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World War I

World War I - the Great War

 

 

With the centennial of this "War to end all wars" upon us, we felt that we should  offer a central page listing all our World War I materials, and also that we should prioritize publication of some of our inventory.

Please check back frequently and let us know if this subject is of interest to you.

As well, please let us know if military history is an interest of yours.  We prioritize our publications largely on what we hear from people who visit our website.  Our other military history (e.g. Civil War) can be found on our main military history page.


Currently available:

Fountain County, Indiana

Fountain County's Activities in the World War

Compiled for the Fountain County Council of Defense by Verna Glascock.  Many states, counties, and organizations published books or booklets after the war was over recounting their involvement in winning it.  This is an excellent example of the genre from Indiana.   More information about this publication is available on our Fountain County, Indiana page.

"The Fatherland" - a weekly

Prior to US entry in World War I, there was considerable discussion and debate in this country about the rightness or wrongness of entering the war on the side of the Allies.  Intervention was particularly opposed by second generation German Americans, by second and third generation Irish Americans, and by the isolationist wing of the Republican party, in addition to a not-inconsequential pacifist movement in this country.  Under the circumstances, it's not surprising that numerous English language propaganda publications appeared in the United States.  This one had something for everyone.  The cover story spoke of the skill of the German generals.  The lead article was red meat for those who opposed the Wilson administration.  A table of warships lost by the belligerents made it clear that the Germans and their allies were winning on the high seas.  Other articles targeted Irish distaste for England, and the list goes on.  16+ pages, in PDF format; download now for $3.00.

 The Fatherland (1915)

Jefferson County, New York, In the World War

Highlights include two lengthy lists: those from Jefferson County who served, and those who died.  It is impressive, for a county with the population of Jefferson County, how many were in each category.  There are also photographs (of varying quality) of many of those who died.  Additional lists identify those who served in non-military capacities, both as nurses and YMCA/Red Cross workers abroad, and on commissions and committees and boards at home.  The lists of those who served generally include the street address of record of the serviceman, as well as whether they were members of the American Expeditionary Force (i.e. served in Europe) or another branch of the service that may or may not have served outside the continental United States. The remainder of the volume is text – documentation of service supporting the military on the home front, and a bit of material about the war itself.  Notable and useful even for those without a Jefferson County connection are tables comparing the Army divisions in various quantitative measures, such as length of time overseas, length of time “in action”, casualties sustained, prisoners captured, etc. See our Jefferson County page for more information.

 

The University of Vermont in the Great War.  

In the years immediately following World War I many entities published books like this – documentation of residents or alumni or members who participated in some way in what was then known as the Great War.  At a time in American history when connection to the military is as tenuous as it is today, this sort of volume helps us understand how different things were a hundred years ago, give or take a few.  Like most books of this type, this one begins with a history of the university in the war.  The next, and most honorable position in the book, is the section of biographies of those who were killed or died in the conflict.  Particularly noteworthy here is the number who “died in the service” – usually of influenza or pneumonia.  It’s important to remember that in 1918 not only was the nation involved in a war against the Germans, it was also involved in a major influenza epidemic that produced large numbers of fatalities, both military and civilian.  Next following those who died are those who were wounded (or gassed – poison gas was part of the arsenal of all combatant powers in the First World War).  Next are those who were decorated, and then comes the alphabetic listing, with details of military service, of all of those with a UVM connection who served.  They (the men who served) are followed in a separate section by the women who served, the YMCA, the YWHA, and those who performed auxiliary war work.  Some memorabilia, some poetry, and an address complete the volume.  See our Vermont page for more information.

 

Newell Dwight Hillis:  "The Atrocities of Germany"

Presumably the United States was already at war with Germany when this bit of propaganda was published by the Liberty Loan Committee of the Second Federal Reserve District (the New York Fed).  The author, a prominent clergyman of the time, Newell Dwight Hillis, then the Pastor of the Plymouth Church in Brooklyn, wrote extensively on the subject of German wartime atrocities in addition to his publications decrying immorality in Broadway plays and elsewhere.  (We have also republished a book about that church, "Sixty Years of Plymouth Church", which can be found on our Brooklyn, NY page.)  While we do not recognize Hillis' name today, in those years his would have been a name known to most educated people, and one whose opinions would have been well respected.  The quasi-governmental imprimatur only added more credibility to the narrative. 

The purpose of the pamphlet – and we note that it was sufficiently popular that this was the second edition of it – was to sell Liberty Bonds, the savings instrument that became Savings Bonds in the World War II era.  The secondary purpose, of course, was to keep the populace riled up about a war in which the United States had been late to engage and to which there had been considerable opposition early on.  Religion was a useful weapon in this war.  (We find it only mildly remarkable that the father of the principal partner here at Between the Lakes Group brought back from his own military service in World War I in France and Germany, a German officer’s belt buckle with the motto “Gott Mit Uns”  -- or “God is with us,” demonstrating  the facility with which both sides in the conflict invoked the Almighty in a major war.

The writing is typical of the period, and few of the atrocities described will quicken the pulse of a population familiar with cable news today; today we see far worse in video and in some cases as they are occurring in our own country.  It’s noteworthy that they were viewed with such horror only a century ago.   24+ pages in length, in PDF format.  Download now for $2.00.

 


In our collection, major projects not yet scheduled for publication:

The Story of the Great War

This five volume set, by Francis J. Reynolds, Allen L. Churchill, and Francis Trevelyan Miller, was published by P. F. Collier & Son in 1916.  Approximately 3500 pages in length, it covers only the then-current perceptions about the run-up to the war, and the first two years of actual hostilities.  It is of particular interest for several reasons:  (1) the viewpoint did not yet reflect a United States eager to be involved, (2) it was not yet certain how the war would come out, and (3) the details presented are not viewed through the lens of history -- they are the then-current perception of the situation.  Uncommonly for books of that era, there are abundant photographs, including many that are not in the usual compendiums of World War I history.  If this is of interest to you, please let us know so we can prioritize it. 

Columbia County (NY) in the World War

This is a single volume, but it is massive -- 958 numbered pages, plus introductory material.  We're thinking this will either be a CD-ROM or else a series of downloads.  Please let us know if this is a priority for you.

 

      

 

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Between the Lakes Group is located at 372 Between the Lakes Road, in Salisbury, Litchfield County, Connecticut.  More specifically, we're in Taconic -- a hamlet  in the Twin Lakes area of the Town of Salisbury.  Questions about us or about our products?  Go to our Frequently Asked Questions page.  

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