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Knights Without Parachutes

The Battle of Georgia: A World At War with the Flu

influenza

The Battle of Georgia: A World At War with the Flu

Our guest post this week includes some family history from homeschooling blogger Carolyn VanGorkom of The Novel Historian, whose aim is "to collect stories, novels, dramas, audio, video and other resources that tell the story of our past in a way that engages students in their area of delight." The Great War was far away and long forgotten in rural California, at least before the US got involved. That was the era when my grandfather, Jack, came of age. He wanted to learn scientific ways to improve the family farm, so he enrolled in California’s new University Farm. (That was a...

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Anne: The Next Generation - L. M. Montgomery Describes World War 1

children's books about WW1

Anne: The Next Generation - L. M. Montgomery Describes World War 1

Rilla of Ingleside: Military History for Girls It's not so difficult to get the average boy interested in World War 1 aviation (noisy engines, adventure, enemy attacks, etc.) If you want to get a girl interested, you might try giving her the last book in the Anne of Green Gables series, Rilla of Ingleside, which shows what the war was like on the home front, at least in Canada. (Interestingly different from the US; though the distance to the front was similar, for Canadians the war had been going on for almost 3 years at this point, while the US was just...

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Six Non-Combat Ways to Die in WW1 Aviation

dangers of wwi aviation

Six Non-Combat Ways to Die in WW1 Aviation

When the Bugs in New Technology Are Actually Deadly Maybe it makes sense that the US Army didn't want racecar drivers as pilots, thinking that combat was scary enough, and if the pilots actually understood their machines, they wouldn't fight. In a survey of the Cornell University records of Cornell aviators who died in WWI, very few of them actually died in anything that could be called combat. Many died of flu or its complications, but the rest died of some kind of aircraft accident, generally resulting from the fact that not only were the pilots new to flying, but also the airplane...

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Hire a Farmer to Fix WWI Aircraft

logistics and maintenance

Hire a Farmer to Fix WWI Aircraft

Mike Gugeler on WWI aircraft maintenance Mike Gugeler is one of the rare people who, like Vintage Aero Flying Museum director Andy Parks, knows not only WWI aviation history, but also how to fly and how to build WWI replica airplanes. He is the sort of person who at a WWI aviation museum fly-in would be the one spreading out blueprints for WWI airplanes on the tables set out for lunch.  Eddie Rickenbacker thought that pilots should be recruited from racecar drivers, since they were already adrenaline junkies (all right, it's not how he phrased it) who understood machines. (The US Army disagreed,...

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The Von Richthofens Show Off for Their Father

red baron

The Von Richthofens Show Off for Their Father

A Good Day for the Whole Family On 29 April of 100 years ago, Manfred von Richthofen had a very good day when his father came to visit. At the time, Manfred's brother Lothar was flying with him (Lothar was an accomplished ace in his own right, but of course is mainly known for being the Red Baron's brother.) Most fathers would be a bit concerned to have two sons flying around in these crazy contraptions, with other aviators shooting at them, no less. But the Red Baron greeted his father with "Hello Papa, I have just shot down an Englishman." and said his...

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