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By the Wings of Death: The involvement of Independent Americans in Foreign Wars Max H. & David K. AHAP- KLM Ms. Pojer.

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Presentation on theme: "By the Wings of Death: The involvement of Independent Americans in Foreign Wars Max H. & David K. AHAP- KLM Ms. Pojer."— Presentation transcript:

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2 By the Wings of Death: The involvement of Independent Americans in Foreign Wars Max H. & David K. AHAP- KLM Ms. Pojer

3 Essential Question What possessed some Americans to volunteer to fight independently of the U.S military, and what was the legacy of these men?

4 Background In the Twentieth Century, three major wars represented the majority of independent American military action. These wars were: World War One Prior to the American declaration of war in 1917 The Spanish Civil War, in which the U.S. was never involved. World War Two, on both fronts, prior to the American declaration of war in 1941 In the Twentieth Century, three major wars represented the majority of independent American military action. These wars were: World War One Prior to the American declaration of war in 1917 The Spanish Civil War, in which the U.S. was never involved. World War Two, on both fronts, prior to the American declaration of war in 1941

5 Background In exploring the CAUSES of such action, one must consider the following: –What sort of people were going off on their own to fight? –What was the attitude of the American populace towards the wars that these men went off to fight? –What was the state of America at the time, and how did that affect the decision to go to war? Social Political Economic In exploring the CAUSES of such action, one must consider the following: –What sort of people were going off on their own to fight? –What was the attitude of the American populace towards the wars that these men went off to fight? –What was the state of America at the time, and how did that affect the decision to go to war? Social Political Economic

6 Background, cont. –What ideologies, ethnicities, and other persuasions were common amongst the men going to fight and how did these persuasions effect their decision to fight? –What strain in the American consciousness compels one to go off an fight in a war ones country is not even in? –What ideologies, ethnicities, and other persuasions were common amongst the men going to fight and how did these persuasions effect their decision to fight? –What strain in the American consciousness compels one to go off an fight in a war ones country is not even in?

7 Background, cont. In examining the LEGACY of the men who fought, one must consider: –How were the volunteers treated upon returning to the war? –What contributions did these men make to the American military, society, or psyche? –How has history treated these men? In examining the LEGACY of the men who fought, one must consider: –How were the volunteers treated upon returning to the war? –What contributions did these men make to the American military, society, or psyche? –How has history treated these men?

8 World War I Although America formally began World War One with a strict policy of neutrality, many Americans felt persuasions otherwise.Although America formally began World War One with a strict policy of neutrality, many Americans felt persuasions otherwise. Many felt as though the allies fought for Democracy and thus sympathized with them.Many felt as though the allies fought for Democracy and thus sympathized with them. However, some had reservations towards the allies, including German and Hungarian Americans, as well as Irishmen who felt animosity towards the allied British, and Jews who felt similarly towards czarist Russia, also one of the allies.However, some had reservations towards the allies, including German and Hungarian Americans, as well as Irishmen who felt animosity towards the allied British, and Jews who felt similarly towards czarist Russia, also one of the allies.

9 World War I Although America formally began World War One with a strict policy of neutrality, many Americans felt persuasions otherwise.Although America formally began World War One with a strict policy of neutrality, many Americans felt persuasions otherwise. Many felt as though the allies fought for Democracy and thus sympathized with them.Many felt as though the allies fought for Democracy and thus sympathized with them. However, some had reservations towards the allies, including German and Hungarian Americans, as well as Irishmen who felt animosity towards the allied British, and Jews who felt similarly towards czarist Russia, also one of the allies.However, some had reservations towards the allies, including German and Hungarian Americans, as well as Irishmen who felt animosity towards the allied British, and Jews who felt similarly towards czarist Russia, also one of the allies.

10 World War I Among the first to involve themselves in the War in Europe independent of the U.S. military:Among the first to involve themselves in the War in Europe independent of the U.S. military: –Wealthy young men, recent college graduates –Young academics –Aviation enthusiasts, early flyboys. –Simply adventurous souls.

11 Norman Prince, an American who had lived and traveled extensively in France, felt obliged to help France in the war. Being an aviator himself, he sought to create a unique group of American airmen fighting for France. After much opposition from the French Government, he was able to create the Lafayette, or American Escadrille. The first members were: Lafayette Escadrille

12 Norman Prince William Thaw Victor Chapman Kiffin Rockwell James McConell Bert Hall Elliot C. Cowdin Norman Prince William Thaw Victor Chapman Kiffin Rockwell James McConell Bert Hall Elliot C. Cowdin

13 Lafayette Escadrille, cont. The men were first deployed at the Alsatian front in May, 1916, where they were commanded by the French officers Captain Thenault and Lieutenant de Laage They were quickly moved to the intense fighting at Verdun, where they were joined by Raoul Lufbery, Didier Masson, Clyde Balsely, Dudley Hill, Lawrence Rumsey and Chouteau Johnson. The men were first deployed at the Alsatian front in May, 1916, where they were commanded by the French officers Captain Thenault and Lieutenant de Laage They were quickly moved to the intense fighting at Verdun, where they were joined by Raoul Lufbery, Didier Masson, Clyde Balsely, Dudley Hill, Lawrence Rumsey and Chouteau Johnson.

14 Lafayette Escadrille, cont. The romance of aviation and the Escadrille attracted young, wealthy, educated American men, and by the time America became involved in the war in 1917, 325 men had joined up to support the Escadrille. Casualties were numerous: 25 of the 325 gave their lives in battle, several more were wounded or imprisoned. Original members Prince, Chapman and Rockwell, as well as Lieutenant de Laage, perished in battle. The romance of aviation and the Escadrille attracted young, wealthy, educated American men, and by the time America became involved in the war in 1917, 325 men had joined up to support the Escadrille. Casualties were numerous: 25 of the 325 gave their lives in battle, several more were wounded or imprisoned. Original members Prince, Chapman and Rockwell, as well as Lieutenant de Laage, perished in battle.

15 The Legacy of the Escadrille Aviation Romanticized –R–Reports of high-flying daring and bravery on the part of the Escadrille captured a place in the American imagination. –A–Air War seemed more noble when compared to the ugly realities of trench warfare. For us all, said McConnell, it contained unlimited possibilities for initiative and service to France, and for them [Rockwell and Chapman, who perished] it must have meant, too, the restoration of personality lost during those months in the trenches with the Foreign Legion.

16 IntegrationIntegration Upon American entry into the War: –Escadrille pilots became the forerunners of the burgeoning American air corps. –Escadrille was formally dissolved into the American armed forces. –Escadrille pilots became the first American aces, and the idealized figure of the ace was born in the American imagination. Upon American entry into the War: –Escadrille pilots became the forerunners of the burgeoning American air corps. –Escadrille was formally dissolved into the American armed forces. –Escadrille pilots became the first American aces, and the idealized figure of the ace was born in the American imagination. Raoul Lufberry in front of his new American Nieuport fighter.

17 Legacy of the Escadrille The Escadrilles legacy would continue to grow, as the airmen were forever immortalized in the 1958 film Lafayette Escadrille. The Escadrilles legacy would continue to grow, as the airmen were forever immortalized in the 1958 film Lafayette Escadrille.

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19 American Ambulances in the War In 1914, 1915, and 1916, many American university men went to France for the purpose of providing Emergency Medical Services to the allies. Richard Norton: –Father of American Volunteer Ambulance Services –Graduated Harvard in 1892, worked as archeologist and professor at American University of Classical Studies in Rome. worked as archeologist and professor at American University of Classical Studies in Rome. –Formed Motor-Ambulance Corps in London in 1914, starting with 10 Ambulances.

20 American Ambulances, cont. The Motor-Ambulance Corps –Most of the Volunteers were recent graduates from elite American colleges. –Norton maintained a genial relationship with his men, such that he was more a comrade than a commanding officer, as such, he was universally liked by the men serving under him. –The Corps grew quickly, growing from 10 to 60 ambulances in just one year, and were funded largely by the British and later, the American Red Cross. –Ultimately became entire ambulance service for French 11th Army, earning them a substantial role in the wars ambulance service.

21 American Ambulances, cont. A. Piatt Andrew –Graduated Princeton in 1893 –Economics Professor at Harvard, –Assistant Secretary of the Treasury,

22 American Ambulances, cont. Piatt established the Field Service of the American Ambulance in –Field Service was completely independent of Motor-Ambulance Corps –By Spring of 1915, Field Service had sections at Dunkirk and Lorraine, and in the Vosges. –In October 1916, Field Service had 349 men, 264 of whom were college educated. –By 1917, Field Service had 200 ambulances, and served at most major battles, including the Somne and Verdun.

23 American Ambulances, cont. Causes for the Involvement of the Young, Educated class: –Intellectual attitude of current graduates meant many did not want to be left out of the great historical event the war was. –Most college graduates of the day spoke second languages, especially French, especially able to work in France. –At the time, the wealthier classes were most adapt at the use of automobiles.

24 American Ambulances, cont. Causes for the Involvement of the Young, Educated class: –Graduates felt as though they were representing their various Universities in the service, this at a time when the Ivy League and comparable institutions set the standard for much of American athletic competition. –Concept of noblesse oblige, or the idea that a societies wealthiest owed the most in participation

25 American Ambulances, cont. The perception of the volunteers at home: –I–Ivy league newspapers and alumni publications glorified the participation of their Universitys graduates in the Ambulance Service. –We have already more than 200 cars driven by American volunteers, mostly university men, grouped in sections which are attached to divisions in the French army. A. Piatt Andrew, to the Princeton Alumni Weekly

26 American Ambulances, cont. Further affects of the American Volunteer Ambulance Corps: –Actually played significant role in carrying wounded and dead soldiers away from front lines. –Would provide the foundation for the infrastructure and methods of the American ambulance service when the war began.

27 Americans in French Foreign Legion in WW1 Foreign Legion had long existed as a branch of French military made entirely of non-Frenchmen. –Had always been seen as a haven for runaways, criminals, and other outcasts. –Represented the easiest way for an American to get seriously involved in the War.

28 Foreign Legion, cont. Americans who joined: –As with the Escadrille and the Ambulance Services, many men who volunteered were wealthy Ivy League graduates, motivated by nobilisse oblige. –At first, legionnaires found themselves spending much of there time on long marches, and little time fighting valiantly. Americans who joined: –As with the Escadrille and the Ambulance Services, many men who volunteered were wealthy Ivy League graduates, motivated by nobilisse oblige. –At first, legionnaires found themselves spending much of there time on long marches, and little time fighting valiantly.

29 By late 1914, however, the Legion found its way into the trenches. –Many of the rich, young Americans were not prepared for the harsh realities of trench warfare. Wrote William Thaw, who would later join the Escadrille: War is wretched and quite uninteresting. Wish I were back dogging streetcars on Broadway for amusement. Am that tired of being shot at! Got hit in the cap and bayonet-Do you mind?…in comparison a game of football is almost a joke.War is wretched and quite uninteresting. Wish I were back dogging streetcars on Broadway for amusement. Am that tired of being shot at! Got hit in the cap and bayonet-Do you mind?…in comparison a game of football is almost a joke. By late 1914, however, the Legion found its way into the trenches. –Many of the rich, young Americans were not prepared for the harsh realities of trench warfare. Wrote William Thaw, who would later join the Escadrille: War is wretched and quite uninteresting. Wish I were back dogging streetcars on Broadway for amusement. Am that tired of being shot at! Got hit in the cap and bayonet-Do you mind?…in comparison a game of football is almost a joke.War is wretched and quite uninteresting. Wish I were back dogging streetcars on Broadway for amusement. Am that tired of being shot at! Got hit in the cap and bayonet-Do you mind?…in comparison a game of football is almost a joke. Foreign Legion, cont.

30 Legacy of Americans in Foreign Legion Many legionaries eventually joined the Escadrille or other more glamorous services. –Lafayette Airmen Kiffn Rockwell, Victor Chapman and William Thaw were all former legionnaires. –Romantic appeal of French Foreign Legion established in American psyche. Many legionaries eventually joined the Escadrille or other more glamorous services. –Lafayette Airmen Kiffn Rockwell, Victor Chapman and William Thaw were all former legionnaires. –Romantic appeal of French Foreign Legion established in American psyche.

31 "Now heaven be praised That in that hour that most imperilled her, Menaced her liberty who foremost raised Europe's bright flag of freedom, some there were Who, not unmindful of the antique debt, Came back the generous path of Lafayette; - Alan Seeger, American Legionnaire, killed at Belloy en-Santerre, Alan Seeger, American Legionnaire, killed at Belloy en-Santerre, 1916.

32 Spanish Civil War Conflict beginning in 1936 with attempted military coup by fascist general Fransisco Franco. –Loosely organized group of anti-fascist militias fought Franco. –Western powers chose not to get involved, portrayed wars as Communists v. Fascists. –Among the anti-fascist militias were the International Brigades, or groups of Foreign volunteers fighting for Spain.

33 Americans in the Spanish Civil War Around 3000 Americans of anti-fascist sentiment chose to fight for Spain. –Many were Communists. –Many Communists at the time were urban, Eastern-European ethnics, especially Jews. –Others of leftist, radical, or simply anti-fascist persuasions, but not necessarily Communists, joined the Brigades.

34 Formation of International Brigades Soviet Comintern sent communique to Communist parties around the world, urging for people to volunteer for Spain. –American Communist Party organizers began recruiting potential soldiers from their rank and file membership. –War was seen as a fulfillment of the Marxist Prophecy that the workers of the world would unite against oppression

35 American Communist Party Depression had greatly increased the appeal of Communism to Americas working poor. Depression had greatly increased the appeal of Communism to Americas working poor. –Communist Party Membership, 1929:10,000 –Communist Party Membership, 1938: 82,000 –Party was very organized, and volunteers were extremely passionate, based on the belief that it was better to have a few die- hards than many half-hearted volunteers. –Instrumental in recruiting American soldiers for Spanish Civil War.

36 15th International Brigade Initially, three Brigades of Americans went to fight in the 15th International Brigade –The George Washington Battalion –The Abraham Lincoln Battalion –The John Brown Anti-Aircraft Battalion The two Brigades were later combined into the Washington-Lincoln Brigade, referred to usually as simply the Lincoln Brigade or the 15th International Brigade. The two Brigades were later combined into the Washington-Lincoln Brigade, referred to usually as simply the Lincoln Brigade or the 15th International Brigade.

37 15th International Brigade Though some arrived in late 1936 to aid in the defense of Madrid (which ultimately fell), most of the Brigades intense fighting occurred at the Jarama river. –Fighting lasted constantly for one month, from February to March, Of 500 Lincolns involved, 127 were killed and 200 were wounded. –Trench warfare –Even though the Fascists ultimately won Jarama, the Lincolns saw their long defense of the river as a valiant effort.

38 Intellectuals and Artists in the Lincoln Brigade Lost Generation: –Many artists and intellectuals of the Lost Generation, those who had become disenfranchised with American life in the aftermath of World War I, became involved in the International Brigades. Ernest Hemingway, the most famous lost generation writer, fought in the Lincoln Brigade.Ernest Hemingway, the most famous lost generation writer, fought in the Lincoln Brigade.

39 Intellectuals and Artists in the Lincoln Brigade Harlem Renaissance: –Many Black intellectuals and artists of leftist sympathies, most of whom lived in urban areas and were part of the Harlem Renaissance movement, comprised the black members of the Lincolns. Langston Hughes: Famous Harlem Renaissance poet and writer, served with Lincolns.Langston Hughes: Famous Harlem Renaissance poet and writer, served with Lincolns. After the war, those artists and intellectuals would attempt, through their work, to positively portray their work in the Spanish Civil War as positive and necessary. After the war, those artists and intellectuals would attempt, through their work, to positively portray their work in the Spanish Civil War as positive and necessary.

40 African-Americans in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade One of the greatest legacies of the Brigade was the fact that it represented the first integrated military unit of Americans. –This correlated with the fact that the Communist party was the only white party in America accepting black members on equal terms.

41 African Americans in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade About 90 Black men joined the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. –Some were Communists. –Others were simply decidedly anti-fascist, for several reasons: Hitlers refusal to present Jesse Owens his medals in the 1936 Berlin Olympics.Hitlers refusal to present Jesse Owens his medals in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Hitlers support of Max Schmelling against Joe LouisHitlers support of Max Schmelling against Joe Louis Mussolinis invasion of Ethiopia.Mussolinis invasion of Ethiopia. –We didnt know to much about the Spaniards, but we knew that they were fighting fascism, and that fascism was the enemy of all black aspirations. Vaughn LoveVaughn Love

42 Spain was a Love Affair, by Vaughn Love, Black member of Lincoln Brigade –When Hitler, Franco and Mussolini came –With ravaging hordes to conquer Spain –They pinned there hopes on greed and fear –While their great armadas filled the air –The Spaniards resisted this horrendous tide –of terror and greed and genocide –While all the democratic states –Blockaded Spain to seal its fate

43 Spain was a Love Affair, by Vaughn Love, Black member of Lincoln Brigade –The volunteers joined a mighty stand –From all the far and distant lands –To guard the valiant heart of Spain –And the liberty and freedom of all mankind –The Black Volunteers were where they belonged –Where the battle against racism and fascism was going on –To share the burden of freedoms cause –And build the bridge of solidarity and love

44 Spain was a Love Affair, by Vaughn Love, Black member of Lincoln Brigade –This tribut (sic) to our glorious fighting men –Will last through the ages in time without end –And in the cause we share with them –We embrace the fighters for South African freedom The poem reflects the general attitude of the Lincolns, black and white, after the war, which was one of constant struggle for social justice, in the same vain as when they fought the fascists.

45 Lincolns after the War Withdrawn from battle in 1938 Embitterment –Popular Front ultimately lost, Franco won, work of Lincolns could be said to have been in vain. –Continued rise of fascism, escalating with World War II, further underscored the failure to stop Franco, sense of I told you so on part of some Lincolns.

46 Lincolns after the War Red Scare: –During 1950s Red Scare, all 15th Brigade Veterans were seen as potential threats. Even non-Communist members were considered as part of the potentially subversive group of premature anti-fascists.Even non-Communist members were considered as part of the potentially subversive group of premature anti-fascists. Nonetheless, the Lincolns were seen as heroes among American Leftists both during their service and after. The Veterans of the Battalion continued to take pride in their service. Many fought in World War II.

47 The American Volunteer Group Flying Tigers In 1937, US Capt. Claire Chennault resigned his commission to travel to China as special advisor to the Chinese Air Force In 1937, US Capt. Claire Chennault resigned his commission to travel to China as special advisor to the Chinese Air Force –In 1938, traveled to Kunming, China to start the beginnings of a Chinese air force. –Spent next few years locating airfields and developing an air raid warning system for China. –Laid groundwork for what would eventually become the American Volunteer Group.

48 The American Volunteer Group, Cont. Chennault spent the winter of in the US, negotiating for Chinas purchase of 100 P-40 fighter planes under the cash and carry principle. Formal Training and organization of the American pilots began at Rangoon, Burma in When supply, organization, and training were completed, the AVG Flying Tigers were folded into the fledgling Chinese Air Force in November of Combat service began on December 20 th, 1941, when the group disrupted a Japanese bomber formation over Kunming.

49 The American Volunteer Group, Cont. Different than those of previous volunteer groups, the pilots and ground crew of the AVG were formally trained professionals. –The 100 airmen of the first group were fully trained American pilots, all officers, hand picked by Chennault- 40 from the Army Air Corps, and 60 from the Navy and Marine air wings. –The U.S. government allowed for these individuals to be discharged specifically for service with the Chinese.

50 The American Volunteer Group, Cont. The Flying Tigers were split into three squadrons: Adam and Eves Panda Bears Hells Angels

51 Combat Campaigns over bases in Rangoon, Northern Burma, and Mainland China. Total action yielded 297 Japanese planes destroyed in the air and on the ground. Thirteen servicemen were lost to enemy fire, three were taken prisoner, and ten died in the air and on the ground as the result of flying accidents.

52 Legacy of the Flying Tigers The AVG was officially disbanded on July 4, 1942, with American fighters beginning to enter the theater. –Chennault was immediately re- commissioned as a Colonel, and was then promoted to Brigadier General and given total control of US fighter command in the Chinese theater.

53 Legacy of the Flying Tigers, cont. Many of the pilots would seek re- commission and fly with different elements of the American Armed Services. –The most famous of these pilots would be Pappy Boyington, who would go on to command the infamous Black Sheep Squadron of the US Marines. –Went on to be awarded the Navy Cross and the Medal of Honor for his service.

54 Legacy of the Flying Tigers, cont. British Air Vice Marshall D.F. Stephenson said of the AVG: –'–'–'–'In the Burma campaign the main brunt of the fighting was borne by the P-40 squadrons of the American Volunteer Group. They were first in the field with pilots well trained, and good fighting equipment. The great majority of enemy aircraft destroyed in Burma fell to their guns. Their gallantry in action won the admiration of both services."

55 Bibliography Information Sources:Information Sources: –Brandt, Joe, ed. Black Americans in the Spanish Peoples War Against Fascism ( ) New York: Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, circa –Caroll, Peter N. The Odyssey of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade: Americans in the Spanish Civil War. Stanford: Stanford University Press, –Ford, Daniel. Flying Tigers: Claire Chennault and the American Volunteer group. Blue Ridge, PA: Tab Books, 1991 –Morse, Edwin W. The Vanguard of Volunteers New York: Charles Scribners Sons, 1922.

56 Bibliography Picture Sources:Picture Sources: - American Field Service in World War One Kansas University Flags of the Red Cross Geographic Flying Tigers 2006 Wikipedia French Foreign Legion Historical Society Paul Kendall History of the American Field Service in France Brigham Young University http://www.lib.byu.edu/~rdh/wwi/memoir/AFShist/AFS1a.htm -Index Of photos wustl.edu –Lafayette Pilots Wannado Lafayette Escadrille Amazon.com /ref=pd_bbs_1/ ?%5Fencoding=UTF8&v=glance&n= /ref=pd_bbs_1/ ?%5Fencoding=UTF8&v=glance&n= /ref=pd_bbs_1/ ?%5Fencoding=UTF8&v=glance&n= /rockwell_lafay/rockwell_lafay.html 09/rockwell_lafay/rockwell_lafay.html

57 Bibliography RNC Protest Politics in the Zeros –Rockwell: I Paid my Debt for Lafayette 2003.American Democracy.org /rockwell_lafay/rockwell_lafay.html 09/rockwell_lafay/rockwell_lafay.htmlhttp://www.unc.edu/depts/diplomat/archives_roll/2004_07- 09/rockwell_lafay/rockwell_lafay.html –Spanish Civil War in Quinto Aragob http://www.aragob.es/elocales/quinto/historia/historia_193 8_1.htmAragob http://www.aragob.es/elocales/quinto/historia/historia_193 8_1.htmhttp://www.aragob.es/elocales/quinto/historia/historia_193 8_1.htmhttp://www.aragob.es/elocales/quinto/historia/historia_193 8_1.htm –Spanish Civil War Graphics Collection Anarchy Archives: Pitzer College. graphics.htmlAnarchy Archives: Pitzer College. graphics.html graphics.html graphics.html –Ses Avions Jean Navarre The Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives New York University York University


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