Past event

Rethinking 1918: How the Americans Won World War I Professor Geoffrey Wawro - University of North Texas

The Institute for the Study of War and Strategy presents Professor Geoffrey Wawro – University of North Texas — Rethinking 1918: How the Americans Won World War I

The lecture will argue that it hard to see how the British and French could have won the war without the Americans owing to the profound and indeed crippling manpower problem faced by the Entente in 1918, which, in the French case, led to rampant demoralization and an unwillingness to attack. In the British case, it led to severe conflict between Lloyd George and Haig and a reluctance to go on in the face of mounting casualties, French defeatism, and failed or nugatory offensives like Passchendaele. It was the American push toward the “vital pivot” of the German war effort — the rail junction at Sedan — that released pressure on the French and British and facilitated their advance across the Meuse and the otherwise unlikely collapse of the Germans.

Dr. Geoffrey Wawro is University Distinguished Research Professor and Director of the Military History Center at the University of North Texas. From 2000-2005, he was Professor of Strategic Studies at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. A Modern European historian by training, Dr. Wawro's Ph.D is from Yale University, his B.A. Magna Cum Laude from Brown University. He was an English-Speaking Union Scholar at Cheltenham College in the U.K., and a Fulbright Scholar at Austria's University of Vienna. He speaks German, French, Spanish, and Italian.

Dr. Wawro is the author of six books, most recently Sons of Freedom: The Forgotten American Soldiers Who Defeated Germany in World War I (Basic Books, 2018.) Wawro is also the author of A Mad Catastrophe: The Outbreak of World War I and the Collapse of the Habsburg Empire (Basic Books, 2014), Quicksand: America's Pursuit of Power in the Middle East (Penguin Press, 2010), The Franco-Prussian War (Cambridge, 2003), Warfare and Society in Europe, 1792-1914 (Routledge, 2000), and The Austro-Prussian War (Cambridge, 1996). Wawro is currently researching and writing his seventh book: a new history of the Vietnam War based on recently declassified archives in the U.S. and abroad.

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