Commemorating the First World War Centennial in Kansas

Month: April 2018 (Page 1 of 2)

Centennial Countdown to the Great War: April 1918

In April 1918, Germany renews its offensive on the Western Front, attacking this time in Flanders.  As German forces advance to and across the Lys River, British Field Marshal Haig orders his troops, with their “backs to the wall,” to “fight to the end.”  Marshal Foch is given command authority over all Allied Armies on the Western Front.  American troops turn back a German attack at the village of Seicheprey, near St. Mihiel.  The “Red Baron” Manfred von Richthofen, Germany’s leading ace and commander of the “Flying Circus,” dies when his airplane is shot down over France.  Gavrilo Princip, the Bosnian Serb whose assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie in Sarajevo in 1914 set in motion the events that led to the outbreak of war, dies of consumption in an Austrian prison.  Revelation of an earlier unsuccessful attempt by the Emperor of Austria-Hungary to make a separate peace leads to the resignation of his Foreign Minister, Count Czernin.  American President Woodrow Wilson, opening the Third Liberty Loan Campaign in Baltimore, calls for “force to the utmost” to win the war.  British and Japanese marines land in Vladivostok. more

Kansas Loyalty Day

Here’s an event that took place yesterday — our apologies, but we didn’t quite get word of the event fast enough to post it here.  As a World War I centennial observance, we do want to give credit where credit is due.

Loyalty Day was observed at the Rosedale Arch in Kansas City, KS yesterday.  For the uninformed, here is a description of Loyalty Day: more

The Annals of Kansas, #42

One hundred years ago in Kansas, May 6 – 14, 1918:

May 6, 1918

  • Among women who were running newspapers while the men were at war were Mrs. W.E. Payton, Colony Free Press; Mrs. Charles H. Browne, Horton Headlight-Commercial; Miss Dora Adriance, Seneca Courier-Democrat; and Miss Martha Ryan, Wathena Times.
  • more

    Coming Soon — Journey’s End

    The R.C. Sheriff play , Journey’s End, has been filmed and is in release.  For those in the Kansas City area, it will open May 11 at the Tivoli Cinemas in Westport.

    Here’s a description of the film from the Tivoli website:

    “March, 1918. C-company arrives to take its turn in the front-line trenches of norther France, led by the war-weary Captain Stanhope (Sam Claflin). With a German offensive imminently approaching, the officers (Paul Bettany, Stephen Graham, Tom Sturridge) and their cook (Toby Jones) use food and the memories of their lives before the war to distract themselves, while Stanhope soaks his fear in whisky, unable to deal with the dread of the inevitable. A young officer, Raleigh (Asa Butterfield), arrives fresh out of training and abuzz with the excitement of his first real posting – not least because he is to serve under Stanhope, his former school house monitor and the object of his sister’s affections. Each man is trapped, the days ticking by, the tension rising and the attack drawing ever closer. Journey’s End brings R.C. Sherriff’s 90-year-old play to the screen with thrilling power, thanks to director Saul Dibb’s hard-hitting urgency and brilliant work from a talented cast.” more

    The Yankee Division at Seicheprey

    The 26th (Yankee) Infantry Division was formed on July 18th, 1917, under the command of Maj. Gen. C.R. Edwards. The component units were selected from the National Guards of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.

    Due to the proximity of these units to the port of Boston, and the political necessity of getting troops ‘over there’ expeditiously, the 26th was the first National Guard unit to embark for France, arriving on Sept. 21st, 1917, more than a month before the 42nd Division. As a result of this hasty departure, the division needed months of training, which was conducted by the French. more

    C-SPAN3, April 28 – 29

    This weekend C-SPAN3 is airing two programs of World War I, both of which aired last weekend:

    -American Artifacts:  World War I Combat Artists.  Current exhibit at the National Air & Space Museum in Washington.  Airs at 9:05 a.m. Saturday morning.

    -Lasting Impressions of World War I.  A joint press conference between the National World War I Museum and Memorial and the National Press Club.  Airs at 11:57 a.m. Sunday. more

    Memorials to the Missing – Villers Bretennoux

    In 1917 the cessation of warfare between Germany and Russia presented General Erich Ludendorff and the German General Staff with a fleeting opportunity. They had several million soldiers and several thousand artillery pieces in the east that could be deployed in climactic offensives on the Western Front before the American army was present in significant numbers. Intelligence believed that the British were spent from their Passchendaele offensive, noting that the best British units, the ANZACs and the Canadians, had both taken heavy casualties. And although it seems that the Germans had never learned the extent of the French Army’s mutinies, it was clear that they weren’t in the mood to mount attacks. more

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