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Do you think interest in American Participation in WWI will increase?


Do you think interest in American Participation in WWI will increase?  

77 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you think interest in American Participation in WWI will increase in time for the 2017 centenary? MULTIPLE CHOICES ALLOWED

    • Yes
      18
    • No
      17
    • I don't know
      4
    • I do not think anyone will care except Historians and Collectors
      27
    • Only if there is a big budget film or best seller book released
      25
    • WWI can never be as interesting as WWII.
      4
    • Other - make post.
      2


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I can still remember the last WWI veteran riding in our Veteran Day parades when I was(cough) a bit younger. I'm afraid it is being forgotten. A good indicator of the lack of interest is the steady drop in prices in WWI militaria recently. If anything, if interest were growing, then these prices should be going up in conjunction with the increased interest but, they are not.

"There is no such thing as an expert, only students with different levels of education."
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On the subject of America's involvement in WW1, allow me to show you how we are commemorating it. When I say "we" I mean the local wartime museum which I and a group of fellow enthusiasts maintain. We often get people come in off the street with various artefacts which they donate to the museum...sometimes medals, helmets, gas-masks, ephemera etc. Recently some people came in with an original pair of photographic prints which got us really excited! They showed American "Doughboys" on parade in our town square in 1917! We were absolutely stunned because we had no idea that the Doughboys were here in South Wales! We are well aware of the GI presence here pre D-Day in 1944 ( 2nd ID) but the Doughboys really threw us a curved ball! The two photos are similar but were obviously taken just a few minutes apart. We've started to do a little research in the local archives but as yet we haven't turned up anything, which is surprising really as the presence of hundreds of American troops in the town must have caused a bit of a stir at the time!

 

Anyway...I had the prints framed and they now have pride of place in the museum which reflects our local wartime history. I'm afraid I had to use a flash as the prints are in a shady corner, so there is some reflection off the glass. Proof...if proof were needed...that the Doughboys really were "Over there!"

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"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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One more...

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"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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I don't see a lot of interest in the First World War around my area. I of course have collectors as friends but none of them except for weapon collectors have any interest in WW1 items.

 

I have been interested in WW1 since I learned that my Great-Grandfather served in it. He and I share our birthday's only 88 years apart.

 

In my store very few even look at what few WW1 items I have out for sale. I do keep some of what comes in as it fits what I collect. 28th Infantry Division.

Always looking for WW1 28th Division; anything, papers, field gear, uniforms, etc.

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it's interesting that here in the United States when somebody of my age says "the war" they're talking about WW2. But in Britian people of all ages when they say "the war" they're invariably talking about WW1. WWI wiped out nearly an entire generation of British and European citizens. We were in it for a relatively short time and still had appalling casualties. There's no comparison, and in fact WW1 changed everything in Europe while in the US it was WW2 that changed everything

Tom Bowers

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We British are surrounded my reminders of WW1...every village, town and city has its War Memorial, bearing the names of those from that locality who fell fighting for their country. Ours is on the village green, just about half a mile from where I'm sitting right now ( see pic) Sometimes they are bronze statues, sometimes stone obelisks, and sometimes just a bronze plaque. After WW2, names of the most recently fallen were added to the memorials. Every year on Nov 11th they are the focal point of acts of remembrance and are festooned with bright red poppy wreaths. The Cenotaph in central London is the focal point of the national act of remembrance.

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"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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That's a beautiful memorial, and it's nice to think that those are everywhere you go. Statue looks like a British version of the spirit of the Doughboy IMO.

Always interested in items related to the 37th Infantry Division or 145th Infantry Regiment in WWII

"Let them not be forgotten for they have shown the world that freedom is not free"

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That's a beautiful memorial, and it's nice to think that those are everywhere you go. Statue looks like a British version of the spirit of the Doughboy IMO.

 

Yes...they are ubiquitous. Here's another from a neighbouring town. The rifle is inverted.

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"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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I agree with most everything that's been posted and it is sad indeed. I am in the camp of only collectors and historians will be interested. Some fault has to lie with our education system which rarely if ever covers any conflicts but especially ones like WW1 or Korea. History itself is so watered down now it may fade from the curriculum altogether. So absent some blog poster, most of the general population is oblivious. The X, Y and millennial generations have really been short-changed.

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I was just talking with a collector- dealer a couple days ago about how interest (and collectible values) in Civil War items have declined in recent years. As a dealer he spoke of Civil War collectors who have taken a major hit as far as their monetary investment. I think money generally follows interest in this hobby. We both surmised that another factor is the general lack of interest in history in this country and that there are few if any people left who knew or received second hand knowledge of that war from someone who experienced it. Unfortunately, I believe World War I will go the same way as far as being remembered or popular interest.

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Some fault has to lie with our education system which rarely if ever covers any conflicts but especially ones like WW1 or Korea. History itself is so watered down now it may fade from the curriculum altogether.

 

The education system is always the easiest and first institution to be blamed for any issues in our country. There are so many more factors that are at play regarding the low interest in WWI.

 

While we collectors look at the “cool” WWI items in our collections, how many times do we actually read about WWI? How many times do we talk to younger generations about WWI? I see many posts on here where displays are set up at different venues. Not many of them are about WWI. If the older generation does not discuss WWI with the younger generation, how can we expect them to be interested in WWI? Part of the responsibility lies with us. We cannot and should not put all of the onus on our education system.

 

...Kat

 

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At least in my state, the mud and blood are actually focused upon a little, as it was the first truly industrial total war, so I actually get to teach about the war to my freshman world history class. For sophomore American history, the standards are more politically focused. Regardless, I make time to cover the war, and bring in a few things, and you ought to see the kids, usually the guys (but not always), scramble to grab my reproduction pickelhaube, or the reconditioned US Brodie helmet or stahlhelm.

 

One thing I like to do is pass out cards on day one of the WWI unit. I calculate casualty figures for each class based on the KIA and WIA data for the French army since it was chewed up so badly. Found a reference that talked about the percentages of wounded and killed for artillery, gas, etc. and make an appropriate number of cards. Just like the poilus, only 1/3 of the class gets cards that aren't some sort of KIA or WIA. Each card is illustrated with a picture from WWI as well, somehow related to the fate on the card, like the often pictured skeletonized German laying in a trench near a dugout. A lot are interested or at least shocked, but you can't make em all care.

 

The time passed has a lot to do with it. Some kids barely know their grandparents, let alone what their great grandparents did during WWII, of their great greats in WWI. Every now and then I look up ancestors for them with one of the copies of our county's WWII history, buy most don't know that their grandparents' war was Vietnam, let alone what they did.

Looking for the following:

452nd and 447th Bomb Group items

Anything 12th Armored- especially uniforms

155th Assault Helicopter Company, Camp Coryell, or Ban Me Thuot Vietnam items[/center]


WWII US Navy Uniforms from the Battle Off Samar: USS Johnston DD-557, USS Hoel DD-553, USS Samuel B. Roberts DE-413, USS Heermann DD-532, USS Dennis DE-405, USS John C. Butler DE-339, USS Raymond DE-341, USS Fanshaw Bay St. Lo, White Plains, Kalinin Bay, Kitkun Bay and Gambier Bay...


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Some kids barely know their grandparents, let alone what their great grandparents did during WWII, of their great greats in WWI. Every now and then I look up ancestors for them with one of the copies of our county's WWII history, but most don't know that their grandparents' war was Vietnam, let alone what they did.

 

I blame this on the parents. All of my life I have heard stories about my grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins.....It is up to each generation to teach the previous generation about their heritage. The interest in history needs to be started at home. I see families sitting at a restaurant where every person at the table is looking at their phone rather than talking. It is truly a shame. Put down your phone, IPAD, or laptop and TALK to your children.

 

...Kat

 

 

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this WW1 statue is the centerpiece of the war memorial in my town. there is also a long low granite, topped by a series of plaques, which are inscribed with the names of those lost in the wars since, all the way up through the desert wars in the middle east.

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The funny thing is before WW2, there were countless people collecting WW1 stuff. I think the shift of interest into 3rd Reich stuff became massive after WW2 and has been the linchpin in military collecting, overall, ever since.

 

There hasn't been a WW1 movie made to the quality of BoB, PVT Ryan. Figure the one's that have been made lately have been, well, meh.

 

 

WW1 in the US have never generated public interest like the Civil War did, or WW2 does.

 

These are both excellent points.

In terms of the public at large, there has never been a truly compelling movie about WW1 that 'grabbed' the public for many decades. I'm still waiting for an epic, historically correct, visually compelling and well-written movie or TV series about WW1.

But even then, I doubt there'll ever be that big an interest in WW1. "War Horse" was well received by critics and did halfway decent in the box office, but it quickly vanished from our culture almost the moment it left the big screens. You don't even hear people talking about it in collector or re-enactor circles since it came out, which is a very bad sign of a movie re-kindling interest in the era.

Lee Bishop Formerly known as "Ratchet 5" with the 2nd Infantry Division (yes, in REAL life)

US WW2 War Correspondent collector

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The funny thing is before WW2, there were countless people collecting WW1 stuff. I think the shift of interest into 3rd Reich stuff became massive after WW2 and has been the linchpin in military collecting, overall, ever since.

 

I imagine the Great Depression gave them more of a right to complain about prices in the hobby than anyone of today's era

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I imagine the Great Depression gave them more of a right to complain about prices in the hobby than anyone of today's era

 

It made me wonder how anything from those WW1 collections survived into the WW1 era, especially once Germans were reviled again at the start of WW2...

Don't forget, the Smithsonian donated their entire WW1 tank collection for a WW2 scrap drive, a complete travesty for that institution.

Lee Bishop Formerly known as "Ratchet 5" with the 2nd Infantry Division (yes, in REAL life)

US WW2 War Correspondent collector

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Don't forget, the Smithsonian donated their entire WW1 tank collection for a WW2 scrap drive, a complete travesty for that institution.

 

Can you please point me to the documentation that proves this happened? I did a search and haven't been able to find anything so far.

 

....Kat

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The education system is always the easiest and first institution to be blamed for any issues in our country. There are so many more factors that are at play regarding the low interest in WWI.

 

While we collectors look at the “cool” WWI items in our collections, how many times do we actually read about WWI? How many times do we talk to younger generations about WWI? I see many posts on here where displays are set up at different venues. Not many of them are about WWI. If the older generation does not discuss WWI with the younger generation, how can we expect them to be interested in WWI? Part of the responsibility lies with us. We cannot and should not put all of the onus on our education system.

 

...Kat

 

 

Just re-read what I wrote below. The below is not WWI specific, it is about educating (ourselves and others)

 

Right on Kat...if not us then Who? Education is partly to blame but if the instructor doesn't have interest in that particular aspect of history, then they wont have the passion to emphasize the importance of this or any other war. My perception is that Grandomatic is definitely the exception rather than the rule as far as educators go. There are others for sure, but like I said exception. BTW I would love to be a fly on the wall in your classroom for both the lesson and the reactions first hand.

 

As collectors, we can take it upon our selves to be educators. First as Kat said have we actually educated our selves? How many of you reading this have volunteered to be a guest speaker or set up a small display of your collection at your local schools or other venues? Many of you have. Many don't have the time or resources to do it, but if you do, what is stopping you?

 

To bastardize Kennedy's saying: ask now what your country has done to educate younger generations about their history, what the heck have you done?

 

A lot of this stems from a Question my wife asked me a few years ago. It went something like this: (Why do you collect this stuff it just sits in your closet or in the garage until you get something new. You look at it and put it with the rest of the stuff). Not an exact quote, but fairly close. I am sure she was trying to say get rid of that junk, but being me I interpreted her message as you should do something with it. I started putting on displays (Some large and some small). It actually gave me the push to bet back "into the books" so I could not just talk about the item i.e. that is the mark-1 mod-1 thingamajig, but I could use the "Stuff" to talk about several things....the person it came from, the conflict it was used in, and a little about that generation and what other things lead up to their collective experience.

 

 

Semper Fi,

John

 

P.S. I am not a WWI buff, but I heard that the US Marines won the whole thing at Belleau Woods. Is that true? (Insert Smile here).

Wanted: USMC Helicopter related items


Collector of Marine Corps Helicopter / Rotary aviation items from the late 1940s to present



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Just re-read what I wrote below. The below is not WWI specific, it is about educating (ourselves and others)

 

Right on Kat...if not us then Who? Education is partly to blame but if the instructor doesn't have interest in that particular aspect of history, then they wont have the passion to emphasize the importance of this or any other war. My perception is that Grandomatic is definitely the exception rather than the rule as far as educators go. There are others for sure, but like I said exception. BTW I would love to be a fly on the wall in your classroom for both the lesson and the reactions first hand.

 

As collectors, we can take it upon our selves to be educators. First as Kat said have we actually educated our selves? How many of you reading this have volunteered to be a guest speaker or set up a small display of your collection at your local schools or other venues? Many of you have. Many don't have the time or resources to do it, but if you do, what is stopping you?

 

To bastardize Kennedy's saying: ask now what your country has done to educate younger generations about their history, what the heck have you done?

 

A lot of this stems from a Question my wife asked me a few years ago. It went something like this: (Why do you collect this stuff it just sits in your closet or in the garage until you get something new. You look at it and put it with the rest of the stuff). Not an exact quote, but fairly close. I am sure she was trying to say get rid of that junk, but being me I interpreted her message as you should do something with it. I started putting on displays (Some large and some small). It actually gave me the push to bet back "into the books" so I could not just talk about the item i.e. that is the mark-1 mod-1 thingamajig, but I could use the "Stuff" to talk about several things....the person it came from, the conflict it was used in, and a little about that generation and what other things lead up to their collective experience.

 

 

Semper Fi,

John

 

P.S. I am not a WWI buff, but I heard that the US Marines won the whole thing at Belleau Woods. Is that true? (Insert Smile here).

 

Spot on John. Every time I sit in classes I feel as if I need to lower my BP. Therefore, I work against the tide, and use my collection exactly the way it should be, for education. Correct education, I might add ;)

***Items from unit called 8th Field Depot***

[Most frequently-sought unit because of family connection]

 

Intact ["out of the woodwork"] Marine Corps combat groups from WWII.

 

Unique items signed by many Marines from one unit, or inscribed with combat history.

 

Marine Corps valor recipient items.

 

Souvenirs taken by Marines with exceptional background and/or unique stories/documentation.

 

Marine Ship Detachment items from major naval engagements and those that warrant stars to ETO ribbon.

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Can you please point me to the documentation that proves this happened? I did a search and haven't been able to find anything so far.

 

....Kat

 

I read about in one of the WW2 magazines about a year ago and have seen mention of it several times over the years. There was also a documentary on PBS a few years back that talked about all the stuff that got scrapped for nothing (civil war artillery, church bells, the span-am battleship USS Oregon), all for nothing as the purity of those metals couldn't be confirmed so none of it was actually used for defense purposes. All that history melted down, just to make people feel like they were doing something...

 

Lee Bishop Formerly known as "Ratchet 5" with the 2nd Infantry Division (yes, in REAL life)

US WW2 War Correspondent collector

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Can you please point me to the documentation that proves this happened? I did a search and haven't been able to find anything so far.

 

....Kat

 

I would also like to see where this is written down.

The WHOLE collection scrapped ?

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Part of the problem is that any combination of search terms will yield a million off-topic results for that Smithsonian deal. Literally every website that mentions that anything was scrapped at any point during either of the world wars seemed to pop up when I searched it.

Looking for the following:

452nd and 447th Bomb Group items

Anything 12th Armored- especially uniforms

155th Assault Helicopter Company, Camp Coryell, or Ban Me Thuot Vietnam items[/center]


WWII US Navy Uniforms from the Battle Off Samar: USS Johnston DD-557, USS Hoel DD-553, USS Samuel B. Roberts DE-413, USS Heermann DD-532, USS Dennis DE-405, USS John C. Butler DE-339, USS Raymond DE-341, USS Fanshaw Bay St. Lo, White Plains, Kalinin Bay, Kitkun Bay and Gambier Bay...


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