previous arrow
next arrow
previous arrow
next arrow

Sync Call for Wednesday December 09 at 12pm EST
Italian Soldier on the Italian front

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:

The National WWI Memorial at Pershing Park- Updates

Today is the last day of Phase II for the Memorial Design Competition! The finalists must submit their polished design concepts by 3pm today. They have spent great deal of time and effort refining these designs. The Commission has five diverse concepts and the jury will have a challenging decision ahead of it. It has been a truly remarkable process that has involved so many people and organizations and we are excited to see the final concepts.

The final concepts will be uploaded to the website by Monday, December 14. You can check them out then and post your comments. Starting also on December 14th, the design concepts will be on easel display in the lobby of the John A Wilson Bldg, caddy-corner to Pershing Park. The the John A Wilson Bldg is at 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20004. This display will be available to the public through December 22nd. We encourage everyone to check out these design concepts online or in-person.

The Design Oversight Committee will deliberate over the winner of the design competition January 5-7 here in Washington, DC. Our formal announcement will coincide with our 10th Commission Meeting on January 25th. We will post more details on this as we get closer.

Please remember that even with these polished design concepts, 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.

Updates from the States

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

State Commemorative Bodies Statuses Map 9 Dec 15

Big news! In the past week, we have made contacts with parties interested in commemorating WW1 in Nevada. With this, state commemorative body establishment efforts are underway in every US state!

January 07 State Outreach Collaboration Call
We will hold our third State Outreach Collaboration Call in the new format on Thursday January 7 at 12 pm EST. This call will focus on ‘Organizing a Commemorative Body’ and we will have a panel of experts from several libraries from across the country on the line. This will be a great call for all up-and-coming state commemorative bodies to attend.. 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.

Upcoming Events:

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!

Army-Navy Game this Weekend- Saturday, Dec 12
Mike Williams, one of our fall social media interns, wrote a thoughtful piece for our website about the history of the Army-Navy game and rivalry. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“When Army meets Navy on the gridiron this weekend, the two teams will be participating in one of the longest and most prestigious rivalries in American sports. The teams will face off before an American public worried about events in Europe; worried about committing forces into a long and costly war; worried about subversive agents, both domestic and international. The atmosphere in which Saturday’s game will be played echoes that of another Army-Navy Game, played exactly one hundred years ago….”

Read the full article here.

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

Today is our “Intern Send Off” day- we’ve been really fortunate with our Fall 2015 interns. A big thank you to: BJ McDowell, Mike Williams, John Page, Sara Apenowich, Hugo Nguyen, and Cristina Tejada.


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:

Born On The Shores Of Gallipoli - ANZAC in WW1 : THE GREAT WAR Special

Published on Dec 7, 2015. The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps or ANZAC fought in Gallipoli, on the Western Front and in the Middle East during World War 1. Even though the Gallipoli campaign was an ultimate failure, it was the birth hour of the New Zealand and Australian national consciousness. Find out how the Great War shaped Australia and New Zealand in our special episode.

Why Weren't The Germans Allowed to Pass Through Belgium in 1914? : Out Of The Trenches

Published on Dec 5, 2015. Indy sits in the chair of wisdom again to answer your questions and this time we are telling the story of German New Guinea and talk about Germans passing through Belgium in 1914.

The Serbian Exodus Through Albania : THE GREAT WAR - Week 71

Published on Dec 3, 2015. Serbia's last stand is over and the remaining forces and civilians have to leave their home country across the inhabitable trails of the Albanian Alps. So, a whole nation is on the run while their enemies celebrate their successful military operation. The German Army is gladly relocating the much needed troops to other fronts while they leave the Austrians and Bulgarians to deal with the new situation on the Balkans.


The Great War 100 Years Ago

Presented by Mr. Mike Hanlon - WorldWar1.com

100 Years Ago in the Great War: Reviewing the Italian Front in 1915

Preserved Trenches at Mte Sei Busi: Principal Battleground of 1915Map of the Italian Front, 1915

For a sideshow, the Italian Front was an extravaganza of death: about 12% of all the military deaths of the Great War occurred there.

The 60-mile-long valley of the Isonzo [Soca] River running from the Julian Alps south to the Adriatic Sea bisected the only practical area for offensive operations by the Italian Army during the Great War. Throughout most of the rest of the mountainous 400-mile length of the S-shaped Italian Front the dominating positions almost everywhere were in the hands of the Austro-Hungarian forces.

A Delimitation Commission following the War of 1866 had intentionally given Austria a highly defensible frontier. But by attacking across the coastal plain east of the lower end of the Isonzo River, they could, so judged Supreme Commander Luigi Cadorna, feasibly acquire a series of territorial objectives from Gorizia to Trieste down to the Dalmatian coast. Secondarily, farther to the north they believed they could leapfrog the mountains bracketing both sides of the river and strike a strategic blow against their opponent's rear. Two offensives were mounted in the summer of 1915, but heavy casualties and ammunition shortages doomed them. In the fall Cardona mounted new attacks but the enemy had time to strengthen defenses, especially on the Carso Plateau, the road to Trieste.

Third Battle of the Isonzo
18 October–3 November 1915

The brutality of the fighting escalated even further with the Third and Fourth Battles of the Isonzo. General Cadorna was now looking for the "big breakthrough," but continuing his neglect of the principle of mass he committed forces the length of the front once again. He did try to narrow his areas of attack in each region and raised his artillery count to 1,200 guns, but, once again, he spread his forces too thin for what he hoped of them.

Efforts to reduce his enemy's bridgeheads at Plezzo and Tolmino were ordered leading to innumerable, but indecisive, actions in those areas. Other attacks were mounted against Plava on the south edge of the Bainsizza Plateau. Also, the Carso heated up once more as St. Michele became the keystone to a flanking move on Gorizia. Nearby Monte Sei Busi, defended ferociously by the Austrian 106th Division, was the scene of at least four major assaults. Attacking on narrower fronts, though, meant the Austrians could focus more of their firepower over smaller sections. Borojevic also started receiving additional divisions from the Eastern and Balkan Fronts and staged some ferocious counterattacks against the Italians around St. Michele. In early November Italy's supreme commander ordered a temporary halt to reevaluate the situation.

Fourth Battle of the Isonzo
10 November–2 December 1915

The Fourth Battle of the Isonzo was really a second phase to the Third Battle. Fighting was more, but not exclusively, concentrated around Gorizia and on the Carso. In the first case, the Second Army mounted its greatest assault capturing Oslavia, but with not quite enough momentum left to gain Gorizia. South down to the Adriatic, the Third Army simply accumulated more and more casualties. Typical, was the fighting around Monte Sei Busi where five more assaults were mounted by the Italian Army. By the end of 1915, the Italian Army had lost over 60,000 killed and 100,000 wounded in the futile assaults.

Austro-Hungarian Soldier on the Italian FrontIn 1916

Political turmoil and the urgency to gain something for all the sacrifices of Italy and ethnic instabilities in the Austro-Hungarian Empire meant that in 1916 Italy needed to continue attacking and Austria-Hungary needed to continue defending. The war of attrition would continue growing with both sides blind to the inevitable consequences. Unhappy with the betrayal by its former partner in the Triple Alliance, Austria in 1916, would launch an attack out of the Trentino, attempting to crash out of the mountains down to the Venetian Plain cutting of the two Italian armies deployed along the Isonzo. Know by various names such as the Battle of Asiago or the Straffexpedition, the offensive would be halted partly due to Italy's shifting of troops from the Isonzo and partly because of events on the Eastern Front.





For More Information see:

Book: The White War by Mark Thompson

Website: The 11 Battles of the Isonzo at La Grande Guerra

Next Week: The British Expeditionary Force Gets a New Commander

Preserved trench on the Italian Front, present day 

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




"Pershing" Donors

$5 Million +

Founding Sponsor
PritzkerMML Logo

Starr Foundation Logo

The Lilly Endowment