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First Americans Enter the Front Line

The 1st Division enters Sommerviller.

October 21 1917, Sommerviller–Over six months after American entry into the war, and nearly four months after the first American combat troops arrived in France, the first American troops entered front line service on October 21.  After extensive training, the 1st Division was deployed that day around Sommerviller in Lorraine.  The sector was chosen because it was one of the least active on the front; neither side had attempted major operations here.  Furthermore, each American unit was attached to a French unit, hoping that they would be able to learn the lessons of the last three years of war from their French allies.

The 1st Division was comprised of regular Army personnel, plus various graduates of Plattsburgh and various other preparedness camps; among the latter group was Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.  Many in both groups thought the pace around Sommerviller a bit too quiet.  George C. Marshall, the division’s assistant chief of staff, recalled that “the first thrill of service in the trenches soon passed with a realization of the mud and other discomforts and the dearth of excitement.”

Today in 1916: Austrian PM Assassinated
Today in 1915: Italian Assaults Fail Everywhere Despite 34 Hour Barrage
Today in 1914: Vodka Permanently Banned in Russia

Sources include: Andrew Carroll, My Fellow Soldiers.

Take That, Anti-Semites

In 1916, in the middle of World War I, the German military conducted the Judenzählung: a census of German Jews. It was intended to confirm accusations of lack of patriotism among German Jews. But the census not only disproved the anti-Semitic rumors, it crushed them. Not only were German Jews enlisting in the army, a higher percentage of German Jews fought than of any other ethnic, religious or political group in Germany.

The results of the census were not made public at the time.


‘Ode to Idaho’- Gorillaz

New Gorillaz song premiered in Seattle last night! (September 30th, 2017) 

luke garroway was fooled by the circle, let down by his own parabatai, literally thrown into the wolves, lost all his family, had to deal with him being a werewolf of his own, had his parabatai take the love of his life away from him, the clave forbidding him to come to said love of live’s funeral, had his work doubt him, had to fight his way to be an alpha, had to be the defender of the whole downworld more than enough, had his pack doubting him, lost many pack members, and was nearly killed uncountable times.

if anyone deserves to celebrate and be happy for once, it’s luke fucking garroway.


NCT as always, being amazing ♡

The Forgotten American Hero Of The Great War

Meet Alvin C. York, one of the most decorated American soldiers during the First World War. He received the Medal of Honor for one spectacular attack during the Battle of the Argonne. He was put in a group of 17 Americans soldiers who were ordered to infiltrate the German lines and take out one machine gun position. They were able to capture a number of German soldiers, but then small arms fire killed six and wounded three. Suddenly, York was the highest ranking remaining soldier.

He took command, and immediately ordered his men to guard the prisoners while he – by himself– went to attack that one machine gun position they had been ordered to take out. He attacked the German machine gun nest – again, by himself! – with just his rifle and his pistol. That’s right: he took a rifle to a machine gun fight. York ended up taking 35 machine guns, killing at least 25 enemy soldiers, and capturing 132 enemy soldiers.

York was lionized for decades, although he has largely been forgotten by newer generations. A 1941 film about him, Sergeant York, was that year’s highest-grossing film. And the man who played York, Gary Cooper, won the Academy Award for Best Actor that year.

1917  A French Red Cross dog wearing a gas mask

During the First World War there were ‘Red Cross dogs’, also known as ‘ambulance dogs’. These dogs detected wounded people. They were trained to ignore the dead and not to bark when finding an injured person, but to alert their owner in silence. The dogs were also used to bring medicine back and forth. They carried a backpack in which bandages, some food for the dog and a bottle of liquor were stored. There were around 10,000 Red Cross dogs during the First World War.