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Sync Call for Wednesday January 06 at 12pm EST
Anzac evacuation from Gallipoli, 1916.
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News at a Glance

1. Upcoming Events

  • January State Outreach Collaboration Call - Tomorrow
  • 10th Commission Meeting - January 25
  • WWI Memorial Design Competition - The Jury Deliberates Over a Winner Now!
2. The Georgia WWI Centennial Commission Website is Live
3. The December Centennial Countdown Blog is Out
4. Three New Videos in the Commission Video Library
Read more below!

Help the WW1CC!

  1. Donate! Go to our donations page.
  2. Help with state and regional organization! Let Andrew McGreal know and he will send you information on how to get involved.
  3. Shop at SMILE.AMAZON.COM! Enter the "United States Foundation for the Commemoration of the World Wars" as your charitable organization.
  4. Own official WW1 commemorative merchandise! Head over to the Commission shop for a full selection.

News and Announcements:

January 07 State Outreach Collaboration Call - Tomorrow

We will hold our next State Outreach Collaboration Call tomorrow Thursday January 7 at 12 pm EST. This call will focus on ‘Organizing a Commemorative Body’ and we will have a panel of experts from several state commemorative bodies from across the country on the line. This will be a great call for all up-and-coming state commemorative bodies to attend and to learn about what other states have done. Reminders will be sent out the day of the call.

It's not too late to get on the call roster - contact a State Outreach Coordination team member if you would like to join.

10th Commission Meeting - January 25

The next WWI Centennial Commission meeting will take place on Monday, January 25, at 10 am at our office here in DC : 1776 G St NW. The Commissioners will vote on the winning design concept for the WWI Memorial at Pershing Park. At 2 pm that same day, we will hold a press conference at the National Press Club to announce the winning concept.

The National WWI Memorial at Pershing Park- Design Competition Update

The Jury Deliberates Next Week

The Design Competition jury deliberated yesterday, is currently deliberating today, and will continue to deliberate tomorrow over the winner of the design competition. Today, Wednesday, January 6, each finalist will present their design concept to the jury in a meeting at Jones Day Law firm. This meeting is open to the public. Presentations began at 9 am and are expected to conclude around 5 pm. The formal announcement of the winner will coincide with our 10th Commission Meeting on January 25.

Please remember that even with the perfect design, we can’t build a memorial without donations. The Memorial is estimated to cost around $25 million and that figure will change depending on the winner. We can’t hope to complete the memorial by the centennial of Armistice Day if we don’t have enough money. We will need all that cash in hand before the end of 2017 to make that due date. Every dollar donated will be matched by our founding sponsor, the Pritzker Military Museum and Library. You can make this memorial a reality by making a donation to the Memorial Fund. These veterans deserve a memorial. We can build it.

Updates from the States

Volunteer for state outreach. Contact Andrew McGreal if you are willing to help.

Georgia WWI Centennial Commission Website Active Now
Georgia played a significant role during America's participation in World War I. It was home to more training camps than any other state and contributed more than 100,000 men and women to the war effort by the war’s end. Governor Nathan Deal signed the law that created The Georgia WWI Centennial Commission last summer and now is the latest state commemorative body to stand up its own webpage, hosted on the national Commission’s website. We encourage everyone to visit the Georgia WWICC webpage.

State Outreach Webpage
We have a State Outreach webpage set up on the Commission website. It houses the State Outreach Guide and its toolbox of Commission resources, the state outreach status map, as well as the minutes and recordings from our monthly State Outreach Collaboration Calls.

December Centennial Countdown Blog

Dennis Cross has published his December installment of the Centennial Countdown blog. This blog reviews what happened this month around the world 100 years ago. Among many, many other happening, in December 1915, the Allies evacuated Gallipoli and President Wilson announced his military preparedness measures to congress. To read all about what happened last month 100 years ago, visit the blog here.

New Videos in the Commission Video Library

We have three new videos in the Commission's Video Library on our website.

  1. C-SPAN | American History TV - Edwin Fountain interview on the 5 finalist design concepts. It’s a really good walk through the competition in general and the five finalists.
  2. Library of Congress Veteran's History Project - Actor Gary Sinise takes a tour and learns about the Veteran’s History Project. This video is a great for those interested in access or participation to this program.
  3. The Lusitania Disaster: A "Maritime Grassy Knoll” - Courtesy of CBS News - A January 3 story about the mysteries surrounding this tragic event with Martha Teichner.
You can view all of these videos on the Commission's Video Library.

WW1 Commemorative Merchandise

The WW1CC merchandise store is open on our website! Go online to get your own fine-crafted piece of WW1 commemorative merchandise and to support the Commission all at once. We have an exciting and varied line of products available for purchase - check it out today!

DISPATCH Newsletter

The Commission publishes a weekly newsletter, the DISPATCH. If you’re not receiving this and want to, subscribe on the Commission's website here to be added to the distribution list.


Shout Outs

We’ve had an exciting uptick in donations in the last week of December. Donations that week amounted to approximately 1/9 of our donations for the year! Even more exciting, the trend seems to be continuing. So, for this week’s shout out, we’d like to give a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who donated last year and this year so far to help commemorate and our First World War veterans!


The Great War Channel

Would you like to see some great videos on YouTube about WWI? Check out The Great War Channel. Posting multiple times 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 latest videos are:

Dancer, Lover, Spy - Mata Hari : WHO DID WHAT IN WW1?
Published on Jan 4, 2016. Mata Hari or Margaretha Geertruida Zelle is one of the most fascinating women of the 20th century. Not only did the Dutch woman charm half or Paris with her exotic and erotic dancing. After several up and downs she ended up as a spy for love gathering intelligence for the German secret service. When she was caught by the French, her live ended as unglamorous as it started.

How Accurate Is Blackadder Goes Forth? : OUT OF THE TRENCHES
Published on Jan 2, 2016. Indy is answering your questions about the First World War again and this time we are talking about the neutrality of Greece, the accuracy of Blackadder Goes Forth and the contribution of Asia and Africa.

Preparing for 1916 - The Year of Battles : THE GREAT WAR - Week 75
Published on Dec 31, 2015. 1915 was a year for the Central Powers except on the Western Front where the stalemate continues. But plans are being made on both sides to gain an advantage. Preparations for huge offensives are on the way and one French fortress is the focus of the German Army: Verdun.


The Great War 100 Years Ago

Presented by Mr. Mike Hanlon - WorldWar1.com

The Great War 100 Years Ago: Evacuation from Gallipoli

Map of the Dardanelles Approach

This week marks the 100th anniversary of the evacuation of the Gallipoli Peninsula, the liquidation of the failed Dardanelles Campaign

1. The only success of the Gallipoli campaign was the withdrawal of over 135,000 men under the enemy guns in December 1915 and January 1916. Hardly a life was lost.

2. Here's a brief summary of what happened from the Australian Department of Defense:

Following the failure of the August offensive, the commander of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (MEF), general Sir ian Hamilton, knew the best he could hope to achieve in the short term was to establish a defensive line strong enough to deter any future Turkish attack. While Hamilton believed a decisive victory was still possible,he also knew that this would require additional divisions. Facing an impasse, the British Cabinet acted and on October 14, 1915, replaced Hamilton with General Sir Charles Monro, an experienced commander from the Western Front. Monro concluded that an evacuation was the only course of action open. Reluctantly on November 22, Kitchener and the British Cabinet endorsed Monro’s recommendation. Lieutenant General William Birdwood was confirmed as commander of the Dardanelles Army. Birdwood’s new Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Brudenell white, started work on the evacuation plan. White considered that a successful evacuation rested on three factors: the ottomans must be deceived until the very last moment; the final stage of the evacuation must not take longer than two nights; and Anzac Cove must be evacuated simultaneously with Suvla Bay.Crowded roads during the evacuation from Gallipoli.

White’s most difficult issue to be decided was how to conduct the evacuation. whether to conduct a fighting withdrawal to the beaches, or to hold the front line with a small rearguard while the main body of troops were silently evacuated? Despite the clear risk of any rear guard being overrun, White was a firmer advocate for the latter course of action. He reasoned that because the enemy was so close, a fighting withdrawal would inevitably lead to the ottoman forces firing directly onto the evacuation beaches. This would have disastrous consequences for any embarking force. Deceiving the ottoman forces about the evacuation, while holding the line with a small rearguard, was the only viable option.

At the beginning of December the Anzac-Suvla garrison numbered 85,000 men, 5000 animals, 200 guns and significant stocks of food and ammunition. All the usual daily activates were maintained. By mid-December under a careful program of phased evacuations carried out by the navy, the size of the garrison was down to 18,000 men with 28 artillery pieces. On the night of December 19 only 5000 men remained ashore in Anzac-Suvla Bay, facing 60,000 ottoman troops. By 10pm, 1500 men remained in the frontline trenches and at 1.30am the final withdrawa lbegan. A mine under the ottoman lines at the nek was fired at 3.30am and the remaining supply dumps fired. By 4am there were no defenders left ashore at Anzac.

The success of the Anzac-Suvla evacuation gave encouragement for those tasked to evacuate the British and French forces at Helles. However, with the element of surprise now lost, this evacuation was going to be more difficult. An Ottoman offensive on January 7, 1916, was repulsed with heavy losses and convinced the enemy that an evacuation at Helles was not being considered. in fact the evacuation begun that very night and, using techniques developed at Anzac and Suvla, all troops were evacuated by January 8. like Anzac and Suvla, a substantial force was evacuated from Helles with only a single casualty. The evacuations were brilliantly conducted and their success was regarded as some consolation in an otherwise disastrous campaign.

3. Why did the Gallipoli Campaign fail?

Historian Tim Travers says succinctly: "The reason the Allied campaign did not succeed at Gallipoli, [was] that most senior officers lacked experience of modern industrial war and thought that the attack was simpler than it actually was in 1915."


Defeat at Gallipoli by Nigel Steel and Peter Hart


Australian War Memorial Photo Collection
a. Go to this page: https://www.awm.gov.au/military-event/E76/
b. Search for: "Gallipoli evacuation"

Next Week: The New Character of the War in 1916


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

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