USA's Story

World War I

How It All Started

USA really didn't want to go to war, and President Woodrow worked very hard to keep us neutral in the two and a half years leading up to us entering the war. Germany was getting under our skin, knowing their actions would almost indefinitely cause us to join the Allies in the fight against them, when, in 1917 Germany decided to resume full on submarine warfare, and then they sent the Zimmerman telegram. Even if Wilson wanted us to remain neutral, Americans were outraged, and to defend their Nation with their nationalistic pride, we entered the war on April 6th, 1917.

My Main Man- Colonel House

Edward Mandell House was President Wilson's BFF during the first four years of the war. According to FirstWorldWar.com, "(He was) Initially one of numerous advisers, House's increasingly close relationship with Wilson boosted his influence until he was widely acknowledged as the president's closest confidant." They went on to say, "embracing the Allied cause, House courted potential personal and political disaster during his second visit to Europe in January-March 1916. There, he met and agreed with the British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey in February 1916 what amounted to an ultimatum to Germany: submit to American mediation on pain of U.S. military intervention.

Such an approach went far beyond anything that Wilson himself would have considered. However, House was spared from a likely breach with Wilson when the British government itself disavowed the agreement (commonly known as the House-Grey Memorandum.)"

Battle Stats

Killed- 58,480

Wounded- 189,955

"Missing" - 14,290

Propaganda? Or Propacantya?

Propaganda posters for England call for, "A fit man," to save the women and children and kick Germany and Belgium butt... Because apparently they're the devil! The only man "fit" for that war would've been a suicidal or already dying man, because although they weren't advertising the truth, the truth was that if you enlisted, nothing good would come out of it, unless death was what you have been praying for; With the harsh conditions in their barracks, i'm sure death was their only prayer anyways.

"A Thriving War Industry - Artificial Arms & Legs"

Photographers of the medical world in WWI, at least on FirstWorldWar.com, tried to show the best of it, there was a picture of smiling boys in sturdy beds white, clean sheets, in a hospital room with only the two beds, and a window. This couldn't have been further from the truth if the photo of the hospital room had a 90" flat screen color TV mounted on the wall in front of them. The truth of the matter was if there was a hospital around the battle front, it was underground, dirty, understaffed with snobby doctors, and there were dead, rotting bodies laying in the bed you'd be staying in, 5 minutes before you lied down.

A Defense Of Penny Dreadfuls

"The vast mass of humanity, with their vast mass of idle books and idle words, have never doubted and never will doubt that courage is splendid, that fidelity is noble, that distressed ladies should be rescued, and vanquished enemies spared." -A Defense of Penny Dreadfuls

What I believe he is trying to say is that although we haven't read or spoken, the way we were raised is that courage is always a virtue, that you must be faithful, the damsel is always in distress and the men should rescue her because traditional gender roles are superior, and when the plane crashes like in Fly Boys and the already defeated pilot is alive on the ground, there is nothing noble about gunning him down to get another kill.

A psychological weapon- the bayonet

From reading on FirstWorldWar.com it became evident that since technological advances had been made, a bayonet is no longer the best tool for killing when there is a machine gun or flame thrower. Why did nearly every solider have his gun fitted with one if they weren't very effective then? Because the over seeing officers in this war were soldiers from previous wars, usually what they had seen to work best, (Before the advances however!) There were many things to over come when using a bayonet as well, "The first is overcome the reluctance to kill at close range. It is one thing to fire a musket at a distant target and see it fall. The other side is no longer a faceless target. At bayonet range, the soldier could look directly into the eyes of his opponent; he could hear the screams and perhaps be splashed with his foe’s blood. Secondly, with this reluctance to directly attack at close range, human instinct is to use other tools; such as the butt of the musket rather than an edged weapon. The final factor to overcome is not only the reluctance to use the bayonet but to overcome the fear of being stabbed yourself. Only when that fear is subdued are you willing to come to that intimate death dealing range. The bayonet is a bridge that links the past and the present. When the bayonet is attached to the weapon, whether it be a 16th century matchlock, a Springfield musket or a M-16, it converts what is a state of the art weapon into a weapon that could have been carried by a Greek Hoplite or a footman of Medieval times. The bayonet also serves as a serious psychological tool. When the bayonet is affixed to the weapon it affirms that the assault or defense is going to be a desperate affair. Prince Hohlerlon stated that “He who has not made up his mind to come at last to the bayonet can never win, for he can have no serious intention to assault.” Edward Costello, an officer in the British Expeditionary Force of the First World War, stated that “bayonets are vital for the moral effect on attacking troops.""