World War I Scholar, Author to Talk at Marshall Foundation

Noted World War I scholar Dr. Edward Lengel will discuss “Testing the American Way of War: Doughboys in Combat, 1917-1918″ on Jan. 19 beginning at 5:30 pm in the Pogue Auditorium at the Marshall Foundation in Lexington.

Dr. Lengel, formerly of the faculty at the Univ. of Virginia, is chief historian at the White House Historical Association and the author of Thunder and Flames: Americans in the Crucible of Combat and To Conquer Hell: The Meuse-Argonne, 1918.

This presentation is part of the Marshall Legacy Series sequence called The World Wars that focuses on the course, conduct and consequences of the two largest conflicts in human history, World War I and World War II.

Dr. Lengel’s lecture will cover the first American military engagements of WWI, describing how unpreparedness and bravery—as witnessed first hand by George C. Marshall and others—defined the introduction of millions of Doughboys to the challenges of modern mechanized warfare. He will also address how the Franco-American alliance was put to perhaps its greatest test, before or since—a test in which Marshall was a direct and primary participant.

Reservations for this event are required by calling Leigh McFaddin at 540-463-7103, ext. 138 or by email to Seating will be first come, first served. Members and students will be admitted free; non-members will pay $15 at the door.

Guests are invited to see the new exhibition, “Six Degrees of Marshall,” that will open in the Lower Gallery that evening. The exhibition uses an infographic to connect Marshall to people and programs important to both world wars.

The individuals who led in World War II—Marshall, Patton, MacArthur, Churchill, Roosevelt, Truman, among others—were involved in World War I. Their direct involvement in the first war informed their leadership and the decisions they made in the second. Marshall evolved from a battle planner and logistics genius into a global military strategist drawing on the knowledge and experience of coalition warfare and fighting on a global scale. As chief of staff of the U.S. Army during World War II, he operated both at the head of the US military and behind the scenes, establishing his reputation as the “organizer of victory” and as an indispensable man of World War II.

The exhibition Six Degrees of Marshall will not only map out Marshall’s connections to individuals who shaped him but those he selected to lead during World War II. The exhibition will also feature artifacts on loan from the MacArthur Memorial, General George S. Patton’s engraved pistol from the Virginia Military Institute Museum, a D-Day map carried ashore by Gen. Leonard Gerow, and World War I artifacts from the Marshall Museum’s own collection.

This event is a part of the Marshall Legacy Series and is being presented with sponsorship from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

The George C. Marshall Legacy Series interprets General Marshall’s legacy during a four-year series of exhibitions, speakers and programs centered on key themes or episodes from General Marshall’s career.