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Sync Call for Wednesday August 05 at Noon EDT
Suvla Bay
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News and Announcements:

Operation Doorknock: Volunteer Follow-up
As you know, teams from the WW1CC met with over 30 members of the House and Senate during July and informational packets were dropped off at each member's offices. We conducted that outreach in an effort to raise awareness about the commemorative and educational activities the Commission will be conducting as we prepare for the 100th anniversary of the US entering the Great War, as well as to update them on the design competition for the national memorial site. We received very warm welcomes and almost all of the officials pledged to help the Commission.

During August members of Congress will return to their states and districts, and that is a critical time for them to hear from you, their constituents, about your support of the WW1CC. We need you to use the following resources so you can contact your Representative and Senators.

Go to www.house.gov and www.senate.gov to get the contact information for your Senators' and members of Congress's local offices in your state.

Then call or e-mail those offices and ask them to become active supporters of the World War One Centennial Commission. Use these Talking Points and fill out and send to us this Form afterwards. You can be very helpful to the Commission by just spending 15 minutes of your time on a few e-mails and phone calls!

Update from the States

Maryland and Pennsylvania - Web Site Publishing Partners
The Maryland and Pennsylvania state website volunteers received training last week to start building their state sections on the Commission web site. So stay tuned for their websites’ debuts.

California- Pershing Family Remembrance at the San Francisco Presidio
There will be a Centennial Pershing Family Remembrance held at 2 pm at Pershing Square and the former Officers Club at the San Francisco Presidio on 27 August 2015. The event will include a wreath laying ceremony at the site where Mrs. Frances Pershing and the three Pershing daughters perished in a fire on 27 August 1915, followed by an informational presentation on General Pershing's career and family, and the Presidio during the Great War. General Alfred Valenzuela will represent World War One Centennial Commission at the event. The public is invited. There is no charge for the event, but adjacent parking is metered.

Tennessee Great War Commission - First Annual Commemorative Events
Tennessee’s Great War Commission will kick-off their commemorative activities November 6-7 at six different venues in Nashville, TN. The focus of the events is on Tennessee and Tennesseans who were involved in the war before U.S. intervention in 1917. Stories of men and women, many of whom have long been forgotten, will be presented in a variety of ways.

South Carolina
Commissioner Hester has been communicating with Gov. Haley’s office and has successfully identified the correct point of contact for WWI centennial activities from the Dept. of Parks, Recreation and Tourism.

Next meeting of the VA WWI Centennial Committee will be on Monday, Aug 31, in Staunton, VA

State Outreach Blitz

State Commission Status MapVolunteers by State

You can see from the map we have a lot of states whose activity seem to be unreported. We have other states where we need more help.

Next week from 12:00pm to 3:00pm EDT on Thursday, August 13, we will conduct a push to contact a long list of organizations and offices that may help us with our state outreach efforts. We are asking for volunteers from across the U.S. to be available from 12:00pm to 3:00pm EDT as we host a telethon of sorts to complete this outreach in these hours. You don’t have to be from the states in question and we will provide talking points and a list of people and offices to contact. What we really need are people on the phone that can help make these calls with us. If you want to help, please contact Andrew McGreal.

St. Mihiel Trip-Wire - New Edition Now Available
Mike Hanlon of WorldWar1.com has just released the newest issue of his online publication - the St. Mihiel Trip-Wire. The Tripwire explores a whole range of topics related to the First World War. Check it out!

Announcement from Dr. Ed Furgol
The Naval History and Heritage Command is exploring new ideas to peak public interest in the commemoration of the centennial. A few of these ideas are a Naval "dining in", a cocktail program, viewings of a list of films put together by Dr. Furgol and his interns, paper dolls or coloring pages of the various naval uniforms for the War, period specific dances, and musical programs. Though they feel it is ambitious, Dr. Furgol and his team hope to have a play about women in the navy, Admiral Sims, and the introduction of convoys as well as a puppet pals show on Navy Ace David Ingalls.

An artistic volunteer could help Dr. Furgol by assisting in the creation of the paper dolls and coloring pages. To be put in touch with Dr. Furgol, please contact Andrew McGreal.

Operation Ink at the National World War 1 Museum
The National WWI Museum will host an event called Operation Ink tomorrow night. The event explores the evolution of tattoos in the 20th century and features the Tattoo Historian, Anna Friedman, and a photo gallery of tattoos collected in Kansas City. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. with a food/cocktail hour followed by the program at 6:30 p.m. Seating is limited, but tickets are still available at the National WWI Museum website.

Centennial Countdown to the Great War - New Blog Entry
Dennis Cross, one of our fantastic Kansas state outreach volunteers, publishes a monthly blog called Centennial Countdown to the Great War. As the name suggests, this blog covers events that took place a hundred years ago this month. While the end of July 1915 marked the end of the first year of the war, the end of the war itself was nowhere in sight. The battles were more deadly and the fighting was more vicious than ever. Read the blog here.

Design Competition Update
The week before last, Phase 1 of our Design Competition ended. We posted the submitted memorial plans to our website, and since then they’ve gotten quite a bit of attention!There have been over 6,000 unique visits to the designs’ web page and 30,000 plus views of individual designs! In addition, we’ve received more than 1000 public comments on the submitted memorial layouts. You can see all of the submissions for yourself on the First Round Submission page of our website.

Please remember that even if we get the perfect design we can’t build it without donations. We encourage everyone on this call to consider donating. Every dollar counts double thanks to the generosity of our founding sponsor, the Pritzker Military Museum and Library, which will match your donation. We will include a link in the minutes. Our Great War men and women deserve a memorial. We can build it.

You can make this memorial a reality by making a donation to the Memorial Fund. Share this link on social media and on your organization's website--however you can get the word out. We cannot do this without your support. Thank you!

Upper Midwest Regional Meeting - Save the Date
September 16th at the Pritzker Military Museum and Library

The Pritzker Museum and Military Library located in Chicago, Illinois would like to extend an invitation for the volunteer representatives in the Upper Midwest Region -- Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, Tennessee, South Dakota, and Wisconsin -- to a collaborative meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to increase contact and coordination between these states’ volunteers and to provide updates on the strides each state has made in the planning efforts for the centennial. Additional information will be announced in the near future.


Volunteer Spotlight

 Ryan DuKate, WW1CC Summer Intern. Ryan is a senior at Liberty University and is studying History.

Ryan: I first became interested in the First World War when I was in middle school. I had just finished reading the autobiography of Eddie Rickenbacker, America’s top ace in World War One. I was fascinated by his story and I wanted to learn more about WWI. My fascination with WWI is part of the reason I decided to study history in college.

I heard about the WW1 Centennial Commission through one of my professors at school so I looked into it a little bit more and decided to apply for an internship. I thought being part of the Commission was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I better take it while I have the chance. I was so excited when I was accepted as an intern.

During my time with the commission I have had the opportunity to work on many different programs. I am part of the State Outreach National Coordination team, which has been my focus for most of the summer. Additionally I was heavily involved in Operation Door Knock and helped deliver letters to all the Congressional members. Finally, I also assisted in creating a new marketing program to help reach millennials. Working with the Commission has been a wonderful experience and I have really enjoyed my time here.


Shout Outs

 Shout out to Kim Jindra, Courtland Jindra, Mary Ryan, Dan and Kelly McGreal for sending in Stamp Committee Letters!

Thank you Commissioner Hester for your tireless effort with State Outreach

This week we’re losing most of summer interns - shout out to Ryan, Andy, Meghan, Betsy, Cyrus, and Amber for all their hard work.


How you can help the WWICC this week:

  1. Consider making a donation to the Memorial Fund for the National WWI Memorial at Pershing Park.
  2. Help us get a WW1 series of stamps by sending in a letter to the US Post Office Stamp Committee using this template. Email Andrew McGreal with any questions.
  3. If you are interested in helping with state and regional organization, please let Andrew McGreal know and he will send you information on how to get involved.
  4. If you or someone you know is looking for an internship opportunity, head over or send them to the WW1CC Internship page.
  5. Shop at SMILE.AMAZON.COM! Enter the "United States Foundation for the Commemoration of the World Wars" as your charitable organization. Amazon will donate .5% of your purchase to us!.


The Great War Channel

Would you like to see some great videos on YouTube about WWI? Check out The Great War Channel. Posting twice a week, ‘The Great War’ shows you the history of the First World War in the four years from 1914 to 1918. The host, Indy, takes you back week by week and shows you what was going on in the past. Please subscribe to see these great posts. Their last two videos are:

Boy Scouts during WW1 And The Lusitania Sinking Myths: OUT OF THE TRENCHES
August 3, 2015. It's time for the chair of wisdom again. This time Indy answers to particular questions - which took us a bit to research - about the Boy Scouts during World War 1 and the many theories about the sinking of the Lusitania and whether it was carrying munitions or not.

Russian Roulette - Germany Helps The Bolsheviks: THE GREAT WAR Week 53
July 30, 2015. After Russia's Great Retreat and the defeat on the Eastern Front, the Russian Army is demoralized and even revolution is in the air. Germany is fanning the revolutionary flames by sending Bolshevik prisoners of war back to Russia - equipped with money to support the Bolshevik cause. Meanwhile, the the war is continuing on the Western Front. Even small skirmishes are turning into atrocious battles with little gain for either side. A great offensive is not in sight.


The Great War 100 Years Ago

Presented by Mr. Mike Hanlon - WorldWar1.com

Third Failure at Gallipoli: The August 1915 Offensive

Map of Suvla Bay

The battleship assault of 18 March had failed. The landings of 25 April at Cape Helles and Anzac Cove had simply created two miniature Western Fronts on the Gallipoli Peninsula. Something had to be done to retrieve the vast investment in resources.

A new Dardanelles Committee was set up. It included Churchill, but not in a senior role. The original Gallipoli land campaign was under-resourced and had not been properly planned. The pre-invasion reconnaissance had been woefully inadequate.

The committee approved reinforcements which would arrive for an offensive that was eventually launched in August and is thus known as the August Offensive. It's more often referred to as the Suvla Bay Operation, but that's somewhat misleading. Although Suvla Bay was the site of the main reinforcements landing, there was also a major attack out of the original Anzac position, as well as efforts to pin down Turkish forces at Lone Pine on the right flank at Anzac and on the Helles peninsula.

Fighting took place throughout the month into September, but as the chronology below shows, the effort was decisively defeated within five days and the Gallipoli Campaign was doomed. The greatest problem for the British came at the command level. On the day of the landing and for most of the next day, IX Corps Commander Lieutenant-General Sir Frederick Stopford allowed his soldiers to sit. There were big problems with the water supply and organizing the artillery, and probably a host of other difficulties. Stopford's caution, however, had undermined the basic assumptions behind the Suvla expedition; his troops did not beat the Turkish reinforcements to the hills. The Turks got their first, however, and — bad luck for the Allies — were placed under the command of that man of destiny, Mustafa Kemal. There was still some possibility of success for the British divisions, but not after Kemal on consecutive days personally directed actions above Suvla Bay and on Chunuk Bair that drove the enemy almost back to the invasion beach. Stopford was fired after a week, and a major effort to break out was made on August 21, but it was too late.

The August Offensive had failed and with that failure the whole Gallipoli campaign had failed. The stalemate that followed Suvla was the worse period at Gallipoli for the troops, with the survivors of both sides plagued by heat, insects, disease, and even a murderous flash flooding of the trenches. It would to take the rest of the year to liquidate the operation. In what was a great historical irony the most successful (arguably only) achievement of the Allies at Gallipoli was their withdrawal from the battlefield. It proceeded flawlessly.


6 August 1915Suvla Landings

  • August Offensive begins at Anzac, aimed at capturing the heights of the Sari Bair Range.
  • Attacks at Helles and Lone Pine aimed at holding down Turkish reinforcements from the main thrust of the August Offensive.
  • At 10:30 p.m. British troops began landing at Suvla Bay.

7 August 1915

  • Attacks at the Nek are annihilated. British forces make little headway at Suvla while the forces in the Sari Bair range also failed to seize their objectives.

8 August 1915

  • New Zealanders, backed up by British units, capture Chunuk Bair and fight off fierce Turkish counterattacks.
  • British forces made little progress at Suvla against reinforced Turkish forces personally directed by Mustafa Kemal.

9 August 1915

  • 6th Gurkha Rifles, take Hill Q to the north of Chunuk Bair but are forced to retire when a supporting force fails to reach them.
  • Turkish reinforcements begin massing behind Chunuk Bair and at Suvla.
  • General Sir Ian Hamilton personally visits Suvla in an attempt to get the stalled British advance moving forward.
  • Turkish reinforcements, under the command of Mustafa Kemal, beat back the British from key positions in front of Tekke Tepe, Hill 60, and Scimitar Hill.

10 August 1915

  • Lieutenant-Colonel Mustafa Kemal — again in command — leads Turkish soldiers in a successful counterattack against British troops on the peak of Chunuk Bair.
  • A second attack on Scimitar Hill also was defeated. The British had failed to gain the heights and the August Offensive was a failure.

This chronology is adapted from the Australian Department of Veterans' Affairs Website


Defeat at Gallipoli, Nigel Steel & Peter Hart

Second Landing at Gallipoli: Suvla Bay

Suvla Landings

Upcoming Events

If you have an agenda item to include, please email Andrew McGreal by the Monday before the next Sync Call.

If you have an event for our calendar, please submit it here.

For a listing of events and exhibits, please visit the Commission Events Page. (We are in the process of transitioning into this calendar--please bear with us if your event does not appear immediately. Thank you.)


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