Commemorating the First World War Centennial in Kansas

Author: James Patton (Page 2 of 35)

James (“Jim”) Patton BS BA MPA is a retired state official from Shawnee, Kansas and a frequent contributor to several WW1 e-publications, including "Roads to the Great War," "St. Mihiel Tripwire," "Over the Top" and "Medicine in the First World War." He has spent many hours walking the WW1 battlefields, and is also an authority on British regiments and a collector of their badges.
An Army Engineer during the Vietnam War, he does work for the US World War 1 Centennial Commission and has memberships in the WW1 Historical Association, the Western Front Association, the Indian Military Historical Society and the Salonika Campaign Society.

Keynes Was At Versailles

John Maynard Keynes, the great Cambridge University economist who revolutionized macroeconomic theory, was Prime Minister David Lloyd George’s economic advisor at the Versailles Peace Conference in 1919. Keynes repeatedly urged that all war debts be reduced or eliminated, but he didn’t succeed in swaying anyone to his point of view, not even Woodrow Wilson. Keynes was disgusted with the final treaty as he felt it was morally and economically unsound. He returned home and promptly wrote a book called The Economic Consequences of the Peace. You can read an excellent article about Keynes and his Versailles experience by clicking here. ...read more

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

Who Were (Are) the FANY’s?

Having previously discussed other voluntary service organizations that provided ambulance and nursing services during WW1 (click here), here’s the story of another British group –  The First Aid Nursing Yeomanry, familiarly known as the FANY (their personnel are known as ‘FANY’s’). This is an all-female group organized in 1907 which in WW1 provided ambulances and drivers to the Western Front. Although rebuffed by the British Army who considered them amateurs and totally unsuited to war conditions, the astute FANY leadership quickly attached themselves to the Belgian Army instead, before the War Office got around to banning civilians from travelling to the Front. Click on this link to read about the FANY in WW1. ...read more

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