Posted by: bhupp | 1st Oct, 2008

The Doughboys II

            The first thing that came out at me was that the government was planning to bulk up the amount of troops in Europe.  This was happening right when the armistice was signed.  Now the government had to worry more on demobilization.  They were not ready or equipped to make this happening as quickly as a lot of the troops would like to happen.  They tried to come up with many plans but these plans were too involved for the army at the time.  They were thinking about waiting for jobs to open up, let the most veteran troops go home first, or let community draft boards decide.  They decided to “discharge men when the military rationale for their mobilization had ceased to exist” (pg.132).  This plan started by dismissing the troop’s state side and then goes down from there.

               

            The major problem with this plan for demobilization or any plan for demobilization is that the men are stuck in very tight quarters while waiting for there chance to get home.  When winter came around, there problems got a lot worse.  Massive Influenza epidemics swept through the camps faster then the Germans swept through France in WWII.  Many men in the army didn’t die of battle but died after the war was over and died of disease.  WOW THAT’S REDICULOUS. 

           

            Many soldiers stationed throughout Europe started to protest.  They started to give up the military discipline that they had.  They began to get very angry with there officers and the American high command over all.  They just wanted to go home but they were stuck in Europe.  Some men even made plans to march onto there camp HQ.  They were persuaded by there NCOs not to do it.  The NCOs made sure to get a set sail date for home (135). 

           

            Since the army stopped censoring all the mail that was sent state side.  Many soldiers asked there families or congressmen for help.  They asked that the people at home would push the government to get the troops home.  Finally, with the pushing of many citizens and important people in America, the troops were finally home.

           

            We see the creation of the American Legion by former officers after WWI.  This organization is very like the GAR.  It was created because the veterans of WWI wanted an organization that they could gather in and gain public support.  Just like the GAR the American Legion fought for veteran pensions and for help for veterans in general.  It was a hard fight for the veterans to get some money from the country.  Again we see that the American government thinks that the veterans should be happy with just serving for there country and not put a monetary value on service for there country.  These men needed compensation for there country.  The government did give them low interest loans to help pay for there debts.  The government did learn from there mistake.  All the pushing, rallies, and marches that were done by the veterans helped out in the long run.  The congress passed the GI bill in 1944, that set up a great pension for US veterans.    

 

Responses

I agree that it’s completed ridicilous that the men were dropping like flies AFTER the war. One would think that the government would try to put a stop to its men dying when there was not even a war going on. The men were dying for nothing from disease…they were dying in vain and nothing was done until the men stood up for themselves and their lives. I think it’s sad that thats the last fight the men fought over there, was against their own government..

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