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
Homeward Bound Americans
This short pamphlet appears
to have been prepared with the objective of getting American troops about
to depart France (and secondarily, Germany, but passing through France on
the way home) to be sensitive to cultural differences between the French
and Americans and to, to be blunt, behave themselves. It recounts
the history of US involvement in WWI, and notes as well the sacrifices of
the other allies before the USEF came upon the scene. All in all, in
this day and age, it is startling non-explicit. Including covers and
our introduction, this is 35 pages long, in PDF format. Download it
now for $3.75.
Fountain County, Indiana
Fountain County's Activities in the
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
More information about
this publication is available on our
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.
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
The University of Vermont
in the Great War.
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
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
This is a single volume, but it is
massive -- 958 numbered pages, plus introductory material. Scanning it
will be a significant undertaking, and we would like to know if this is of
interest to you before beginning. Please let us
know if this is a priority for you.