This is the story of a Brooklyn man of German descent and his adventures in Belgium in the opening campaign of World War One. It presents an entertaining, almost unbelievable, series of events in compelling detail. Klekowski has written other non-fiction books, including Americans in Occupied Belgium, 1914-1918, and created several TV documentaries, including one on WW1 volunteer ambulance drivers.
The protagonist, Paul Meyer, enlisted in the German Navy at the beginning of the war and survives a crash landing of the Zeppelin on which he was serving as an engineer. His American attitudes clash with many in the German military, but somehow he lurches from event to event learning survival skills and giving the reader a look at the chaos behind the front lines of the German advance on the Western Front.
Unfortunately, the author adds lots of historical detail even when it interrupts the story—what eventually happens to famous historical figures who appear briefly in the book does not advance the story. An appendix or afterword would have been more appropriate. Despite this flaw it’s a good read.
Len's Summary: A combination history, photoalbum, atlas and battlefield guide for the American Expeditionary Force, this classic is now best ordered as part of the 3-CD set, The U.S. Army in World War I, offered by the U.S. Army Center for Military History at their website.
Len's Summary: A 1915 story of deception and betrayal set just before WWI; by an exceptional British author who also crafted the acclaimed tetrology Parade’s End about his WWI experiences, A Man Could Stand Up and Zeppelin Nights.
Len's Summary: A history of the war through the lens of Edward Jackson, President Wilson's photographer. Part of a series of Edward N. Jackson's photo studies of America in the WWI era covering such subjects as the 27th Division, Training Our Troops, the Armistice and Gold Star Mothers.
On Saturday March 12 the WW1HA hosted its first ever online quiz night. This was a fun way to get geographically distant members together virtually. We are considering doing this a few times a year.
The next issue of World War One Illustrated (WWOI) will be printed shortly. Members/subscribers should receive their printed issue in the next month or so.
Members are encouraged to participate in the monthly online seminars hosted by the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter; and we plan to announce a gathering of WW1HA members at the National World War I Museum’s Fall 2022 symposium. Stay tuned!
Do you have a special interest or knowledge regarding a WW1 topic? Consider sharing your knowledge by writing an article for WWOI or a shorter blog post (500 – 1,000 words) for the WW1HA Facebook page. Talk to Editor Ed Klekowski (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Charles Van Way (email@example.com) for more details.
Finally, you can always reach out to me with your thoughts or questions.