Monday, August 4, 2014

100 Years Ago Today

Today is the 100th anniversary of the start of WWI or the Great War, also call the War To End All Wars. Germany invaded neutral Belgium on Aug. 4, 1914, as part of a planned attack on France. By nightfall, Britain had joined the war. The prelude to the war happened on June 28th 1914, when Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand visited the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo. A group of six assassins  from a nationalist group had gathered on the street where the Archduke's motorcade would pass. One of the assassins threw a grenade at the car, but missed. The other assassins failed to act as the cars drove past them quickly. An hour later, when Franz Ferdinand was returning from a visit at the Sarajevo Hospital, the convoy took a wrong turn into a street where one of the assassins stood. He shot and killed Franz Ferdinand and his wife. At the end some 7 million lives lost. On November 11th, at 5:00 am, an armistice with Germany was signed in a railroad carriage at Compi├Ęgne France. At 11 am on November 11th, 1918 (the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month) a ceasefire came into effect.

One of my grandfathers served in the 91st Infantry Division (The Wild West Division), 364 Infantry Regiment. He first saw action in the Battle of Saint-Mihiel (September 1918) and fought in the battles of The Meuse-Argonne Offensive and The Fifth Battle of Ypres. He died in March 1977.


  1. Thanks for the post, Scott. When I left France in 1966, a WW! American veteran was on the train with me heading for Paris. In his early 70s, he was in France visiting some of the same ground where he fought. Something I will always remember.

  2. Thanks for the reminder, Scott. My father was in World War II but I have much less knowledge of World War I.