So massive was the destruction wrought by this conflict that many thought it would be the war to end all wars—hence the eventual designation of it as “The Great War.” The United States had over 4.7 million men—and several thousand women—in uniform during World War I. While small in number, VHP’s WWI collections are a treasure trove of original primary sources, all of which offer insights into the experience of serving in the Great War.
World War I: In the Trenches It was the coming-of-age war for the United States, and for the men who served in combat overseas, it provided a sobering lesson in the realities of twentieth-century warfare. Barrages of immense artillery shells snuffed out lives by the thousands, trenches filled with water and rats and worse were home for months on end to weary soldiers, and geographical orientation was often impossible.
World War I: Above & Beyond the Battlefield The U.S. had over 4.7 million men--and several thousand women--in uniform during the Great War, most of them in support of the soldiers on the front lines. Newly minted pilots took to the skies in rickety planes, doctors and nurses tended to the grievously wounded or those laid low by influenza, military police tried to keep order, and map readers tried to keep troop...