Patriot's History: World War 1, 1912-20 (Chap 14)

Over There, by Caruso, 1918
As Those Caissons Go Rolling Along, composed 1918
Light Cavalry, Vienna Philharmonic
Semper Fidelis, U.S. Marine Band, 1890 (John Philip Sousa)
Star Spangled Banner, Frank C. Stanley, 1904

A storm was brewing overseas in Europe. Germany
attacked the Allies: Britain, France, US. The misery
of modern war was suffered in the trenches. Human woe,
but "never such a war again." For twenty years or so.

With Henry Ford displaying business ingenuity,
the brothers Wright were showing that the "great white bird" could be
reality. The news from Mexico was troublesome,
as Pancho Villa killed Americans. We might succumb
at normal times to retribution, but a greater stage
was set in Europe. Germany was ready to engage
the "Allies" - Britain, France, and Russia. Archduke Ferdinand
of Austria was killed, and German troops would now demand
retaliation. (These events occurred, ironically,
as Europe's "Great Illusion" claimed that "war was history.")
The horrors of a modern war abounded: poison gas
and weapons throwing flame, as infantry was killed en masse
and tanks besieged the trenches. Germany controlled the seas,
and sunk the neutral Lusitania, and by degrees
aroused Americans. But Wilson "kept us out of war,"
and pacifists and socialists insisted we ignore
the fight in Europe, though our intervention might have gained
a quicker victory. Too long a time, though, we abstained,
and now began the propaganda of the war machine:
the hamburger's a "freedom sandwich," poster boards demean
the German "Huns" and "apes." And now the public was in fear:
a tough Sedition Act was passed ensuring no one smear
America (though freedoms, for the greater part, remained).
And business (with its "dollar men") unflaggingly sustained
the war, supplying all its needs; and with the army small,
Selective Service was begun, and soon the draft would call
the "doughboys" out for General Pershing, hitting France
relentlessly, with Alvin York depicting the romance
of bravery in battle -- but in Europe, countless dead
(some seven million) lay in graves, and anguish lay ahead
for Germany, as Wilson's "Fourteen Points" would devastate
the Deutschen Mark. So "Never such a war again!" But fate
would see the Germans rise again, and Lenin's Communist
regime. With Sacco and Vanzetti tried for anarchist
attacks, and deadly bombing Communists still running free,
there still remained some liberal extremist sympathy.

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