tv Lectures in History CSPAN September 1, 2016 11:39am-1:04pm EDT
for us the reality that in fact soldiers spent a lot of their time outside of the trenches. right? they were obviously fighting, but the majority of their time was either spent in reserve trenches or far behind the lines. we could take this even one step further to point out that for all those men that are in the front lines, there need to be like two or three men behind the lines supporting them. so there are a large number of men who survive, not just because they're not in the front lines that long, but because so many men are noncom bat nlts. they're serving in the rear. those are people that we never really factor into our narrative when we just think about the first world war as senseless slaughter. the last point i want to make here about this is that when we have this myth of senseless slaughter overall connected to the first world war, it kind of obscures the fact that in 1918, there is a learning curve that happens. and there is a breakthrough in
the trench stalemate. the war does end in 1918. i just have this map up here to kind of show you that at this moment, we had movement in 1914, trench stalemate, and 1918, there's movement again. so there is going to be some learning that occurs about how to fight this war, and that kind of challenges a little bit this notion of lions led by donkeys, that the generals are just stupid, obtuse, willing to sacrifice millions of men without thinking about it. they weren't trying to innovate and make improvements in how they thought. so the point i'm trying to make here is that we can think about myths not just to, you know, point out how they're wrong, but by dissecting them, we can actually learn a little bit more about the war itself. so this is something we can do overall for world war i. what about the united states? so what i have for you today is i have six myths about america and world war i that i want to talk about and kind of do the same thing i did in this
introduction. so the first myth here, myth number one, america was neutral until april 1917. right? april 1917, that's when the united states officially enters the war against germany. okay. and what i'm going to argue is untrue about this myth is that while officially the united states was neutral, that does not mean that americans were uninvolved. so the key point here is that neutrality does not mean noninvolvement. and we can get a sense of how this, this different concept, right, neutrality from noninvolvement if we take a look at what woodrow wilson tells the american people in 1914, right? here we have the countdown to war. something we have already discussed, how we get from the assassination of the arch duke ferdinand to the army invading belgium and this is the moment when woodrow wilson has to say to the american people, where
are we in this conflict? what is our stake as the war is spreading across europe? this is the quote that we always hear. this is the one that gets pulled out again and again. we must be impartial in thought, as well as action. right? that's what we say. woodrow wilson told us to be impartial. but there's another thing that woodrow wilson said that i actually think is a little bit more revealing of what's going to happen. and in that same neutrality address, he said, the effect of the war upon the united states will depend on what american citizens say and do. right? so he's recognizing right from the very beginning that the government can say america is neutral. right? the government can say that we have a policy of treating both sides the same, but what the government does is only going to be one side of the story. what american people decide to
do, that's going to really tell the tale of how america behaves in the so-called period of neutrality. now, what do the american people do? right? again, there are well-known parts of this story and lesser known parts of the story. what are some of the well known parts? well, we know, for instance, that the banks, american banks, lend overwhelmingly to the allied side. that's a pretty well known part of the story. we know that american manufacturers, right, excuse me, sell their goods overwhelmingly to the allied side. that's another pretty well known part of the story. what really is less well known is what the average american says and does. and what average americans overwhelmingly do is they reach into their pockets and they contribute to humanitarian aid causes. they realize that there is some
way for them to be involved in the conflict, and the way for them to be involved in the conflict is through humanitarianism. now, the person who starts this ball rolling is herbert hoover. and herbert hoover organizes a sort of massive relief effort for belgian civilians. and here you can see the kind of propaganda he uses, right? you have literally hungry children holding out empty tins. they have no food. they need to be fed. he's got propaganda here about people donating clothes and people donating food to help feed these civilians. herbert hoover is amazing what he does. statistics say that in terms of the amount of aid that he sent and the amount of money that he raised, there was no greater humanitarian effort organized by americans until the recent tsunami. that's how tremendous this
response was. herbert hoover is a private citizen. he has no official capacity. what does he do? he buys his own ships. he bought 40 ships. he paints them his own colors. he flies his own flag. he negotiates with the germans and british to let him both through the blockade and then with the germans to allow him to distribute the food in a german-occupied territory. right? he really, in a sense, becomes almost a quasi-nation in and of himself, and he enlists the help of average american citizens in this, in this quest. right? so aiding belgian civilians is what americans overwhelmingly decide they want to do. they're not going to take a side necessarily against german or britain, they're on the side of the civilian, theperson caught up in the war sort of through no fault of their own. now, what we tend to do is stop
there in this story and just talk about belgium. just talk about the western front. but if we think for a second when wilson said the effect of the war upon american society depends on what americans say or do, right, the thing he was really concerned about and the thing that he knew was that america had just undergone this massive wave of immigration. so he knew that in fact we had people from all parts of the world, including all parts of europe, here in the united states, and he didn't want the war to tear americans apart. and in a sense, he was right to realize that the different places where americans came from was going to influence their reaction to the war. and we can see this through the humanitarian effort as well. so a lot of people, this is the map that comes from a friend of mine, michael, who did some research into the jewish american humanitarian aid effort, and realized that we had massive, you know, immigration coming from russia. a lot of russian jews came to
the united states at the turn of the century, fleeing religious persecution, and if you take a look at this map here, which shows you the eastern front, not the western front but the eastern front of the war, you could see that actually a lot of the places that were caught up with the heaviest fighting and therefore had the huge, the biggest refugee crisis, were places that were heavily populated by jews. and whenever the army, and the eastern front, there's a lot of movement back and forth. whenever the army comes through, civilians get up and run. they run as fast as they can because they don't want to get caught up in this fighting. and what begins to happen, you have warsaw, these massive numbers of the refugees that are descending on these cities and they're overwhelmingly jewish refugees. american jews begin to organize to actually help these people. and for a lot of these russian jews, you know, for people who are helping belgian civilians,
it's sort of a humanitarian impulse, we want to do the right thing. for people who are helping russian jews, a lot of times this is very personal for them. you have got refugee workers who walk around these encampments and go up to people and ask them, do you have a relative in the united states? and if somebody says yes, they say, do you know where they live? do you have their name, their address? they will write directly to that person and say your aunt, your grandfather, your former neighbor is in need of help. can you send some money? that's personal outreach. that's really trying to make sure that the personal becomes political. or the political becomes personal, however you want to put it. and we can see this both with italians, italians are also mobilizing. they're very, very concerned about this as well. places where they came from and making sure that they actually help those communities in need. and so in this case, we can see
that it's the personal that kind of motivates people in these immigrant groups to actually contribute to the humanitarian aid effort. but as the war goes on, it starts operating even when we talk about belgium. i'm not sure if you can actually see what these are, but i find these things sort of absolutely fascinating. what these are, these are sacks. these are sacks that held flour, so i showed you the first picture that showed you sacks of flour actually going to belgian relief. these are sacks of flour that come from kansas, donating as part of hoover's humanitarian relief effort, and what's happened is that belgian women who are very renowned for their embroidery skills have embroi r embroidered them and sent them back to that kansas community. this is topeka, kansas, basically to say thank you. and so we say, you know, people want to make a personal connection in terms of who they're sending money to. here's the flipside. these people in belgium are saying thank you to the kansas
city people who were the aid givers. these go up in topeka storefronts and people are able to see them. it's that kind of personal connection that begins to fuel to fuel humanitarianism as well. in fact, one of the things that relief workers complain about on the american side is that the clothes -- that poster said donate all those clothes and everything, and they realize that when people donate clothes, relief workers have to go into all the pockets. because what's happening is that americans are writing notes. they're writing notes to people in belgium and they're also sending bibles, things like that. the agreement with the german authorities basically says no notes, nothing. it can only be clothes, nothing else can pass. that's how desperate people are to make a personal connection as they are rendering this humanitarian aid. so the point here is that
americans obviously are involved. they are involved through these humanitarian efforts. the point here is that the personal and political become very closely connected. the abstraction of the cause begins to have personal meaning for people, either because they're helping people they knew or they start developing a sort of personal investment in former strangers that they're not helping. and this begins to motivate people to really care about what's going on in europe. now, my last sort of major point here about humanitarianism is that humanitarianism is never neutral. it's impossible for it to be neutral. so if we agree that this is the massive humanitarian effort that americans are actively participating in this and shaping it, it's not a neutral effort. first of all, just given the geopolitics of the war, the vast majority of this aid goes to the allied side. i didn't give you examples of any of this aid going to
germany, for instance. it's still going primarily to the allied side. as much as americans are motivated by the empathy that they feel for these starving civilians, there's something in it for them as well. they're also motivated in a sense by the way that they feel that it's increasing the stature of the united states in the world. we can see a really good example of this in this poster from the red cross. they are looking to us for help -- are you one of us? i love how the "us" is kind of almost as u.s. it is sort of connecting the same thing here. this is the idea that in this conflict, it is america alone that can rise above and be above the fray. we are interested in humanitarianism and philanthropy in doing the right thing. we're not interested in actually picking sides here or territorial gain or anything else that the european nations
are involved in. we're actually above the fray. and that's going to be important because when it means is that in 1917 when woodrow wilson actually asked for a declaration of war, and he says to america, "our war goals are better than everybody else's." "we don't want any territory. we don't seem any indemnities, we're just servants of mankind." when he says that to the american people, in a way the american people are already there. they've gotten there through their own humanitarian efforts. that's just not coming out of the blue. they've already begun to see themselves as a nation that can actually rise above and do some good in the world. so what i think is important here is not just to think about america not being neutral, but also to pay some more attention to what average americans are doing in the period of neutrality. not just what woodrow wilson is
doing or saying. so myth number two -- america entered world war i because of the sinking of the lusitania. this is my favorite one. because it would be so nice if it wasn't true. so this is a big one that people almost always get wrong. it really makes no sense even if you just think about the dates, because lusitania sinks in may of 1915, and the united states doesn't enter the war until april of 1917. it is almost two years before the united states actually enters the war. so it is interesting to wonder why people so consistently get this wrong. i always tell my survey students, if you write on a test that the lusitania is the reason america got into world war i, you failed. automatically. like i don't write anything else
for the semester. i refuse to talk to you for the rest of the class. why? why is this a perpetual myth that we have? i think that this headline here almost gives an indications of that. 1,200 people die as a result of the lusitania, including 128 americans. these numbers are incorrect. this is first reporting. look at the sub-head here. "washington stirred as when "maine" sank." and if you think about the overall narrative of american history, think about how many times a ship going down and america going to war works for you. right? right? maine goes down, spanish-american war. pearl harbor. world war ii. golf of tonkin. vietnam. it's like great. if the lusitania would just fit into that, it would be the easiest thing for you to remember. it would be so straightforward for you. i really think that's one of the reasons tend to cite that, because that's the kind of narrative that they have in
their head. the idea that we would be attacked, ship goes down, we go to war. that's what we -- that's who we believe we are. right? our immediate response is going to be a forceful one. what happens in the lusitania is not that. right? wilson demurders. it is going to take another two years before we go to war. we've already sort of made that point. i think that narrative should also make us feel pretty good. that if we look in our past, we actually have a moment where americans have died and we use restraint. we don't actually immediately jump in to war. but nonetheless, this is something that we commonly see people making a mistake about. i want to point out to you exactly where the lusitania is because i think that's another kind of misperception about why the lusitania becomes the kind of highly publicized sort of cause celeb that it is. part of it is to actually
realize where the "lusitania" was sunk. here you can see the sinking of the "lusitania," right off the coast of ireland. now the "lusitania" was really one of those moments where if you ask people 20 or 30 years later, they could tell you where they were when they heard about it. it is kind of like their 9/11 moment. they can remember where they were when they heard the "lusitania" went down. why? why was it such a shock to people? and the placement of the "lusitania" goes a little bit of a way of answering that question. because it sunk so fast, it sunk in 18 minutes. there was almost no time for people to get to life boats, for anybody to make it off the boat. if you made it off the boat, were you just basically lucky. they're going into this frigid cold water. and, in the days after the sinking, these bodies are washing up on the shore. so it is not just a sinking in the middle of the ocean that nobody witnesses and nobody sees the aftermath and they sort of
just hear about third hand. here you have almost daily reports of these really grisly scenes, quite honestly, of bodies and victims washing up to the shore that a salacious press is very, very happy to report upon. so in a sense, the kind of drama of the moments, the quickness of the sinking, the awfulness of actually seeing the human cost of this, all of thee things became sort of very visual for people very visceral in terms of how they were, how they were responding. now for woodrow wilson, what the "lusitania" sinking is going to do is, it is going to be a sort of critical moment for him in his own ideas of defining what neutrality would be. so before we were talking a lot about how the average american defined neutrality, how they really turned to humanitarian efforts to kind of make their contribution to the war. but now we have to think a little bit about official policy
in terms of what's going on. and the dilemma for woodrow wilson -- again, we go back to the map here we can kind of see it -- is that both britain and germany have decided to go to the oceans to fight the war. there is a stalemate along the western front, so both sides are seeking an advantage, how can they do that. so the british blockade. you've got the two new green dots here. they are going to use their blockade to stop groups from getting into germany. germany wants to fight back and the weapon that they have to fight back with is the u-boat. they're going to use the u-boat. but it is important in looking at this map to see that pink line. that's the war zone as defined by germany. that's the zone that negermany saying to neutral nations like the united states -- don't sail here, don't come into the war zone. don't come into the war zone,he
because you are at risk of getting attacked by a u-boat. they're not saying don't go anywhere in the world, just not into this zone we've defined as the war zone. . reason that is going to be important is that you are going to see that in 1915 when woodrow wilson has to decide how to respond to "lusitania," he has to do something. people are angry. that he has got several different options, and that people are going to look at that map and interpret the lusitania in very, very different ways. if i hadn't gone through all of th this, if i had just put this up in terms of actually what happens, i'm not going to say most of you, but i'll bet a few of you might have said that wilson goes with break diplomatic relations and asks congress to declare warm on germ in i. that's where this myth comes from that lusitania caused us to
enter the war. it is true he had some advisors that were saying to him, this is the moment, this is the moment that we have to actually enter. but then he had some people here arguing almost exactly the opposite, and they were the people who looked at that map and they saw that red line, and they said, well, we don't want to get involved in this war, and here's an idea. why don't you tell americans not to sail into the war zone? if we prohibit people from actually going in to this area where germany says they're patrolling, isn't that going to be a way for us to stay neutral? isn't that going to be a way for us to actually stay out of the war? so some people are like this means war. some people are like, listen, we have to just really stop a few people from getting us into war. and what wilson's going to decide is the middle course here. he's going to demand that
germany pay represeger germany to pay reparations. this is why the lusitania is important -- it's not important because it gets america into the war. it doesn't. it's important because this is the moment when woodrow wilson draws a line in the sand and says to germany, if you step over this line, it is highly likely -- i mean, you know, diplomatic language. right? it is "highly likely" that there will be hostilities. and what's the line? the line is that we're a neutral nation, and we can do what we want. freedom of the seas, baby. we can go where we want, we can trade with whom we want. that's our right. neutrality means that we have rights that you have to respect. now that's an interesting definition of neutrality, isn't it. you might think neutrality means that we're going to treat both sides equally, or at all cost
we're going to stay out of it. but after 1915 what woodrow wilson is saying is that neutrality is about the rights of individuals. that is what germ in i must respect. in 1915 germany's going to back off because they don't have enough u-boats to really do that much damage to american shipping. and they've got their hands full. they don't want america to come into the war. but in 1917, they will change their minds. in 1917 when germany goes back to unconditional submarine warfarewoodrow wilson has drawn this line in the sand, we'll see him come to the decision that we need to go to war against germany. so 1915 is important in terms of the official policy of neutrality, but it is not the thing that gets us into the war. now you might be thinking to yourself, is the average american really following all of this? right? is this really the kind of intricacies of international law and debate that the average
citizen is sort of all worked up about? i think we could realistically say, no. this is what makes it important in a sort of official way. in the popular consciousness, what the "lusitania" does is, we start having a moment where americans have died, women and children have died, and we can now connect this event -- this is a picture of a woman clutching a child sinking to her death. first american produced propaganda poster of world war i in response to the "lusitania" tragedy. comes from an actual news report. this is a report of one of these women who washes up and they talk about her sort of clutching her baby as she washes up on the shore. and now we have something tangible about american lives being lost that connects to british propaganda about atrocities committed by the german army in belgium. that same idea that you need to
protect women and children from german barbarians -- right? which has been at the heart of the german propaganda movement now has resonance in the united states as being applied to us as well. but, the debate is not over in 1915. if we look at this one, we can see that the debate is going to go on. because for every person that says, look, this shows you that the truth about germany, as if we needed more truth, there are going to be other people that are going to keep beating this drum. look, they put a notice in the newspaper. they told you not to get on the ship. right? they told you that there are munitions on the ship. which there were. they told you if you go into a war zone -- surprise -- that you could potentially get shot. right? or attacked. right? you were warned not to do it. this is your own individual responsibility. and that's going to make a difference for woodrow wilson because it means that when he finally goes and decides for war
in 1917, he knows to a certain extent that he has to declare it because of that line in the sand, but he also knows that at the's leading a divided nation into war. the nation has not been united in terms of calling for war because of the "lusitania" or even subsequent things that happened after that. like the zimmerman telegram. so that's going to lead to our myth number three. so myth number three here is that war time unity spontaneously appeared. right? we like to always believe that we'll disagree up until the moment that war is declared. we argued about it, but once wilson says this is our war to fight, americans will rally behind the flag. they will do the right thing. now we know there is a lot of
propaganda encouraging people to do the right thing. this is maybe one of the most propaganda posters that comes out of world war i. not the jovial uncle sam. this is more of the stern task master uncle sam. we see this in terms of a recruitment poster. what is uncle sam want americans to do? in this case, i want you for the u.s. army. he wants people to obvious will i fight in the army. but uncle sam is going to want americans to do a lot of other things during the war as well. he is going to want them to buy war bonds. he's going to want them to conserve food. in some cases he is going to want them to spy on their neighbors and make sure their neighbors are not engaging in any sort offe espionage or treasonous activities. what's interesting about this propaganda poster is, it says "i want you" for the u.s. army, kind of almost like implying that you have a choice. we see other propaganda posters like this. this is one of my favorite ones
here in the list. and it's an interesting poster because it really does -- you like that? that's good, right? it really does show a mankind of wrestling with his conscience. right? he is an upperclassman. he's well dressed. he's hiding in the shadows. so he's hiding in the dark. he's trying to decide what to do. right? he is looking out the window trying to make up his mind. he sees outside all of his community walking off in unison in the bright sunlight. they're not afraid, they're not hiding in the shadows. and the question is really clear on which side of the window are you. right? you have to make a decision about what you're going to do. there's a lot that's wrong about this poster in terms of what actually happens. the first part there is with the enlist. in raising an army, america will do something it's never done
before. from the very beginning of the war, it will institute a draft. now we've had drafts before, but the drafts that we always had before always came in the middle of wars, sort of when people stopped enlisting, when they stopped volunteering. that was when we said, okay, we have to go to a draft. in this instance we go to a draft right from the very, very beginning. we do this for a few reasons. and here's sort of interesting. because of course, we don't call it a draft. and we hardly ever call it conscription. right? because if you say conscription, that pretty much underscores that the nation was divided and maybe people don't want to fight this war so you're having to draft them to force them to fight in an unpopular conflict. right? so what do we call it?
"selective service." the men here know -- right? you still have to register for that for selective service. and just think about branding here for a minute. because selective service is completely different than a draft. right? selective service means that if you're chosen, right? you're selects -- lucky you. right? you're selected for service. for service to your country. and everybody owes some service to their country. right? there's nobody in this war that's going to get off the hook for owing some service. for people serving in the military, there is a difference from people simply making up their own minds. there is a very short window when you can enlist. about four months where you can enlist in the army. then they cut it off and from that point on, you will -- it will be selective service that fills the ranks of the majority
of the branches of the army. and besides the idea of making sure that everybody complies, there's also the notion that we need to organize this army efficiently. because we're coming in late -- right? almost two and a half years late. we know that it is as important to have people organized on the home front producing weapons, producing food, producing all the things to keep that army going in the field. so besides making sure that people serve in the military, it's also making sure that the "right" people seven in the military. right? so you, for example, don't want all your trained engineers walking off of railroad lines and joining the military. who's going to drive your railroads? who's going to move goods around the country? you don't want all your farmers doing this. you don't want all your skilled laborers doing this. right? it is a way to kind of manage your workforce at the exact same time. what i find kind of fascinating about this, besides the fact of
conscription, is how conscription actually works in practice. so we've had conscription, for example, in the civil war. in the civil war, it is introduced well in to the conflict, and it is kind of an individual thing. like you'd literally have federal registrars walking around new york city, they're like knocking on doors, and individually registering men. and if you know anything about the civil war, you know there is a lot of resistance to the draft, there was a lot of draft riots. it was -- you could buy a substitu substitute. it was easy to get out of it. in the first world war what they want to do is make sure that you don't do it on your own, that you are watched when you do it. so on june 5th, 1917, there is a national day to register for selective service. that means that all the men, if you're between the ages of 21 and 30, you have to go to your polling place, church, school, wherever they're holding the registration, and you are going to register and everybody is
going to watch you do it. and if you forget or you don't show up, we're going to publish your name in the newspaper. we're basically going to use peer pressure, community pressure to make sure that you do the right thing. and this idea of turning registration and even the whole induction process into this community event, this kind of self-policing on the community level to make sure that men actually register for the draft, this is going to be very, very successful. now, in the second year of the draft, we'll have another sort of national registration day, but we're going to have another thing that happens to make sure that men go into the service. and that is going to be a phenomenon in which vigilante groups kind of wearing sort of semi-official arm bands from the justice department are going to start conducting some things that they call "slacker raids." slacker raids are really to kind of round up all those men who
they are suspecting have either not registered for the draft, or not reported when they've been told to come, or for some reason are able-bodied, maybe got a deferment because of a job, then changed jobs and so shouldn't have the deferment anymore. they fan out throughout cities across america. they go into movie theaters and just grab people by the back of the neck and throw them in the truck. they stand outside the gates of state fairs. right? it is like literally this one day of dragnets across the country. here you have an example from maine where they've literally thrown these guys in the back of a pick-up truck and they're driving them down to the police station to turn them in as suspected slackers. i'm sure they were only motivated by patriotism, not by the bonus that they were given for each slacker that they turned in when they were coming down. right? the problem -- so many problems with this. right? first of all, these people do not actually have any authority. they're taking this authority upon themselves.
most of these guys turn out not to be slackers. they have deferments or they have reasons why they're not serving in the military. they're sort of legitimate. and it is bad publicity for the war because it seems to suggest that people are not fighting, they don't want to fight, the war is unpopular. so we see the government putting an end to this pretty quickly. the importance of war time unity is to say that when we think about people complying with selective service regulations, and most people do, they have a lot of pressure on people to actually do that. just because you are a woman doesn't mean you are off the hook either. sorry. i was going to actually say a little bit here about alvin york. got ahead of myself here. alvin york is the most famous american who comes out of the first world war. he's highly decorated. he's credited with one assault of killing 15 germans and
gathering 132 prisoners. that's a picture of alvin york. no be with it's not -- you guys are too young. that's not alvin york. that's gary cooper. who plays alvin york in a movie. called "sergeant york." that goes over really well with a certain generation, i have to say. not the young generation, an older crowd. so here's alvin york. alvin york is almost 30 years old. he's almost not going to be drafted. he applies for conchen succesci objection. he reports to training camp and now he has some choices that he can make. he can request non-combatant duty. he can refuse to perform any military duty. some people did this. then you will spend the war in leavenworth. or he can actually agree to fight and serve.
because i told you he was the most decorated hero of world war i, you know that he chooses number three. what's interesting is why he chooses number three. he happens to have a pretty sympathetic company commander. this commander is also very well versed in the bible and starts have theological discussions with alvin york. alvin york says to him, the bible says thou shalt not kill. the commander says what caesar says, basically obey the government. his commander says go home over the weekend and make up your mind. he goes home, studies his bible and comes back and said i'll fight. his company commander says why did you decide to fight? he says because the bible says, blessed be all peacemakers. if this is the last war that we ever have to fight, then i'm willing to be part of that. the question we have about alvin
york is what does he tell us? he tells us that he comes and he decides to fight but it shows you how hard it is to be a conscientious objector in terms of war. some interesting things in terms of training camps, once you are in the military, understanding your patriotism and understanding that you are actually for the war, this is something they are always working on. we have a lot of immigrants, we into ed to americanize them. you can always make fun of these efforts. this is one of the craziest ones i've ever seen. can you see that these are individual soldiers? these are 18,000 soldiers standing on pieces of cloth in the broiling sun in iowa. the guy taking the picture is up on a platform in the shape of a statue of liberty. when you say why are you making these guys do this, this is showing their patriotism. by standing in formation, the statue of liberty, you are
demonstrating that you actually -- you are a loyal american citizen. so these are these kind of crazy demonstrations of patriotism that even if you are a soldier in uniform, people are asking you to engage in. here's where i got ahead of myself a little bit. even if if you are a woman, you are not off the hook. women are being asked to participate in the war effort in all sorts of ways. knitting. that's a big one here. sometimes you can look at knitting and wonder why knitting, right? why are they focusing on so many women knitting? if you think a little bit in terms of warfare, especially on the allied side, remember i told you the germans always dug up on the top? they were in nice, dry trenches. because men on the allied side, they were closer to the water table, a lot of times they are standing in water for a good part of the time that they are in the trenches. wet feet need to nasty things like trench foot which is almost
a gangrene. i could show you some pictures to gross you out but i decided against that. knitting socks actually has a functional purpose in that men do need socks. but it is safe to say that american women go a little crazy with knitting. if this was 1917 -- say 1918. 1918, most of this class, you'd be sitting here right now -- you wouldn't have a pencil in your hand, you'd be sitting here knitting while i was talking to show me that in this fact you were patriotic. things got so bad that you even had notices like this where women are basically being told stop knitting during performances. this is from the new york philanthropy -- philharmonic society where they are saying stop knitting when the orchestra is playing because it is really disturbing. people are trying to enjoy the music. right? you have to ask yourself why are women feeling like it is so necessary for them to knit in literally every spare moment that they have? why can't they just enjoy the concert? why do they feel like they have to knit? they're being, in a sense,
pressured to demonstrate their patriotism in ways that are somewhat similar to men who are registering in front of all of their neighbors for the draft here. knitting, yes, men need socks. is this the best way for men to get socks that they need? i'm not so sure. i don't think any of you want a pair of socks that i would knit, for example. i think you'd rather go to target than buy one. it would be cheaper, standardized and what you exactly wanted. so there are some questions we can have about whether or not this was really necessary and how much of it was just to get people on board with the war effort. we can make kind of a similar sort of suggestion about the food conservation efforts that go on in terms of the kind of pledges that people are being asked. herbert hoover who had organized the humanitarian effort for belgium now becomes food
administrator during the war. he takes great pride in the fact that we never insurantitute for raugsing, that it is through informalism that people submit to meatless thursdays. one of the ways, sign your food pledge. here's the food pledge. every family is asked to sign this food pledge that they are going to abide by the regulations that hoover has set out. and in this case, the women of the community are there to bond with the other women in the community. you can expect -- remember i told you, you aren't going to get a knock on the door about renlsterring for the draft but you could get a knock on the door for signing the food pledge. how do i know if my neighbor signed the food pledge? how do i know if they're really complying? oh, they thought it through. you're going to put that sign in
your window demonstrating to everybody that you are doing your duty. you are demonstrating to people that you are actually involved. so for people that don't do this, the people that don't want to hang these things in their windows, don't want to sign these food pledges, that don't want to knit, this is seen as evidence of disloyalty, of not doing your patriotic duty. so in this sense, war time unity is cultivated. and it's coerced. it is not just something that naturally comes about. it's something that communities enforce upon each other. in that sense, i think that tells us something a little different than once we're at war, americans spontaneously come together. so myth number four -- world war i in no lasting impact on american society. it's like i'm not exaggerated if i say to you that it's almost like my life's work to get this
one off the books and out of people's minds. because that's always the thing we say, well, world war i, we don't really have to talk about it too much, it doesn't really matter that much for united states. right? just matters more for europe, not really for us. so i could say a lot about there. what i'm going to say are some things about how it affects social reform movements in the united states. i want to talk about three things. the civil rights movement, suffrage movement, and the movement for prohibition. because these are three movements, long standing reform movements in american society that are dramatically affected by the first world war. so i want to go ahead an start with the civil rights movement. i like this poster because it's a good counter to the traditional way that we look at propaganda. when we look at propaganda, we almost always look at the government's side of the story. we look at the official
propaganda posters that are distributed. what we fail to remember or look at are privately produced propaganda posters. there is a huge, thriving propaganda poster industry during the first world war which is important because it allows voices that we don't normally pay attention to to actually show us their point of view about the war. so this is an interesting poster. obviously this is a poster that is created for the african-american community. it's published in chicago. don't know if you can see the bottom. it is true blue. that's what it is talking about. if you looking at the poster, it's kind of generic propaganda fare. you've got the father, he's serving in the military. got the flags there. we know he's alive. how do we know he's alive? the star flag in the window. if he had been killed, it would be a gold star. look how it advertised to the community that he's serving.
we know that he's been on front lines. look at that german helmet that's above the flags. he's had time to send home a war souvenir. and it is full of patriotic symbolism. american flags. washington. wilson. abraham lincoln in posters marketed to the african-american community, abraham lincoln is always the big guy, the big, big figure. very proud operate yacht patrio scene. not have spectacular of an image if you think about it. but i am going to tell you why this is so important. the government is a good collector so we have the propaganda posters. at the end of the war, some agency puts those things in onion skin paper, slides them into a draw so 100 years later we can come and look at them. these things at the end of the war, they're trash. right? i'm sure you guys all had posters in your room and the day you went to college, your mom went in there, ripped them all
down and threw them in the trash. end of the war, most of these things go into the trash. but we have this poster because a white post mistress in melbourne, florida, sent it to the postmaster general to ask him if this was the kind of sadicious material that should be banned under the espionage act. let that sink in for a minute. she considered this saditious material. what's sadicious about this poster to her? >> because of the color of their skin? >> it's the color of their skin. in what sense? >> they are in a very upper class home. >> they probably live better than this white post mistress does.
right? it's the sense of economic achievement, the assertion of equality, the sense that in fact they are on the same level as whites, that we could surmise is at the heart of her objection. in fact, she actually notes in her letter, quote, the considerable insolence from the negro element lately. right? what's insolent in her mind? this. this kind of privately produced poster. that this war for democracy with african-american men and communities doing their bit is going to advance are the civil rights movement. it is going to mean that finally, there will be honor and justice for all. and what that exchange demonstrates to us is that this is exactly what white supremacists are petrified is going to happen. right? they are petrified. and they are preparing during the war to make sure it doesn't happen.
and one thing is to shut down from the mails anything that advocates racial equality, and another is after the war, of course, to engage in racial rioting and an upswing in lynching. we see a dramatic upshift in lynching after the first world war. but that's not only what happens. that's not even the most important thing in my mind what happens. what also happens is a change in the mentality of the civil rights movement itself. here we see that african-american soldier and what we see happening in the first world war is that military service politicizes african-american soldiers. and you think of what we have now as a really rallying slogan for civil rights activists. right? black lives matter. that's like a very potent moment -- set of words that are really energizing civil rights movement at our time. what the world war i generation
has is a set of words from w.b. dubois. we return from fighting, we return fighting. right? the idea that we have fought for democracy elsewhere, now we will fight for democracy at home. why can see that this new notion of fighting back is going to be the new tenor of the civil rights movement. in racial riots in 1919, african-americans fight back. african-americans fight back by joining the naacp in record numbers making it a strong civil rights organization. i can just point to one example here from charles huston who writes some years after the war -- i made up my mind that if i got through this war i would study law and use my time fighting for men who could not
strike back. this is just one example. you may never have heard of him but he is the guy who devised the legal strategy for the naacp that resulted in brown versus board of education. he is like the legal genius of our time that in a sense made the modern civil rights movement possible. so sometimes because for the first world war in 1919, we can't it shall ds n-- it is not story. but those successes start here. this is the foundation of that. that comes out of the first world war. now the second sort of big movement that we have here is the suffrage movement. again, we look at this cartoon here where it is like, if you're good enough for war, you're good in you have to vote. kind of like almost giving the impression that a grateful nation bestowed the vote on women for all that knitting. right? thanks for knitting. here's the vote. right? that kind of thing. that's just so not what happens.
it is so not what happens. what happens in the first world war is, again, activists. activist women. look at what they're doing? picketing in front of the white house. nobody had ever done that before. this is in you. this is a new idea. you have women like this. the world must be made safe for democracy. they're digging it. and they're saying -- they're holding up posters saying, woodrow wilson, what about women in this country? why aren't women going to be allowed to vote? now this picture is deceiving because this is the before picture. the after picture is the mob that attacks these women, rips that poster down, and the police that come and arrest these women send them to jail where they're manacled to their selves, force fed, put in solitary confinement. what's their crime? they stood outside the white house with a banner. but these women -- i mean if you ever have time to study them
in-depth, its a he pretty's pre. from "the new york times." woodrow wilson does back female suffrage in the middle of the war. again, you want to think it is because of women supporting the war effort, but the real secret is down at the end. some states are beginning to pass female suffrage. new york just passed female suffrage in 1917. they were worried that when women started voting in new york state, that was going to hurt the democratic party. now they start thinking about women actually having power. but this campaign goes in to 1919, it goes into 1920 when the amendment is finally ratified. even in 1919, suffrage, the women are still out in front of the white house protesting. there was no assumption that the war was going to lead to suffrage.
these women had to organize. they were radical. they were militant. right? they were the ones that were out there pressing their cause. so i don't think anybody can say it doesn't matter that women got the right to vote. that comes out of the first world war. then the third kind of major thing, a long-standing reform movement is prohibition. i don't want to say too much about prohibition. just it is kind of interesting that the war somehow becomes their winning argument. they've talked about you will a sorts of things, venereal disease, domestic abusing with poor health. but the thing that kind of seals it for the prohibition movement is a lot of breweries are owned by germans. so suddenly it becomes kind of, again, a sort of more patriotic thing to save grain by not making beer, to not buy products from german brewers, that prohibition suddenly is -- it is an amazing success. they didn't even expect a
constitutional amount prohibiting use of alcohol. myth five. america was bloody in world war i. along with it didn't change society at all, comes this. america was pretty bloody in world war i. another reason we don't need to study it. i'm here to tell you something quite different. where does this myth come from? this myth comes from these kinds of numbers. from taking the united states and comparing its death toll to those of other belligerent nations. if you look at a chart like this and here we see 116 to 516 deaths in the american army. i can tell you even a fewer number of people die on the battlefield. half of those deaths are actually from spanish influenza. not from battlefield deaths.
if we stack that number up against what happens in britain, france, russia, it does look barely bloodied. numbers are so funny. what does a number actually mean? it's so relative. it matters how you contextualize it this way. you can say america's barely bloody. but we can contextualize it this way, too. which is to say, look at the number of battle deaths in world war i and compare them to korea and vietnam. and more people -- more americans die in the first world war than in either of those wars. i'm going to contextualize it to you this way. it takes america a year. one year. to get itself organized, train those men, get them over to france and get them into battle. this is really not even a year-and-a-half. this is six months of fighting.
53,402 people die. six months. this is three years. this is nine years. i'm going to put it to you another way. let's say in the first six months of fighting in iraq, 52,000 coffins came home. is america going to say, oh, that was nothing. right? we're not. we're not. so for the people that are fighting this, this is not nothing. right? this isn't sort of barely bloodied. for them, this is actually a pretty significant number of people who die. we can ask, why it is that we don't really remember that. and i think that there probably are a lot of reasons for that. but i do have a question for you. this one i want you to answer. what is the most lethal battle in american history? most lethal battle in american
history? >> are we asking this in terms of how many americans died or how many people total died? >> how many americans. in american history, the most. what's the most lethal battle for americans? >> gettysburg. >> gettysburg is a good answer. >> well, if you count multiple days, people would generally say antetum. >> anybody else want to give a guess? so when you don't know something, where do you go to look? don't lie to me. i know where you go. i know. this list of most lethal american battles. look what's number one? world war i. i will bet nobody's heard of
this. this is a 47-day battle. it goes from september 26th until november 11th, the last day of the war. 47 days, 1.2 million men involved. 26,227 killed. 100,000 wounded, 100,000 men considered stragglers on the battlefield. this is the most lethal battle in american history. nobody knows about it. why is that? why is that? i think those are really good questions. it is why we remember certain things and why we don't remember other things. i think that for a lot of people, even at the time, they didn't really want to dwell on this because one of the logical questions you could ask is, why? why did so many of these men have to die? it raises some uncomfortable questions about american military leadership and were we sending untrained men into battle who weren't really ready to fight. rig right? when you think of the needless,
senseless slaughter era of the world wars. this is a battle in which sergeant york performs this sort of heroic feat and he gets really pumped up, not to take anything away from him, almost like they kind of need a hero. they need somebody there to say something great about this hard, hard slog. there is no sense of satisfaction that americans seem to feel about this. a lot of people died. why did they die? that's what americans actually want to know. that's what they're not sure about. and this kind of feeds in to our last myth here, world war i was quickly forgotten. we have forgotten world war i. but the generation that participated in it did not forget world war i. and i can demonstrate this in just a few quick ways. the first is that we built huge overseas cemeteries. eight of them in france and belgium for our war dead. now this becomes an interesting tussle between the government
and the families of the fallen because at the beginning of the war, secretary of war newton baker had promised american families that the government would bring the bodies of their loved ones home if they fell on the battlefield. now the government reverses course and they want to build these cemeteries overseas, in part because they want americans to stay invested in what happens in europe, and they want europe to remember how many men from america died to save them from germany. but, a lot of families want their loved ones brought home. so you see again this personal and political sort of tussling at each other once again. 70% of americans bring the bodies home. you'd never know that if you went to the cemeteries. they're huge. lots of space between each plot. they want to make it look as impressive as possible. but this is a lot of effort. it takes lots of years to build these.
this is not forgetting the war. right? this is making a visible presence about it. at the height of the great depression, those mothers and widows who let the bodies stay in europe are given a free trip to go visit the grave. gold star pilgrimage to the battlefields of the world war. this is 1930. 1931. 1933. what's going on in america during those times? height of the great depression. we're spending all this money to send these women to europe to visit the graves of their fallen soldiers. this is important to remind the country that patriotic service will not be forgotten. so you could forget about all this in the height of the depression. we got other problems, right? it's not forgotten. it's also not forgotten by the veterans themselves who come to washington, d.c. in 1932 and stage a demonstration called the botus march. right? six week, 40,000 veterans. they want early payment of a
bonus that they had been given in 1924. they're forcibly evicted from the city. they're driven out by the army. their shanty towns are burned down. and they're somewhat credited with helping fdr win the election in 1932. because it is her vert hoover, ironically enough, the great humanitarian, who fed the starving belgium civilians who allows the army to drive them out of the city. but the most important thing about the bonus march is the memory of it. the memory of the bonus march is really, really strong in people he a minds in 1944. why 1944? because in 1944, as you start looking towards the end of world war ii and you think, well, we're going to have 12, millio 13 million, 14 million veterans coming home when this war ends. look the at trouble those 4 million men gave us after world war i when they didn't properly prepare for their homecoming. we have to do better this time
around. if world war ii would stage a demonstration like this, we could have the government overthrown. right? who knows what could happen. what do this he do? they institute the gi bill of rights. the gi bill of rights is a direct desire to learn the lessons of the past and not have similar dissatisfied veterans organizing and marching in demonstrations in washington, d.c. and nobody's going to underestimate the importance of the gi bill of rights in american society. also important about the bonus march, it is integrated. you have black and white veterans participating side by side. what's significant about this is what the civil rights movement sees. what the civil rights movement sees is a march on washington. you have progressive commentators saying, this is the first time we're really trying to implement gandhiian principles of nonviolence of protest in the united states. seeds of idea are placed in
terms of marching on washington being an effective political protest strategy. now the last thing that i want to mention today is how this memory of world war i really begins to -- well, it has a dramatic influence on how we respond to war clouds gathering in europe in the 1930s. this is a pretty frinteresting painting, "parade to war allegory." it goes back to world war i and shows a couple, she's the sweetheart, sending her sweetheart off to war. you see the kids, boys, right. they're all caught up in the pageantry. their heads are down, it is a really, really big parade. they're really happy. but if you go outside the painting, this is the war mother whose son was lost, sort of hiding in the shadows crying. there is the war widow. she's actually trying to reach the men. she's trying to say something to them but the policeman stops her from speaking the truth about
war to these men who are marching off. look at these guys, look at their faces. what's happening to them? they're literally turning into corpses before our eyes. they kind of look like the walking dead here as we're seeing. and this is a political statement. this is saying to people in 1938, hitler's in power, right? fascism is on the rise. is there going to be another war in europe? most people think that there will be. and the question is what should america do. this is clearly an anti-war painting. saying remember what happened last time. all the promises. war means just needless deaths of our men. that's going to be a memory that's very influential in terms of lou the united states responds to the second world war, which -- a war in which we also stay out of for two years until pearl harbor, until we
have that attack on a ship that's going to bring us to war. i want to end the lecture by sort of reiterating i think the message of this painting is, which is really that, in a sense, the first world war, like all wars, is at its core, the story of countless personal tragedy. all right. thanks, you guys. now i think we want to have a few minutes for questions. as they're sort of finishing up what they need to do with taping. anybody have any questions or comments? now is the time we ayou are all to actually talk. you were trying so hard not to say anything. i'm sure you have to have at least something. go ahead. >> so when the germans created the line of war in the ocean saying don't come through here, had they already -- had herbert hoover already worked out his like approval or plan, whatever,
to get through those war zones? >> yes. that was exactly right. what he had to do was he had to have permission. that's why had he his own flags that he flew and he painted his ships his own colors so that they would be identified as humanitarian ships that were coming in. now it was still dangerous because of course what the british did a lot of times was they flew the flags of neutrals and there was a lot of cheating going on. so it was a dangerous thing for them to be doing. that's exactly right. that's almost why he had to have his own fleet in order to do that. that's a good question there. who else has a question? let's get like two or three more. i know you got something. >> so this one, which battle that the united states participated in had the total gross members of death of all nationalities then?
>> that americans participated in -- i do not know. that's a good question. you mean in terms of both sides. >> yes. >> in terms of both sides. yeah, i don't know. i'm not sure. that's a good question. i mean one of the reasons with civil war battles be with it's one of -- being as complicated because when we talk about american deaths we do count both sides because we consider both sides american. we don't do that in any other conflict. that's a good question. maybe piwikipedia can answer it for you. give us one more question so they can get what they need for the taping. i'm going to make you. go ahead. >> the united states decision to enter the war in 1917 also have to do with waiting for the
russians -- or at least their government to back out of the war? >> well, that kind of goes back to -- i went over it quickly about that suffrage banner, when they are standing to the envoys of russia, they are protesting as a russian delegation is coming and visiting the white house. when the united states enters the first world war, we have the revolution, which a democratic revolution. they would hope with the czar gone, wilson can say, it's the democracy of the world against the autocracies of the world and what makes the war effort so -- what i would say, potentially catastrophic is the second revolution where lennon takes russia out of the war and this is before americans get there. so britain and france are thinking, oh, my god, now it's a
one front war for america and germany isn't here yet. when we look at those high casualty figures, part of the reason was they needed them. they needed that extra manpower, right, in terms of -- so the russian revolution is really important in kind of understanding the overall experience. and it helps wilson rhetorically when america enters the war but in and of itself it's not a reason that america goes to the war. go ahead. >> the poster that you showed of the african-american soldiers and the white soldiers, they didn't fight together. >> i'm glad you brought that up. the army was rigidly segregated and there were some units that had black officers and then over the course of the war there was an effort to remove all black officers and have all officers be white. but the army was segregated.
it wasn't desegregated until 1948, until after world war ii. go ahead, dylan. >> with the segregation, was it known that the white soldiers of world war i saw their -- the black soldiers as more -- like they were more friendly to them? were they considered their friends or just other american soldiers that -- >> well, i think another important thing to say is not just that they were segregated but they were disproportionately drafted. african-americans were 10% of the population and 13% of the army. 89% of african-american soldiers will serve as noncombatants. that means you're only going to have 40,000 african-american soldiers for combatants. i think that answers your question, even as the army treated them, segregated them, put them in primarily noncombatant roles and then you had these campaigns to remove
them from a position of leadership was reinforcing the message that they are not equal. like, we'll take their manpower but we don't want them -- their manliness, if that makes sense, in terms of that. and that's why for the african-american press, what -- how those african-american soldiers perform in battle is so, so important. and they have one great example. because the american army is so uncertain about what to do with black combatants, they have two positions. one of those two, they give to the french army. so you're going to have 20,000 american men who are going to fight under french command for the entire war. the french are very happy to have them, right? they fight, they get a tremendous -- they get medals, recognition, right. so now these men will come home and it's not just that they were treated badly but they say, look, you say african-americans can't fight but look what we did
when the french treated us fairly. we performed very well. they come out of the war with also a strong example to throw back in white america's face when they are told they can't actually -- they are not up to snuff. so in other words, it's the beginning of a long campaign. but what you're seeing is a huge shift in tenor. those are good questions. i'm glad you guys asked me those things because we're covering a lot of ground. anyone -- anything else? go ahead. mace see came up with one. >> if the americans built the cemeteries in europe, how come they didn't build any national monuments here? >> that's a good question. the preoccupation that we have with national monuments is a new phenomenon. really until it started with vietnam, it was vietnam and then
we did korea. we're going sort of backwards, korea and now we have world war ii and now, just now, because it's centennial, they are talking about building a monument -- a national monument in washington, d.c. but you guys are going to be paying attention and look around your towns, you're going to see monuments everywhere. memorial hall, soldier's field, the l.a. coliseum, pershing park in downtown l.a. those are all monuments to the first world war. we just don't remember them that way. those exist. towns that have statues and plaques. but they like to build things that the community can use. over time, you forget -- soldier's field doesn't exist anymore but it was a football stadium in chicago, all of these things opened to the general public. it's one of those things that
you walk by it a million times and don't even notice it. once you start paying attention, you're going to realize it's all around you. it really, really is. if you realize that, i've done my job. world war i mattered for america mystery. okay. good deal. so we'll see you on monday. i look forward to your presentations. during america history in primetime, we're showing our lectures in history across the country and we're debuting a new lecturer each night. tonight, it's lectures on sea power. american history tv in primetime starts at 8:00 p.m. eastern. this labor day weekend, american history c-span 3 has three days of featured
programming. a personal family history and other oral histories about the national farm work association. >> the people at the bottom of the society, right, were suddenly becoming engaged in fighting for their rights, wages, working conditions and also mobilizing for politicians, right? we'll talk about this later. some of you mentioned this in your oral history. the kennedy family, starting with john and then robert and their children. >> sunday evening at 6:00 on american artifacts, we'll visit the national security archive with director thomas blanton for the freedom of information act signed in to law by president johnson. >> so john moss, a lonely crusader, picked up this bright, young illinois congressman as a co-sponsor, a guy named donald
rumsfeld. rumsfeld statement on the floor of the house in 1966 is a pretty good explanation of why the bill then became a rule majority bill. rumsfeld said, the government's gotten so big, it's involved in our commercial life, industrial life, personal life, social security, so forth, we need the right to get those records out of agencies to be able to uphold our own. >> and monday morning at 11:00 eastern, the national park service marking its 100th anniversary, the robert e. lee memorial. we spoke with robert stanton and brandon buys who will oversee a year-long restoration of the mansion, slave quarters and grounds. >> we were incredibly fortunate that we were able to tailor our specific needs for telling the
story and interpretation and for the physical fixes and construction that needed to happen. not just to the buildings but to the historic grounds and gardens and we were able to present that to him. >> for our complete american history tv schedule, go to c-span.org. with the house and nate returning from their summer break next week, join us ant at 8:00 p.m. eastern. facing congress is federal funding for combatting the zika virus. >> women today want to make sure they have the ability to not get pregnant. why? because mosquitos ravage pregnant women. >> but today they turned down the very money that they argued for next may and decided to gamble with the lives of children like this. >> the annual defense policy and programs bill. >> all of these votes are very
vital to the future of this nation in a time of turmoil and a time of the greatest number of refugees since the end of world war ii. >> gun violence legislation and criminal justice reform. >> every member of this body, every republican and every democrat wants to see less gun violence. >> we must continue to work the work of nonviolence and demand and end to senseless killing everywhere. >> and the resolution for congress to impeach irs commissioner john koskinen. >> commissioner of the internal revenue service for high crimes and misdemeanors. >> we'll review the expected debate with susan ferrechio. join us tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span for "congress this fall."
u.s. air force academy professor chuck steele talks about the state of the british grand fleet and the activity of submarines and argues that the actions of admiral william sims. his class is just over 50 minutes. >> go ahead and take your seats. okay. so we're going to close out world war i talking about the american contribution and close out the lesson today by talking about william sims, one of the more neglected figures in military history as per the article i sent you, kind of comes off, you know, a distant
second to pers hchling if that and so today this is a sea power class, we'll talk about the significance of sims and, you know, possibly get in to arguments as to who really made the more relevant contribution. that is sims, as you guys know, from being looking at the article. the painting is return of the mayflower. that shows the first group of american destroyers after we had entered the war arriving in ireland to begin operations against the german submarines. so it's sort of the most important figure for us in terms of getting those ships in to place. of course, unlike the other figures that we've discussed, sims isn't going to actually operate operational control. he's going to hand that off to admiral bailey, the royal navy, which is, again, something
that's at odds with the way that the army would be operated for the most part in the war. but he had a good deal of confidence in the british and their abilities to serve as effective commanders. so anyway, let's move on and talk about what we're going to go through. we're going to talk a little bit why the contributions of the naval forces are central to the allied victory in the war and we'll do review talking, once again, about what do the oceans mean to the various combatants. and then what are the limitations of british sea power because it seems rather impressive, all the things that the british were able to do. and then we'll talk about sims and what his contributions are specifically and then if we have some time, we'll talk about the significance of the american experience in world war i and what that means going forward as we set up the next few lessons. all right. so just as a matter of review,