World War I

World War I was a global conflict of the early 20th century from 1914-1918, between the Central Powers, Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria, and the Allied powers, primarily Great Britain, France, Russia, and later the United States. World War I was ignited in the Balkan city of Sarajevo in June 1914 with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and war was declared in August. World War I was characterized by the horror of trench warfare on the Western Front and the rise of Bolshevism in the East, and millions died in the catastrophic conflict. The causes of World War I were many, including various territorial disputes, a major arms race, conflicting political ideologies, and more. World War I ended with the Treaty of Versailles; however, the agreement left many issues unresolved and heaped blame and the requirement for reparations on Germany, sowing the seeds of World War II.

The 785-foot-long dirigible USS Macon was the pride of the Navy’s Lighter Than Air Program in the late 1920s and early 1930s.

World War I

The USS Macon

By John J. Geoghegan

It is sometimes difficult to understand just how immature aviation was in the 1920s and 1930s. Everything about flying was new. Read more

World War I

General Arthur Percival: a Convenient Scapegoat?

By Jon Diamond

On February 15, 1942, the island fortress of Singapore surrendered with 130,000 men, thus ending the defense of Malaya as one of the largest military disasters in the history of British arms since Cornwallis’s capitulation to Franco-American forces at Yorktown in 1781 during America’s Revolutionary War. Read more

The 45th Infantry Division Museum in Oklahoma City commemorates the World War II service of the Army’s much-decorated unit, the Thunderbirds.

World War I

The 45th Infantry Division Museum in Oklahoma City

By Christopher Miskimon

The 45th Infantry Division of the United States Army earned an impressive record during World War II. Originally formed from an Oklahoma National Guard unit, the division was rounded out by National Guard formations from Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. Read more

Led by the dashing and charismatic Red Baron, Manfred von Richthofen, the young pilots in Jasta 11 wreaked havoc in the skies over the Western Front.

World War I

The Red Baron’s Band of Brothers

By O’Brien Browne

Like a swarm of ungainly dragonflies, a squadron of six British RE8 observation aircraft droned over the trenches of northern France on the afternoon April 13, 1917. Read more

As Allied forces hunkered down on the shell-wracked beaches of the Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkish forces rallied to defend their homeland.

World War I

“I Order You To Die”

By Victor J. Kamenir

In the English-speaking world, most students of military history would be hard-pressed to identify the time, place, or antagonists of the Canakkale Campaign. Read more

The Short-range Shotgun

World War I

The Short-range Shotgun

By Christopher Miskimon

Coming upon the enemy’s rear guard outside the western Kentucky village of Sacramento, four days after Christmas 1861, Confederate Colonel Nathan Bedford Forrest ordered his cavalry to advance. Read more

World War I

From Doughboy to GI Helmet

By Earl Rickard

When the United States Army mobilized for defense in the fall of 1940, the peacetime draftees, National Guardsmen, reservists, and regulars carried Model 1903 Springfield rifles; the Guardsmen wore puttees; and all the soldiers covered their heads with the doughboy helmet—head-to-foot relics of World War I. Read more

World War I

The German Cruiser Konigsberg

by Michael Vogel

The field telephone rang on the bridge of the trapped German cruiser SMS Konigsberg. On the other end of the line, the coast watcher spoke the words that had been dreaded for almost eight months—the British were coming. Read more

World War I

Famous Military Weapons: Mortars

by William McPeak

The mortar is perhaps the oldest surviving ordnance piece developed during the Middle Ages. The earliest known forerunner to the mortar, introduced by Spanish Muslims about ad 1250, was essentially an iron-reinforced bucket that hurled stones with gunpowder. Read more

World War I

Belleau Wood: Shrine of Great Deeds

By Al Hemingway

In the early morning hours of May 27, 1918, the earth trembled and the air was filled with a deafening roar as 4,000 German artillery pieces let loose a tremendous barrage on Allied lines. Read more