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.

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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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Traveling the World through Reading

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Reading takes you places. As Dr. Suess said, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Where in the world will your next book take you?

When I was young, I dreamt of seeing the world. Coming from the back country of the Philippines, I was curious to know what other places look like. I did not get out of Batangas, my home province till I went to college in Manila. I always had that nagging feeling to go abroad and widen my horizon.

When I went to college, I thought of majoring in Foreign Service or Journalism so I could get out of the country. But Dad got a different idea and I ended up in Accounting. He needed an accountant in the family. But that did not thwart my dream of going abroad. I pursued my dream and in 1966. in spite of my fear of flying, I left the Philippines on my first trip abroad when I went to Hongkong and then Japan. There’s an interesting story about that trip which should be an interesting post for later. A year later, in 1967, I left for New York.

While working in the business world, I had no time to read. So fast forward to 2011 when I retired to South Carolina. I started reading in earnest. Here are a few of the books I read which took me to interesting places:

1.      Sarum by Edward Rutherfurd – United Kingdom

2.     Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett – 12th Century Feudal England

3.     A Woman of Substance by Barbara Taylor Bradford – England

4.    At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen – Scotland

5.     A Monk Swimming by Malachy McCourt – Ireland

6.    Helen of Sparta by Amalia Carosella – Paris and Troy

7.     The Bells by Richard Harvell – Switzerland, Austria, Italy

8.    Raised from the Ground by Jose Saramago – Portugal

9.    Winter of the World by Ken Follett – Germany, England, Russia and Washington DC.

10.  The Amber Keeper by Freda Lightfoot – England Lake District and Russia

11.  One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn – Russia Federation, Soviet Union

12. The Archimedes Codex – Constantinople, Greece, England and New York

13. The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly – England, Africa

14.Through a Glass Darkly – Karleen Koen – England, France

15. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carre – England, East Germany

16.Hawaii by James Mitchener – Hawaii, Bora-Bora

17. Day of Infamy by Walter Lord – Pearl Harbor

18.   The Good Earth by Pearl S Buck – China

19.The Fall of Japan by William Craig – Okinawa and Tokyo, Japan

20.   Rescue at Los Baños by Bruce Henderson – WWII Philippines

21. Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder – Peru

22.  The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers – Iraq

23.    The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini – Afghanistan

24.    Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande – India and New York

25.   Don’t Fall off the Mountain by Shirley Maclaine – Virginia, New York, California Africa, India and the Himalayas.

26.   Inside the Dream Palace: The Life and Times of New York’s Legendary Chelsea Hotel by Sherill Tippins – New York

27.   Brooklyn by Colm Toibin – New York and Ireland

28.   A Wilder Rose by Susan Wittig Albert – Wisconsin, Kansas and New York

29.   The March by E.L. Doctorow – Georgia to the sea and up the Carolinas (Civil War)

30.  The Only Way to Cross: The Golden Era of the Great Atlantic Liners – From the Mauretania to the France and the Queen Elizabeth 2 by John Maxtone-Graham. – Atlantic Ocean Voyage

 

There you have them – 30 of my most memorable books that I read and travelled worldwide. I hate plane rides and ocean voyages but I have travelled the world through books, experiencing new authors and cultures along the way. I will keep on reading because as Irwin Shaw said, “There are too many books I haven’t read, too many places I haven’t seen, too many memories I haven’t kept long enough.”

 

Until next time. Stop and Smell the Roses.

Rosalinda

 

 

Significant Events on January 1st Throughout History

Happy New Year Photo 3

 

Throughout history, there are some significant events that happened on the first day of the year.  Here are a few of them:

1583 – 1st day of the Gregorian calendar in Holland and Flanders

1622 – Papal Chancery adopts Jan. 1 as beginning of the year

1673 – Regular mail delivery begins between New York and Boston

1772 – First traveller’s check issued (London)

1776 – General George Washington hoists the Continental Union Flag

1788 – Quakers in Pennsylvania emancipate their slaves

1797 – Albany replaces New York City as capital of NY

1808 – Congress prohibits importation of slaves

1818 – Official reopening of the White House

1847 – Michigan becomes the first state to abolish capital punishment

1852 – First U.S. public bath opens in New York City

1862 – First U.S. income tax goes into effect

1863 – Emancipation Proclamation ending slavery issued by President Lincoln

1880 – Building of Panama Canal begins

1892 – Ellis Island becomes reception center for new immigrants

1907 – Theodore Roosevelt shakes a record 8513 hands in one day

1908 – First time ball signifying new year dropped at Times Square

1913 – Post Office begins parcel post deliveries

1914 – First scheduled airline flight, from St. Petersburg to Tampa, Florida

1934 – Alcatraz officially becomes a federal prison

1942 – United Nations established

1946 – Hidden Japanese soldiers in Corregidor surrendered to the American Troops after reading from a local newspaper that the war was over.  

1960 – Johnny Cash plays first of many free concerts from behind prison bars

1968 – Evil Knievel fails in his attempt to jump the Caesar’s Palace fountain

1971 – Cigarette advertising banned on radio and television

1975 – Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell, and Mardian convicted of Washington Watergate crimes

1977 – First woman (Jacqueline Means) is formally ordained as Episcopal priest

1985 – U.S. first mandatory seat belt law goes into effect (New York)

1990 – David Dinkins is sworn in as the first black mayor of New York City

1995 – Last “Far Side” by cartoonist Gary Larson

2000 – Panama Canal handed over to Panama by the United States.

2002 – The Euro becomes the official currency for most of Europe

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!

 

Stop and Smell the Roses

Rosalinda

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