Tag: First World War

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Perils of Peacemaking

 

“It is much easier to initiate a war than to end one.” With this sentence, I begin both my most recent book — Sparta’s Second Attic War — and a blogpost put up this morning on the Yale University Press site.

The point of the latter is simple enough: the settlement imposed at the end of one war — say, the First World War — often lays the foundation for the next war, and that is what happened not only at the end of Sparta’s First Attic War, but also at the end of the First Punic War, the War of the League of Augsburg, and, yes, the Cold War.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Remembrance Day Weather: Rain in France

 

mediaThe official observances in France, were under rain. Indeed, the rains were heavy enough to repeatedly interfere with the satellite TV transmission signal back to C-SPAN. You see that in the multi-national ceremony and in President Trump’s address at a war memorial for Americans. The rain, and the disruption, is so appropriate to the commemoration of a war in which men lived in muddy trenches, never really dry, for years. Feet, constantly wet, started disintegrating. It was called “trench foot” and is called “immersion foot syndrome.” [Emphasis added.]

Trench foot, or immersion foot syndrome, is a serious condition that results from your feet being wet for too long. The condition first became known during World War I, when soldiers got trench foot from fighting in cold, wet conditions in trenches without the extra socks or boots to help keep their feet dry.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Eliminating War?

 

Today is the 100th anniversary of the armistice, ending fighting in the Great War. It is the concluding centennial observance of a war that started in 1914, with the United States of American entering the war in 1917. Entering the war, there was talk of ending the threat of German militarism, ascendent since the Franco-Prussian War. In the face of the industrialized slaughter, the horror of the trenches, and with faith in man’s ability to mold more perfect institutions not yet confronted with the far larger horrors to come, people dreamed of a lasting peace. The phrase capturing these aspirations was “the war to end all wars.”

We see now, as the people, who first heard those words, knew by the 1930s, that the phase is as mockingly empty as the ancient cry, recorded in Genesis 11:4

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

A Nameless Graveby Henry Wadsworth Longfellow “A Soldier of the Union mustered out,”Is the inscription on an unknown graveAt Newport News, beside the salt-sea wave,Nameless and dateless; sentinel or scoutShot down in skirmish, or disastrous routOf battle, when the loud artillery draveIts iron wedges through the ranks of braveAnd doomed battalions, storming the redoubt.Thou unknown […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A Call to Members: Commemorating the End of the Great War

 

WW1 Centennial (@WW1CC) | TwitterPlease forgive this very belated call from a fellow Ricochet member. I intend to write, marking the centennial of the Armistice of 11/11/1918. However, I am well aware that most of the burden of that terrible war, on the Allied side, was borne, in the meat grinder of the Western Front, by citizens of the British Empire, and the French Third Republic. We are barely aware of the Russians, the Italians, and even Japan.

So, fellow Ricochetti, I invite, I encourage your postings this weekend. Have you a family story? Photographs of a visit to a battlefield? Images from the home front, or the aftermath? Will you attend ceremonies, as a matter of annual observance or as a special centennial event?

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. More Golf Ball than Moonscape: The Red Zone in France

 

Serving in Bavaria during the last years of the Cold War, the battalion’s officers took a bus trip to Verdun, for a professional development weekend. The terrain, even in 1988, was a stark, silent testament to the horror that reigned between trenches in the Great War. Moonscape? Try golf ball, for the ubiquity and closeness of deep dimples in the ground. Thirty more years have not erased the scars.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

  I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) My review normally appears Friday. After it appears, I post it Sunday on Ricochet. Read More View Post

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Member Post

 

The beautiful grandmother of my husband was from a German-speaking Jewish family in Bohemia. When a student, she met this man, a young professor at Charles University in Prague. They married in Plzen (Pilsen) on the 25th of December, 1913. He obtained a fellowship for advanced study of English literature at the University of London. […]

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