The End of World War I

One hundred years ago this month, WWI ended with an armistice on November 11, 1918. The ‘war to end all wars’ was over. At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, America swore “Never Again!”

Meuse Argonne by foxnews.com
Meuse Argonne by foxnews.com

 

WWI shattered empires, monarchies, kingdoms and, more importantly, countless innocent men, women and children. Its greatest legacy was creating fertile ground for the rise of two of the most evil men in the history of the world – The German and the Japanese.

I did not know much about WWI except the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary which started it. I always wanted to read about WWI since we have so many WWI books at home. I finally started “The Guns of August” by Barbara Tuckman. It’s a good start. But then again, I have other interesting subjects I want to read. It’s always the case of “too many books, too little time”.

When I asked my husband where his father, Lt. Robert Morgan, fought in WWI, he said Meuse Argonne. He was with the 77th Division, Machine Gun Unit. He survived the war.

Where is Meuse Argonne? I have never heard of the place. The only thing I heard often was the battle at the Somme. But then tonight, I just caught the end of the movie “Sgt York” on TCM and it mentioned Meuse Argonne.

meuse-argonne-offensive
Meuse Argonne Offensive – Photo Credit: idahoheroes.org

 

Well, here is what I found out about Meuse Argonne.

  • The Meuse Argonne region was located in a very hilly area in the Alsace-Lorraine region that was heavily fortified by the Germans. If the Germans broke through this area they could easily take Paris. Likewise, if the American and French forces could push the Germans out of this area they could deeply influence a surrender.
  • This battlefield was a very large, highly fortified area full of towns, hills, trenches, roads, and railroads. The only way to take it would be to get out of the trenches and go on the offensive. Hence the name, Meuse Argonne Offensive.
  • There were 5 important “heights” that needed to be taken in order to control this region. They were: Montfaucon, Romagne Heights, Heights of the Meuse, Argonne Forest, and Barricourt Heights.
  • General Pushing hoped to capture this area in about 6-7 days. It would really take 6 weeks!
  • Meuse Argonne Offensive also known as Battles of the Meuse Argonne was the deadliest battle in American history involving 1.2 million American soldiers. It was fought from September 26, 1918 until the Armistice of November 11, 1918, a total of 47 days. The battle cost 28,000 German lives, 26,277 American lives and an unknown number of French lives.

 

Here is the timeline of The Great War:

6-28-1914 – Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary was assassinated.

8-01-1914 – Germany declares war on Russia.

4-06-1917 – The U.S. declares war on Germany after the sinking of three U.S. merchant ships by German U-boats.

6-26-1917 – American troops begin landing in France.

11-11-1918 – Germany accepts the armistice terms demanded by the Allies, ending the war.

6-28-1919 – The Treaty of Versailles is signed at the Palace of Versailles, France.

 

By the numbers:

70 million – the number of men mobilized by warring countries in WWI. Almost half were killed or injured during the four-year conflict.

France – 1.4 million dead, 4.2 million injured.

Germany – 1.8 million dead, 4.2 million injured.

Austria-Hungary – 1.4 million dead, 3.6 million injured.

Russia – 1.8 million dead, five million injured.

Britain and British Empire – 900,000 dead, two million injured.

Italy – 600,000 dead, one million injured.

United States – 116,500 dead, 204,000 injured.

Ottoman Empire – 800,000 dead.

10 million refugees

3 million war widows

6 million orphans

In addition, millions of civilians died in massacres and another 20-30 million perished in an influenza epidemic called “Spanish Flu” that broke out at the end of the war among populations weakened by years of deprivation.

Click the link below to see the end of the war or start from the beginning to see the whole battle experience of Meuse Argonne Offensive.

https://youtu.be/s2J3eOdo2i0?t=707

 

Remember those who fought and paid the ultimate sacrifice so we can enjoy our freedom today.

 

Source: Newsmax, Wikipedia, Encyclopedia Britannica

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Veteran’s Day Remembrance

Happy-Veterans-Day-Images-2017

Reblogged from last year  – Evolution of Veteran’s Day

Veteran’s Day evolved in the years following World War I, or “The Great War,” as it was known at the time.  The Great War, a war to end all wars, ended at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month in 1918 when an armistice between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect.  For that reason, Nov. 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of the war to end all wars. In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day.  In 1938, Armistice Day became a legal holiday by an act of Congress.

World War I or “The Great War” officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, at the Palace of Versailles, France, when all warring powers executed a formal declaration of peace.  Fighting, however, had ceased seven months earlier when an armistice between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. 

The major players on the stage of history at this time were known as The Big Three:  President Woodrow Wilson, Prime Minister David Lloyd George of Great Britain and President Georges Clemenceau of France.  Pfc. Henry Gunther will be remembered as the last soldier to die on Nov. 11, 1918 with one minute remaining before the armistice would end all conflict.  This otherwise unknown man would charge a German machine gun encampment disregarding their attempts to wave him back, knowing that in a matter of seconds they could all leave their trenches and once again breathe the soft air of peace.  Gunther fell after a short blast of fire joining the 116,000 of his fellow American comrades that died in that war.

The last surviving U.S. World War I veteran, Frank Buckles, age 109, died in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 2011. In December 2010, he appeared before Congress to plead for the approval of a memorial to honor those American soldiers who died in the Great War.  He had enlisted at the age of 16, but his service to his country did not end there.  He also served in World War II and was captured by the Japanese, enduring the infamous Bataan Death March.  He survived three years in a Japanese prison camp, weighing only 85 pounds when he was finally liberated.

November 11 continued to be observed as Armistice Day until 1954 when, at the urging of the veterans’ organizations, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed an act of Congress on June 1, 1954 formally changing the word “Armistice” to “Veterans” in order to expand the significance of that (Armistice Day) celebration and in order that a grateful nation might pay appropriate homage to the veterans of all its wars who have contributed so much to the preservation of this nation.

In 1968, Congress moved Veteran’s Day to the fourth Monday in November, but returned it to its traditional date in 1978 after heavy lobbying by veterans groups and concerned citizens, who believed that moving the observance to create a three-day holiday only served to take the focus off the historical significance of the day. The original concept for the commemoration was for a day observed with parades and public gatherings and a brief suspension of business at 11 a.m.  At New York Stock Exchange, trading stopped at 11 am for a 2-minute silence. Unfortunately, we have gotten away from that original concept, and many people look upon November 11 as simply a day off from work to relax or take advantage of store sales and forget that the reason the day was set aside was to honor our nation’s veterans.

Throughout the history of our great nation, courageous men and women have served in the armed forces to secure, defend and maintain the freedoms upon which our nation was founded.  They represent the finest in the American character who answered our country’s call during WWII, suffered through biting cold winters and scorching summers in Korea, endured booby-trapped jungles and steamy heat in Vietnam and are currently fighting in the unforgiving mountains in Afghanistan and the deserts in Iraq. They came from all walks of life, religions and ethnic backgrounds.  Right now, members of our armed forces are putting their lives on the line in the war against terrorism, and hardly a day goes by when there is not a report of one or more of these brave soldiers paying the ultimate price.  Their sacrifices have given us the freedom we enjoy today which is why we remember and salute their service.

On Nov. 11, our country honors all veterans and active duty soldiers on Veteran’s Day. We remember Henry Gunther and Frank Buckles and all those who laid down their lives in the defense of freedom and pray that our brave men and women, now serving in our armed services, return to us and lead long, safe and productive lives.

IMG_0944
Veterans’ Honor Rose growing in my garden

 

Until Next time. Stop and Smell the Roses.

Rosalinda R Morgan

Author & Garden Writer

Evolution of Veteran’s Day

Veteran’s Day evolved in the years following World War I, or “The Great War,” as it was known at the time.  The Great War, a war to end all wars, ended at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month in 1918 when an armistice between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect.  For that reason, Nov. 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of the war to end all wars. In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day.  In 1938, Armistice Day became a legal holiday by an act of Congress.

World War I or “The Great War” officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, at the Palace of Versailles, France, when all warring powers executed a formal declaration of peace.  Fighting, however, had ceased seven months earlier when an armistice between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. 

The major players on the stage of history at this time were known as The Big Three:  President Woodrow Wilson, Prime Minister David Lloyd George of Great Britain and President Georges Clemenceau of France.  Pfc. Henry Gunther will be remembered as the last soldier to die on Nov. 11, 1918 with one minute remaining before the armistice would end all conflict.  This otherwise unknown man would charge a German machine gun encampment disregarding their attempts to wave him back, knowing that in a matter of seconds they could all leave their trenches and once again breathe the soft air of peace.  Gunther fell after a short blast of fire joining the 116,000 of his fellow American comrades that died in that war.

The last surviving U.S. World War I veteran, Frank Buckles, age 109, died in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 2011. In December 2010, he appeared before Congress to plead for the approval of a memorial to honor those American soldiers who died in the Great War.  He had enlisted at the age of 16, but his service to his country did not end there.  He also served in World War II and was captured by the Japanese, enduring the infamous Bataan Death March.  He survived three years in a Japanese prison camp, weighing only 85 pounds when he was finally liberated.

November 11 continued to be observed as Armistice Day until 1954 when, at the urging of the veterans’ organizations, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed an act of Congress on June 1, 1954 formally changing the word “Armistice” to “Veterans” in order to expand the significance of that (Armistice Day) celebration and in order that a grateful nation might pay appropriate homage to the veterans of all its wars who have contributed so much to the preservation of this nation.

In 1968, Congress moved Veteran’s Day to the fourth Monday in November, but returned it to its traditional date in 1978 after heavy lobbying by veterans groups and concerned citizens, who believed that moving the observance to create a three-day holiday only served to take the focus off the historical significance of the day. The original concept for the commemoration was for a day observed with parades and public gatherings and a brief suspension of business at 11 a.m.  At New York Stock Exchange, trading stopped at 11 am for a 2-minute silence. Unfortunately, we have gotten away from that original concept, and many people look upon November 11 as simply a day off from work to relax or take advantage of store sales and forget that the reason the day was set aside was to honor our nation’s veterans.

Throughout the history of our great nation, courageous men and women have served in the armed forces to secure, defend and maintain the freedoms upon which our nation was founded.  They represent the finest in the American character who answered our country’s call during WWII, suffered through biting cold winters and scorching summers in Korea, endured booby-trapped jungles and steamy heat in Vietnam and are currently fighting in the unforgiving mountains in Afghanistan and the deserts in Iraq. They came from all walks of life, religions and ethnic backgrounds.  Right now, members of our armed forces are putting their lives on the line in the war against terrorism, and hardly a day goes by when there is not a report of one or more of these brave soldiers paying the ultimate price.  Their sacrifices have given us the freedom we enjoy today which is why we remember and salute their service.

On Nov. 11, our country honors all veterans and active duty soldiers on Veteran’s Day. We remember Henry Gunther and Frank Buckles and all those who laid down their lives in the defense of freedom and pray that our brave men and women, now serving in our armed services, return to us and lead long, safe and productive lives.

 

IMG_0944

Photo: Veterans’ Honor Rose from my garden

Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

Rosalinda Morgan, The Rose Lady

Author and Garden Writer

www.rosalindarmorgan.com