As readers of Roads to the Great War have probably figured out, I simply find the Great War endlessly interesting. Words, however, sometimes escape when I try to explain my interest to others. I found this on the website of the U.S. National Archives and I think this says much of what interests me.
World War I is the cradle of modern civilization. More than any other event, it shaped the 20th century, toppling kings, ushering in the Soviet Union, transforming relations between and within nations. The first truly mechanized war, it was fought with poison gas and bombs dropped from the air, with tanks and machine guns and in trenches stretching for 600 miles. Offsetting the lethal ingenuity of modern mass warfare, the Great War also inspired unforgettable songs, poetry, and literature. Words like liaison, Tommy, and doughboy enriched the popular vocabulary. On the homefront, Americans saw their government swell to a cost and scope never before imagined. Self-denying patriotism spawned Meatless Mondays and Wheatless Wednesdays, and sugarless gum was invented as a caloric test of Allied solidarity.
Click on Image to Expand
There's a Long, Long Trail A-Winding
Nights are growing very lonely,
Days are very long
As you might expect, there are a whole slew of treasures to be found at the National Archives. If you want to explore them, just go to their "Wiki" page and enter First World War in the search box.