Fall 2015 Symposium in WW1 History To Be Held in York, PA


The Western Front Association East Coast Branch (USA) will gather in York, PA on Saturday October 24 for the Fall 2015 Symposium in World War 1 History.  Join WFA East Coast at the York County Heritage Trust for an exciting day of WW1 history presentations, displays, discussions, door prizes, book signings and more !

cantigny matt davenport Gillet

Presentations at the symposium include:

  • “The Life of General ‘Blackjack’ Pershing –Meet America’s most celebrated personality of WW1   as living history presenter Dane Coffman portrays General John J. Pershing while recounting his life story. From his early days on the American frontier and later the Spanish –American War, learn how Pershing faced trials in his Army career and tragedy in his personal life before taking on the monumental task of forging and leading an American Army in the “War to End All Wars.”
  • First Over There –The Attack on Cantigny”- Facing veteran German troops, the largely untried US 1st Infantry Division carried out the first American offensive action of World War 1 capturing and holding the front-line village of Cantigny. Author Matthew J. Davenport tells the stories of the men of “The Big Red 1” who fought and died in this May 1918 battle – based on his new book from St. Martin’s Press. Copies will be available for sale.
  • The Germans of Hampton Roads –  Beginning in April 1915, two German surface raiders , the Prinz Eitel Friedrich and   the Kronprinz Wilhelm , were interned in Hampton Roads, Virginia. In a unique study of war and society, Gregory Hansard of the Virginia Historical Society explores the internment of more than 500 of their crew from April 1915 to September 1916 and the relationships they formed with the Norfolk community and U.S. officials.
  • A Yank in the RAF – Too young to fly with the US Air Service, Baltimore native Francis Warrington Gillett made his way into Britain’s Royal Air Force (formerly RFC) in 1918 where he flew Sopwith Dolphin fighters with No. 79 Squadron. Credited with 20 victories by the time of the Armistice, Gillett is second on the list of American flying aces of World War I. WFA East Coast’s Paul Cora recounts his story and also outlines plans for the Branch to memorialize this little known aviator.
  • “Alvin York- A New Biography of the Hero of the Argonne –  Historian COL Douglas V. Mastriano of the US Army War College presents a fresh look at the unlikely hero who became an American icon of “The War to End All Wars” – based on his book from the University of Kentucky Press. Copies will be available for sale.


For full details and event registration information, view the flyer here: WFA East Coast Fall 2015



WFA East Coast Announces 2015 WW1 History Symposium


The Western Front Association East Coast Branch (USA) has finalized its program for the  Spring 2015 Symposium in World War 1 History which will take place on Saturday June 20 in Baltimore, MD.  The venue for the symposium is the historic Maryland War Memorial Building which was dedicated in 1925 to honor the memory of the more than 1,700 citizens of Maryland who perished in “the War to end all wars”.

The day-long program will include displays of WW1 memorabilia, door prizes, refreshments, discussions and a used/out of print book sale.  Presentations at the symposium will include:

  • “Gallipoli – A German Perspective”
  • “The Lost Sketchbooks: A Young Artist in the Great War”
  • “American U-Boats – Terror Trophies of World War 1”
  • “Quantity AND Quality ? Your Edwardian Naval Race”
  • “Unfulfilled Nightmares of WW1 Aerial Bombing”

Since its establishment in the early 1990s, WFA East Coast has been bringing together authors, historians and scholars in all aspects World War 1 history for public programs aimed at fostering a greater understanding the conflict and its aftermath.  Attendees at these events range in background and interests from battlefield travelers and tour guides, to researchers, genealogists, collectors and those simply interested in learning more about the watershed event of modern times.

For full details on the symposium, see the announcement flyer/registration form here:  WFA East Coast Spring 2015 Symposium


USMA West Point Announces September 2014 WW1 Conference

The United States Military Academy at West Point.

The United States Military Academy at West Point.

The United States Military Academy at West Point has announced that it will host a conference focusing on the literature and collective memory of the First World War.  Co-sponsored by the Academy’s Philosophy, English and History Departments, “Literature, Memory and the First World War” will take place from September 11-14, 2014.

In addition to conference presentations from a variety of noted scholars, the event will include panel discussions and distinguished speakers.   Registration for the event opens February 1, 2014.

The announcement includes a call for papers on various aspects of literature, history, poetry, memory and trauma from a wide range of perspectives associated with The Great War 1914-1918.  Says the conference announcement, “we invite paper proposals that focus on the unique literature, history, and memory inspired by the First World War.  In this interdisciplinary conference, we will consider how the war shifted the manner in which we craft war’s historical narrative, and explore the ways in which the war crafted our understanding of modern identity.  Planned to coincide with and commemorate the 100th anniversary of the emergence of the war’s most salient feature—trench warfare, this four-day conference will allow us to reckon with the Great War and its aftermath, and explore the ways in which we have remembered it.”

For conference registration information, as well as guidelines for proposal submissions, visit the conference website here.


MacArthur Memorial Unveils New WW1 Education Resources


The MacArthur Memorial of Norfolk, VA, whose mission is to preserve and present of the life story of General Douglas MacArthur, has just unveiled an exciting new set of education resources on the history of the First World War.  Seeking to reach global audiences, the Memorial has just released on YouTube the first of a series of WW1 history films, “1914: The Road to War”.  This 13-minute video sets the stage for the outbreak of the war nearly 100 years ago in a package designed to easily fit the needs of classroom teachers and home school instructors alike.  “The Road to War” is augmented by additional enrichment materials available on the MacArthur Memorial’s website.  These materials feature ready-made resource handouts focusing on themes such as the geography of Europe in 1914, history through contemporary political cartoon analysis,  and the role of technology in shaping World War I.

Over the next two years, the MacArthur Memorial will release 9 more videos along with enrichment materials available on their website.  The key objective of the project is to help students answer critical questions such as : why does this war still matter, why did it start, who were the major players, and ultimately what happened?

The MacArthur Memorial in Norfolk, VA, features a museum and resource center which is free and open to the public throughout the year.

Access the video “1914: The Road to War” here.

Access the video’s enrichment materials here.



WW1HA Announces 2013 Symposium “The Coming of The Great War”

The Coming of the Great War

November 8 and 9, 2013        

The National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial, Kansas City, Missouri

A symposium on the political, social, economic, cultural, and military events between 1870 and 1913, leading to the Great War 1914-1918.

During the last quarter of the 19th and the first decade of the 20th centuries, European and American societies experienced fundamental changes. Social unrest, rising nationalism, colonial rivalries and rapid technological and industrial advances gave rise to political turmoil and increasing international tension.

Patterns in each of these areas can be identified that help us understand the causes of the outbreak of war in 1914, arguably the most significant event of the Twentieth Century.  An in-depth examination of these patterns and their evolution over time is essential to an understanding of the pre-war environment that caused a sequence of events that led to the First World War.

To examine these patterns, a two-day symposium will be given by ten distinguished authors and scholars:

  • Michael Neiberg – U.S. War College,
  • Holger Herwig – University of Calgary
  • Nicholas Murray – Command and General Staff College
  • Gary Armstrong – William Jewell College
  • Richard Hamilton – Ohio State University
  • Pierre Purseigle – Yale University
  • Ross Collins – University of North Dakota
  • John Kuehn – Command and General Staff College
  • Michael Reynolds – Princeton University
  • Martha Hanna – University of Colorado

This symposium compliments the museum’s current exhibit “The Road to War”.

Registration for the symposium is $195 per person ($245 if registered after September 15).  For more information, visit the WW1HA’s symposium web page here.

Symposium in WW1 History Announced for York, PA


WFA East Coast Symposium in World War I History - Attendees enjoy a presentation in York, PA.

WFA East Coast Symposium in World War I History – Attendees enjoy a presentation in York, PA.

The Western Front Association East Coast Branch will hold its Fall 2013 World War I History Symposium on Saturday 12 October at the York County Heritage Trust, York, PA.

The event will feature an impressive lineup of speakers including:

  • Nationally renowned author Richard Rubin who will showcase his new book THE LAST OF THE DOUGHBOYS
  • US Army Center of Military History Chief Robert J. Dalessandro who will tell the story of African Americans in the AEF – based on his book WILLING PATRIOTS
  • Timothy Mulligan, the leading authority in the US on the records 0f  The Imperial German Navy, will examine the true nature and impact of the German naval mutinies of 1917-19 based on new research
  • Dr. Corey Reigel of West Liberty University will present a strategic interpretation of the British Indian Army’s role in WWI
  • WFA East Coaster Ryan Szimanski will examine the role of the capital ship in the causes and course of WW1, as well as the impact of the naval race on the peace which followed.

The symposium will also feature displays of WW1 artifacts and memorabilia, a used/out-of-print WW1 book sale, refreshments, door prizes and an optional catered lunch.  For more information, visit the WFA East Coast Branch website here.

Symposium in World War I History To Be Held in Baltimore, MD

WFA East Coast Symposium in World War I History - Attendees enjoy a presentation in York, PA.

WFA East Coast Symposium in World War I History – Attendees enjoy a presentation in York, PA.

The Western Front Association East Coast Branch (USA) will hold its Spring 2013 Symposium in World War I History on Saturday June 1, 2013 in Baltimore, MD.  The symposium venue  will be the historic Fifth Regiment Armory – site of the 1912 Democratic National Convention in which Woodrow Wilson received his party’s nomination for President of the United States.

WFA East Coast conducts two symposiums in WWI history each year which bring together authors, historians and scholars for a dynamic day-long program of presentations, discussions and displays focusing on the history and impact of the First World War.  Individuals travel from throughout the United States to take part.

Slated for the Spring Symposium are the following presentations:


“Hell’s Observer: The Epic Wartime Journal of Private William J. Graham AEF”Bruce Jarvis and Steven Badgley showcase their exciting new book and recount the amazing backstory behind the the lucky rediscovery of the original 1918 soldier’s journal which inspired it.


“Trench Raiding With the Royal Irish Fusiliers :  Retired British Army Col. Nick Metcalfe examines the uses of this vital component of warfare on the Western Front in three case studies from the 9th BN Royal Irish Fusiliers – based on his new book Blacker’s Boys.


“Beer, Bratwurst and Occupation”: Most Americans recall the occupation of Germany following WWII, however the AEF’s occupation of the Rhineland until 1923 is much less well-known.  LTC Mike Rauer (Ret) recounts this unique chapter in WWI history as soldiers of the US 3rd Army and US Marines took on the duties of an army of occupation before returning home to the America of “The Roaring Twenties.”


“Wilson, The League of Nations and Versailles” : Dr. William T. Walker of the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library examines Wilson’s hopes and frustrations at Versailles.  To win Allied support Wilson had to compromise some of his most strongly held principles, resulting in situations that would ultimately destroy the League and his dream of creating a living memorial to the Doughboys’ sacrifices.

Japanese Farmans at Seige ofTsingtao

Air War Over the Imperial Outposts”:  Prolific aviation history author Jon Guttman presents some lesser-known chapters in WWI aero history as he recounts aerial operations over Tsingtao and Africa during The Great War.

Also included in the symposium will be refreshements, door prizes, a Branch-sponsored WW1 book sale, tours of the Maryland Military Museum housed within the armory, and an optional catered lunch.  Attendees will also have the opportunity to obtain copies of the new WW1 books  Blacker’s Boys and Hell’s Observer from the authors.

For more information, see the announcement flyer/registration form here.

National World War I Museum Hosts Centennial Conference


The Liberty Memorial in KansasCity

The Liberty Memorial in KansasCity

The National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial will bring together WW1 scholars, authors, and  museum professionals from around the World to participate in a planning conference for the centennial of the First World War.  “A Century In The Shadow Of the Great War – An International Centennial Planning Conference” will take place from March 22-24, 2013 at the Kansas City, MO, museum.

The Liberty Memorial in Kansas City was dedicated in 1921 to the memory of those Americans who died in “The War to End All Wars.”  In 2004, the museum at Liberty Memorial was officially designated by Congress as the United States’ official World War I Museum.

To learn more about this exciting conference, visit the conference web page here.

WW1 History Symposium Announced

The WFA East Coast Branch (USA) announces its Spring 2013 WW1 History Syposium