Edward M. Strauss— Mobilized in August 1914 at age 35, infantry Corporal Louis Barthas spent almost four years in the trenches. After his health collapsed in early 1918 he served in rear echelons, guarding German POW’s and training young French conscripts in Brittany. He remained in uniform after the November
Edward M. Strauss— “On May 26  the first American combat troops arrived in France…. “The arrival of the first American troops coincided with a dramatic change on the French sector of the Western Front, where the growing number of desertions turned, on May 27, to mutiny. At the Front
Louis Barthas; Translated by Edward M. Strauss— Poilu author Louis Barthas was born on Bastille Day, July 14, 1879. In honor of his 137th birthday, here are two letters that Barthas wrote in 1916 to Pierre Brizon, a Socialist member of the French legislature. One asks for the deputy’s help
One hundred years ago, in May 1916, the costliest, bloodiest battle of World War I’s Western Front – Verdun – had raged for three months without slackening. French and German troops marched resignedly into what they cursed as “The Furnace.” 300,000 lives would be lost in the 300-day ordeal. One
Edward Strauss— One hundred years ago, young Americans were fighting alongside the Allies in the trenches and No Man’s Land of northern France. America would not enter World War I until April 1917, and American forces would not fully engage in combat until more than a year later, in 1918.
Edward Strauss— The Battle of the Somme, which began on July 1, 1916, is generally said to have concluded on November 18 of that year. In a dispatch on December 29, 1916, General Douglas Haig, commander of the British Armies in France, summed up the battle’s accomplishments: “…The three main