World War I Podcast Season Four

Produced by the MacArthur Memorial to commemorate the centennial of World War I (1914-1918), the World War I History Podcast explores the history of the war from a variety of perspectives.

From the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, to the Zimmerman Telegram, the Red Baron, trench warfare, the Christmas Truce and Lawrence of Arabia, this podcast series will answer some of the major questions of the war. 

What were the causes? Who were the major players? How did this war redraw the political and social map of the world? And most importantly, why does this war still matter?

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Contact Amanda Williams.

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"The 93rd Division in World War I"

In 1917, war mobilization plans included no black combat divisions.  With only four black regiments in existence at the time, all the new African American volunteers and draftees presented the U.S. Army with a bit of a problem.  Where did they fit in?  Where could they go?  Initially the Army began organizing these men into provisional, unarmed labor units.  This was unacceptable to African American leaders who believed that a demonstration of patriotism and sacrifice on the battlefield would benefit the quest for civil rights. The concerns of these leaders reached the Secretary of War, Newton Baker.  Baker ultimately ordered the creation of two black combat divisions.  One of these was the 93rd Division.  Against all odds, the combat regiments of the 93rd made it to France. Set aside for service and supply duty on arrival, in the spring of 1918 they were “loaned” to the French.  Wearing French gear, carrying French weapons, and under French command, the men of the 93rd saw combat in most of the major sectors and campaigns of the war.  In battle, they proved themselves capable and courageous.  (24:13)

93rd Division Patch
Into the Trenches: Luneville Baccarat Sector, February-March 1918

In February 1918, General John J. Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Force had only five divisions in France.  One of those divisions, the 42nd “Rainbow” Division, had just arrived and had not yet experienced trench warfare.  Along with the other American divisions, the 42nd was partnered with French units in order to learn to operate and survive at the front.  Under French tutelage, the men and officers of the 42nd Division absorbed the combat tactics and other common sense survival skills while serving in the Luneville Baccarat Sector between February and March 1918.  Typically a quiet sector, the arrival of the 42nd Division combined with the movement of German troops from the Eastern Front to the Western Front meant that the sector was soon alive with trench raids, poison gas, and shelling.  (32:47)
168th IR on raid on German trenches w French
"A Citizen Army Learns to Fight: The Tactical Evolution of the British Army in 1916"

In October 2016, the World War One Historical Association hosted a World War I Centennial Symposium at the MacArthur Memorial.  Dr. David Silbey of Cornell University presented on the topic: "A Citizen Army Learns to Fight: The Tactical Evolution of the British Army in 1916."  Dr. Silbey explores how the British created a mass army by 1916. It was that army - not the highly trained professional army of 1914 - that was expected to win the war against Germany. In many ways, the Battle of the Somme was the crucible of the new British 'citizen army.' It was also the beginning of the tactical evolution of the British army that would lead to in victories in 1918. (31:59)

To learn more about the World War One Historical Association, visit https://ww1ha.org/. 
Somme 1916
"Eastern Front 1916: Russian Victory to Revolution"

In October 2016, the World War One Historical Association hosted a World War I Centennial Symposium at the MacArthur Memorial.  Dr. Graydon Tunstall, a senior lecturer in history at the University of South Florida, presented on the topic: "Eastern Front 1916: Russian Victory to Revolution."  Dr. Tunstall explored the major Russian offensive at Lake Naroch, the Romanian campaign, and the Brusilov Offensive.  Through these military failures and victories, Dr. Tunstall sets the stage for the Russian Revolution. (33:59)

To learn more about the World War One Historical Association, visit https://ww1ha.org/.
Russian Infantry
"From Venice to London: Aerial Bombing in 1916"

In October 2016, the World War One Historical Association hosted a World War I Centennial Symposium at the MacArthur Memorial.  The focus of the Symposium was 1916, and that was an interesting year in terms of military aviation. During 1916, Austrian flying boats attacked Venice sixteen times, London was bombed by German Zeppelins, the British adopted strategic bombing, the French launched an air reprisal raid, and the Italians and the Russians began to have success with the largest airplanes built to that date. Steve Suddaby, an author and retired CIA analyst, explored all of these topics in his presentation: "From Venice to London: Aerial Bombing in 1916."  (35:21)

To learn more about the World War One Historical Association, visit https://ww1ha.org/. 
Italian Caproni Bomber
"Big Navies, Big Innovations, Big Battle...then Fizzle. Why?"

In October 2016, the World War One Historical Association hosted a World War I Centennial Symposium at the MacArthur Memorial.  William MacMullen, a member of the U.S. Navy League, the U.S. Naval Institute, and past Executive Director of the U.S. Naval Ship Building Museum, gave a presentation entitled: "Big Navies, Big Innovations, Big Battle...then Fizzle.  Why?" MacMullen discussed ship design and construct-ability, the Dreadnought Race, and the evolution of technology versus tradition. (31:35)

To learn more about the World War One Historical Association, visit https://ww1ha.org/.  



HMS_Dreadnought_1906
"Verdun After 100 Years: An Iconic or Exceptional Battle"

In October 2016, the World War One Historical Association hosted a World War I Centennial Symposium at the MacArthur Memorial.  Dr. Paul Jankowski, the Ray Ginger Professor of History at Brandeis University and the author of Verdun: The Largest Battle of the Great War, presented on the topic “Verdun After 100 Years: An Iconic or Exceptional Battle.” Dr. Jankowski explored French and German perspectives of Verdun and compared the battle to the other great battles of the Western Front.  (30:15)

To learn more about the World War One Historical Association, visit https://ww1ha.org/.

Verdun
"Russian Air Assets in the Brusilov Offensive 1916"

In October 2016, the World War One Historical Association hosted a World War I Centennial Symposium at the MacArthur Memorial.  Carl Bobrow, a member of the collections department at the National Air and Space Museum, presented on the topic: “Russian Air Assets in the Brusilov Offensive 1916.”  Mr. Bobrow is an expert on the advent and development of Russian aviation and his lecture examined the extent to which the largely forgotten Russian air assets in the Brusilov Offensive were vital to its success. (48:44)

To learn more about the World War One Historical Association, visit https://ww1ha.org/.

Brusilov Air Assets
"Haven of Safety: U.S. Internment of German Sailors, 1914-1917”

In October 2016, the World War One Historical Association hosted a World War I Centennial Symposium at the MacArthur Memorial.  Greg Hansard, the Manager of Web and Digital Resources at the Virginia Historical Society, presented on the topic: “Haven of Safety: U.S. Internment of German Sailors, 1914-1917.”  Hansard described the largely positive and beneficial relationship between the German sailors and the local community but also addressed the problems of internment – including escapes and sabotage.  (37:03)

To learn more about the World War One Historical Association, visit https://ww1ha.org/.

German Village
"Embattled Neutrality: The Western Hemisphere, Europe, and Woodrow Wilson"

In October 2016, the World War One Historical Association hosted a World War I Centennial Symposium at the MacArthur Memorial.  Historian Paul Walsh examined American neutrality and the political difficulties faced by President Woodrow Wilson from 1914-1917.  Keeping America out of war during that period grew increasingly difficult, and Walsh explains how public opinion gradually began to swing in favor of backing the Entente Powers.   (30:01)

To learn more about the World War One Historical Association, visit https://ww1ha.org/.




Wilson America First