Len's Summary: Presents a cautionary tale of a typical inexperienced and under trained AEF division, the 35th Missouri-Kansas National Guard. // Analysis of the 35th Division collapse in the Meuse-Argonne that spotlights the steep learning curve faced by AEF commanders and soldiers in 1917 and 1918. Ferrell faults Major General Robert E. Traub, the divisional commander, for insensitivity to the tactical situation in fighting in the Argonne around Felville and Varennes, territory familiar to participants in recent WFA-USA tours. Divisional artillery commander Brigadier General Lucien D. Berry also comes in for criticism for failure to comprehend his guns role in infantry support. It was divisional engineer Colonel Thomas C. Clark who saved the day and prevented retreat from turning into rout. Other brigade, regimental, battalion commanders performed adequately; some preformed brilliantly before the Division was withdrawn from the line on September 30, 1918.
The Centennial commemorations are over, but WW1 remains a relevant area of study because of its enormous impact on the 20th and 21st centuries: Many present-day geographic tensions come from the post-war peace and drawing of boundaries. More families than ever are seeking to understand the war’s impact on their ancestors. The war had a profound impact on all facets of society, including post-war re-building. At the time of this writing, the influenza epidemic of 1918-19 is again newsworthy.
In 2020 we are working to increase engagement and communication with the membership. This will include: regular publication of our Journal, World War One Illustrated, and our newsletter, Here and There; a more regular social media presence; and a refreshed website.