdun battle and during the Great War in general.

Additional Information on the Guide

In addition to presenting the events and their significance, the battlefield tour guide must become quite proficient in logistics:  One has to schedule visits, hotels, bus timing, etc.  To do this, one has to know the region and its people and be able to speak the language.  One also needs to be organized, to be financially savvy and to understand how to model / consider risks.

Randal has all of these qualifications.  He has arranged many details  for the second half of the 2007 Western Front Association USA Branch’s tour and other tours.  Randal was the coordinator for the WW1HA’s 2015 Symposium in Lisle, Illinois; which featured eight speakers and almost 100 participants over two days.  Randal’s profession as a high-yield bond analyst and his work as Treasurer of the Great War Association, Chairman of the Finance Committee at his previous church and Treasurer of Troop 56 BSA Millington, NJ has also helped him develop the skills necessary.

Again, it needs to be emphasized that Randal worked with the WW1HA and its directors to plan the trip.

Take Action Today!

Please reserve your space today;  Please tell your friends about this opportunity;  and please contact Randal with any questions:  lavarennes@meuse-argonne.com or 908-451-0252.

 

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WW1HA annual symposium

The World War One Historical Association 
Annual Symposium Details & Registration
 
October 21-22, 2016 
MacArthur Memorial
Norfolk, VA
                                           1916: Sex, Planes, and Disasters!
                                        
Our 2016 Annual Symposium in Norfolk, VA is fast approaching! The full registration package at $255 includes all presentations, the Friday dinner banquet and the must-see Friday afternoon tour of the Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach including
transportation/snacks/beverages, docent-led tours, & a pilot talk.  (http://www.militaryaviationmuseum.org)

                                       World War One Aircraft at the Museum
 
Raffle Prize: Autographed Chicago Blackhawks Hockey Stick!
 

We are also offering an amazing raffle prize: a hockey stick autographed by members of the 2015 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks, along with a Certificate of Authenticity. The 86th Infantry Division of the American Expeditionary Force, known as the Blackhawks, was established in August 1917 at Camp Grant in Rockford IL and was composed of men from Illinois and Wisconsin. Frederick McLaughlin served as a commander in the 86th Infantry Division. In 1926 he was granted a franchise by the National Hockey League, which he named the Chicago Blackhawks for his unit and his home town.

Raffle tickets will be $10 each or 3 for $25, sold only at the symposium. The drawing will be during the luncheon on Saturday – you must be present to win! As a reference price, a stick signed by the 2012 team for a charity auction is currently for sale online for $1200. 
Registration Information
Can’t attend the full symposium?  We are offering one day options, both with and without the dinner, and just the tour of the Military Aviation Museum. 
Register online at http://ww1ha.org/2016-symposium-registration/or download the mail-in registration form at http://ww1ha.org/downloads/Symposium2016Flyer.pdf
Our main 2016 symposium page is http://ww1ha.org/2016-annual-conference/.
Want more details? The full Symposium Program book with all registration options and all program details and speaker information is available now at http://ww1ha.org/downloads/2016SymposiumProgram.pdf
All presentations will be held at the MacArthur Memorial. There is lots of information about about the museum and its programs at http://www.macarthurmemorial.org/.
For hotel reservations at the Sheraton Norfolk please call 757-640-2752 ask for Christine or Chelsea or send an email to Christine.Palmer@norfolksheraton.comBe sure to ask for the WW1HA room block and special rate. Our symposium daily rate of $129.68 per night includes all taxes and free WiFi.  Hotel parking is $8 per day.Norfolk has many wonderful attractions to visit beyond the MacArthur Memorial – Plan your additional activities at http://www.visitnorfolktoday.com/

 

Questions? Contact Dana Lombardy at dana.lombardy@gmail.com or at 510-301-0753 during Pacific Time business hours.  

Books for Kids: “Flyboys”

I am a Puffin children’s author and I’d like to tell you about my new children’s series, Wings which I hope will be of interest to aviation enthusiasts and their families associated with World War One Historical Association.

 I wrote Wings with RAF Museums as their children’s writer in residence in the run-up to the RAF’s 100th anniversary in 2018.  The Wings series is about four children at a football summer camp, who find themselves propelled back in time.  If they can learn how to fly the great RAF planes – the Sopwith Camel, Spitfire and Typhoon, history will lead them on a flightpath home to the present.

 “Tom is the RAF Museum’s Writer in Residence. His close relationship with the museums and his obsessive eye for detail mean that I was not at all surprised that his Wings books are both highly authentic and hugely exciting. These are Biggles books for the 21st century.” Phil Clayton, Education Office at RAF Museum 

 Publication dates:

Wings 1 : Flyboy 15 March 2016  available from Amazon now
Wings 2 : Spitfire 15 June 2016 
Wings 3 : Typhoon 15 August 2016 

 “Flyboy is like a cross between ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Alex Rider’. I liked the book because it was spooky. The main character is Jatinder and the story is about World War One. It’s a total page turner! I think it is an amazing book. It attaches you to it straight away on the first sentence. “ Kamran Mustfa aged 8

 The Wings series feature:

·         Hardit Singh Malik – the first Sikh Indian to fly into combat with the Royal Flying Corps

·         airshows

·         flight simulators

·         military museums

·         female pilots

·         making model aircrafts.

 And each book comes with a simple model plane you can make yourself!

 Wings: Flyboy is a wonderful, warm tale. Stories highlighting the diversity of Britain’s troops during both world wars are rare and this one deserves a wide audience.  It is a cracking read.” Bali Rai

There is more information here : http://tompalmer.co.uk/wings/.

 

News from the WW1HA seminar: The presentations

Presentation Abstracts

World War One Historical Association and League of WWI Aviation Historians

2015 Collaboration Symposium

Jack Tunstall – Eastern Front 1915 (With an Eye on Aerial Ops)

Kelley Szany – In the Shadow of War: Armenian Genocide 1915-1918

The genocide of the Armenians by the Turkish government during World War I represented one of the first genocides of the 20th century; almost an entire nation was destroyed.  The Armenian people were effectively eliminated from the homeland they had occupied for nearly 3000 years.  This annihilation was premeditated and planned and to be carried out under the cover of war.  Over one million Armenians died (estimated at 1.5 million) and their traditional homeland was depopulated.  A homogenous Turkish state- one people, one language, one religion, was created by the extermination of the original Armenian inhabitants.

Jon Guttman – Through, Above, and Around: Arming the First Allied Fighters in 1915

Before the end of 1914, all combatants in World War I were taking the airplane seriously enough to seek control of the sky. After numerous encounters and experiments, 1915 saw the establishment of what became the definitive formula for an aerial weapon: a single-seater with a machine gun that could be aimed wherever the pilot pointed his plane. The problem of the year was how to do that without shooting off propeller off, which the Germans ultimately solved with mechanical interrupter gear and the Allies by several additional means, from wedge-shaped deflectors, raised gun mountings and repositioning the propeller behind the pilot.

Dick Church – The Kaiser’s U-Boats: Unrestricted Submarine Warfare, the Lusitania, and Will They Bring America into the War?

This presentation will cover U-Boat types and their missions in the War.  The topics will include: the major attacks by U-boats; the Lusitania sinking and ramifications in 1915; prominent commanders of the Great War; anti-submarine efforts by the Allies; unrestricted submarine warfare; and the final defeat of the U-boats and their return in WWII.

Steve Suddaby – Aerial Bombing 1914-1915: Crossing the Rubicon with Baby Steps

Pre-WWI attitudes against the bombing of civilians had been completely discarded by the time of WW2, which featured the near-eradication of enemies’ cities from the air. This presentation shows, through the events of 1914-1915, how the European powers “crossed the Rubicon” from one set of attitudes to the other. Other themes that will be explored include:

  • Immaturity of aviation technology;
  • Experimental nature of bombing aviation in WWI;
  • Evolution of air forces from general purpose to specialized units;
  • Role of naval aviation in advancing aerial bombing.

John Mosier – Western Front 1915

Lance Bronnenkant – Early German Aces & the Interrupter Mechanism

“Early German Aces and the Interruptor Mechanism” presents the story of how the development of a practical method of allowing machine-gun bullets to be fired through the arc of a spinning propeller changed the face of aerial warfare forever. A certain group of German airmen helped this nascent technology evolve into such a lethal and effective weapon that the period that followed its debut became known as ‘The Fokker Scourge,’ which in turn caused a chain reaction that led to the birth of fighter aviation as we know it today. The stories of those pioneer aviators, supplemented by numerous period photographs, are told as well.

Paul Grasmehr – The Naval and Aviation Aspects of the Gallipoli Campaign: Expeditionary Warfare in a Time of Emerging Doctrine

Update on the WW1HA Annual Seminar

Evacuation of our troops from the Peninsula. Barges conveyed them from transports to the Island. Photo (cropped, some digital retouching) of a black and white photographic print in an album titled Photographs of the Third Australian General Hospital at Lemnos, Egypt & Brighton (Eng.) / taken by A. W. Savage 1915-17 held at the State Library of NSW. December, 1915.

Evacuation of our troops from the Peninsula. Barges conveyed them from transports to the Island.
Photo (cropped, some digital retouching) of a black and white photographic print in an album titled Photographs of the Third Australian General Hospital at Lemnos, Egypt & Brighton (Eng.) / taken by A. W. Savage 1915-17 held at the State Library of NSW. December, 1915.

Here’s news of the seminar, Oct. 2-3, at the Hilton/Lisle in the Chicago suburb of Lisle, Ill. And here’s the link for more details and to register: http://ww1ha.org/2015-annual-conference/

Speakers

Jack Tunstall: Eastern Front, 1915 (with an eye on Aerial Ops)
Kelley Szany: In the Shadow of War: The Armenian Genocide 1915-1918
Jon Guttman: Through, Above and Around: Arming the First Allied Fighters in 1915
Dick Church: The Kaiser’s U-Boats: Unrestricted Submarine Warfare, the Lusitania, and Will They Bring America into the War?
Steve Suddaby: Aerial Bombing, 1914-1915: Crossing the Rubicon with Baby Steps
John Mosier: Western Front, 1915
Lance Bronnenkant: Early German Aces and the Interrupter Mechanism
Paul Grasmehr: Gallipoli

Also, 1st Infantry Div. Museum Tour, Friday pm
Modeling Contest, Re-enactors, Strategy Games and vendors

Program Outline

Friday, October 2
8:00 AM to 12 Noon: Seminars with breaks
Noon to 1:00 PM: Lunch
1:00 to 5:00 PM: Buses to Cantigny and Museum tour
6:00 PM: Cash bar before dinner
7:00 PM: Dinner

Saturday, October 3
8:00 AM to 11:30 AM: Seminars with breaks
11:30 AM to 12:30 PM: Lunch
12:30 to 3:15 PM: Seminars and briefings on WW1HA and League

World War One Historical Association 2015 Seminar

Anzac Day

Anzac Day 2015 at Gallipoli. Taken by David Pedler

2015 League of WWI Aviation Historians and World War One Historical Association Collaboration Symposium
Lisle, Illinois, Oct. 2-3
1915: Warfare Evolution; New Tactics and Strategies

In conjunction with the WWI Centennial Commission; the League of World War One Aviation Historians and the World War One Historical Association will present their Collaboration Symposium at the Hilton Lisle/Naperville.

The symposium’s 1915 focus covers a broad range of topics including aviation and significant battles and events of the second year of the First World War. For a
list of the featured speakers, some of the best historians, writers and researchers in the world, go to ww1ha.org/2015-annual-conference.

The Hilton Lisle/Naperville provides easy access to the 1st Infantry Division Museum at Cantigny Park, Wheaton, IL where we will spend Friday afternoon touring
the museum and grounds.

The registration fee of $210 (US) per person includes luncheon, dinner and transportation to and from the hotel to the museum on Friday, Oct. 2; lunch on Saturday; admission to all presentations, reenactor and model displays, and much more. The cost to add a guest for the Friday night dinner is $40 (US).

Symposium registration fees will increase to $250 (US) per person starting Sept. 10,
so act now for the lower rate.

Accommodations are at the Hilton Lisle/Naperville, 3003 Corporate West Drive in Lisle, Ill. Call 630-505-0900 and ask for the favorable “WW1 Seminar” rate of $99 per night (with free parking) to reserve a room for Oct. 1-3. A limited number of rooms have been secured, but the cut-off date to reserve rooms at this rate is Sept. 10.

Consult the WW1HA website at www.ww1ha.org for details and a registration form, or email our Symposium Chairman, Randy Gaulke, at lavarennes@meuseargonne.
com. All registrations will be handled through WW1HA.

No. 2 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps

Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5 Single-seat fighter developed in 1916, which with the Sopwith Camel helped regain Allied control of the skies of WWI after the disastrous "Bloody April". It was very highly effective, but had engine problems which limited production during the war. London Science Museum, South Kensington, London, UK. Wayne Hseih

Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5
Single-seat fighter developed in 1916, which with the Sopwith Camel helped regain Allied control of the skies of WWI after the disastrous “Bloody April”. It was very highly effective, but had engine problems which limited production during the war.
London Science Museum, South Kensington, London, UK. Wayne Hseih

From Derek Bird:
 
On Sunday we marked the centenary of No. 2 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps, leaving Montrose for Farnborough upon mobilisation on 3 August 1914. The Western Front Association wreath commemorating 2 Sqn was dedicated, carried out to the original 1914 airfield by the current squadron commander, and handed over to the pilot of a replica SE5 who then flew it to RAF Leuchars.
 
From there it will be flown south to join more than 80 others that will be crossing the Channel for our events at Amiens and Arras on 13 August. For more info on the commemorations in France, see The Western Front Association webpages. I’ll be there to honour the ground crew of the RFC / RAF in the Great War.
 

Memorial Day 2013

More than any other modern war ’14-’18 lives in the memory as the ultimate example of a mismatch between what was at stake and the price that was paid. It is the war of the ‘lost generation’, sacrificed for a cause which, in hindsight, is difficult to pinpoint.”

Sophie De Schaepdrijver, Belgian historian and Associate Professor of History at Pennsylvania State University, quoted on http://messines1917.blogspot.be

ruins

2720717111_1ab5a8d2cb_z

Move over, Beethoven!

Drakegoodman has his photo in his collection on Flickr.com.

It reminds me of the 1950s fad of trying to stuff as many people as possible into a phone booth.

Studio portrait. Men of the 62 Feldartillerie Regiment
A studio portrait taken in Hohenzollern (Prussia) circa 1910.

 

 

 

“Searchlights Over London”

Ghosts of 1914 posts a beautiful image from the Imperial War Museum’s collection, with some reflections the painting inspires.

http://ghostsof1914.blogspot.com/2012/09/searchlights.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+GhostsOf1914+%28Ghosts+++of+++1914%29