The US Enters the Great War – 100 Years Later

The Declaration

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I.

On April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson stood before congress and said,

“With a profound sense of the solemn and even tragical character of the step I am taking and of the grave responsibilities which it involves, but in unhesitating obedience to what I deem my constitutional duty, I advise that the Congress declare the recent course of the Imperial German Government to be in fact nothing less than war against the government and people of the United States; that it formally accept the status of belligerent which has thus been thrust upon it, and that it take immediate steps not only to put the country in a more thorough state of defense but also to exert all its power and employ all its resources to bring the Government of the German Empire to terms and end the war.”

Four days later, after the Senate and House of Representatives voted, the United States was at war.US-in-World-War-I

On June 6th of that year, the first American troops, also known as “doughboys”, landed in Europe.  By the end of the war, two and a half years later on November 11, 1918, around 100,000 soldiers had lost their lives.

The Stories

Images from ‘When the World Went Dark: An Illustrated Interpretation of the Great War’

The stories that have come out of the Great War have left lasting impressions on historians and students alike. A century later, these stories still resonate and teach us about the horror, courage, and impact of war. Below are some featured titles that tell the fascinating accounts of American soldiers during World War I:


First-to-Fight

Expected November 2017
First to Fight: The U.S. Marines in World War I

Retreat, hell! We just got here!” The words of Captain Lloyd Williams at Belleau Wood in June 1918 entered United States Marine Corps legend, and the Marine Brigade’s actions there—along with the censor’s failure to take out the name of the Brigade in the battle reports—made the Corps famous.

Marine units were accepted into the American Expeditionary Force in 1917 only grudgingly, and on arrival in France they were used primarily as labor troops. Eventually, untested Marine divisions were launched into battle against advancing German divisions on the pleading of the French. Their dogged determination to hold Belleau Wood ensured them in the history books. This book gives a full narrative of all US Marine combat operations in World War I, both on land and in the air.


Lafayette-Escadrille

The Lafayette Escadrille: A Photo History of the First American Fighter Squadron

This magnificent book probably provides everything needed by someone wishing to learn about this famous fighting unit, and really lives up to its sub-title…a reference book of the highest quality and one well worth having.”
Cross and Cockade 9/7/2016

The Lafayette Escadrille was an all-volunteer squadron of Americans who flew for France during World War I. One hundred years later, it is still arguably the best-known fighter squadron ever to take to the skies. In this work the entire history of these gallant volunteers—who named themselves after the Marquis Lafayette—is laid out in both text and pictorial form. In time for the centennial celebration, this work not only tells the fascinating story of the Lafayette Escadrille, it shows it.


Artillery-Scout

Artillery Scout: The Story of a Forward Observer with the U.S. Field Artillery in World War I

The doughboys have been referred to as America’s Lost Generation, though they are not forgotten. This book provides an intimate look at what the grueling warfare along the Western Front must have been like for them…”
Toy Solder and Model Figure Magazine 2/2/2015

Len Fairfield (the author’s grandfather) was an Artillery Scout, or Forward Observer, for the U.S. Army, and was a firsthand witness to the war’s carnage as he endured its countless hardships, all of which are revealed here in vivid detail. His story takes the reader from a hard life in Chicago, through conscription, rigorous training in America and France, and finally to the battles which have become synonymous with the U.S. effort in France—St. Mihiel and the Argonne Forest, the latter claiming 26,000 American lives, more than any other U.S. battle.


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