Commemorating the First World War Centennial in Kansas

Month: January 2021

Modeling of WW1 Trenches

Over fifty years ago, when I was training at the U.S. Army Engineer center, we actually had a section of training, as I recall known as “Field Forts”, where we were exposed to the principles of constructing trenches and dugouts, as if the army was going to fight another war like the Western Front, which at the time was fifty years (and three subsequent wars) in the past. This isn’t as surprising as it sounds, though; in Basic Training we were instructed in the “art” of bayonet fighting, even though the little bayonet for the M-16 rifle was mostly good for opening C-Ration cans. ...read more

The Failure of the League of Nations

In the previous post we spoke of Woodrow Wilson’s League of Nations, which opened for business on January 10th, 1920. From the start it wasn’t the group that Wilson had envisioned: former enemies Germany, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey plus Russia were not admitted to the club. All joined later and some dropped out later. Many scholars believe that the League was doomed to failure from the start. Click on this link to read an engrossing article on this subject.  ...read more

Woodrow Wilson Got the H1N1 ‘flu

On the evening of April 3rd, 1919, President Woodrow Wilson, who was in Paris for the Versailles Treaty negotiations, became suddenly and dangerously ill. At first his doctor thought that he’d been poisoned. Wilson had a high fever and bad cough for five days, during which time the same doctor told the outside world that Wilson had a bad cold. When Wilson returned to the conference he was visibly weakened, seemingly exhausted. As time passed at least two lingering after- effects manifested themselves: first, an apparent neurological disorder as Wilson became paranoid in petty ways, suspecting the French of spying on him, and second, likely due to debility, when he returned to the conference he caved in on all of his 14 points then still in contention excepting number XIV (a League of Nations), which Clemenceau and Lloyd George disdained to give him. Read more about this by clicking here. ...read more

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