Friday, November 11, 2016

I’m On A Roll Here ... Here Is More About The Last Day Of WWI

Hate is a natural by-product of war. This U.S. Army Artillery Captain was very angry at the Germans on the last day of WWI. This excerpt comes from the Library of Congress. It is part of a letter he wrote to his fiancée during the last six hours of the war. I underlined the most shocking part...

November 11, 1918

We are all wondering what the Hun is going to do about Marshal Foch's proposition to him. We don't care what he does. He's licked either way he goes. For my part I'd as soon be provost marshal of Cologne or Metz or Munich or Berlin as have any other job I know of now. It is a shame we can't go in and devastate Germany and cut off a few of the Dutch kids' hands and feet and scalp a few of their old men but I guess it will be better to make them work for France and Belgium for fifty years.”


More from the book (11th Month, 11th Day, 11th Hour by Joseph E. Persico) I referenced in my blog posting earlier today. This is more about the above Artillery Officer...

“He put aside his letter to his fiancée and assembled the battery for action. The ammunition he had been firing so far with his French 75 mm artillery pieces had a maximum range of 8,800 meters. He had just received the new “D” shells, estimated to reach 11,500 meters and was eager to test them before the cease-fire. He figured the grid coordinates for Hermville, northeast of Verdun, at 11,000 meters distance, and began raining shells on the tiny village.”


Remember all of the above (letter and new longer range artillery firing) happened during the six hours between the armistice being signed at 5am and the cessation of hostilities at 11am.


What’s that you just said? Did you just tell me that I have not given you the name of the U.S. Army Artillery Captain? You are right. Please forgive me. His name was Harry S. Truman.


Would I kid u?


I Ought To Post This One Every November 11th

This Is The 2nd Year In A Row That I have Posted This Blog

This posting refers back to two separate Foolishness...Or Is It? postings on the same subject. The first reiterates the Ignorance of Mankind & the second asks you to think about a Very Sobering Question.


First Posting...

The Last Day of World War One

The day humankind proved it is not too smart … again.

When did the First World War end? Many of you just said to yourselves…The 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month of 1918. It sounds like that was scripted by Hollywood.

The most awful part of the story is that the armistice was signed at 5am on November 11th but was not effective until 11am and the fighting continued for those last six hours between 5am and 11am.

After the war, in a Congressional Hearing, General Pershing blamed Marshal Foch but many said that, at the time, Pershing appeared to be gung ho about the last assaults.

These were full frontal assaults as vicious as any on any other day of the war.

The Germans were shocked when the assaults started but defended against them with all that they had.

During these six hours, thousands of men were wounded or killed fighting for land on which they could have casually strolled smoking a cigarette at 11:01am on the 11th Day of the 11th Month of 1918.

I wish I were kidding you.


Second Posting...

No Foolishness, As My Mind Wanders Through This One

After you read below, I will invite you to ask yourself a very sobering question.

I published “The last day of World War One” commentary on April 23, 2008. It was about how WWI continued for six hours after the armistice was signed at 5 A.M. on November 11, 1918.


At present I am reading a book by Joseph E. Persico entitled 11th Month, 11th Day, 11th Hour. The quoted excerpt that follows is from page 3 of this book…

"The captain read the message twice. It must be a mistake. True, the night before, the U.S. 26th Division had received Field Order 105 to attack at 9:30 this morning. But at 9:10, just as they had been checking their ammunition and fixing their bayonets, word came that the armistice had been signed. Hostilities were to cease at 11 A.M. The attack had been cancelled. And here was another message telling the captain that the assault had been reinstated. His watch showed 10:30. A half hour remained in the war."


Now for the sobering question ... If you were this captain, what would you have done?


Would I kid u?



Lagniappe: The men of the 26th Division under that Captain’s command went over the top at 10:35. There were 25 minutes left in the war.