Yanks Fight the Kaiser: A National Guard Division in WWI
About This Episode
Yanks Fight the Kaiser: A National Guard Division in WWI employs archival photographs, silent movies, period newsreels and German war footage to piece together the story of one National Guard unit's contributions to the "War to End all Wars."
The 26th "Yankee" Division, comprised of citizen-soldiers from all six New England states, arrived in France in the fall of 1917, ill-equipped and untrained. Their previous combat experience took place on the Mexican border, where they tried — unsuccessfully — to defeat Pancho Villa's army. Over the course of four months, the French trained the Americans to survive the rigors of trench warfare. Ultimately, this relatively inexperienced regiment played a key role in every major battle of the war, fighting alongside General Pershing's three veteran army divisions.