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Sync Call for Wednesday December 02 at 12pm EST
The Austrian Battleship SMS Tegetthoff
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Help the WW1CC!

  1. Donate! Go to our donations page.
  2. Send a letter to the USPS Stamp Committee! Use this template.
  3. Send us interns! Direct anyone you know who is interested to our Internship webpage.
  4. Help with state and regional organization! Let Andrew McGreal know and he will send you information on how to get involved.
  5. Shop at SMILE.AMAZON.COM! Enter the "United States Foundation for the Commemoration of the World Wars" as your charitable organization.
  6. Wear official WW1 commemorative merchandise with pride! Head over to the Commission shop for a full selection.

News and Announcements:

Updates from the States

Volunteer for state outreach. Contact Andrew McGreal if you are willing to help.

 State Commemorative Bodies Status Map as of December 02, 2015

December 3 Collaboration Call - Tomorrow!
We will hold our second State Outreach Collaboration Call in the new format tomorrow, Thursday December 3 at 12 pm EST. This call will focus on Library Exhibitions and we will have a panel of experts from several libraries across the country on the line. Reminders will be sent out the day of the call. The call-in number will be the same as past calls - contact a State Outreach Coordination team member to get on the roster.

Iowa and Maine
Exciting news from our State Outreach Team: Thanks to wonderful volunteer, Virginia Dilkes, we now have contacts with the WWI Committee already in operation in Maine. Virginia also connected with Director of Veterans Affairs for the state of Iowa, who will lead WWI Commemorative activities for the state. Thank you, Virginia!

OregonWW1 Veterans Memorial Highway sign in Oregon.
Highway 395 in Oregon has officially been renamed the “World War I Veterans Memorial Highway.” A dedication ceremony was held Nov. 9. Two signs, built by the Oregon Department of Transportation, are currently being installed; eight more signs will be installed along the highway, once the Bend Heroes Foundation receives the $900 in donations needed for each sign. They are ordered from ODOT, who installs them as payments are made. Donations are tax deductible. For more information, visit the Bend Heroes Foundation website.

WWICC Diplomatic Advisory Board

We are pleased to report that the WWI Centennial Commission now has a Diplomatic Advisory Board in place. The role of this board is to enhance our outreach efforts to potential sponsors, and to provide counsel, strategy and contacts in the countries where they served. As of today, three former Ambassadors have agreed to be a part of the this board:

  • Ambassador Tom Pickering, who served in Russia from 1993-1996
  • Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun, from New Zealand from 1999-2001
  • Ambassador Eleni Kounalakis, who served in Hungary from 2010-2013

Centennial Countdown blog

The November entry of the Centennial Countdown blog from our friend and WWICC volunteer, Dennis Cross is now posted. This blog looks at what happened last month in the war and the United States 100 years ago. Read it here.

St. Mihiel Trip-Wire

A new issue of the St. Mihiel Trip-Wire is out. Read it here now!

The National WWI Memorial at Pershing Park- Updates

Phase II of the Memorial Design Competition continues. The finalists will submit their polished designs by 9 December. These will go on public display both on the website and at a physical location to be announced. Until then, you can check out the original finalist concepts (and every other submitted concept) on our website.

Please remember that even with the forthcoming polished designs, we can’t build a memorial without donations. Every dollar donated will be matched by our founding sponsor, the Pritzker Military Museum and Library. You can make this memorial a reality by making a donation to the Memorial Fund. Our WW1 veterans deserve a memorial. We can build it.

Upcoming Events:

WWI Museum Exhibit

Rearranging History- opening Dec 15
The exhibit Rearranging History: Daniel MacMorris and the Panthéon de la Guerre addresses the question: What happened to the world's largest painting? At 402 feet in circumference and 45 feet in height, the painting was the most ambitious artistic undertaking during World War I and was the largest painting in the world in 1918. A Kansas City artist, MacMorris helped the Museum acquire the Panthéon de la Guerre in 1956. He then cut and pasted sections from the huge canvas, rearranged them, painted in new individuals and fit the newly configured composition to the north wall of Memory Hall, where it remains today. The exhibition, which opens Tuesday, Dec. 15, explores the vast fragments left behind by MacMorris – the majority having never been seen in public in their current form and not in any format since the Panthéon's last showing in its entirety in 1940. You can read more about it on the National WWI Museum events webpage.

Saturday, Dec. 26- Annual Truce Tournament
Sporting Club, The Soccer Lot and the National WWI Museum and Memorial invite the Kansas City regional soccer community to take part in the third annual Truce Tournament commemorating the Christmas Truce in World War I. This 3v3 tournament will be played on Memorial Hill with the Kansas City skyline providing an unmistakable backdrop on Saturday, Dec. 26. For more information, visit thetrucekc.com.

Wreaths Across America
On Saturday, December 12, Wreaths Across America will place wreaths at the Vietnam, Korea, and WWII Memorials. They will also place a wreath at Pershing Park for WWI. The ceremony will be at the Pershing statue in Pershing Park at 10am - we invite everyone to join us!

WW1 Commemorative Merchandise

The WW1CC merchandise store is open on our website! Go online to get your own fine-crafted piece of WW1 commemorative merchandise and to support the Commission all at once. We have an exciting and varied line of products available for purchase - check it out today!

DISPATCH Newsletter

The Commission publishes a weekly newsletter, the DISPATCH. If you’re not receiving this and want to, please email Meredith Carr to be added to the distribution list.


Shout out

VIRGINIA DILKES!!!! For getting an Iowa commemorative body started up and for uncovering Maine’s WWI committee. Thank you so much!


The Great War Channel

Would you like to see some great videos on YouTube about WWI? Check out The Great War Channel. Posting multiple times a week, ‘The Great War’ shows you the history of the First World War in the four years from 1914 to 1918. The host, Indy, takes you back week by week and shows you what was going on in the past. Please subscribe to see these great posts. Their latest videos are:

Hell's Handmaiden - Canadian Flying Ace Billy Bishop : WHO DID WHAT IN WORLD WAR 1?

Published on Nov 30, 2015. William "Billy" Bishop was not only the top Canadian flying ace but also one of the most successful flying aces of World War 1. With 72 confirmed victories, he soon became the fear of the German Jagdstaffeln who actually put a bounty on his head and called him Hell's Handmaiden. Surviving one of the bloodiest theatres of war, the sky above the Western Front, Billy Bishop's skill made him a national hero.

Why Don't You Use Modern Names For Cities? Who Was A Capable Commander in WW1? : OUT OF THE TRENCHES

Published on Nov 28, 2015. Indy sits in the chair of wisdom again and this time answers two questions that you were asking a lot. He explains his policy for naming places in a historical context and if there were any good commanders actually.

Pride Comes Before The Fall - British Trouble in Mesopotamia : THE GREAT WAR - Week 70

Published on Nov 26, 2015. Far away from the Western Front, the British Indian Army gets intro trouble in Mesopotamia against the Ottoman Empire. In the Alps, the Fourth Battle of the Isonzo is proving just as disastrous to the Italians the other three before. And in Serbia the situation is getting darker and darker as Nis is falling to the Central Powers. All while the flying aces of World War 1 are fighting it out in the skies over the Western Front.


The Great War 100 Years Ago

Presented by Mr. Mike Hanlon - WorldWar1.com

100 Years Ago in the Great War: The Non-Submarine Naval War of 1915

Transport Ships Support the Turkish Troops at GallipoliMap of naval bases, 1915.

In 1915, the surface fleets played their most prominent role in the war. The European War of 1914, in 1915, became a World War. Their navies we roaming the world prewar, and gave the combatants an instant capability of projecting force to distant shores and harassing opposing forces and their colonies overseas. This began from the start of the war in all the world's oceans.

The U-boat War was still ramping up. Sinkings during the year averaged roughly 100,000 tons of shipping /month. That would double in 1916, and peak at 500,000/ per month in 1917 before the convoy systems became effective.

The Naval War of 1915 – in two major ways – was about communications

A. In the Narrow Sense: Signals

Wireless communication and undersea cable were used to communicate with ships at sea and forces deployed overseas during the period. By the outbreak of war, both sides had world-wide networks for strategic communication. Yours needed to be protected, theirs needed to be destroyed. Bombarding radio stations and cutting of cables was on-going. Also, listening to enemy signals became highly refined.

The only Dreadnought vs. Dreadnought battle of the year: Dogger Bank, 24 January, was initiated to clear the North Sea of spying fishing trawlers that were listening into the radio communications of the High Seas Fleet. The Germans lost an armored cruiser SMS Blucher, but scored a lot of hits on the British Battle Cruisers that arrived on the scene. The Germans learned lessons about the vulnerability of magazines to the flash from exploding shells and adapted designs accordingly. The British did not and would lose 5 ships in 1916 at Jutland to this effect.

B. More broadly – Creating and Protecting Lines of Communication

“THE roads which lead from the position of an army to those points in its rear where its depots of supply and means of recruiting and refitting its forces are principally united, and which it also in all ordinary cases chooses for its retreat, have a double signification; in the first place, they are its lines of communication for the constant nourishment of the combatant force, and next they are roads of retreat.”
-Von Clausewitz

Two ways to threaten or cut lines of communications are raiders and blockades. The most import way of securing a line of communications at sea is to lay mines.

Ottoman minelayer Nusret

Four Lines of Communication of Particular Importance:

1. The English Channel & North Sea: Both the Main British Access to the continent and source of danger.

  • 1st - H.M.S. "Formidable" sunk by German submarine in English Channel.
  • British maintained long range blockade in the North Sea
  • Submarine net across Dover Straits
  • Minelaying between Ireland and Scotland and around important ports and bases

2. The Baltic: The German Navy attempts to end-run the Eastern Font

  • Russian Mine laying was especially effective
  • Germans mounted a major attack with 8 battleships and battle cruisers on the Gulf of Riga in August
  • British submarines had their greatest successes of the war this year in the Baltic

3. The Adriatic: Submarine Access to the Mediterranean

  • Raiding by both sides after Italy enters the war.
  • British squadron supplements the Italian Navy
  • Germans and Austrians both operated submarines and the Med. was a great shooting gallery for the U-boats.
  • Otranto Barrage: Effort to block exit to the Med. with trawlers and nets (proved ineffective)

4. Gallipoli

  • Failure of the Battleships on 18 March Led to the Land Campaign
  • Massive on-going support for the land campaign
  • Royal Navy played critical role in highly successful evacuation.

For More Information see:

The Great War at Sea: A Naval Atlas, 1914-1919 by Marcus Faulkner and Andrew Lambert

The War at Sea from WWI Document Archive

Next Week: The First Year of War on the Italian Front

 Sinking of the Bluecher

Upcoming Events

If you have an agenda item to include, please email Andrew McGreal by the Monday before the next Sync Call.

If you have an event for our calendar, please submit it here.

For a listing of events and exhibits, please visit the Commission Events Page

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